Email is an excellent method of marketing to your customer or patient base because you’re putting your business directly in front of those most likely to buy from you. Being permission-based, email is also one of the most acceptable form of advertising among customers, as the people who are receiving your emails are receiving them voluntarily — and when they no longer want to receive email from your business, they can easily unsubscribe. Emails are especially effective when they’re personalized.
What does personalization mean? At its most basic, rather than addressing the customer generically (e.g. “Dear valued customer”), a personalized email will address the customer with his or her name (e.g. “Dear John Smith”). This suggests to the customer that this is more than just an advertisement sent out by your business indiscriminately. Instead, it’s an email you sent specifically to that person, which makes the level of communication much more personal. But, this is only one of many elements you can personalize and by going an extra step you can start to see more success from your marketing efforts.
Today, I want to share a couple of examples I’ve found of great email personalization. The first example is an email sent out by Ted Cruz. I’m not a very politically-minded person and I tend to delete politicians’ emails as soon as I see them. This email made me react differently — I clicked on it (click on the image to enlarge):
What stood out to me? Underlined in red, you see the biggest difference between the email I opened and all the other emails I sent to my Trash without opening. It’s sent from “Ted’s iPhone.” Now, I know that Ted Cruz didn’t say, “Wow, I should email Jonathan from my phone right now!” But, because the email goes that extra mile to make it seem much more personal than usual, I got the impression that it really was a personal email from Ted Cruz and, even though I knew that he really didn’t send it himself, I opened it.
Here’s the actual email:
As you can see, the email has the same level of personalization. In fact, more so. Not only is it sent from what seems like it really could be his personal email (firstname.lastname@example.org), but it also has in big letters: Sent from my iPhone. His campaign agency did that for a reason: it increased conversion rates (it earned Ted Cruz’ campaign more donations than it otherwise would have).
You may not be a politician and you may not be asking for donations, but you can apply the same or similar principles to make important emails to clients stand out, making them more likely to open them and more likely to do business with you. Here’s another email I recently received, showing how a business can apply a similar method of personalization:
Okay, so Melanie didn’t send me the email from her iPhone. But, you can see that it’s not just an email from the company, it’s an email from a real person at the company — the CEO and co-founder, no less. The point is that it caught my eye because it was someone, not some faceless business, emailing me. That advanced personalization changed my perception of the intention behind the email, making me believe it worthwhile to open it.
There are additional touches to the above email that are worth pointing out. First of all, the subject line tells me exactly what to expect. It’s not clickbait, so I can trust that the value the title is conveying is real (if it were clickbait, I’d immediately unsubscribe). Second of all, Melanie Perkins includes a very clean-looking signature who tells me who she is and where I can communicate with her.
These are all elements that make me, and others, more likely to care about what you’re writing about. It, therefore, makes me more likely to click the link and go to the website, which will give me more information on the product. That’s the response you want to get from your customers or patients, but, if you’re not personalizing your emails, you’re not allowing them to stand out and appeal to the recipient. That means a lower open rate, a lower conversion rate, and less revenue for you.
If you’re looking for some ideas, I can’t stress enough how revealing it can be to take the time to look at what others are doing. What catches your eye when you’re scrolling through your inbox? Take note of whatever does and try implementing it. I also welcome you to call us at Now Media Group, as we would be more than happy to help you with your email marketing. We know what makes your email unique and what will get your customers or patients to open them. You can reach us at (858) 333-8950.
Formerly at [Tony] Robbins Research International and at Now Media Group as their Director of Marketing, Jonathan has a background in quantitative economics and analytics.