Email marketing: personalization towards long-term relationships


A customer-centric email marketer with intentions to improve service, increase loyalty, offer value and improve conversion rates through relevant dialogues, focuses on the interests of his recipients and thus personalizes as much as he possibly can.

Although personalization is really a matter of seeing email marketing as a cross-channel series of interactions that are defined by the behaviour, triggers and recipient data, in many email marketing campaigns this one-to-one approach is less appropriate and often not possible (yet).

So here are some general email personalization tips to build more personal and long-term email relationships and thus get long-term results of your email campaigns.

Personalization requires being personal and automated at the same time

Sounds strange, right? A lot of marketers think that personalized marketing requires little personal effort and many other think that personalization and automation are an oxymoron.

Being personal starts with segmenting, diversifying, personalizing and looking at the people in your list from a cross-channel perspective. Listening! And it requires using automated scenarios as well, which might seem as a contradiction of personalization. However, it is not since you move towards a more personal interaction based on cross-channel data and "personal" triggers such as buying behaviour, birthday, behaviour on other channels etc.

On the other hand, automation is not an excuse for a lack of a personal approach, which is strictly speaking not the same as personalization. Try to treat your recipients as people and engage in personal dialogue. Treat all your subscribers equally in the way you personalize the interactions. Obviously, however, also take your business reality into account. Focus on what seem to be so-called "low-value" customers too (your perception can be wrong and there are things like long-tail and word-of-mouth) but of course focus that extra bit on loyal customers.

Be accessible: don't hide between your email programs

Here's a popular anecdote (don't even know if it ever happened since it is so often used). On a trip to Japan, an investor entered a factory to speak to the company's CEO. He walked into the lobby and spoke to the receptionist, who pointed him to a small man in the corner, bent over on one knee to polish and clean the floor.

Surprised, the investor asked for clarification. As it turned out, the man in the corner was the CEO. He believed in remaining accessible, regardless of the rank, type, and intentions of the person looking for him. If you want your email marketing strategy to involve a large degree of interaction and personalization, you might want to do the same. Don't sit behind dashboards all the time: reach out and make sure you can be reached.

Remain "open" and accessible: look at the insights you get from your recipients in an automated way but also make sure that you can be contacted by your recipients and that you reply personally as much as you can (or better: the people that are assigned to do so). Don't hide between your email programs with too much automated replies and be sure people can personally connect, via your email campaigns, your website and across all other channels your customers use.

Do you want to engage the multi-channel consumer?

Today's customer is cross-channel and he/she is at the centre of sales and marketing.

Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.

Discover why your business should move to an integrated marketing approach step by step and how.

Download our white paper "Moving towards integrated interactive marketing".  

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