Your customers are more than just names in your database - they are human and expect you to treat them more than some transactions or sales.
How do you build that connection? You can personalize your emails, give a human touch, and use a more customer-oriented approach.
As modern-day email marketers, this marketing strategy shouldn't be ignored, trust me!
So, we have written this informative guide to get you started with email personalization. We will cover how to collect and use data to create highly personalized email campaigns.
Table of contents
What is email personalization?
Email personalization is a strategy to add a personal touch to emails based on the recipient's behavior and interaction history. By segmenting your audience based on different traits, you can design emails specific to a group of people. This strategy is a great way to connect with your audience on a personal level.
For example, if a set of people checked out similar items during a holiday, using AI tools, you can use this data to send emails highlighting those items. Besides, you can also add recommendations based on those items to nudge them to buy.
Why should you make your emails personalized?
Here are some of the reasons why you should be prioritizing email personalization:
• Audience demands personalization
60% of consumers say they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a retailer. - Segment, The State of Personalization 2021
When an email lacks personalization, 52% of customers say they will choose a different place to shop. - Activetrail
70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails. - SmarterHQ
• Generates higher engagements
Personalized emails are tailored to users' behavior, preferences, and other aspects, offering more relevant and valuable content than mass emails. Due to increased relevancy, 57% of marketers say they have achieved better visitor engagement due to email personalization.
For example, you would probably read an email if it has your name and it seems like the sender has specially created it for you.
• Reduces unsubscribe rate and enhances user retention
Users feel happy and content when they get relevant emails they like and want to receive. They do not feel like you are bombarding them with unnecessary sales-y emails. Such understanding creates mutual trust and loyalty, which leads to longer user retention. As a result, users tend to unsubscribe less.
💡 Related guide: 11 Most Effective Ways to Reduce Unsubscribe Rate
• Build stronger relationships with your customers
If you want to build brand loyalty and a stronger relationship with your subscribers, you must treat them as humans, satisfy their wants, and make them feel like they matter.
Developing an email personalization strategy helps you achieve that by bridging the communication gap between you and the subscribers.
For example, Sending a weekly summary of their activity on your site or app can help them track their progress and give them a better experience within their inbox.
• Sets your brand apart from your competitors
If you personalize your emails, congratulations! You are among 55% of marketers who prioritize personalizing their email programs.
But as every brand knows, to stand out, you need to look beyond the user's name.
So, you need to ask yourself what you know about your customers that no other brand does.
For instance, Airbnb knows when and where you visited during summer vacation because you booked a hotel with them. This information is unique to Airbnb, and using that, they send personalized emails to connect and communicate with their users. No other brand can know about this, which sets your brand apart from others.
How to create personalized emails?
The users' data drive personalization. So, the first step is to collect the data. After collecting the data, you must analyze it and create various segments.
Step 1: Collect the user's data
To give a personalized experience to your subscribers, you require information about them. Data is that pillar without which personalization can't exist. But how do you gather this data? There are many ways you can use such as:
Ask users about their preferences, interests, and pain points via feedback forms, surveys, polls
Set up a preference center to let users tell you what kind of content they prefer.
Use your ESP's analytics to track users' interaction with your email campaigns.
Track users' interactions on your website using third-party tools like Google analytics.
What kinds of data can you use for personalizing emails?
You can use the four kinds of customer data for personalizing email content:
1. User attributes
User attributes define who your customers are. It includes basic details that shape their identities, such as their
preferred communication channels
how and when they joined your website or app
devices they use
Attributes give you a holistic view of your customers and serve as a great starting point for dynamic personalization and segmentation.
2. Event data
Event data is activity-based information about your customers. Events tell a story about how your users interact and engage with your brand, giving you a greater understanding of their changing interests and preferences over time.
Event data gives you a multidimensional view of your customers' behavior throughout their journey so you can send relevant content.
3. Data feeds
A data feed is a way of sending structured and up-to-date information from one source to another. It's a form of data exchange that imports external data into your messaging templates.
Metadata is data about data. It's descriptive data about products and services that make your brand stand out from competitors. With metadata, you can gain customer-specific insights and create individualized experiences that deliver even more value to your audience.
This data will be the foundational pillar for making rational and intelligent decisions about which content will serve them and the action you ask them to take.
But, before making that decision, you need to do one other thing - Segmentation.
Step 2: Segment users based on data you've collected
Segmentation is the next step on the ladder, which leads to personalization. It helps you shift from - telling your whole email list, Hey! We launched a new product 🎉to tell those interested and need to hear about the launch.
This way, you can ensure that interested users get more personalized one-to-one communication valuable to them.
Using the collected data, you can segment your email list and send more personalized and relevant email campaigns.
Step 3: Creating the personalized emails
It's time to make personalized emails. So, what are you going to personalize?
There is no limit to how and what you can personalize. You can personalize many variables, from the subject line and subscriber's first name to the CTA buttons.
With the right data and tools, you can develop email personalization strategies to generate higher ROI and maintain long-lasting customer relationships.
Personalized email marketing examples
Here are 8 examples to inspire your next personalized email marketing campaign. Learn more about them in our related guide below.
- Use dynamic content
- Show appreciation with thank you emails
- Send personalized offers on birthdays
- welcome email
- Recover sales via personalized abandoned cart emails
- Send product recommendations
- Summary or wrap-up emails
- Reach out to inactive users with re-engagement emails
- Add physical location to boost in-store sales
💡 Related guide: 8 Best Email Personalization Examples for Better Engagement
Email personalization tools: Using Mailmodo to create dynamic emails
Email personalization is crucial and becoming a necessity for a good customer experience rather than merely a trend. So, if you want to hop on this bandwagon, you need the right tool.
Mailmodo is an all-around ESP that helps you design personalized emails by adding the user's first name in the subject line, email copy, or making images dynamic.
1. Making the email greeting personalized
You can choose from different personalized parameters we offer, including personalized subject line, subscriber's first name, customer ID, contact number, location, etc., as shown in the image:
Learn more about personalizing the email copy using Mailmodo
2. Making the images dynamic
When you add an image to an email template, choose the dynamic image option instead of static. You'll see the personalized parameter where you can choose from all data points.
Learn more about how to add dynamic images in Mailmodo
3. Create repeatable dynamic blocks
A repeatable block contains placeholders for different personalized elements. It will repeatedly display different information using the same content block.
To learn how to create such a block, read our help guide.
4. Automation and segmentation on Shopify
Personalization includes marketing automation and segmentation that targets the right customers with the right emails at the best time. You can use email automation templates for critical email flows like cart abandonment, product recommendations, welcome emails, etc. You can then personalize your email campaigns based on the prebuilt segments as per your Shopify data and trigger emails at the right time. Learn more about Shopify email marketing personalization on Mailmodo here.
Best part? Apart from these features, Mailmodo also lets you send AMP emails that can elevate the level of personalization you are looking for. You can boost your conversion rates by sending interactive AMP emails, which include elements like interactive forms, quizzes, surveys, and much more that can be filled and interacted with inside the email.
if you want to use on-site data to add personalization parameters, you need to understand the role AI and Machine learning play and how to use AI tools to power up your personalization.
Role of Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in creating personalized emails
Just personalizing the subscriber's name might not be something you want to personalize, or you might want to dig deeper. Here comes ML for you! Machine learning (ML) is an algorithm that analyzes customer data from various sources (CRM tools, website data, email metrics), develops actionable insights, and decides what resonates best with a specific customer.
Besides, ML and AI also help assess your audience's behavior, create common behavioral patterns, and offer recommendations and content that will resonate with them.
A great example of this is Netflix which uses behavioral analysis to assess the user's past viewing history and send them movie recommendations based on that. If you have subscribed to Netflix's newsletter, you'll see how personalized and persuasive they are.
Using AI-powered tools like Kick Dynamics, Persado, and Phrasee can be an effective strategy for this sort of personalization.It can boost your open rate and customer engagement.
💡 Related guide: Future of AI for Personalization in Marketing
Email personalization best practices
Here are some tips that we have curated for your personalized email marketing journey:
Avoid using first names in the subject line or email copy. To do that, use tools that help you collect on-site data to go more granular with your personalization efforts.
Use preference centers to collect first-party data and insights into recipient preferences.
If you're using dynamic images, always add a fallback version if the recipient's email client doesn't support the images.
Be transparent with your customers about the information you collect about them. Tell them when and why you will need that information. It will make the decision-making process easier for them.
Preview and test your emails to ensure that you target the right customer with the right content.
Start personalizing with Mailmodo
Email marketing personalization is a journey, not a destination.
Therefore, you must consistently develop ways of offering value to your audience that align with your business goals.
And if you want to level up your email marketing performance, you should check out AMP emails by Mailmodo.
A personalized website-like experience in your user's inbox 😃 Woahh! That's something they might not expect.