Personalizing email to be more creative is critical to getting people to want to read them. Otherwise, why bother?
First off, make sure you’re using email marketing software, like ConvertKit or MailChimp, to save yourself a lot of headaches with legalities regarding emailing people about your business. Most have a free trial period to get you started.
Once you’ve chosen a software program, learn all the features to maximize potential. You can set up automated welcome messages when someone signs up on your list. This is great for delivering a free download or other information that someone wants to get from you. To get fancier, you can set up a string of messages that send out your blog posts, updates, or new offers that may interest your subscribers.
Craft Interest-Targeted Email Messages
Use the software to capture the information needed to personalize and craft email messages toward what your subscriber wants to know about. Capturing the right information will enable you to point your subscribers to products and services that they want without bothering others in your email list with information they don’t want. Make sure you are providing plenty of valuable information related to your offer before you drop a sales link. When someone is ready to buy, make it easy for them to find the information, but don’t shove it in their face!
If you need a flow chart to help you decide how to put your emails together in a series, click on this picture get a downloadable version.
Create Geocentric Messages
It is likely that your email software allows you to capture location-based information from subscribers. This location-based information can be used for a variety of purposes, from marketing events in their area, to encouraging them to visit your location if you have a local bricks-and-mortar business. For example, Mail Chimp has a geo-location targeting function within their software already. In the past, you had to ask for location information upon sign up, but with connections to Twitter and other social accounts, the information can be matched based on email addresses in your list. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start!
Let Subscribers Define What Info They Want
Sending a poll or checklist to subscribers that lets them define what information they want to get is a good way to find out exactly what your subscribers need and want to hear from you. For instance, if you’re an astrologist, collect birth day info, so you can craft emails towards their Zodiac sign. Or, if your subscribers use particular software that you support, knowing what they use is key to supporting them.
Acknowledge Purchases Made
Each time a purchase is made it’s important to acknowledge it with a thank you, but to also move them off a list that keeps promoting that item. If they feel like you’re harassing them to buy something they already have, they won’t respond to well when you market something new to them. ConvertKit has automation rules that you can set up to remove someone from a sales sequence as soon as they make a purchase.
Encourage Social Sharing
Put social share buttons on appropriate email messages so that your subscribers can help you get more people to sign up for your email marketing lists. This is personalization that encourages them to share with their friends and to like and follow you on other social channels.
Insert Predefined Fields
Most email programs allow you to insert different predefined fields. For example, if you have a website that is devoted to selling art, you could send a questionnaire to your audience asking them what their favorite style is. Then the software will not only trigger the right emails to go out based on that style, but it will also mention the style within the email message. If they don’t fill it out, it will insert some other value that you choose into that predefined field. The same goes for calling someone by their first name. It may capture their attention faster if they see their own name mentioned.
Use Date Insert Fields
It’s important for many of your emails to be pre-crafted, but you can make the email message look as if it was just created by using the date insert field. Then the email message looks timelier. With that function, in conjunction with special sales pages that also show the current date, you can personalize by keeping everything looking current.
Use Retargeting Technology
When someone visits your website, or buys something, it’s important to use the technology available to you to retarget them for buying something more. When your user receives your email and opens it, a software program can be used to install a cookie that will then allow specialized ads to be delivered to the user when they visit various webpages. This is not as difficult as many people think. Check out this video to learn more.
Ask for Reviews for Products Purchased
Whenever a customer buys a product, send them a thank you message and then a series of follow-up messages. One of these can be a request for a product review, after giving them enough time to try and use your product or service. The form they fill out for the review will also ask for more information about them that you can use for further targeted marketing. I use a satisfaction survey with questions that will give the types of answers I’m looking for that my future clients will relate to when choosing a social media marketing and advertising consultant. Be sure to get permission to include testimonials and pictures on your website.
Even though most consumers are savvy enough to realize that a lot of email marketing is automated today, they still respond better to more personalization than less. Learn the capabilities of your software, but do not limit yourself there. Build real relationships with people, especially your biggest fans and followers. Get to know them outside of the automation if you want loyal and dedicated customers.
Sally Hendrick, public speaker and founder of Social Media Traffic School, specializes in target market research, marketing funnels, digital courses, and Facebook advertising strategies.