The CRM Advisor
You ask the questions, and our resident CRM guru shares her wisdom.
This week’s question: “How important is the use of personalization in our email marketing campaigns?”
A: Email is one of today’s most popular marketing communication channels, and as a result, buyers receive hundreds of unsolicited promotions every week.
This trend has left a negative impression on potential customers (a recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies shows that 85 percent of Americans are in favor of outlawing email correspondence they did not subscribe to), and has made it harder and harder for marketers to get their messages noticed by the right people.
The biggest roadblock to successful email marketing – and perhaps the reason for the low average response rates of about 4 percent, according to analyst firm Jupiter Research – is lack of relevance. The primary reason prospects are tired of receiving such a high volume of communications is because the content contained within the majority of them are of little interest, significance, or importance to them.
Marketing, in any form, works best when it demonstrates true value to its audience – and email programs are no exception. More than ever before, buyers want to know “what’s in it for me?” and expect marketers to be very familiar with their needs, interests, and preferences. Therefore, email communications must be as targeted and as individualized as possible.
But, what is considered valuable will vary greatly from one prospect to the next. That’s why the “one size fits all” approach to email campaigns is no longer effective, and personalization techniques are needed to maximize message impact, build stronger relationships with customers by addressing their specific needs and wants, and boost return on your email marketing investment by dramatically increasing click-through and conversion rates.
True personalization of email marketing campaigns requires the use of advanced tools and technologies. That’s why today’s email marketing software solutions enable communications to be rapidly and effectively custom-tailored in the following ways:
• List segmentation. Contact databases can be accurately divided by specific characteristics or traits, such as job title, industry, company size, age, geographic location, income level, and other criteria. Different email messages can then be sent to each group.
• Content personalization. There are email marketing solutions available that can dynamically insert unique copy and images into email templates, based on the behaviors or interests of the recipient. For example, if a potential client met with a sales rep at a recent trade show or industry event, copy referencing that meeting can be incorporated into the message.
• Campaign event “triggers”. Email marketing software packages offer sophisticated response and behavior tracking capabilities that allow certain prospect actions – such as click streams, Web site visits, downloads, purchase histories, responses to previous campaigns, and other variables – to automatically set-off follow up email activities, such as customized “thank you” notes.
So, in summary, with personalization, you can gather insight into what it is your target audience REALLY wants, and use it to tailor your email communications to speak to each and every one of them in a more relevant and individualized way.
As a result, you can more effectively capture their attention, persuade and motivate them to act, and increase the number of them that become actual clients. In fact, AMR Research predicts that the use of personalization in marketing initiatives can increase conversion rates by an impressive 20 to 30%.
Submit your question to the CRM Advisor at CRMadvisor@business-software.com.
[Photo courtesy of vinmail.]