When you become a regular at a coffee shop, the baristas start to know your order, your name, and sometimes, even your favorite pastry. It feels more personal when the barista greets you by name and already knows your order.

As we move further into the digital age, we are losing the personal interaction that was once so important. As companies conduct more business online, people are reduced to impersonal users instead of human beings. That is starting to change.

Companies now understand how crucial it is to establish personal relationships with their customers, and they are using personalized emails to do so. Most consumers will only engage with content that is personalized for them.

Adding a personal touch to your email marketing can make a big difference. Here are some tips.

When marketers use subscriber data, such as name, location, or behaviors like recent purchases, to create email content, it is called a personalized email. This type of email makes the subscriber feel as if they are being spoken to directly.

If you want your email content to be successful, make sure it is relevant. This is the best way to gain trust and build a relationship with your readers.

There are many ways you can make your emails more personal. You can make your emails more personal by including your subscriber’s name in the subject line. You can also send them a birthday email on their actual birthday, or share special offers that are happening in their local area.

If you were on a busy street and someone shouted your name, you would turn around immediately, right? They’d have your attention straight away.

It’s exactly the same with email marketing. When people are scrolling through their full inboxes, your email will stand out because it is personalized.

If you still aren’t convinced, then here are 5 stats to think about:

  1. If you use someone’s actual name in the subject line of an email, you can expect the email to be opened 26% more often.
  2. After a personalized shopping experience, 60% of consumers say they will become repeat buyers.
  3. 70% of millennials find irrelevant marketing emails to be annoying. This is because personalization creates a tailored customer experience.
  4. If you personalize your emails, you will see a click-through rate that is 2.5 times higher than if you sent generic emails.
  5. Your customers want to be treated like people, not numbers. 84% of people agree that they would be more likely to give their business to brands that treat them like people, rather than numbers.

Yup, it’s time to use personalization. If you want your email marketing strategy to be more successful, you should personalize your messages. This will help you catch your subscribers’ attention and increase conversions or sales.

Does Email Personalization Work?

Yes, according to HubSpot’s State of Marketing report, 78 percent of marketers have seen a recent increase in email engagement.

The report from HubSpot says that 20% of companies who sell products or services online customize their emails based on who the recipient is.

Tailoring email content to the recipient by using personalization can increase sales. Personalization can include using the recipient’s name, interests, location, and other details.

Email personalization offers multiple other benefits, too, such as:

  • increased open and click-through rates
  • decreased unsubscribe rates
  • higher customer satisfaction
  • opportunities to re-engage customers

Most customers expect brands to understand their unique needs and only engage with personalized messaging. Additionally, 72 percent of consumers say that this is what they expect.

Email personalization is also easy to implement. For instance, you could:

  • Change wording based on location or time zone
  • Personalize language and images

Although it may seem like knowing your subscribers’ names or interests would be the best way to personalize your content, it surprisingly has little to do with it. To personalize your content, you first need to understand your subscribers. Keep in mind that relationships are two-sided when you’re trying to build stronger relationships with your subscribers.

It is not merely knowing someone’s name, where they live, or their favorite hobbies that is important, but you must also know their story. The relationship will not form unless they know something about you. To be successful, you need to connect with your audience on a personal level, not appear as a cold, detached business.

There are several ways to make your email marketing campaigns more personal, whether you are an individual or a large company.

1. Include a real name and photo

A personalized email should come from a real person. Adding a photo of the sender is the best way to humanize your email. People connect with visuals instantly.

2. Show your personality

Try to avoid business jargon. Talk in a friendly, more conversational manner. Your brand should have a distinct personality. Email is a great place to showcase it. Engaging personalities draw in people.

3. Make it easy to respond

A two-way relationship means that both people involved should be able to communicate directly with each other. Ensure that emails from senders include their name, and set up a system to reply quickly. Make sure your CTA is captivating so that readers will want to learn more.

4. Send something fun

You don’t need to make every email about business. Make an effort to show your subscribers that you’re a fun person. Send them a birthday message and include a video of something you think they’ll like.

If you want to create a subscriber base that is built on trust and loyalty, start by sharing your personality. If people realize they are talking to another person, they will be more likely to have a conversation.

After you have the basics down, you can begin to add elements of personalization to your email to make it more effective.

Email Personalization Techniques That Work

1. Collect the Right Data

You can’t personalize effectively unless you’re first collecting the right kind of data. That sounds simple enough, but where do you start? By collecting information from readers on sign-up forms.

When you have people subscribe to your email list, you can ask for more information than just their email address or name.

For instance, you could ask for their:

  • location
  • birthday
  • interests
  • occupation

Integrations are a perfect solution if you do not have all the necessary resources to collect information. You should create a subscriber preference center to find out what your readers want.

If you start collecting the right types of data, you can adjust your subject lines to be more personal.

2. Use Personalized Subject Lines

Although subject lines have always been important in email marketing, specifying them will yield better results.

You can test different options to find the most effective ones. Testing allows you to change your subject lines based on what you know about a subscriber’s interests, age, location, and more.

Open rates and conversion rates will continue to increase.

After you have perfected your subject lines, you should turn your attention to developing emails that are triggered by certain actions.

3. Use Behavior-Triggered Emails

Emails that are automatically generated in response to customer behavior are known as behavior-triggered emails. These types of emails are based on how customers interact with your products or services.

This is where email marketing is headed in the future, and triggered emails have a high open rate.

Behavior-triggered emails can make connections less complicated. They help you communicate with customers, convert readers, and extend the lifetime value of customers. You frequently receive emails of this nature without realizing it.

A website may email you if you have not logged in or made a purchase on the site for a while. That’s a behavior-triggered email.

Trigger emails are a great way to engage with your readers, welcome them, or sell them products and services.

4. Use Subscriber Tags

Tags allow you to send specific, personalized calls to action (CTAs) to your email subscribers, which can trigger certain emails.

This technique allows you to tag subscribers based on their clicking behavior, like clicking on a specific link or visiting a certain page on your site.

Then, write out emails to recipients with matching tags.

You can save a lot of time by using this approach to segment all your workflows through one email.

Most mailing list providers offer a feature that allows you to save your subscribers’ email addresses so you can contact them later.

5. Ask the Right Questions

Asking your audience questions is a great way to start segmenting them. If you want to get straightforward answers, ask the right questions.

For example, ask customers:

  • What brought them to your website?
  • What do they need help with most?

Asking yourself these questions can help you understand what you are doing well or not so well, and makes composing targeted emails much easier.

Don’t be too generic, though. You can make your business stand out by appealing to customers’ emotions, using emojis, humor, and offering freebies.

Alternatively, ask opinion questions. People like to feel like you value their thoughts.

6. Add “Recommendations for You”

We’ve discussed some email personalization techniques and now it’s time to explore them further.

You can personalize your emails by recommending more purchases or actions according to a reader’s past behavior.

Amazon is known for its “Frequently Brought Together” upsell feature, and Netflix uses a similar approach to encourage customers to watch another movie.

Readers are often more likely to buy items that are recommended to them, particularly if they have enjoyed similar items in the past.

It is more effective to send a promotion to readers who have shown interest in a related topic than to try and reach all readers with a single promotion.

In any industry, you can increase your sales by suggesting related products and services to your customers. Perhaps offer a discount to encourage sales.

7. Use and Optimize Landing Pages

Yes, email personalization can boost your open rates. The final goal is to turn readers into customers.

If you want your viewers to take action, make sure the landing pages you link to match the content of your messages.

Wouldn’t it be annoying if Amazon sent emails recommending products but there were no links to buy them? It seems pointless, doesn’t it?

You should include landing pages in your emails as much as possible so that they are relevant. Your landing page should be appropriate for the customers you are targeting and their current stage in the buying process.

8. Add a Sense of Urgency

There are many tools that can help you add dates and times to your emails.

This is the best way to get people engaged because it creates a sense of urgency that will prompt them to take action.

You can create a sense of urgency to build toward a paid offer. Don’t let your customers forget to order, or make them hesitate when they do. That’s why creating a custom deadline is so effective.

Are you thinking of applying this approach? There are pre-made templates you can use, or your mailing list provider likely has a tool you can use.

You can also sync your email account with countdowns for sales, product launches, and giveaways. This will allow you to receive notifications about these events so that you can plan accordingly.

9. Build Customer Personas

A persona is a made-up customer that represents your ideal customer. Companies use customer profiles to identify the features of their perfect customer and their usual behavior.

The better you understand your customers, the more specific you can be with your personas, and the more you will be able to meet their needs. By improving your business and enhancing email personalization, you can fulfill their needs.

Customer personas are created by using data from a variety of sources. You can group customers together based on a combination of attributes and actions they take.

There are plenty of step-by-step guides on building personas to help you develop them per best practices, including:

  • identifying your target audience
  • seeing the world through your customers’ eyes
  • understanding your customers’ needs and frustrations by doing research
  • using data about your target audience’s online behavior, likes/dislikes, etc.
  • implementing email personalization techniques to match your customers’ wants and needs

10. Use Location and Time Zones

There has been extensive research on the best times to send emails, and it’s generally agreed that certain times of day are better than others.

Your customers’ schedules will vary, so finding the best time to send them an email will require experimentation.

However, not all your customers are in one location. Your recipients may be scattered across the world in different time zones and possibly receiving your emails at non-optimal times.

How do you overcome this? You can improve your email marketing campaign success rates by using customer data to send emails at times when they are most likely to be interested in and responsive to your message