Did you know, over 50% of opened emails are deleted within two seconds. That’s right, we’ve all done it. We all receive emails that we simply don’t care about. You know the kind: irrelevant, impersonal, pushy and sales focused. It’s not often what you want and definitely not what you need. This email was probably auto-generated because companies realise they need to stay in touch with their customers but aren’t sure how to best do this. So, what’s a brand to do?
Start delivering personalised, targeted and contextualised emails with a deeply relevant message. Many marketing automation platforms can actually help you accomplish that. This ensures your email gets read rather than trashed. Personalised emails can improve click-through rates by as much as 14% and can drive revenue by as much as 760%.
Two sides of the same coin
Now, there are two types of personalisation: dynamic and hyper. Dynamic content is the “traditional” version of personalisation. This might include the name, title, organisation and purchase history of a person. This is a good practice, one that many brands already use, but it’s often not enough to capture the user’s attention. However, hyper-personalisation takes this up a notch and utilises behavioural and real-time data to create highly contextual communication that is much more relevant for the consumer.
Let’s look at dynamic personalisation in action. A consumer might receive a basic email from brand X suggesting to them other items they might like. These recommendations are based on their recent purchase(s), browsing history and items that are usually bought together by other customers. Very general information that every brand has access to when a client purchases something on their website.
However, hyper-personalisation is much more tailored. This is the place where all the data comes together. Here an email with recommendations will be based on similar notions as mentioned above. But, there’s more! Website behaviour such as how much time a person spends on each page and items they hovered over are incorporated. Also, recommendations will also be based on gender, age, interests, hobbies and preferences, spending habits in addition to geographical data. For example, if you know the location of the customer you can offer them shop specific promotions. All of this information is combined to provide more relevant content to the consumer transforming them into (hopefully) return customers.
The three-step process
To apply hyper-personalisation to your emails, you can use AMPscripts from Marketing Cloud. AMPscript is a scripting language that you can embed within your HTML emails, text emails, landing pages, SMS messages, and push notifications from MobilePush. The system processes the script at the point where you include it in the message to render content on a subscriber-by-subscriber basis. The Marketing Cloud application handles all AMPscript calls at the end of the email sent. This tool allows for personalisation per specific subscriber, which means that every subscriber is going to see a different email based on their interest and data.
To best implement this practice, there is a three-step process you can follow.
1) Sort all of your data – hyper-personalisation requires a lot of data. And though more data means more information at your fingertips, at first it can be overwhelming. So once you’ve collected what you need, you have to make sense of it all. Thus, sort through it to ensure your back-end is organised so you don’t send the wrong email to a customer.
2) Creation – Time to think of the layout of your email, and when considering the design, remember your mobile audience. As more emails as now opened on mobile rather than desktop. So, do you want a header image? Where will you put the tailored suggestion? How much will you choose to change per email? Build a template which matches your visual identity and that you can easily utilise for future emails as well.
3) Test, send, improve – When coding AMPscript, Validate and Send Preview will be two of your best friends. The Validate tool will ensure your email doesn’t have any errors and will point you in the right direction if there are errors in your code. Next, make sure you do multiple trials where you change various values and see if your email still looks as it should. If not, improve it based on internal tests and feedback. Lastly, once you send the email out to the general public, be sure to continue doing small tests of small variations whilst continuously improving based on external feedback you receive.
Personal is better
In an era where individualism is a trend, hyper-personalisation is the key to standing out amongst your competitors. As shown, you can easily implement this practice in three easy steps. And this is just the beginning. If you have all of this data, you can take it to the next level and, say, create a life cycle of tailored emails for consumers from welcoming them, to recommendations and personalised reactivation if needed to keep them interested. You could even take this up a notch and customise website per consumer based on what you know about them, giving them a truly tailored experience across all platforms. As Dale Carnegie once said, “a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”.