The Savvy Marketer’s Guide To Personalizing eCommerce Emails
Hoping to increase the open rates and click through rates of your email campaigns, and drive more conversions with each newsletter that you send out? Get your personalization right, and everything will fall into place.
Now, when it comes to email marketing, many businesses send generic, non-customized emails that don’t particularly resonate with their target audience. When you do this, your customers feel like they’re just being sold to — and it doesn’t feel good.
If you take the time and effort to personalize your emails, on the other hand, that’s a whole different story. This makes your emails more relevant to your consumer, and helps to build rapport. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of you closing a sale, and converting your email subscriber into a paying customer.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how exactly you can personalize your eCommerce emails to your customers. Read on to find out more!
Before you start personalizing your email campaigns…
Before you start crafting your new email campaigns, the first step of the process is to collect relevant information from your customers. After all, you can only segment your customers and come up with personalized emails if you have sufficient data.
Now, there are two ways in which you can do this:
- Adding more fields into your sign-up form
- Sending a welcome email that asks your customers to share details about themselves
First and foremost, you probably already have a sign-up form that you use to collect basic information from your subscribers (name, email address, etc).
Here, the simplest way of collecting more information is to add additional fields to your form. For instance, you might want to add a “gender” field, “location” field, etc.
Keep in mind, though, that if your form is too long, this hurts your completion rates. If you’re worried about this happening, an alternative is to send out a welcome email to your new subscribers that asks them to share more details about themselves.
This is a bit more complicated – you (or your tech guy) will have to configure your email marketing platform to recognize different clicks on your email/landing page, and to funnel your subscriber into different autoresponders or workflows based on what they click on.
Need some inspiration? Here’s an example of how Paper Style asked their newsletter subscribers to specify whether they were planning for their own wedding or a friend’s wedding upon sign-up:
For subscribers who indicated that they were planning their own weddings, Paper Style would go on to recommend relevant items like Save The Dates, and if subscribers stated that they were planning a friend’s wedding, Paper Style would switch gears and promote bridal shower-themed items instead. Pretty smart, right?
5 ways of personalizing eCommerce emails
Now that you know how to collect more information from your subscribers, let’s move on to discussing how to personalize eCommerce emails. Here’s a quick overview of the different personalization strategies that we’ll discuss today:
- Based on name
- Based on gender
- Based on location
- Based on activity / inactivity
- Based on buying frequency
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
Based on name
At the most basic level, you’ll want to personalize your emails using your customer’s first name. Other than simply including their name in your subject line, you can reference this into your email copy as well:
You might see a lift in conversion rates when you start employing this tactic, but as time goes on, your subscribers will get used to the change, and your open and click through rates might fall back to your baseline. Bearing this in mind, you can’t just rely on personalizing using names alone; you’ll have to use other strategies in conjunction with this particular one.
Based on gender
Next up, it’s also important to personalize your emails based on gender. Think about it: if you’re recommending men’s products to women, then your chance of closing the sale is close to 0%.
Pro-tip: if you’re running an eCommerce store selling gifts or products that people routinely purchase as gifts, then make sure you explicitly ask your subscribers about their gender (instead of assuming they’re a woman because they bought a women’s product, or vice-versa). Here’s an example of how you might do this:
Based on location
An easy way of personalizing emails based on your subscriber’s location is to tie this back to the weather. For instance, if it’s been raining in Detroit recently, go ahead and send an email to all your Detroit-based subscribers, and plug your new line of raincoats or waterproof boots.
Based on activity / inactivity
As a general rule of thumb, the more engaged your subscribers are, the better. Running in the same vein, it’s a good idea to reach out to your inactive subscribers, and try and convince them to revisit your store.
For instance, you can segment out your subscribers who haven’t opened or clicked on any links in your emails in the past 3 months. From here, send them a “break up email” along these lines:
Based on buying frequency
Say you’re selling coffee beans that come in a standard-sized pack, and you know that a single pack lasts the average consumer three months or so. From here, it’s easy to set up an email campaign that automatically triggers a product recommendation email to your customer every three months. This helps increase your retention rate, and your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
A final word on personalizing your eCommerce emails
Email marketing is by far the most profitable marketing channel out there; on average, brands earn $44 for every $1 that they spend on this channel. That said, not all emails are equally effective in driving conversions and revenue, and the secret to unlocking the power of email marketing really lies on personalizing your content to suit your different customer segments.
If you haven’t already done so, start collecting more information from your email subscribers, and use this information to personalize your email campaigns. Mark our words… you’ll see your open rates and click through rates skyrocket in no time!