How to Make Your Emails Personal

Personalizing a marketing email is one of the best ways to boost readership and conversion rates among your customers. With the right personalization strategies, you can develop an email marketing campaign that successfully piques your target customers' interest and encourages them to take the desired action, such as visiting your site or even placing an order.

The Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing your customer sees. Think of it as a slogan or headline: it should grab your readers' attention and encourage them to open your email. Length is important. A subject line that's too long can't be skimmed quickly and might get truncated in the inbox. One that's too short might be uninteresting or uninformative.

Develop a subject line that speaks to your customer. Run a few Google searches to find key terms that are queried most often; these catchphrases are the most widely recognized. Avoid using technical jargon or unfamiliar acronyms, and be wary of using CAPS LOCK or Capitalizing Every Word Of Your Subject Line. The easier to read, the better!

Current trends show that including a customer's name in the subject line improves marketing results. With the right marketing software, this is a relatively simple step. In addition, including the name in the subject line generally translates into higher open rates because customers feel that they're reading email from a trusted sender.

Addressing your Recipient

It's no surprise that addressing your recipient in the first line of your email gets better results. It establishes a relationship, perhaps even rapport, between the customer and your company. Without a personalized address line, your email runs the risk of sounding boring and impersonal -- or worse, harsh and distant!

At the same time, calling your addressee by their real name might have an unintended effect: making your addressee feel wary about privacy and their relationship with your company. If your company is one that generally interacts with its customers through usernames, think twice before using their real names. It might catch them off guard and make them rethink the information they'd like to share with your company -- and this can directly affect their opinion toward your brand. Opt instead to address these customers by their usernames.

Regardless of whether you choose to go with first names or usernames, avoid customers' last names! Including the last name in a marketing email is one thing that never seems to sit well with customers. Not only does it bring up privacy issues, but also it can make your email sound too formal. A "Hello Jane!" is much more warm and inviting than a "Dear Jane Doe:" which sounds computer-generated and stilted.

Content Personalization

The content of your marketing email is where you'll encounter the most variation. Content should be tailored to fit the needs of your intended recipients, and these can be quite specific. Market analytic software can prove to be your most helpful tool: the information you collect can help you send the most relevant marketing information to your customers.

Your customers' past purchases or product views can determine the type of services and goods they're interested in. Other personalization methods include lifecycle marketing, or sending emails based on personal information such as birthday or wedding anniversary dates.

Be aware that most consumers are wary about sharing too much information online, so any marketing email that seems to know "too much" about its recipient may raise some concerns. By finding the proper balance between personalization and privacy, you can build a marketing campaign that appeals maximally to your target customers.

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