3 Email Personalization Tips That Go Beyond a First Name

Personalization is just a fancy buzz word that means — make your messaging more human.

But no matter what word you use, personalization is crucial in modern day marketing.

Studies have repeatedly shown that personalized messages make consumers more likely to purchase from your brand.

In fact, 75% of all consumers are more likely to buy from you if your brand has that personal touch.

In email marketing, the easiest way to personalize your emails is to use a person’s name. And while we agree that you should do that, we all know that this one tactic has been done to death!

The truth is, adding a first name to an email isn’t the end of personalization — it’s only the beginning.

Personalize Your Emails: Beyond the First Name

1. Segment your list, right from the start

If you have more than one target persona — and you do, even if you think you don’t — you should be segmenting your email list.

Segmenting your list helps you to send the right message to the right person while those massive email “blasts” (*cringes at the word*)  just don’t work at converting the way you’d hope.

Why?

Because when you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one.

But when you segment your various subscribers you can use copy, topics, products, events, terminology etc. that is best suited for each individual segment.

In other words, making it way more personal.

It’s really a win-win.

The best way to segment your list is from the moment they sign up to your email list.

You can see a prime example of what this would look like on Melyssa Griffin’s homepage.

By having someone tick a box to answer an initial question, she’s having contacts automatically segment when they sign up for her list.

Pretty smart, right?

And the best part about it is that your marketing automation platform (like Sendlane!) is doing all the heavy lifting for you rather than you manually having to segment them later on.

You can do something similar on your own website by adding forms that contain this sort of checklist.

In your Sendlane account, navigate to ‘Forms’. Once you create a new Form, you can add custom fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-downs and more.

From here, you can create an Automation that will instantly add a tag to your contacts based on what checkbox they choose, allowing you to tailor your emails and communicate on a hyper-personalized level with each segment.

Once you have these created, you can simply set it and forget it and Sendlane will take care of the rest!

2. Use video in your emails so people can see a human face

In email marketing, personalization = humanize.

So think of it this way… when you first meet someone in real life, what’s the first thing you see?

If you said, their face, then you’d be right.

While some people say that they would rather stay home than go out and be around people (definitely guilty of this), the truth is that humans crave these type of one-to-one, face-to-face connections.

And while you can’t really give a true face-to-face interaction with an email, you can mimic this type of interchange by using video in your emails.

Here’s the downside though.

It’s almost impossible to send a full video directly to your contacts.

Even though video has a huge impact on conversions and people love them, email service providers like Gmail or Outlook are pretty behind the times when it comes to making HTML embedded video easily accessible to everyone.

Thankfully, there’s a workaround! You don’t need to play a video directly in an email to use video. You can simply use an image that implies there’s a video to be watched.

See how well-known email copywriter Joanne Wiebe does this.

Notice that her email contains a screenshot of the video she promises to show you on the landing page it connects too. You instantly know looking at it that it’s a video, and having Jo in the frame adds that extra little human touch that would have been missing otherwise.

If your business uses video as part of your overall marketing strategy, then you can double-down in this area by incorporating video into your emails and connecting on a more personal level with your subscribers.

You can use a free tool like Canva to place a button overlay to a screenshot of your video. Or you can use a tool like Giphy Capture to create a short GiF of your video as a little ‘sneak peek’ in your email.

The good news is that Sendlane makes adding these types of images and formats super simple! Just drag-and-drop an mage block in the email editor to add an image or GiF to your email, and voila!

Instant personal touch added.

3. Send Emails Based On User Behavior With The Help Of Automation

Innovative technology has made it easier to take advantage of the personal interests of your contacts and use that to deliver emails that are as unique as they are.

This is called behavior-based email marketing and it’s pretty much like discovering a goldmine only to find there are diamonds one level down.

With this email marketing tactic, you start by analyzing your contacts’ activity in your emails and on your website. As you track this, you automate emails that trigger based on your subscriber’s activity.

Are they shopping on your website but forget to check out? Then you can send only that person an email reminding them about their cart.

Did someone sign up for your webinar? Then you can send them an automated email drip campaign that only they will get.

This only scratches the surface of what you can do.

The whole idea behind taking this approach is to really zone in on your individual customer and deliver messages that are personalized to what they’re showing interest in.

With Sendlane 3.0, you can do this so much more. We took the idea of behavior-based marketing and grafted it into the bones of our email marketing platform.

To take full advantage of this feature, you can start by installing our site tracking code called Beacon so that you’re fully tracking your users’ behavior.

What does that mean? Other ESPs will track basic things like email opens and clicks. However, the revamped Sendlane goes even further and tracks each individual’s journey on your site.

From content pages, to landing pages, to shopping cart activity and so on.

Does this person have a pattern? Do they only buy men’s clothing? Do they regularly buy items for children?

Normally, you’d need to guess the answer, but our system is set up to learn the answers to questions like these to help you send better emails that are personalized to each customer.

And all of that starts with snagging your Beacon code and installing in your website.

In the menu of your Sendlane dashboard, you’ll see the label “Beacon” and then “Conversion Rules.” Inside that tab you’ll find a button labelled “Install Beacon” and it will give you instructions on how to install the code on your website.

From there you can track events to trigger automation that you can set up to send emails based on their unique behavior. This means sending the right type of email to the right person at the right time.

Now that’s personalization!

Strong Relationships Go Way Past A First Name Basis. It Should Be The Same In Email Marketing.

If you’re wondering how to make your emails more personal, start by asking yourself, “how can I make my emails more human?”

These tips can help you do just that, but as someone at the center of your business and company, you likely have insights around what will resonate with your subscribers.

Test out your theories and try the ideas above to see how they impact your email marketing and conversions on your website.

You may be pleasantly surprised and wonder why you didn’t try them out sooner.

Caitlin Hutchinson

Caitlin Hutchinson

Social Media & Community Manager at Sendlane
A native of San Diego, California, Caitlin has a passion for developing creative and engaging marketing content. She is primarily responsible for overseeing the development, execution and delivery of digital content across all of Sendlane’s channels as well as maintaining an online presence of Sendlane's team culture. She has enjoyed being a part of a powerhouse team where she has had the opportunity to wear a variety of hats and take her knowledge and creativity to the next level. When not focusing on increasing Sendlane's online presence you'll find Caitlin playing music on her guitar or piano and spending time with her Husband and their rescue dog, Piper.
Caitlin Hutchinson
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