Email marketing continues to have the highest returns on investment when it comes to reaching new customers and building loyalty with existing customers. What has changed over time is the necessity of becoming more strategic in the way we use this tool. Most organizations understand the power of email. So, people are flooded with messages. Generic email blasts are no longer enough to cut through the clutter. Emails that don’t connect won’t get read. Even worse, too many, and a customer will unsubscribe and won’t see your message at all.
To increase email marketing ROI, our messages need to stand out. To get their message through, savvy marketers need to create messages that are more closely in tune with the needs and interests of recipients. This requires two essential components of modern email marketing: segmentation and personalization.
Segmentation and personalization are two pieces of the same puzzle. They are about cutting through the clutter and sending messages that are more in tune to the interests of your customers. Segmentation is about sending the right messages to the right groups of people. Personalization takes it one step further to focus those messages to the specific characteristics of each reader.
Segmentation to Increase Email Marketing ROI
Segmentation is the process of grouping your subscribers based on common characteristics. These might include gender, age, geographic location, purchase history, or other data you have collected. This grouping process allows you to send messages that are tailored more specifically based on those data points.
A “one-size-fits-all” email blast will almost always include information that is irrelevant to some customers while leaving out specific details that might be valuable to another.
According to a study by email provider, MailChimp, segmented campaigns saw over 14% higher open rates and over 100% higher click-throughs than non-segmented campaigns.
Segmentation Begins with Good Data
Segmentation begins with excellent data. The more you know about your customers and the more that information is easily accessed through your CRM, the more effective the process will be. Also, using a tool to validate bulk emails makes all the difference when it comes to data quality.
Some organizations will need to reconsider the amount and type of data they collect on customers and leads to better prepare. When customers sign up for a free trial or download, register for a webinar, or make a purchase, smart marketers collect as much information as they can, especially information that can be used for intelligent segmentation. This information must be appropriately integrated into the CRM and email platform.
However, modern marketers should also consider the growing trend of self-segmentation. No one knows your customers like your customers. Through email preference centers or portals, customers can self-select their interests, ensuring they receive more relevant emails. This also helps consumers feel a sense of empowerment which often helps grow the relationship.
Personalization to Increase Email Marketing ROI
Once you begin sending the right emails to the right customers, you can further refine your focus and improve your results using personalization.
Thanks to improvements in email marketing automation, each email can be customized to each particular customer. This begins by merely adding a personal touch to the message.
The most basic personalization options include using merge fields to address your customer by name in the “to” field, subject line, and salutation of your message. This can create an email experience that feels more personal and conversational.
Simply adding someone’s name to a message is just a small piece of what marketers can do with automated personalization. Dynamic email content personalization takes this to another level and changes the actual body of the email to better suit the customer.
Based on the information you have on the recipients, content can be inserted that is specific to any data point. Recipients will see different content blocks based on their location, age, buying history, gender or any other characteristic that might help make the message more relevant to them personally. This creates a high degree of customization without the need to compose separate campaigns for each target group manually.
There are endless possibilities for personalized customization within your email marketing. You can show customers product recommendations directly tied to their purchase history. Coupons can be generated that encourage a recipient to make a first-time purchase or return for a purchase after a time away. Special offers can be explicitly designed around the consumer’s position in your sales funnel.
It’s crucial, though, to start with good-quality data. Using an outdated email list will fail to offer you a clear picture of your engagement. So, before you send out your campaigns, run your list through an email validation platform.
Test Your Results
When segmenting and personalizing your email marketing, it is essential to evaluate your results and make appropriate changes regularly. If segmentation or personalization efforts seem not to be impacting your open rates, click-through rates or conversions, it is vital to determine why. You might consider running campaign A/B testing to see what changes are improving results and which changes are not.
Through segmentation and personalizations, marketers can drastically improve their email marketing ROI. Email, while already impactful, can become exponentially more effective. While there is an initial investment of time in setting up segmented lists and merge fields, through automation, these rewards can continue without much additional effort.