As with most things where science and technology get involved, the use of software in marketing can make things a lot easier, more efficient, and more convenient for people who are doing work. But, they cannot actually do the work for you. There still needs to be a human mind, setting goals for itself, and working towards those goals for success to come. And the same is true in the world of marketing.
Email marketing personalization software has taken a lot of the “grunt work” out of appealing to individual shoppers by automating much of the process. Thanks to this software, online retailers now have a valuable tool that independently tracks, notes and records shopper interest and activity, and then can compile and send behavior based email marketing that makes use of this information.
But that doesn’t mean you can sit back and let the software do all the work. There’s a lot of strategy and technique involved in crafting effective mail that your email marketing personalization software can use. Here are a few tips to help.
Design With Intent
Email marketing personalization software isn’t just about capturing names and keeping track of shopping habits. It needs to actually feel personal to the user. One way to do that is to specialize the types of mail based on the context that the software is tracking.
For example, if a shopper comes to a website and shops based on the use of a QR code that is employed on a device like a smartphone, it’s a good idea to send the follow up emails with the assumption that they will be read—and interacted with—on the same device. Make sure those follow up emails can be read and used on the same phone so that you don’t have a situation where someone needs to wait ‘till they get home to take advantage of as special offer because they need a mouse and keyboard to respond properly.
Use That Browsing History
Ensure that you make full use of your email marketing personalization software by taking advantage of its tracking features. Browsing history is an especially important behavior to track since consistent browsing of certain products, topics or services can be a strong indicator of intent.
Emails that remind potential shoppers of what they were looking at on your website stand a much better chance of engaging with customers and getting them to think of your website when the time comes to “pull the trigger” and turn that browsing or product research into an actual purchase. Make sure you exercise a strong sense of timing when you target your emails at these browsers so that their shopping intent remains fresh in their minds. If possible, personalize the email even more with data specific to their interests. For example, if a shopper was clearly browsing for a low end blender with more modest pricing, make sure that the email marketing personalization software recognizes that with its product picks, and recommends similar products in the same price range. It’s a small consideration, but can make a big difference in a shopper’s mind.
Add The Human Touch
Humans are social animals, and while it’s good that software can now personalize email content to suit a specific shopper, there’s still a certain level of impersonality that comes with just sending off a text email. You have people that work at your online retail site, and some of these, like live, human customer service representatives are people that customers may have actually interacted with.
Take the time to add a bit of humanity to your company and your emails by bringing that human face to your marketing. Make sure the email reads like a personable, approachable human being wrote it, and bring out some of your people in the form of photos or even a personal message from some of the staff members. The message doesn’t actually have to be personalized to the exact customer, but something in the words of a staff member can often be a good reminder to shoppers that they are interacting with a company composed of people like them, and that a relationship with that company is a relationship with actual people.
For some, this can make a big difference.
Do Series, Not A One Off
The frequency and purpose with which you send off marketing email is just as important as the personalization behind it. Don’t just send a single email that uses the software you’ve purchased and then leave it to randomly fire off periodic emails with no method behind them. If you are conducting a sale, send off email that points out categories that the shopper has shown interest in. If the software notices a browser looking through different categories, address each category in separate periodic emails.
A concerted email campaign with some planning and strategy behind it will be more effective than simply sending an email off for its own sake. Email marketing personalization software is a powerful tool, but only when used intelligently, not haphazardly.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Final Appeals
Desperation can, under the right circumstances, actually be an effective sales tactic.
If you were offering a special trial, or discount, or some other limited time offer that expired and the user decided not to engage with the product or service, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost. Sending an email asking for reconsideration, or, better yet, added incentive to return can be an effective way to regain lost ground.
Offer to extend the trial period, or remind users of the benefits of staying, or even include testimonials from others. Keep the conversation open by showing a willingness to re-engage on their terms. Don’t use intimidation or high pressure sales tactics that make the customer feel like they are being pushed or bullied into something. That’s the fastest way for a “hail Mary” last ditch attempt to reconcile matters to actually turn into a final nail in the coffin.