Did you know 73% of first-time online customers will never come back? With the use of eCommerce at all-time highs as a result of Covid, we thought it’s time to come back and revisit how you can ensure you maximize your repeat sales through the power of email personalization.
The importance of personalization
Given it costs so much to acquire a customer, the challenge for marketers is to ensure a customer’s first purchase is not their last.
So having your customers open your emails, and engage with your content and offers is key to doing this.
We know personalization works – Salesforce reported 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates – so personalization is your friend when it comes to higher engagement with your content.
Recipe for great email personalization
A recent survey found only 21% of consumers find emails to be memorable after two months and noted that the aim of the game is to drive repurchases, this is a metric that needs work.
- Relevance – ensure the email content is relevant to your customer. Abandoned cart emails are a classic example, as are anniversaries and other notifications relevant to how your customer may use your product.
- Timely – a relevant email sent at the wrong time is not overly helpful – Dollar Shave Club are famous for keeping their customers engaged just when they need to restock.
- Comes from a human – making your organisation accessible to your customers is key, as in this day and age consumers are inundated with noise from “noreply” email addresses. Level up the way you engage with your customers by sending messages from a real person.
- Don’t be creepy – even if you had a massive database with incredibly rich customer profiles, your customers might get a bit spooked if you told them about everything you knew about them. Remember when Target figured out a teen was pregnant before her parents knew?
- Think about your subject line – make sure your subject line is aligned to the content of your message and is personalized wherever possible.
- Segment wisely – sending a personalized email to the wrong person can have the opposite impact to what you were hoping for. So double-check the offers you are sending, along with any dynamic content your email templates are constructed with, are going to be OK with the audience you have segmented.
Examples of great email personalization
Koerner Wines are arguably setting the benchmark for email personalization by sending personalized videos to each of their customers by using Video to cut through the noise.
- Comes from a person – the winemaker is the one sending the video to the customer, and the “reply to” is set to his email address for the ultimate in personalization
- Highly relevant – The winemaker speaks about the product, making for a very memorable digital experience,
- Timely – the video is sent (via email) within a week of the purchase, ensuring the Koerner brand stays with their customers long after their first purchase, helping to drive re-purchases.
- Not creepy – the content is all about the product the customer has purchased, and how they can get maximum enjoyment from it. Because of the richness of video, Koerner Wines can be sparing when it comes to needing to personalize the email text.
- Interesting – to the point their customers feel they have just visited a vineyard!
Nomad’s abandoned cart email ticks many of the above boxes.
- Highly relevant – as it’s referring to an action the customer took on their website
- Timely – the email was sent within a day of the customer abandoning their cart
- It’s not creepy – they spared including lots of information about the customer, noting they could have been tempted to make a reference to their location (from their IP address) among other things.
- It’s humorous – helping drive a high level of interest in the content.
Grammarly have set up anniversary emails to keep their customers engaged long after their purchasing decision.
- Relevance – they make mention to their customers use of the software
- Timely – although it is a fairly “random time” for the consumer, Grammarly make the timing important by tying it back to an anniversary.
- Quality segmentation – grammarly have segmented their customers down to the point where they can generate these anniversary emails in an “always on” manner
After visiting a restaurant a consumer has been shortlisted from OpenTable , they receive a follow-up asking for their feedback. Aside from some fantastic layout and cross-promotion of their mobile app (aimed to help the customer), the email is:
- Highly relevant – as it clearly shows the name and a picture of the restaurant they visited
- Timely – is sent shortly after the meal for maximum impact
- Not creepy – they kept the email on point, and avoided the temptation to share more of the customer’s profile with them (for example location preferences, meal types, etc)
- Interesting – invites the user into the community to engage more actively
Loyalty programs and airlines go hand in hand, and keeping customers engaged is key. Hawaiian Airlines use the customers birthday as a way to provide a personalized offer to them and keep them engaged:
- Relevance – it’s targeted specifically at the member of their loyalty program and makes reference to that
- Timely – by using the customer’s birthday they have made the email timely and relevant
- Quality segmentation – as they used data in their database to ensure it is only sent to customers on their birthdays. Bonus points could have been awarded should Hawaiian have provided a shortlist of destinations relevant to the customer – although it may have bordered on creepy if not done correctly.