*This guest blog was contributed by Mary Ade of CopyRevolution.
The B2B landscape has become highly competitive, so much so that buyers tend to favor brands that deliver personalized experiences. Gone are the days when commerce was only about selling your software and services. These days, you have to do a lot more than that to remain relevant, you have to deliver a complete, personalized experience.
As a marketer, you can understand the value of a personalized customer experience. It’s a crucial factor to drive brand loyalty, growth and revenue but, has become increasingly harder for many businesses to get right. In fact, Forrester’s 2016 Customer Experience Index shows only eighteen percent of organizations had noteworthy growth in Customer Experience. So, what separates those forward-thinking brands from the rest of the pack? Personalized emails.
It’s time for marketers to go beyond using the customer’s first or last name. Use these three advanced email personalization tactics to add value to your buyers at the right time and place.
#1 Use Time and Location
Emails sent at the right time and place can work wonders for customer engagement and brand advocacy. The key to being successful with these types of contextual emails involves a basic understanding of customer location, preference, and time to deliver engaging, valuable and fascinating experiences to your customer.
It also involves an understanding of how to balance content and context to make an offer irresistible. Content concentrates more on the ‘what’ of an offer while context deals with the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of the same. Conceptually, real-time marketing can provide immense value by essentially providing the right information at the right time. For example, take a look at this email from Yelp!, the popular, location-based business.
They personalize their emails based on the user’s location. In the example to the right, it provides new restaurant recommendations to users. New residents who don’t know their way around will find this information valuable, while adventurous residents can try out new restaurants. This type of email ends up fostering more emotional connections that benefit both parties. It’s actually a win-win situation, for the brand and consumer.
Location isn’t the only way brands can deepen their engagement with customers. Take for examples, BustedTees an online t-shirt brand that has clients all over, the globe. Despite the different time zones, the online retailer was sending an email once a day at the same time. This led to a situation where customers got emails at odd hours – as the send time was only best suited to its US audience. This obviously frustrated its international clientele, so the brand decided to experiment with personalizing emails with send times.
After a lot of iterations and analysis of subscriber behavior, BustedTees successfully sent emails to subscribers at the exact time they’re most likely to open it. This led to an 11 percent improvement in the click-through rate as well as an 8.2 percent boost in email income.
#2: Model Customer Personas
Another great way to personalize emails is to create customer personas or models of people and their behaviors. Personas should represent a specific segment of your target market. You can group people together based on your available data of their behaviors and job function. The overall purpose is to better understand your customers and their buying decisions.
Tony Zambito, a veteran in the field of buyer insights research defines buyer personas as “research-based archetypal (modeled) representations of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions.”
Customer personas backed by real-life data work best, but the problem arises when the data is unrelated, inadequate or poorly sourced, or there is no data at all. The most effective buyer personas emerge when you organize customers around a mix of qualities and actions common to them.
One case study that proves the importance of buyer personas is from Deloitte Private. The company contracted a 3rd party a marketing firm, to come up a marketing blueprint, so they started by speaking to buyers who had recently considered brands offering similar services. They then modeled the buyers’ decision to unearth insights about how they stacked Deloitte up against its competitors.
Armed with the specifics that these personas revealed, Deloitte could easily hit their buyers with on-point messaging and content that would address their needs and convince them to purchase.
To model buyer personas, Zambito suggests businesses find out who their buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, the goals that drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, why they make buying decisions, where they buy, and when they buy. And that results from this research can be used to model the people in their target market as well as their buying decisions.
#3 Use Behavior-Triggered Emails
There’s no denying that automated behavior-based trigger emails work. Some of the most frequent use cases are using them as a follow-up on an action the user has taken on your website or sending an email when you haven’t logged in to a platform for few days.
This example on the right is a triggered email sent by Neil Patel when a user registers for their newsletter but skipped a webinar registration.
The email has a clear goal— to make me attend an upcoming webinar by a testimonial to convince the user to sign up. Additional examples of behavior-triggered emails include welcome emails, re-engagement, up-selling and cross-selling.
These advanced email personalization tactics work when it comes to boosting customer engagement with your brand since they empower you to deliver relevant and dynamic content to customers. They lead to higher open and click-through rates. So, which of them are you going to start with?
About the Author: Mary Ade is a professional writer for hire. She helps B2B/Tech companies attract new visitors to their websites and convert them into customers with engaging and compelling content that gets shared on social media. She loves taking walks in her leisure time.