3 Advanced Email Personalization Tactics to Boost Customer Experience

3 Advanced Email Personalization Tactics to Boost Customer Experience

*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.

Several studies on personalized emails have shown outcomes such as a 20 percent boost in sales and six times higher revenue rates, however, 70 percent of brands are still not personalizing content.

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.

5 Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates

5 Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates

Marketers these days know that effective email marketing isn’t just about building a subscriber list. Although you may get your emails into more people’s inboxes with this strategy; it’s not worth much if no one actually opens them.

Maybe you’re just starting out, and you want to make sure you engage with early customers. Maybe your email open rate is stagnating, and you’re looking for a way to give it a boost.

Either way, getting customers to open your emails doesn’t have to be difficult. Just keep these essential tips in mind!

Focus on Your Subject Lines

An enticing subject line can grab your customer’s attention and lets them know precisely why they need to read your email. Avoid generic and formulaic lines, like “Your Weekly Update.” Instead, find a way to make them unique and personal without making false promises about what readers can expect.

Remember that your customers are busy. They want to know that if they do open your email, they’ll be able to consume your content easily. This is especially important if customers are reading your emails on mobile phones.

By formatting your subject line like the headline of a list article (“10 Things You Need to Know About Personal Finance”), you can let readers know that the content of the message is clearly organized for rapid consumption.

If your feel your email will be particularly useful to readers, you could even tease your content in the subject line, rather than having a mundane explanation of what information they’ll find in it.

Send Emails at Ideal Times of Day

When starting a new email campaign, try breaking up your mailing list into three different segments. Send each section the same email, but at different times of the day.

After a few weeks, review your open rate to determine when readers are most likely to click on your emails. Once you’ve found the ideal time, be consistent by sending emails at the same hour every day.

Verify Your Emails

There’s no point in sending emails if the recipient does not exist or no longer works at the company. When people sign up for newsletters, especially if it’s an incentivized offer, they’re often prone to using fake emails.

Avoid bad email addresses by using an email checker. These services will clean and verify your subscriber lists so you have a better chance of reaching inboxes and increasing open rates.

Get Familiar

The better you know your audience, the easier it is to draft emails they’ll want to open.

There are several tactics you can use to learn more about your customers. You could send a brief survey designed to help you identify what topics your readers are most interested in learning about.

A one-question poll is also effective. Just make sure your questions are limited and to the point, regardless of which strategy you choose. Customers aren’t likely to participate if they have to spend a lot of time answering questions.

You could also generate reports showing which emails received the most opens. Sort them by topic to see if there are any trends. This provides valuable information without requiring customers to engage personally.

Tweak Your Sign-Up Strategy

Despite being an essential component of any successful email marketing campaign, marketers often forget that sometimes their sign-up strategies need to be adjusted in order to attract more people who will enjoy receiving their emails. 

Make sure that when you ask people to join your email list, they clearly understand why they should, what types of content they can expect, and, ideally, how often they’ll receive your emails.

You also want to give your customers a legitimate choice when it comes to signing up. If they start getting messages from you simply because they provided their email address when filling out an unrelated form on your site, they may think of you as a spammer.

You don’t need to completely revamp your entire campaign if you’re not getting as many opens as you’d like. These basic strategies don’t require much effort on your part, but they can yield substantial rewards.

email marketing ROI

Bonus: Measure Your Email Marketing

Once you’ve used these tactics to increase your open rates, it’s important to measure how your emails with their improved open rates are impacting your pipeline and revenue. Although you can measure your open rates and clicks in your marketing automation platform, you should also see how it’s affecting potential customers by using a multi-touch attribution tool.

By using a Revenue Intelligence platform like BrightFunnel, you can see how many touches and attirbuted pipeline your emails are having with customers.

This article was a guest blog contributed by Nick Harley. He is the Senior Content Specialist for NeverBounce, the leading real-time email verification and cleaning service. With a background in journalism, public relations, and social media, Harley is interested in helping organizations and brands understand the importance of storytelling and the channels where those stories are delivered.

Top Tips for Tracking the Event Marketing Metrics That Matter

Top Tips for Tracking the Event Marketing Metrics That Matter

This is a guest post by Lauren Taylor, Brand Marketing Manager at Event Farm

It’s a fact — no two marketing events are ever the same, but they all have at least two characteristics in common: they’re more expensive than the average online campaign, and without the proper tools, their success can be difficult to measure.

As event attendance can vary and influence your prospects at different stages of the buyer’s journey, it can become complex to track each event’s campaign metrics. Since events are also often considered an “offline” channel, marketers often feel overwhelmed when it comes to setting event goals and tracking metrics. As a result, they track the metric they know best: lead generation.

According to a Regalix report on the state of B2B event marketing, 80% of marketers identified lead generation as their main event objective. While events certainly have the potential to generate leads, marketers are undermining their own efforts by building event campaigns around that goal. Lead generation simply indicates successful business results; it proves neither a campaign’s value or its ROI.

Track Revenue and ROI to Prove Your Event’s Success

For marketers that are tracking revenue-related event marketing goals, the results are impressive. According to an EventTrack study, 23% of those who measure their event’s ROI see a 3:1 return and 45% see a return of 5:1 or greater, which shows that events have the potential to drive serious business results.

Knowing that your event created or influenced deals that turned into a certain dollar amount of revenue for your organization is powerful information and it’s a much more persuasive metric than lead generation if you’re trying to build a budget or get buy-in for future events. While most marketers track events from a first-touch and last-touch point-of-view, your metrics shouldn’t stop there unless you want to miss out on how your events impact everything in the middle of your funnel.

These days, marketers are using multi-touch attribution to track the event metrics that really matter. By being able to prove your event’s ROI on pipeline and revenue, you give yourself and your entire marketing team a way to prove out the successes of an event to the rest of your organization.

Using multi-touch attribution also makes it easier to holistically and comprehensively understand how an event impacts an organization. Since it gives you a way to track every single event touchpoint possible — from lead generation, to opportunity creation, to close, your marketing team is able to make smarter decisions about whether to repeat the event or save their budget.

How to Start Proving Your Event’s Success

Since there’s a lot of moving parts to an event, we’ve created an outline with the most important event metrics to track and how to start tracking them. Take a look at the list below to get started.

  • Social Media Impressions: Set up an event hashtag that’s specific to each of your events to keep track of how many times it’s uniquely used. This metric will give you a good indication of attendee engagement and the brand awareness your event generates.
  • # of Press Mentions or Articles: Similar to social media impressions, this will help you qualitatively determine the extent to which your event is helping with brand awareness. You should also pay attention to what the press might be saying about your event: are they simply mentioning it, or doing a more in-depth story that will ultimately help establish your organization as thought leaders?
  • Net new leads: Not only should you consider the number of new leads your event generates, but you should also assess the quality of these leads. Do they fit in with your buyer personas, or are the new leads primarily people who fall outside of your target market?
  • Invitees vs. Registrants: Out of the people you invited, how many actually registered? After multiple events, you should calculate a benchmark conversion rate for what to expect when you’re setting up event campaigns in the future. This will also help you optimize your event invitation and promotion plan as you’re able to test tactics for each event you host.
  • Opportunity Amount of Registrants: If current prospects who register for your event are tied to a potential deal with a certain dollar amount, calculate that as registrants roll in. Not only will this give you a good idea of the revenue results to which your event might lead, but it will also help activate your sales team when they have a potential dollar amount to chase.
  • Number of Registrants vs. Attendees: Out of the number of people who register, how many attend? As with your invitee to registrant conversion rate, setting a benchmark conversion rate for the number of registrants to the number of attendees will help you better plan for your events and optimize this number as you go.
  • Percentage of Attendees from Target Accounts: Events aren’t just about getting people in the room—they’re about getting the right people in the room. Out of all of your attendees, how many were from accounts that your organization is actively targeting?
  • Opportunity Amount of Attendees: Once attendees are in the room with your sales reps, having a dollar amount of potential deals to close with attendees who are at the event will encourage your sales team to have the right conversations with the right people.
  • Pipeline Influenced By the Event: After your event, keep track of the dollar value of sales opportunities that are created with attendees.
  • Revenue influenced By the Event: Keep track of the dollar value of opportunities that were created within a predefined number of days after the event that ultimately converted to new business. This is where you will most persuasively prove your event’s ROI.

To learn more about how to measure the success of your event marketing campaigns, join Event Farm and BrightFunnel for a webinar on Thursday, July 13, where we’ll cover everything you need to know about event marketing measurement, including:

  • Event metrics to track before, during and after an event
  • How event marketing metrics can impact your broader marketing strategy
  • How events can impact your marketing pipeline and revenue
  • Tips for building an increasingly successful event marketing strategy

Register today!

It Takes a Village to Raise a Lead

It Takes a Village to Raise a Lead

We all know the wonderful PD James children’s classic, “Are You My Mother?” that tells the story of a baby bird whose mother has gone to find some worms. Left alone, the baby starts to wonder, “where is my mother?” and then goes to find her.

I’m reminded of this story every time someone asks me where a lead came from. Not because it has anything to do with mothers or birds but because whenever anybody asks me about Lead Source, I think of this book. Everyone wants to know where a great lead came from — a lead that turned into a deal quickly and cleanly, at nice margins for the business.

But lead cultivation doesn’t start with a bang; the first activity is hardly the most important. With a lead, there is no ‘mother,’ there is no one source. It is cultivated over time across a variety of mediums, persons, technologies. It takes a village to raise a lead.

I say this because basically when we talk about leads we’re talking about the net sum of prospects and users in your company’s universe. Each lead is a moving organism that doesn’t travel a linear path from start to finish. Rather, a lead moves forward and backward, to the side, up and down — it swoops and dives over time, across programs, campaigns, marketers, reps, services, support — gathering depth over time. And many different people in your organization are interacting with this lead, either directly or indirectly.

So it can be debilitating to understand what’s going on with one lead, much less with a bunch of leads in an opportunity or across an account. But while they may appear to be moving at different paces, and perhaps according to different patterns, they aren’t: collectively, the patterns tell a story about the company’s interest level, time-fame and intent. You just need the tools to get to that information, so you can identify patterns, analyze outcomes, share insights across the organization, and make the right decisions.

For marketers, driving strategic demand is easier now because modern marketing technologies get us to these deep insights by helping us focus on the whole set of data, rather than the incremental bits:

  1. What did we say, when and how did we say it, in which contexts, to get this person to move from discovery to deal
  2. What combination of information dissemination and communication techniques (both online and live) was most helpful in driving this to conclusion
  3. How are these patterns reflected across all leads, opportunities, accounts, customers, renewals
  4. Which dials can we turn to improve the overall yield and quality
  5. And finally, which programs will deliver the leads that turn into deals faster and with better margins for the business

Having access to tools that allow you to ask and answer these questions is a big opportunity for marketers, potentially providing insight into everything happening across the entire village.

About the Author

rebecca-white-headshot Rebecca White is an industry veteran whose approach to demand generation and pipeline development has helped companies like Oracle, Tibco, Talend and Jobvite achieve quick, sustainable improvements to front-end operations.