5 key tools and insights to deliver personalised email content

David Voorn, Technical Pre & Post Sales Consultant - Technology, Ovato

Giving your customers personalised email content is just a matter of having the right ingredients and a marketing platform that can make it happen.

So, why does personalised content matter? Well, everyone wants to be understood. It’s how we determine our friends. “They just get me,” and because they get you, you want to be there for them. Sometimes they ask for things – a call to action of sorts – but mostly, they’re just giving you what you need: understanding and relevance to your life.

Your brand needs to take the same approach if it wants to make the same connection with its audience. When you understand your audience, you can give them what they need, and although the relationship is commercial, it can be just as emotional.

But how do you do it? The best email marketing platforms will help guide your team through a process to create personalised content for an effective connection with customers.

Contact database

A critical feature of any top email marketing system is a contact database for storing customer information. The amount of information you can store varies from just an email address, to more detailed data points including names, DOB, address, mobile, email clicks, site activity, engagement, time of day and more.

Forms

Perhaps you’ve already got some permission-based email addresses in a spreadsheet. These can be quickly imported to a good email marketing system. If not, you’ll want to start building an email list, and using interactive forms is a great way to encourage people to stay connected to your brand. Importantly, using forms helps you stay legally compliant with data protection laws by helping people properly subscribe and unsubscribe.

Many email marketing tools will provide forms that can be added to your website. Visitors to your site can fill in the required details to sign up for emails or gain access to gated content assets such as eBooks, checklists or cheat sheets. Data from these forms can usually auto-populate in the contact database when the platform is integrated.

Forms are often customisable to allow marketers the opportunity to ask whatever they need. Bear in mind it’s best to balance what you need as a marketer with what customers are willing to tolerate. With more content available to audiences than ever before, they’re becoming increasingly discerning and less willing to engage with unfamiliar or lengthy processes. Keep it short and easy to fill out when you’re starting to build your email list.

Email templates

If you’ve started building your email list using forms, and then populating a database that can be sliced and diced for audience segments, your next focus is the actual emails.

Email templates let you create eye-catching emails that are on-brand. You can reuse a template or change the configuration for different campaigns and market segments if that’s something you think will help conversions. Of course, you can also usually split test an email template with different looks or content to the same segmented list to see which one converts best. This data is essential for shaping your marketing strategy.

One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of people read email on their mobile, so be sure that your email marketing platform accounts for different devices before hitting ‘send’.

Most email platforms will let you schedule times to send your campaigns. This gives you options to test how different send times have different open rates. You might discover that Friday at 3.30pm has a higher open rate than Monday at 9am. Understanding these preferences help you send at the most relevant times for your audiences.

Behaviour-based emails

The links inside your email content will usually go to owned online sites. As you track what people click on, where they go, and what they do when they get there, you can start to build a better data set of preferences that lets you deliver personalised content.

This is particularly handy with your segmented email lists.

Giving an audience segment personalised content means they are more likely to open your emails and potentially click through deeper into a sales funnel.

Get to it and personalise

Using these tools and insights will help you run a successful email campaign. When you send personalised emails that are relevant to your customer, you’re more likely to increase the chance of making a conversion.

You’ll also build a good portrait of your customer based on what they open and click on, allowing you to track their path to purchase and create a profile for even more personalised content in future. This data also informs a personalised marketing strategy that helps turn audiences into loyal customers.