It's the personal touch that can maximise success

Why does a barman call his locals by their first name? It's simple, because they like it and it's good for business. In this article we look at personalising emails and the impact this can have on campaign success.

One of the most important things to consider when you're creating a marketing email is how you will grab the reader's attention. Sometimes we miss the obvious things, so here's the secret:

If you know their name, use it - just don't wear it out!

It may not revolutionise marketing as we know it, but if used correctly you might be surprised by the reaction that personalisation gets.

Here are a few do's and don'ts for personalising your email marketing:

Do
  • Make your mass customer communication personal as this should increase customer feedback, loyalty and hopefully sales revenue.
  • Personalise offers to each individual and or company to make your recipients feel special. Just adding their name can personalise an offer enough to prompt a decision.
  • Review your data on a regular basis for errors, gaps and updates. 
  • Make sure you have first name, last name and company name collected in new data wherever possible.  
  • Think outside the box. You don't have to stick to "Dear John" personalisation, you can add personalisation tags to any part of a message and more than just once.
  • Try adding personalisation to your subject line as well as or instead of in content. 

Don't
  • Don't get caught out by the "Dear blank" syndrome. Check your database before sending your email. If you don't have first names for everyone use "Hi" or "Hello" instead of Dear - anything to ensure that your message makes sense without data being added. 
  • Don't get addicted to personalising. If you wouldn't use it normally in an email, then don't use it! Forced personalisation can look mechanical to the reader. This defeats the object of using it in the first place.
  • Don't assume that because you've personalised the email your subscribers will read it all. You need to think about what your customers want to read. Always write for the reader rather than yourself. 

For more guidance on personalisation you can read our article 'The good, the bad and the ugly of email personalisation'.