Gone are the days when a company’s email marketing strategy consisted of simply sending a single email to their entire list. Email blasting is no longer considered an effective practice, which is why it has become a thing of the past.

These days, personalization is the name of the email game—and it’s not hard to see why. It just works.

A recent report found that 71% of consumers felt frustrated because of impersonal customer experiences, and 49% said they purchased a product they did not really intend to buy because they received a personalized recommendation.

In another report, 82% of marketers said they saw an improvement in open rates with personalized email campaigns, and 75% of marketers said it yielded higher click-through rates.

The aforementioned data makes two things clear:

  1. Customers want personalized email campaigns, and they are actively looking for it
  2. Personalization is a powerful mechanism that businesses can use to raise their email ROI and engagement rates

After seeing the email personalization stats, you know personalization is the answer to boosting engagement rates with your emails and increasing your ROI.

Now, it’s time to put it into practice.

Here are four of the best ways to personalize your next email campaign.

1. Personalize the content of your email

Start your email content personalization efforts with your subject lines. Apart from the fact that it’s the first thing your subscriber sees before they even open and click your email, personalized subject lines tend to have higher open rates than average.

Don’t forget to include your subscriber’s first name in your subject line. It’s the simplest and most effortless personalization tactic out there, but it’s also one of the most effective. It adds a human approach to your email marketing strategy and provides your subscribers with a much more individual experience.

Your subscriber’s name isn’t just reserved for the subject line, though. As long as it’s organic, you can also include your subscriber’s name in the body of your emails. 

For instance, consider how Upwork’s friendly and casual year-end email mentions the subscriber’s name (Ben) in BOTH the subject line and first line of the email.

Source: Upwork

When it comes to personalizing your email message, it’s all about using the right tone. Always craft your messages as if it’s intended for just one person rather than a group of people. When your subscriber reads your emails, the message should make them feel like you are communicating with them directly.

2. Personalize your offers

Instead of sending all your offers to everyone on your list, segment your lists and send personalized offers. Or even swap out elements in individual emails with dynamic content modules. The possibilities for sending personalized offers are endless and depends on your type of business, but some simple strategies include:

Offers according to demographic data

If you run an e-commerce store that sells both men’s and women’s fashion, don’t offer your entire collection to everyone on your list. Segment your list by gender and send your men’s collection to your male subscribers and your women’s collection to your female subscribers.

Here’s an example from J. Crew of this very technique — targeting their male subscriber with a personalized email campaign around the subject Jeans for every guy.

Source: J. Crew

The imagery, copy, and subject all align with this subset of their audience. And it’s likely there is a comparable Jeans for every girl campaign running alongside this one.

Offers according to location

If you run a travel site that has subscribers from various regions, you can use their locations to send highly targeted offers. For example, let’s say you have a subscriber from a tropical region. You can send that subscriber an offer for a vacation at a winter destination.

Offers according to previous purchases

Track your subscribers’ purchase data so that you can send offers for similar or complementary products. If you run a health food store, and you have a subscriber who orders the same type of protein supplement every month, send them offers at the perfect time of the month.

77% of email’s ROI comes from segmented and targeted email campaigns, which means these targeting strategies can help you increase your revenue.

3. Remember your subscribers’ milestones

Who doesn’t like being greeted at important events like birthdays and anniversaries, right? The same thing applies to email marketing.  

Show your subscribers that you care about them by sending them emails on their birthdays, on the anniversary of their first purchase, or at some other meaningful customer milestone.

To make your subscribers feel even more special, reward them with gifts. This can be anything from a free product to an online gift card that the subscriber can use on their next purchase. For even more personalization, send gifts based on the subscriber’s information, such as past purchases.

By sending these types of highly personalized email campaigns, you can make your subscriber feel valued and at the same entice your subscribers to engage with your emails.

4. Ask your subscribers for feedback

One thing that makes email marketing impersonal is that it is almost entirely a one-way digital conversation. You send email after email to your subscribers, but they don’t really email you back.

You can remedy this by sending feedback or survey emails. These emails not only enable you to gauge customer satisfaction and determine things you can improve on, but they also make your customers feel like you really care about how to make them happy.

However, it’s not quite as simple as asking your subscribers a few questions. Studies have shown that customers don’t really like completing surveys or filling out feedback forms.

In fact, according to Customer Thermometer, 98% of customers don’t answer questionnaires. This is why you need to have a plan when sending out these types of emails.

Here are some email personalization best practices you can try:

  • Encourage your subscribers to give feedback by incentivizing them to do so. As a “thank you” for completing your survey, provide your subscribers with a gift, such as an online discount code for their next purchase.
  • State the benefit of opening the email by using a subject line that’s something like this: “Hi, [Subscriber’s Name]. Complete this quick survey to get a big discount!”
  • Keep the email message short and straightforward.
  • Inform the customer right off the bat how long it will take them to complete the survey. In the body of the email, include something like this: “This survey will only take 2 minutes.”

Steamboat Resort hits three of these tactics on the nail. They provide a meaningful gift for completing the survey (a ski pass to their resort), they mention that the process is short (only a few minutes), and they keep their message short.

The biggest opportunity to improve the email above is to adjust the subject line with both personalization and a hint at what lies inside the opened email.

The bottom line:

With regard to email marketing, there is absolutely no doubt that personalization is one of the keys to boosted engagement, increased revenue, and customer satisfaction. So, whether you are just getting started on email marketing or want to make changes to your current email marketing strategies, you can be sure that these tips on personalized email campaigns will yield you results for future work.