How to avoid making email marketing mistakes

Avoid making email marketing mistakes: three tips to enable you to stay clear of personalisation disasters.

Our brains contain very intricate filters of information, we subconsciously process everything we see, hear, smell, feel and touch. Through our experiences we collect data and store memories and material that is of our personal interest. Therefore, creating relatable access to new information that relates to previous areas of interest, is to a marketer’s advantage.

When a recipient looks at an email, whether it be the header or the main content, the brain automatically scans the information to find any familiar content. It could be a name, brand, topic, word, colour, or even an image, this then determines whether or not the email is of interest to that individual within a matter of seconds.

Email personalisation allows us to break through the brains filter, through the use of relatable content which catches the attention of hopefully holds their engagement. You may want to keep it as simple as mentioning a person’s name or home town within your message, this will be enough to trigger a relevance reaction. Although if your aim is to captivate the viewer you may want to personalise your entire content to the needs and wants of the individual.

When personalisation is good, it’s very good but when its bad, it’s very bad. Getting personalisation wrong, may portray that you have taken an amateur approach, more so it could make your recipient feel that your campaign is completely irrelevant within a matter of seconds.

Here are a few examples of how to avoid making mistake through the use of professional personalisation strategies:

Make sure you have the correct data and are maximising its potential
You should have the name, gender, age and location of your recipient as a minimum. This allows you to send campaigns to an individual rather than an audience. Content can then be sent at convenient times for each person and will be relevant to his/her birthday and lifestyle. There’s nothing worse than developing a beautifully engaging and informative campaign that then gets lost in an over flowing inbox, due to the time it was sent. This is a common example of incorrect data or lack of data which is irrelevant to receiver interaction and channel movements.

Keep your data fresh, new and over flowing with detail wherever possible, you need to be aware of any changes in lifestyle of the receiver. For example, if the recipient has a new job or children or has moved house, all are key factors when perfecting personalisation.

If you don’t have this data, skip personalisation for now as when the customer sees a blank space or short code, it will taint your brands image. Don’t give up, but send out a creative campaign to gather preferences and information for the future.

Avoid over personalisation
Don’t mention the recipients full name, address and birthday before you’ve said hello. Use personalisation when necessary to allow the customer to feel their experience is personal and familiar. Over using data can scare clients and customers, creating concerns as to how much specific information a company holds about them. This can lead to them feeling that their privacy has been breached and may completely put them off your business, so it is very important to be subtle and friendly.

Adding your recipients name in the subject line or greeting message of your email is effective, as this is instantly eye catching, within an inbox and within the brain. Using the individuals name within your subject content creates a link between your message and relevant, useful information. This will stand out in comparison to other messages within their inbox which may be related more directly to sales and promotions.

Give your audience a reason and place to reply
Creating conversation and interaction is great! Continuing to hold the engagement of your recipient means that they are interested in what you have to say and the products you have to offer. Using a noreply@ email address doesn’t allow customer interaction, not only this but it feels very automated and impersonal. If it is necessary that you use a noreply@ format, then prompt the use of another email address or the use of social media to encourage the viewer to stay involved and interactive with the brand.

Personalisation starts with the customer

Ask the right questions. Analyse the information provided and act upon the data you’ve collected.

Have you learnt something useful? Let us know @Wired_Marketing

For further information on marketing mistakes check out our blog posts on The seven deadly sins of email marketing and 8 Email Marketing Mishaps that will lose sales.

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