When it comes to email marketing – relevance is key.
You’re a marketer and your job is to communicate with customers and potential customers about your product or service. But to do this on a mass scale can become tricky. What tends to occur is by not having that face-to-face interaction with end users, you can quickly lose sight of who you are actually communicating with. Sending mass emails starts to feel like blasting general flyers targeted towards (in your mind) faceless people. So the question then becomes how can we, as marketers, rethink connection with those end users? We need to think of those on the receiving end of our emails. We need to put ourselves in their shoes and understand their journey in relationship to us as a company.
“Personalization” Doesn’t Work Anymore
Let’s talk about these emails, shall we? If you’ve been in the business of email marketing, you know the basic process. You start with a list of contacts’ general information, draft your email, and set its scheduled time of delivery. Wash, rinse, repeat.
So does “personalizing” your email with their first name inserted into the greeting help? Sure… but does it “do the trick”? Does it give a personalized touch? Not by itself. Back in 2007, using personalization tokens to craft your “special offer” was incredibly appealing and distinctive against the mobs of promotional emails sent. This could increase your click through rate by 100% – but people eventually wised-up to advertisement gimmicks and that’s where we as marketers are, once again, today.
If personalization isn’t enough – then what is? Remember, you’re writing for humans and to humans. And this is the first step in rethinking connection for the successful implementation of email marketing.
Marketing Automation to the Rescue
This is where marketing automation comes into play. Going back to our theme that relevance is key – using a marketing automation platform allows you to get to know where your customers are in their buyer’s journey individually. Using that information like products or pages visited, purchase history, and buying cycle, you are then able to craft a relevant email to them. Marketing automation gives you the ability to really hone in on what your customer actually wants. So rather than saying “Check out our latest additions” you can suggest “based on your interest in ___, we think you’d like ___.” giving it much more of a one-on-one feel rather than a wide-cast spammy message. One size does not fit all in the case of email marketing.
Segmenting Messages for a Better Connection
But to get one thing straight – I’m not against the use of automated emails. I’m against the lazy drafting of them and the sloppy, minimal segmentation of email marketing. Because consumers don’t want to sift through the junk to get to the point. This is how segmented coupons work; I enjoy when Meijer grocery store knows I buy a particular brand of food, or laundry detergent, or toothpaste because then they know to send me discounts for those exact products. Marketing automation is a tool that, when used properly, benefits both the consumer and the business, and saves time for everyone in the process.
This is the way we, as marketers, can rethink connection with the help of new technology. Because when a user receives a well-crafted message from a company based on their actions or interests, they feel listened to. So let’s use our digital tools to become better connected to our customers in the process.