How to remain on the right side of personalisation

Email is not a one size fits all marketing approach. Email is not a rushed, get it out the door, “will do for now” tactic. Email is not a plain ham sandwich. 

In many ways email marketing is like that well known sandwich company we’ve all frequented that allows the customer to select the bread, filling, topping, and sauces all according to their tastes. It’s design and their very ethos is centred around tailoring their product to the customer’s needs, wants, and desires. 

Of course you can’t make each individual email different to the next, but utilising hyper-personalisation and dynamic content that carves up your data into intuitive segments will have a significant impact on your email marketing . This will generate better engagement from your recipients and improved ROI.

Here are a few ways you can include hyper-personalisation in your email marketing:

1. Weather

If your business is based around an interest or importance in the weather - travel, leisure, tourism, catering, events - you could include the destination’s weather forecast within the email itself. This prepares the reader for what to expect when they arrive, informing their choice of clothing or packing. You could even advise them to bring a sunhat!

2. Stocks and shares

If you’re in the finance sector, linking up to accessible information on the market in real time is a feature that can really enhance your email value. This specific audience, who are often on the go, will benefit from being able to source that information, along with the rest of the content of your email all in one place, real-time.

3. Products

If you’re in retail, information about the product as a live feed can add a sense of urgency to your campaign. Seeing how low in stock a particular product is that they’re interested in will prompt them to act, especially if it’s part of a time sensitive promotion.

4. Bookings

Availability for rooms in a hotel or tables in a restaurant is another great piece of hyper personalisation to include. Again, it instills a sense of urgency for people to book and not miss out, but it also sets an expectation. They can see that you’re fully booked and rearrange their plans, rather than turning up on the day and being disappointed. This tactic also works for events and ticket sales.

But when can hyper personalisation go too far and be a little - let’s face it - creepy?

Although drilling down into specific information about your audience is a must for driving results, it can go sour fairly quickly. There’s a fine line between being useful and too personal or simply inappropriate. 

An example that caused a bit of a stir was with a well known pet brand. The company stored the names of people’s pets in their system as part of their data capture and decided to use this personal information in one of their emails. 

An email was sent out which included this pet name on the lead image - something you think would be fairly harmless. The brand got numerous complaints from people who had lost their pet, claiming the email was insensitive and an invasion of privacy. 

And this is where you ask yourself: do you need this information? Will having this information mean that you are giving value to your customer? If it’s a no, then don’t collect it, let alone create a marketing campaign with it. Once you’ve lost that trust from people in regards to their data, it’s extremely hard to win it back. The data might look like a series of digits, but there’s a real person behind each one.


*****


People don’t want to read an email that doesn’t relate to them. They want to open your email and receive up to date relevant information which gives them value, just the same as them wanting a sandwich with all their favourite fillings. It’s all about honing your emails with personalisation that enhances that recipient’s sense of self, but doesn’t cross the line into inappropriate. 

If you’re interested in optimising your email marketing campaigns through hyper personalisation and dynamic content, get in touch. We’ll talk you through what’s possible, how it works, and the best way it can align with your goals.  


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