In the world of modern marketing, email is king. People are living in their inboxes – checking and sending email has become the #1 activity on both mobile devices and the internet as a whole. But you also have to remember that those inboxes are noisier and more crowded than ever. You’re not only competing with other brands for your subscribers’ attention; you’re also competing with their bosses, their mothers, their kid’s teachers… you know, people that they know and love or, at the very least, probably need to pay attention to.
So every time your recipients invest the time to open your email, they’re expecting a more personal, customized experience. And if they don’t get it, they’re gone – 56% of people unsubscribe from emails due to content that’s no longer relevant to them (Chadwick Martin Bailey). The good news is that when you get that subscriber experience right, it leads to major results. Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails (Juniper Research).
Thankfully, marketers have plenty of tools at their disposal that make using customer data to create and sending targeted content easier and faster than ever before. To help you get started, here are six great ways to make your emails more relevant and, ultimately, much more likely to convert.
1. Automate your emails.
Automation is an easy and approachable way to save time and send more relevant messages to your audience. Because they use your customer behavior as a trigger, automated emails are timely, personalized and hyper-relevant to the reader. Plus, they help you reach your subscribers when they’re the most excited and ready to hear from your brand.
Establish a great relationship with new subscribers from the get-go with an automated welcome series. When a new subscriber fills out your signup form, that serves as the trigger to launch the welcome series. Your series could look something like this:
• Email 1: Thanks for signing up and brand introduction.
• Email 2: Exclusive piece of helpful content.
• Email 3: Case study of a customer having success with your brand.
• Email 4: Special offer with a call to action to buy.
It’s such an easy way to make a great first impression – and it gets long-term results. Subscribers who receive welcome notes show 33% more long-term engagement with that brand (chiefmarketer.com). For more on automation, check out our helpful guide.
2. Segment your audience.
Here’s the thing: there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all email. And since each of your customers has different problems, interests and needs, you shouldn’t be treating them as if they’re all the same. Thankfully, marketers are beginning to understand the importance of audience segmentation when it comes to making their email campaigns more targeted and relevant to individual subscribers. In fact, 32% of marketers say segmenting their email database is one of their organization’s top objectives (MarketingSherpa).
By segmenting your audience into groups, it makes it much easier to send each group a clean, simple email with content that’s directly relevant to them. Information about the age, gender, geographic location, buying preferences, activity and engagement of your subscribers can help you send emails that will make your subscribers feel as if you truly understand them – because, thanks to all that data, you really do!
3. Test, test, test.
Split testing your subject lines is easy, and it’s a surefire way to learn more about your audience and get the best open rates possible. And the more split tests you perform, the more you’ll come to better understand your audience’s habits and preferences.
Subject lines (and marketers) are competitive by nature, so split testing your subject lines can actually be kind of fun. Have a couple members of your team write different subject lines, split test them and root for your favorite to win as the results roll in. It’s the marketing equivalent of horse racing, complete with the fancy hats and mint juleps. (Oh, you don’t do that when you send email? Weird.)
4. Keep copy clear and concise. `
On average, people receive over 84 emails a day – so you have to make a big impression each time you show up in your audience’s inbox. Humans have gut reactions in 3 seconds or less, and the adult attention span has fallen to 8 seconds, so you also need to grab their attention as quickly as possible.
The more straightforward your message, the more attention-grabbing and likable your message will be. Get to the point and keep the focus on a strong, eye-catching CTA so your audience will know exactly what you're offering them or asking them to do.
5. Use dynamic content.
Dynamic content is a powerful tool that allows you to send unique, personalized content to each one of your subscribers based on the data you store about them. And where classic email personalization inserts exact data into an email, dynamic content takes it a step further by using that information to display different content to different people – all from the same email.
For instance, let’s say you’re a clothing brand. Using dynamic content, you could send one email that displays men’s clothing to male subscribers and women’s clothing to female subscribers. That way, each subscriber is served content that is relevant to their specific needs and buying habits, making them much more likely to make a purchase. And hey, it saves you a ton of time because you didn’t have to create two emails to do it.
6. Harness the power of social proof.
Apps like Instagram, VSCO and Afterlight have led to an increased availability of high-quality photos from everyday folks, so marketers now have unprecedented access to their consumer’s real-life product experience. This user-generated content (UGC) has become a force to be reckoned with in the marketing community. Did you know that UGC is 50% more trusted by users than traditional media (Ipsos Millenial Social Influence Study)? Or that only 15% of people trust recommendations from brands, while a whopping 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know (WeRSM)?
Leveraging UGC should be a no-brainer for the modern marketer. It allows you to build a loyal following of brand advocates that are eager to make their voices (and your brand’s message) heard. Plus, it increases the relevance of your emails by directly tying your consumers’ real-life experiences to the content you serve them. See some awesome examples of UGC in action here.
These are just a few of the ways you can start sending more relevant emails. If you want to learn more useful tips and tricks, check out our Content Hub!
About the Author
McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.Follow on Twitter More Content by McKenzie Gregory