3 Types of Email Personalization That Boost Open Rates, Click-Through Rates and Revenue

Email marketers are focused on analytics, and for good reason. They know that driving analytics in the right direction will have a direct impact on their revenue.

And research has proven that nothing gets analytics trending in the right direction more effectively than personalization. Studies show online shoppers love it when marketers cater to their individual needs, which is why 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions and 80% of consumers like retailers’ emails to contain recommended products based on previous purchases.

Here are a few examples of the power of personalization:

Personalize your subject line to boost open rates

Want to improve your open rates? Personalize your subject line.

Experian found that a personalized subject line increased open rates by 29.3% across all industries. Which is why, as we reported last fall, “creating a personalized subject line is one of the first things marketers implement, mainly due to the ease of obtaining a subscriber’s first name, and the significant impact it can have on email open rates.”

Today’s consumers “expect their interactions with a brand to be dynamic and personally relevant,” says Experian’s Shelley Kessler. “A brand that recognizes a subscriber by name in the subject line of an email is able to establish an immediate, personal connection with that subscriber and that is reflected in our research.”

Of course, personalizing a subject line can go far beyond simply including the recipient’s name, and it probably should.

“Don’t think of personalized subject lines as being ones that include a recipient’s name only,” Adam Q. Holden-Bache says on the American Marketing Association site. “Using other data points can produce huge lifts. Consider using data such as the recipient’s geographic location, job role, last purchase, company name or personal interests.”

For more about how to boost open rates, check out our post on the topic.

Use behavioral content to drive click-through rates

Aberdeen reported last year that personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14%.

And a specific type of personalized email has been found to be particularly useful in driving click-throughs: behavioral emails.

“Behaviors are important for creating rich and contextual experiences for customers,” writes Donte Ledbetter at appboy. “Customers are more likely to respond to and expect messages that are relevant to their behavior.”

Ledbetter suggests that emails that serve as follow-ups to purchases are likely to find their way to particularly receptive customers.

“If you just made a purchase, there’s a good chance you might open an email that contains follow-up information like receipts, shipping information, and add-ons to help you enjoy the product you just purchased,” she writes. “Using actual customer behaviors to trigger messages is a great way to provide value at the exact moment a customer is expecting it.”

Need examples? Brandon Gains, at SaaSquatch compiled a list of what he calls “brilliant examples of using product and customer data to trigger personalized email marketing campaigns,” including one in which Airbnb puts a compelling twist on the familiar “cart abandonment” message.

“Airbnb sends customers an email one day after they view a listing but don’t complete the booking,” Gains writes. “They pull in the exact listing the customer viewed one day earlier as well as relevant listings in the same price range and location. This addresses the plague of shopping cart abandonment in a highly personalized way that leads the customer back to the product so they can pick up where they left off.”

Include customer account information to boost revenue

As it is for every industry, the most important analytic in email marketing is revenue. After all, the bottom line really is the bottom line.

And nobody can help drive your revenue better than customers who already love you, such as those who have signed up for loyalty programs. Why not remind them about how much you mean to them? You can do that by including information in your message about your long and meaningful relationship.

Here’s a great example of that approach. Earlier this summer we shared a case study that tells how Hilton delivered a hyper-personalized email to their loyal Hilton Honors program members. That email told the unique story of each member’s travel history with the brand that included each recipient’s number of stays, number of hotels visited and more.

Along with driving open rates up by 70%, and click-throughs by 37%, the campaign yielded an $82 per-click conversion rate.

“Members loved the personalized, dynamic messaging, fueling Hilton’s push for more personalized messaging company-wide,” we wrote. “As a next step, the brand is looking to expand the program to better reach their non-English-speaking members.”

You can find out more by downloading our case study.