Email Personalization: Learning to Crawl Before You Can Run

Email personalization should be taken one step at a time during initial implementation.Email personalization applications can be a tough thing for marketers to integrate into current email campaigns. It’s still a relatively new technology, which means that contextual marketing features such as countdown clocks, live web cropping, and creative optimization can be hard to implement without the help of a client experience team.

From the technical to the aesthetic, dynamic content brings a new world of opportunities for email marketing, which is why marketers who are just getting started in personalizing emails should learn how to crawl before they start to run. And that means thinking about dynamic email content from the ground-up.

Getting Started with Email Marketing Personalization

Email marketing personalization is more or less contextual marketing by another name. By personalizing an email for the exact time and place, along with live subscriber details (time of open, current member status, reward points, etc.), companies can drastically increase mobile clickthrough rates, app downloads, and, of course, conversion rates.

At Movable Ink, we often start working with clients to implement a countdown clock as a way to introduce the concept of email personalization. For most companies, a live countdown timer is a good way to create a sense of urgency around an event or push customers to action on a limited time deal. For example, Nickelodeon used a live countdown timer to help build anticipation around an upcoming TV series.

Countdown timers are just the tip of the iceberg.  There’s a significant difference between a campaign that utilizes a countdown timer and a campaign that features deep linking social media feeds, product feeds, API integrations, device targeting, optimizing creative AND utilizes a countdown timer.

Once brands have experimented with countdown clocks in emails, it’s time to start building out a Campaign B use-case. Here’s how you can implement a Crawl, Walk, Run approach:

1. Work with an Experienced Team. To get the most return from personalized emails, you should consult with an account team that can help with strategic insight, ideation and walk-throughs.

2. Find a Starting Point. Leverage a campaign tracking pixel to get a general baseline reading of where your email programs are before you get started with your first campaign.

3. Remember that Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day. While some contextual marketing technology is simple to integrate and it’s possible to start “running” immediately, we believe that a strategic approach is best. Testing and building over time is a great way to monitor your overall email program growth.

4. Emphasize the New Benefits to Customers. Once you’ve started sending real-time, dynamic email content, start championing the benefits those features can offer customers – whether that’s a weather-sensitive sales discount or a streamlined, real-time experience when booking a hotel room.

Want to learn more? We recently wrote an eBook, Email Personalization 2.0, that covers how brands like Airbnb and The Knot have successfully personalized email content. And be sure to visit our blog on Thursday to see another example of how email personalization can work for business!

Email Marketing PersonalizationIn Email Personalization 2.0, you’ll learn:

– How brands like Airbnb, The Knot, ESPN and others are using email marketing personalization 

– What kinds of customer data can be used to create better user experiences

– The different functions and features of email marketing personalization

Download eBook