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23 of the Best Personalized Email Examples

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23 of the Best Personalized Email Examples

You put an app on your phone, but haven’t used it in a week, and you’re about to delete it from your phone. Then an email arrives that shows you how the app solves a problem you’ve been struggling with. Email personalization saves the day.

A 2022 McKinsey report says that 71% of consumers expect companies to offer personalized communication. 76% get frustrated when it doesn’t happen.

Ramping up your email marketing to stand out and get the results you want can be tough. But there’s a strategy that less than 30% of marketers are using.

Let’s talk about email personalization and check out some personalized email examples.

Email personalization is more than a strategy. It’s a way to connect one-on-one with each person that reaches out to learn about your business.

This process helps email marketers create emails that appeal to each individual on their email list. And they can do it without having to draft a separate email for each person.

According to Experian, 78% of customers are more aware of how businesses are using their data. So, personalization is more convenient for marketers, but how do customers feel about it?

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Why is email personalization important?

Email personalization is a wildly effective strategy. Segmentation of email campaigns alone can increase revenue by up to 760%.

And while subscribers want to know more about how companies are using their data, 59% of customers trust businesses using AI to personalize their experience. Because of this high level of comfort, email personalization is an excellent investment when it’s done right.

According to Statista, 42% of consumers feel that personalization is somewhat or very important. And 67% have used personal recommendations when shopping for products.

Personalization content data from Statista

If you want to improve engagement and revenue for your business, the best time to start personalizing your emails is now.

Email Personalization Strategies

Most of the posts you see on social media are just for you. These platforms encourage you to spend more time on their platforms using algorithms that notice what you like and give you more of it.

The average person spends 147 minutes on social media each day. This can lead them to expect all their online experiences will feel personal.

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Until marketing automation, businesses found it difficult to personalize emails. But today it’s possible to create unique emails for every subscriber and to show them what appeals to their personal interests.

Email personalization can make every email an offer that’s just for them.

But creating personalized emails is tougher than it looks. Besides the challenge of designing an email that connects and appeals to subscribers, personalization requires some technical know-how.

It’s not unusual for an email marketing manager to design a great email. But some of these emails never get sent because of API, email marketing platform, and other challenges.

So, before you start personalizing your emails, check out these strategies.

1. Build a list you can segment.

Creating a great email list is about more than getting attention from new subscribers. Each form, email, and interaction is an opportunity to collect segmentation data.

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Collect useful information.

As you build each email form, think about the data that you can collect and how it can help segment subscribers later.

For example, a form with a single box for subscriber names can make personalizing tough. New sign-ups may add their first name, but they could also add a business name, their last name, or leave this field blank.

That means you won’t be able to personalize emails with subscribers’ first names without creating errors. Nothing says impersonal like an email that starts with “Hi jcl89@hotmail.”

At the same time, you want to make an email sign-up form that’s quick and easy to fill out.

HubSpot email form

Think about how you want to collect personal and business names in advance. Then you can choose the best way to personalize for each segment.

Other useful information to collect when users subscribe could include:

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  • Location
  • A quick yes or no survey
  • Email frequency preferences
  • Demographics like age, company position, or location
  • Psychographics like personality types, income level, or goals

Create surveys and interactive emails.

As you email new subscribers, use interactive elements to segment users based on their interests.

Use link tracking to help you organize your email lists. Link tracking can tell you when a subscriber clicks a link in your email. You can use this data to quickly respond and connect with a prospect, or use this data to segment your list later on.

Another way to collect more data for segmentation is through surveys. A survey can help you collect personal information to refine your messaging to contacts. It can also make it easier to understand their top questions and concerns early in the buyer journey.

This article includes some segmentation ideas and how you can work them into your emails.

Use integrations.

Another way that you use data to segment your users is to connect your email marketing tool to your CRM. Integrations with your email marketing tool can also offer real-time insights. This data can help you send targeted emails based on what your contacts are doing online.

The goal is to track user behavior that can help you target communications. The amount of data a platform can collect can be a little overwhelming, so instead of grabbing a ton of data that you can’t use, create a plan.

Think about the emails that will be interesting and useful to your customers. Next, think about how you can use data insights to personalize your emails in a way that makes them even more valuable.

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For example, instead of offering the same sale to every subscriber, use data to personalize your discount emails.

Try offering a discount to every person that bought your most popular product in the last few months to encourage them to buy again.

Some other data you might want to collect and use to personalize your email:

  • Buying habits
  • Mobile vs. desktop
  • Engagement, like email opens and clicks

2. Align emails with the buyer’s journey.

The most effective emails contain the right information at the right time. That means finding a way to welcome new subscribers that’s personal, then keeping them engaged until they become loyal brand promoters.

So, start with strong brand personas and outline your ideal buyer journey. Next, use email personalization to send automated emails that support and enhance your customer experience.

Build automated email sequences for each stage in the buyer journey.

Most companies send emails from a few different departments. This might include:

  • An eager sales team that wants to connect
  • A marketing team wooing customers with upsells
  • Customer service agents responding to questions

To make sure that every person on your email list gets what they need when they need it, you’ll want to create targeted workflows and sequences.

Start with a welcome sequence. This might be a one-on-one email from a trusted member of your team or a bright graphic welcome that connects to the reason your latest contact signed up.

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Email personalization is simple with workflows that trigger with user behavior.

It’s also a good idea to offer extra products and services based on past purchases through email. When using this strategy, try to focus on customers who have made more than one purchase.

The more data you have, the more likely you will steer customers toward items they really want. Otherwise, these personal recommendations can start to feel decidedly impersonal.

Make recommendations about the customer, not about which product you want to sell more of.

Other useful sequences and workflows you can build and personalize include:

  • New product announcements
  • Outreach when a contact goes inactive
  • Campaigns based on subscriber activity, like attending a webinar
  • Status alerts, like a flight change or change in product availability

Trigger personalized emails at important moments.

Use personal emails to highlight the moments when your subscribers expect an email. To stand out, you’ll also want to celebrate moments where your customer has reached a personal goal.

Product engagement moments are key. If a customer has used your meditation app every day this week or they’ve logged in to a food diary app for three days in a row, it’s a great time to send an email.

Triggered emails are a way to show that the moments that are important to them are important to you too.

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Use behavior triggers.

It’s easy to focus on the beginning and end of your relationship with an email contact, but most of the real action happens in the middle. You can use this moment in the buyer journey for emails that trigger with an action.

Trigger emails are a way to connect with your subscribers at the right time. For example, Instagram sends you an email when they haven’t seen you log in for a while.

A triggered email sends after a specific event or interaction. When an email aligns with their actions and priorities, it feels more useful and personal than an email blast.

Potential behavior triggers for email include:

  • Event registration
  • Loyalty membership
  • Canceling or changing an appointment
  • Changing contact or profile information
  • Cart abandonment
  • Product page exit
  • Shipping cost exit

An important note: Use triggers to creatively let your subscribers know you’re paying attention, but keep it chill. It can be uncomfortable for some users to know their actions are being tracked online.

Add subscriber tags to further segment subscribers based on their actions.

It’s easy to focus on the beginning of a subscriber’s email journey. But ideally, an email subscription is a long-term relationship that deepens over time. Tags can help you continue to send subscribers the right messaging as their interests and needs change.

Tagging subscribers when they complete a specific action is a great way to segment your audience. You can use dynamic tags to quickly send subscribers a useful message based on what they are doing now, not what they thought they would do when they first subscribed.

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3. Design emails with personalization in mind.

If it’s done well, email can deliver $33 ROI for each dollar you spend.

So, build trust with every email. Don’t accidentally spam their subscribers with discounts, new products, and pressure to buy. Instead, focus on your subscribers and the value you’re giving them each time you hit send.

Write personalized subject lines.

Email personalization isn’t just calling subscribers by name. It’s using data to make every one of your subscribers feel special.

Write your subject lines and emails like you’re writing an email to a friend. This approach can make your language feel more natural. It can also make the added personalization feel more authentic. Take a look at these subject line examples if you need inspiration.

Send emails from a person, not just a brand.

Send emails from a person, not a brand. A real name and face in the “from” field of an email let subscribers know the face behind the message. It makes each email feel more personal, like a conversation instead of a transaction.

You can also try adding a personalized P.S. at the end of an email. A personal postscript is a quick way to add a personal touch to emails. It shows subscribers that you want to connect with them as a person, not just a prospect.

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Create email campaigns for unique segments of your email list.

Use data insights to study and anticipate customer needs. Then create unique emails that address those needs. This might mean creating an email course, directing them to help center resources, or sending surveys that ask for their opinion.

Dynamic content in emails can let you send different codes and email content to different subscribers.

Try to use data to inform your messaging. At the same time, don’t add sensitive personal information directly.

For example, if you’re personalizing an email for your high-income segment, don’t plug in the income level they shared on a form or survey. Instead, you try adding a section with top-tier or exclusive products.

Use images to personalize emails.

Images and GIFs can make an email more exciting and interesting. Besides making subscribers more aware of your brand and story, images are a great way to get the attention of readers who don’t read the messages in their inboxes.

Image personalization is an effective strategy for emails too. A company that sees its logo in your B2B email is more likely to pay more attention to what you have to say. A shopper looking for a personalized pillow may be more likely to buy if they see a custom graphic they’ve used on your site before.

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Send limited-time unique email offers.

One of the best ways (source) to get a subscriber to act is to create urgency. For example, if a shopper abandons their cart before clicking “Buy now” an email with a limited time discount could inspire them to make that purchase.

Schedule emails at the right time.

Start with your buyer personas and their habits to decide the best time to send emails. And don’t forget to keep location in mind.

Let’s say your new subscriber opens emails first thing in the morning, you might set their email to send at 8 am. But what if they live in a time zone where they’re eating lunch just as you wake up for the day? You might miss the best time for that contact to read your email.

Segmenting contacts by location can help you send your emails at the right time to every subscriber.

Start A/B testing.

Compelling email personalization is in the details. Email marketing seems simple, but some variables can impact the experience.

A/B testing is an effective way to gauge how your subscribers respond to your emails. For the most useful insights, test only one variable at a time. If you test too many email features at the same time it will be difficult to understand what is and isn’t working.

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Do some research if you’ve never run marketing experiments like this before.

4. Make the next steps clear and easy.

You can create a great user experience by thinking about the full user journey, not just crafting a perfect personalized email.

Shorten the conversion path with relevant links.

When your email tells subscribers to click a link, that link needs to deliver. For example, if an item sells out and that product and link are in the highlight of your email, it will only frustrate your customers.

Have links in mind before you start writing and designing. Check each link you plan to include to make sure it’s current. Then create a message that sells the content in that link.

Clicking a link doesn’t seem like a big deal. But the increased rate of phishing scams can lead subscribers to second guess engaging with your emails.

Keep this perspective in mind. It will help you draft emails that foster relationships with your email list and avoid making emails that feel like clickbait.

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Create targeted landing pages.

If you’re building custom landing pages for your emails, make sure that your email and landing page designs work together. Think about creating unique landing pages for each segment. Then focus your landing page message on the information that’s most important to that group of people.

Personalized Email Examples You Can’t Help but Click

1. OpenTable

Email personalization example: OpenTable

Why email examples like this work: Not only does this email make it easy to make reservations online, but it also remembers favorite restaurants. This helps users discover new places to eat based on reviews and reservation behavior.

One way OpenTable encourages users to leave reviews is by sending emails with a personalized subject line. Then, they ask the diners’ to review their most recent restaurant experience.

These reviews give OpenTable an idea of which restaurant recommendations are user favorites, which makes the reservation process easier for their users.

2. Alaska Airlines

Email personalization example: Alaska Airlines

Why email examples like this work: This email effectively pulls a frequent traveler (me) back in with a check-in email. It reminds me of what I’m not doing (opening emails). Next, it encourages me to loop back in with an image of something I might rather be doing (surfing at the beach).

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This email also has a button marked “Deals.” It’s a great strategy to offer something special from your brand when a user stops engaging. It could give your audience the motivation they need to take action and make a purchase.

3. The Hustle

Email personalization example: The Hustle

Why this email example works: The Hustle has a “Snippets” section in their newsletter. Each email includes a curated list of articles highlighting topics the subscriber picked when they signed up.

This user’s chosen topics are Big Tech and The Hustle Picks, so the snippet section updates with those topics in mind. This makes each email feel like it’s just for them, instead of a general list of what’s new.

If you feel like this would work for your subscribers too, set up workflows that remind subscribers how to continue taking advantage of these specially-tailored messages.

4. Spotify

Email personalization example: Spotify

Why email examples like this work: Spotify’s Year in Review emails and in-platform messaging are a highlight for subscribers. Music has a strong emotional impact. Spotify uses this to remind this what their last year looked like in music, just before the new year begins.

The copy in this email from Spotify is particularly effective because it frames the personalization in a way that makes the recipient feel like they’re getting a reward for their usage. Phrases like “Guess which song is your #1?” lend themselves to a sense of exclusivity — making the user feel important.

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Again, this push helps to confirm that the user is actively using the streaming service, and is continuously reminded of the value.

5. LinkedIn

Email personalization example: LinkedIn

Why this email personalization example works: When I was actively applying for jobs. I often used LinkedIn for my search. Each day, LinkedIn sent me a roundup of jobs it thought would pique my interest.

While some of the listings were more applicable than others, all of them were clickable.

Did you catch that? Clickable. And even if none of these jobs piqued my interest, I had a network of professional connections who might have considered them, driving even more traffic to LinkedIn’s website.

6. Be My Eyes

Email personalization example: Be My Eyes

Why this email example works: Why this email example works: Be My Eyes is an app that helps blind and low-vision users borrow the sight of over 1.5 million volunteers. This email triggers after a user has their first volunteer call. Then, it goes into detail on how they can solve common problems.

This email has a lot of text, but it’s broken into bullets to make it easy and quick to read.

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The timing of this email makes a simple process even easier and makes first-time volunteers feel more comfortable helping.

7. American Eagle

Email personalization example: American Eagle

Why email examples like this work: This email begins with an enticing subject line: “You’re in. Here’s your exclusive code.”

The email is short and clear, highlighting a custom offer and an image GIF highlighting their most popular products.

In a more complicated or image-heavy email, that discount code could be easy to miss. But this email personalization is simple and quick to read, which makes it easy to see the unique discount code that the subject line calls out.

8. Ticketmaster

Email personalization example: Ticketmaster

Why email examples like this work: This email is a great example of how to use location information to offer a customized email experience. In the email, Ticketmaster makes it easy for me to quickly visualize what’s headed to my area and when. This lowers the barrier between me and the point of purchase.

This type of personalization could be super useful for a company looking to deliver more relevant messages to international leads or existing customers.

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If you’re using HubSpot’s free email marketing software, you can use a contact’s location to personalize your messages like this campaign.

9. Getaway

Email personalization example: Getaway

Why this email example works: This email triggers after a stay at one of Getaway’s unique locations. It includes a reminder to book another visit soon.

The first image is a slideshow that highlights the best features of a Getaway cabin. The second image shows a punch card with two nights punched out. This makes it easy to see how many more nights it will take to stay for free.

This email also includes a referral link to share for an extra discount, offering value to both Getaway and their customers.

10. TikTok

Email personalization example: TikTok

Why email personalization examples like this work: After following one of his favorite chefs on TikTok, Matthew received this email from the social network with suggestions for similar accounts to follow.

What’s more, the suggestions were super relevant.

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When companies have as much data as TikTok does, they usually go one of two ways with personalization: They totally nail it, or they have too much data to sift out what’s important. This is an example of accurately identifying what Matthew would care about, and delivering it to him.

11. Savage X Fenty

Email personalization example: Savage X Fenty

Why this email example works: This email starts with a bold discount graphic. The message clearly states that the inspiration for every discount was customer feedback and requests.

Then it features easy-to-see and attractive images of their top products, with extra text that shares why each bra is a popular pick.

Each highlighted product also includes a testimonial. This adds to the feeling that these products have the customer in mind.

12. Ancestry

Email personalization example: Ancestry

Why this email example works: Ancestry pulls users back in with an email that hints about new information in the family tree.

It personalizes both first and last names in different parts of the email, so the personalization feels more authentic.

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The email includes personal hints and extra details to lure users to spend more time on the site.

13. Free Prints

Email personalization example: Free Prints

Why email examples like this work: This email has a simple message and clearly states the value of their service. The big wow in this email is the personalized image. It pulls a picture from their app to drive another purchase.

If you want to boost the word-of-mouth influence behind your product or service, this is a great example of how personalization can help propel your message.

14. Bunch

Email personalization example: Bunch

Why this email example works: This quick and peppy reminder to get back into an app shows that Bunch is using data-driven strategies to engage users. They’re anticipating the most likely reason I’m not logging in, calling out a common issue, and offering a solution. It also gives me a chance to update my reminders.

This isn’t the only effective way to use platform data. This strategy could apply to many marketing materials — ebooks, webinars, and blog articles, to name a few.

For example, if you find that someone downloaded an ebook on social media tips, you may want to set up a workflow to trigger a follow-up email that suggests they check out your social media guide on SlideShare.

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15. Etsy

Email personalization example: Etsy

Why email examples like this work: This email shows a product from a merchant Ivelisse has bought from before. The headline “Your Favorite” reminds her that this is a product she’s seen and liked before.

Etsy’s email also offers a discount, with the original price crossed out, and the discount offer is in green instead of black. This makes the offer easier to see but it’s still pleasing to the eye.

It serves as a great example of how to use a contact’s search behavior to re-engage them with your company, and hopefully move them closer to a sale.

16. Voicebox

Email personalization example: Voicebox

Why this email personalization example works: Voicebox adds to the post-karaoke experience by adding a personal playlist. They want to know if you had fun, ask for your feedback if you had any issues, and remind you to visit again soon.

Even better, the email ends by reminding you exactly what you sang during your session. The list has a lot of detail, which brings you right back to the moment you were singing.

It’s just the right amount of inspiration to get you to book a session to sing again.

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17. Experian

Email personalization example: Experian

Why this email example works: Fear isn’t a fun emotion, but it is a motivator. This email offers an alert with positive feedback about my credit score, but it also hints that there could be other less friendly messages in their portal that I should check, just in case. This gets me to click and engage with their services.

What I love most about the email is its simplicity. It offers up a single topic, which is enough to interest the recipient without overwhelming them. Plus, the copy is quick, friendly, and clear.

18. Happyfeed

Email personalization example: Happyfeed

Why this email example works: Happyfeed is a gratitude journal app for users to record three things they are grateful for each day. This monthly recap email grabs data from the app to remind me of some of my best moments from the past month.

They also remind me how active I was on the app, and include extra offers and new features. This is a great way to reinforce the value of a product while also offering reasons a user should upgrade or spend more time using a product.

They also ask for my feedback, reinforcing the message that my opinion is important to them.

19. Google Maps

Email personalization example: Google Maps

Why email examples like this work: This email from Google lets Ivelisse know that people like the update she added. It also includes a personalized image of the edited map, so it reminds her of the update quickly and easily.

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This email reminds her that updating reviews and locations on Google Maps makes a difference. That’s a powerful motivator to keep making updates.

20. Sephora

Email personalization example: Sephora

Why email examples like this work: Sephora used this personalized email to give Kimberly a free gift and a reminder to buy, with a birthday greeting to boot.

That’s a great way for brands to achieve customer reactivation — by using a fixed date, like a birthday or anniversary, to remind people what it was that they loved about your business in the first place.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, this is an easy email to copy for your contacts through fixed date or property-based workflows. It allows you to base your workflow on a calendar or contact property date. This makes it easy to send anniversary emails, digital birthday cards, renewal reminders, and more.

21. Reddit

Email personalization example: Reddit

Why email examples like this work: Reddit’s mission is to build community. This personalized email shows this user that other members of this subreddit appreciate their comments.

This simple email tells the commenter that their opinion is valuable and that they should keep participating. This leads to clicking from the email back into Reddit.

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22. Alex Mill

Email personalization example: Alex Mill

Why this email personalization example works: There are a lot of reasons to abandon an online shopping cart. Sometimes you still want to buy, but it’s hard to find that perfect item again online. Enter this email from Alex Mill.

It quickly gets to the point, letting you know they saved the items in your cart and are offering them at a discount. And the big gorgeous image also helps remind you of the quality of their products.

23. Teachable

Email personalization example: Teachable

Why this email example works: There’s a thing about conferences and summits. They’re valuable. They help you gain knowledge and become an expert.

This personalized email lets conference attendees know what they might have missed and other available learning opportunities. It also outlines a discount offer and makes the offer deadline clear and easy to understand.

HubSpot Professional and Enterprise customers: You can create Smart CTAs like these in your own emails with your HubSpot CTA tool.

Let’s Get Personal

It’s never been easier to personalize your messaging. With an integrated CRM and email marketing software like HubSpot, you can keep track of all your customer data and use it to tailor your flow.

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It may seem like a big undertaking, but by observing, understanding, and investing in the behavior of your customers, you can help to make sure that they’ll stay customers. So start getting personal — and keep growing.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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MARKETING

The Current State of Google’s Search Generative Experience [What It Means for SEO in 2024]

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The Current State of Google's Search Generative Experience [What It Means for SEO in 2024]

SEO enthusiasts, known for naming algorithm updates after animals and embracing melodrama, find themselves in a landscape where the “adapt or die” mantra prevails. So when Google announced the launch of its Search Generative Experience (SGE) in May of 2023 at Google/IO, you can imagine the reaction was immense.

Although SGE has the potential to be a truly transformative force in the landscape, we’re still waiting for SGE to move out of the Google Labs Sandbox and integrate into standard search results. 

Curious about our current take on SGE and its potential impact on SEO in the future? Read on for more.

Decoding Google’s Defensive Move

In response to potential threats from competitors like ChatGPT, Bing, TikTok, Reddit, and Amazon, Google introduced SGE as a defensive maneuver. However, its initial beta release raised questions about its readiness and global deployment.

ChatGPT provided an existential threat that had the potential to eat into Google’s market share. When Bing started incorporating it into its search results, it was one of the most significant wins for Bing in a decade. In combination with threats from TikTok, Reddit, and Amazon, we see a more fractured search landscape less dominated by Google. Upon its launch, the expectation was that Google would push its SGE solution globally, impact most queries, and massively shake up organic search results and strategies to improve organic visibility.

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Now, industry leaders are starting to question if Google is better off leaving SGE in the testing ground in Google labs. According to Google’s recent update, it appears that SGE will remain an opt-in experience in Google Labs (for at least the short term). If SGE was released, there could be a fundamental reset in understanding SEO. Everything from organic traffic to optimization tactics to tracking tools would need adjustments for the new experience. Therefore, the prospect of SGE staying in Google Labs is comforting if not entirely reliable. 

The ever-present option is that Google can change its mind at any point and push SGE out broadly as part of its standard search experience. For this reason, we see value in learning from our observations with SGE and continuing to stay on top of the experience.

SGE User Experience and Operational Challenges

If you’ve signed up for search labs and have been experimenting with SGE for a while, you know firsthand there are various issues that Google should address before rolling it out broadly to the public.

At a high level, these issues fall into two broad categories including user experience issues and operational issues.

Below are some significant issues we’ve come across, with Google making notable progress in addressing certain ones, while others still require improvement:

  • Load time – Too many AI-generated answers take longer to load than a user is willing to wait. Google recommends less than a 3-second load time to meet expectations. They’ll need to figure out how to consistently return results quickly if they want to see a higher adoption rate.
  • Layout – The SGE layout is massive. We believe any major rollout will be more streamlined to make it a less intrusive experience for users and allow more visibility for ads, and if we’re lucky, organic results. Unfortunately, there is still a decent chance that organic results will move below the fold, especially on mobile devices. Recently, Google has incorporated more results where users are prompted to generate the AI result if they’d like to see it. The hope is Google makes this the default in the event of a broad rollout where users can generate an AI result if they want one instead of assuming that’s what a user would like to see. 
  • Redundancy – The AI result duplicates features from the map pack and quick answer results. 
  • Attribution – Due to user feedback, Google includes sources on several of their AI-powered overviews where you can see relevant web pages if there is an arrow next to the result. Currently, the best way to appear as one of these relevant pages is to be one of the top-ranked results, which is convenient from an optimization standpoint. Changes to how attribution and sourcing are handled could heavily impact organic strategies. 

 

On the operational side, Google also faces significant hurdles to making SGE a viable product for its traditional search product. The biggest obstacle appears to be making the cost associated with the technology worth the business outcomes it provides. If this was a necessary investment to maintain market share, Google might be willing to eat the cost, but if their current position is relatively stable, Google doesn’t have much of an incentive to take on the additional cost burden of heavily leveraging generative AI while also presumably taking a hit to their ad revenue. Especially since slow user adoption doesn’t indicate this is something users are demanding at the moment.

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While the current experience of SGE is including ads above the generative results now, the earliest iterations didn’t heavily feature sponsored ads. While they are now included, the current SGE layout would still significantly disrupt the ad experience we’re used to. During the Google I/O announcement, they made a statement to reassure advertisers they would be mindful of maintaining a distinct ad experience in search.  

“In this new generative experience, Search ads will continue to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page. And we’ll continue to uphold our commitment to ads transparency and making sure ads are distinguishable from organic search results” – Elizabeth Reid, VP, Search at Google

Google is trying to thread a delicate needle here of staying on the cutting edge with their search features, while trying not to upset their advertisers and needlessly hinder their own revenue stream. Roger Montti details more of the operational issues in a recent article digging into the surprising reasons SGE is stuck in Google Labs.

He lists three big problems that need to be solved before SGE will be integrated into the foreground of search:

  1. Large Language Models being inadequate as an information retrieval system
  2. The inefficiency and cost of transformer architecture
  3. Hallucinating (providing inaccurate answers)

 

Until SGE provides more user value and checks more boxes on the business sense side, the traditional search experience is here to stay. Unfortunately, we don’t know when or if Google will ever feel confident they’ve addressed all of these concerns, so we’ll need to stay prepared for change.

Experts Chime in on Search Generative Experience

Our team has been actively engaging with SGE, here’s a closer look at their thoughts and opinions on the experience so far:

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“With SGE still in its early stages, I’ve noticed consistent changes in how the generative results are produced and weaved naturally into the SERPs. Because of this, I feel it is imperative to stay on top of these on-going changes to ensure we can continue to educate our clients on what to expect when SGE is officially incorporated into our everyday lives. Although an official launch date is currently unknown, I believe proactively testing various prompt types and recording our learnings is important to prepare our clients for this next evolution of Google search.” – Jon Pagano, SEO Sr. Specialist at Tinuiti

“It’s been exciting to watch SGE grow through different variations over the last year, but like other AI solutions its potential still outweighs its functionality and usefulness. What’s interesting to see is that SGE doesn’t just cite its sources of information, but also provides an enhanced preview of each webpage referenced. This presents a unique organic opportunity where previously untouchable top 10 rankings are far more accessible to the average website. Time will tell what the top ranking factors for SGE are, but verifiable content with strong E-E-A-T signals will be imperative. –Kate Fischer, SEO Specialist at Tinuiti

“Traditionally, AI tools were very good at analytical tasks. With the rise of ChatGPT, users can have long-form, multi-question conversations not yet available in search results. When, not if, released, Google’s Generative Experience will transform how we view AI and search. Because there are so many unknowns, some of the most impactful ways we prepare our clients are to discover and develop SEO strategies that AI tools can’t directly disrupt, like mid to low funnel content.” – Brandon Miller, SEO Specialist at Tinuiti

“SGE is going to make a huge impact on the ecommerce industry by changing the way users interact with the search results. Improved shopping experience will allow users to compare products, price match, and read reviews in order to make it quicker and easier for a user to find the best deals and purchase. Although this leads to more competitive results, it also improves organic visibility and expands our product reach. It is more important than ever to ensure all elements of a page are uniquely and specifically optimized for search. With the SGE updates expected to continue to impact search results, the best way to stay ahead is by focusing on strong user focused content and detailed product page optimizations.”  – Kellie Daley, SEO Sr. Specialist at Tinuiti

Navigating the Clash of Trends

One of the most interesting aspects of the generative AI trend in search is that it appears to be in direct opposition to other recent trends.

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One of the ways Google has historically evaluated the efficacy of its search ranking systems is through the manual review of quality raters. In their quality rater guidelines, raters were instructed to review for things like expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT) in results to determine if Google results are providing users the information they deserve. 

In 2022, Google updated their search guidelines to include another ‘e’ in the form of experience (EEAT). In their words, Google wanted to better assess if the content a user was consuming was created by someone with, “a degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person has experienced. There are some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has firsthand, life experience on the topic at hand.” 

Generative AI results, while cutting-edge technology and wildly impressive in some cases, stand in direct opposition to the principles of E-E-A-T. That’s not to say that there’s no room for both in search, but Google will have to determine what it thinks users value more between these competing trends. The slow adoption of SGE could be an indication that a preference for human experience, expertise, authority, and trust is winning round one in this fight. 

Along these lines, Google is also diversifying its search results to cater to the format in which users get their information. This takes the form of their Perspectives Filter. Also announced at Google I/O 2023, the perspectives filter incorporates more video, image, and discussion board posts from places like TikTok, YouTube, Reddit, and Quora. Once again, this trend shows the emphasis and value searchers place on experience and perspective. Users value individual experience over the impersonal conveyance of information. AI will never have these two things, even if it can provide a convincing imitation.

The current iteration of SGE seems to go too far in dismissing these trends in favor of generative AI. It’s an interesting challenge Google faces. If they don’t determine the prevailing trend correctly, veering too far in one direction can push more market share to ChatGPT or platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

Final Thoughts

The range of outcomes remains broad and fascinating for SGE. We can see this developing in different ways, and prognostication offers little value, but it’s invaluable to know the potential outcomes and prepare for as many of them as possible.

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It’s critical that you or your search agency be interacting and experimenting with SGE because:

  • The format and results will most likely continue to see significant changes
  • This space moves quickly and it’s easy to fall behind
  • Google may fix all of the issues with SGE and decide to push it live, changing the landscape of search overnight
  • SGE experiments could inform other AI elements incorporated into the search experience

 

Ultimately, optimizing for the specific SGE experience we see now is less important because we know it will inevitably continue changing. We see more value in recognizing the trends and problems Google is trying to solve with this technology. With how quickly this space moves, any specifics mentioned in this article could be outdated in a week. That’s why focusing on intention and process is important at this stage of the game.

By understanding the future needs and wants SGE is attempting to address, we can help you future-proof your search strategies as much as possible. To some extent we’re always at the whims of the algorithm, but by maintaining a user-centric approach, you can make your customers happy, regardless of how they find you.

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Here’s Optimizely’s Automatic Sample Ratio Mismatch Detection

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Here's Optimizely’s Automatic Sample Ratio Mismatch Detection

Optimizely Experiment’s automatic sample ratio mismatch (SRM) detection delivers peace of mind to experimenters. It reduces a user’s exposure time to bad experiences by rapidly detecting any experiment deterioration.

This deterioration is caused by unexpected imbalances of visitors to a variation in an experiment. Most importantly, this auto SRM detection empowers product managers, marketers, engineers, and experimentation teams to confidently launch more experiments. 

How Optimizely Experiment’s stats engine and automatic sample rate mismatch detection work together

The sample ratio mismatch actslike the bouncer at the door who has a mechanical counter, checking guests’ tickets (users) and telling them which room they get to party in.

Stats engine is like the party host who is always checking the vibes (behavior) of the guests as people come into the room.

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If SRM does its job right, then stats engine can confidently tell which party room is better and direct more traffic to the winning variation (the better party) sooner.

Why would I want Optimizely Experiment’s SRM detection?

It’s equally important to ensure Optimizely Experiment users know their experiment results are trustworthy and have the tools to understand what an imbalance can mean for their results and how to prevent it.

Uniquely, Optimizely Experiment goes further by combining the power of automatic visitor imbalance detection with an insightful experiment health indicator. This experiment health indicator plays double duty by letting our customers know when all is well and there is no imbalance present.

Then, when just-in-time insight is needed to protect your business decisions, Optimizely also delivers just-in-time alerts that help our customers recognize the severity of, diagnose, and recover from errors.

Why should I care about sample ratio mismatch (SRM)?

Just like a fever is a symptom of many illnesses, a SRM is a symptom of a variety of data quality issues. Ignoring a SRM without knowing the root cause may result in a bad feature appearing to be good and being shipped out to users, or vice versa. Finding an experiment with an unknown source of traffic imbalance lets you turn it off quickly and reduce the blast radius.

Then what is the connection between a “mismatch” and “sample ratio”?

When we get ready to launch an experiment, we assign a traffic split of users for Optimizely Experiment to distribute to each variation. We expect the assigned traffic split to reasonably match up with the actual traffic split in a live experiment. An experiment is exposed to an SRM imbalance when there is a statistically significant difference between the expected and the actual assigned traffic splits of visitors to an experiment’s variations.

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1. A mismatch doesn’t mean an imperfect match

Remember: A bonified imbalance requires a statistically significant result of the difference in visitors. Don’t expect a picture-perfect, identical, exact match of the launch-day traffic split to your in-production traffic split. There will always be some ever-so-slight deviation.

Not every traffic disparity automatically signifies that an experiment is useless. Because Optimizely deeply values our customers’ time and energy, we developed a new statistical test that continuously monitors experiment results and detects harmful SRMs as early as possible. All while still controlling for crying wolf over false positives (AKA when we conclude there is a surprising difference between a test variation and the baseline when there is no real difference). 

2. Going under the hood of Optimizely Experiment’s SRM detection algorithm

Optimizely Experiment’s automatic SRM detection feature employs a sequential Bayesian multinomial test (say that 5 times fast!), named sequential sample ratio mismatch. Optimizely statisticians Michael Lindon and Alen Malek pioneered this method, and it is a new contribution to the field of Sequential Statistics. Optimizely Experiment’s sample ratio mismatch detection harmonizes sequential and Bayesian methodologies by continuously checking traffic counts and testing for any significant imbalance in a variation’s visitor counts. The algorithm’s construction is Bayesian inspired to account for an experiment’s optional stopping and continuation while delivering sequential guarantees of Type-I error probabilities.

3. Beware of chi-eap alternatives!

The most popular freely available SRM calculators employ the chi-square test. We highly recommend a careful review of the mechanics of chi-square testing. The main issue with the chi-squared method is that problems are discovered only after collecting all the data. This is arguably far too late and goes against why most clients want SRM detention in the first place. In our blog post “A better way to test for sample ratio mismatches (or why I don’t use a chi-squared test)”, we go deeper into chi-square mechanics and how what we built accounts for the gaps left behind by the alternatives.

Common causes of an SRM  

1. Redirects & Delays

A SRM usually results from some visitors closing out and leaving the page before the redirect finishes executing. Because we only send the decision events once they arrive on the page and Optimizely Experiment loads, we can’t count these visitors in our results page unless they return at some point and send an event to Optimizely Experiment.

A SRM can emerge in the case of anything that would cause Optimizely Experiment’s event calls to delay or not fire, such as variation code changes. It also occurs when redirect experiments shuttle visitors to a different domain. This occurrence is exacerbated by slow connection times.

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2. Force-bucketing

If a user first gets bucketed in the experiment and then that decision is used to force-bucket them in a subsequent experiment, then the results of that subsequent experiment will become imbalanced.

Here’s an example:

Variation A provides a wildly different user experience than Variation B.

Visitors bucketed into Variation A have a great experience, and many of them continue to log in and land into the subsequent experiment where they’re force-bucketed into Variation A.

But, visitors who were bucketed into Variation B aren’t having a good experience. Only a few users log in and land into a subsequent experiment where they will be force-bucketed into Variation B.

Well, now you have many more visitors in Variation A than in Variation B.

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3. Site has its own redirects

Some sites have their own redirects (for example, 301s) that, combined with our redirects, can result in a visitor landing on a page without the snippet. This causes pending decision events to get locked in localStorage and Optimizely Experiment never receives or counts them.

4. Hold/send events API calls are housed outside of the snippet

Some users include hold/send events in project JS. However, others include it in other scripts on the page, such as in vendor bundles or analytics tracking scripts. This represents another script that must be properly loaded for the decisions to fire appropriately. Implementation or loading rates may differ across variations, particularly in the case of redirects.

Interested?  

If you’re already an Optimizely Experiment customer and you’d like to learn more about how automatic SRM detection benefits your A/B tests, check out our knowledge base documentation:

For further details you can always reach out to your customer success manager but do take a moment to review our documentation first!

If you’re not a customer, get started with us here! 

And if you’d like to dig deeper into the engine that powers Optimizely experimentation, you can check out our page faster decisions you can trust for digital experimentation. 

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How to Use Email Marketing Automation to Encourage SaaS Adoption

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How to Use Email Marketing Automation to Encourage SaaS Adoption

SaaS adoption refers to the process that earns your product a permanent place in your user’s workflow. This happens when you empower your audience to extract useful value from your solutions.

Email, a tried and tested communication tool, plays an essential role in helping brands relay their product’s value to their customers and educate them on how to make the most of it.

However, smaller teams might find themselves at a crossroads, balancing the need for personalized communication with the scale of their user base

Email marketing automation offers a practical solution by ensuring that each message is tailored and timely, yet sent out with minimal manual effort.

In this article, let’s look at five tips that will help you build robust email marketing automation that will motivate your audience to adopt your tool and make it a part of their daily lives.

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1. Segment your audience

Audience segmentation is crucial for personalizing your emails, which in turn, can significantly boost SaaS product adoption. Remember, a message that resonates with one segment might not strike a chord with another.

The key to effective segmentation is understanding where each customer is in their journey. Are they new subscribers, active users, or perhaps at the brink of churning?

Here are some actionable steps to segment your audience effectively:

  1.  Analyze User Behavior: Look at how different users interact with your SaaS product. Are they frequent users, or do they log in sporadically? This insight can help you create segments like ‘active users’, ‘occasional users’, and ‘at-risk users’.
  2.  Utilize Sign-up Data: Leverage the information gathered during the sign-up process. This can include job roles, company size, or industry, which are excellent parameters for segmentation.
  3.  Monitor Engagement Levels: Keep an eye on how different segments interact with your emails. Are they opening, clicking, or ignoring your messages? This feedback will help you refine your segments and tailor your approach. Plus, consider setting up small business phone systems to enhance communication with your audience.

2. Create campaigns based on behavior

Sending behavior-based campaigns is pivotal in effective email marketing. By focusing on performance metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and engagement times, you can gauge the effectiveness of your emails and adjust your strategy accordingly.

You can also use digital signage to entertain or make customers aware of something new – product or service, through a digital sign.

Different types of email campaigns serve various purposes:

  1. Educational Campaigns: These are designed to inform and enlighten your audience about their problem. They can include tips, best practices, and how-to guides. The goal here is to provide value and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
  2. Interactive Campaigns: These campaigns encourage user engagement through surveys, quizzes, microblogging platforms, or feedback forms. They not only provide valuable insights into user preferences but also make the recipients feel heard and valued.
  3. Onboarding Campaigns: Targeted toward new users, these messages help them get the value they seek from your product as soon as possible. They can include step-by-step tutorials, video guides, or links to helpful resources.

4.Re-engagement Campaigns: Aimed at inactive users, these emails strive to reignite their interest in your SaaS product. They might include product updates, special offers, or reminders of the benefits they’re missing out on.

3. A/B test before deployment

Rather than pushing a new campaign to your entire audience as soon as you draft the emails, A/B testing helps you know whether your messages are any good.

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Here are some best practices for A/B testing in email automation:

  1. Test One Variable at a Time: Whether it’s the subject line, email content, or call-to-action, change just one (or a couple) element per test. This clarity helps in pinpointing exactly what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Choose a Representative Sample: Ensure that the test group is a good mix of your target audience as a whole. This way, the results are more likely to reflect how your entire audience would react.
  3. Measure the Right Metrics: Depending on what you’re testing, focus on relevant metrics like open rates, click-through rates, or conversion rates. This will give you a clear picture of the impact of your changes. Along with these steps, it’s important to use an SPF checker to ensure your emails aren’t marked as spam and increase the deliverability rate.
  4. Use the Results to Inform Your Strategy: Once you have the results, don’t just stop at implementing the winning version. Analyze why it performed better and use these insights to inform your future campaigns.
  5. Don’t Rush the Process: Give your test enough time to gather significant data. Adopt comprehensive marketing reporting solutions that give you a clear picture of your campaigns’ efficacy.

4. Leverage email templates

When managing multiple email automation campaigns, each with potentially dozens of emails, the task of creating each one from scratch can be daunting. Not to mention, if you have multiple writers on board, there’s a risk of inconsistency in tone, style, and branding.

Email templates are your secret weapon for maintaining consistency and saving time. They provide a standardized framework that can be easily customized for different campaigns and purposes.

They are also a great way to communicate with your customers. Another way to communicate efficiently with your customer is through best small business phone systems, which is especially efficient when conveying information about your product or service.

Here’s a rundown of various types of templates you should consider having:

  1. Welcome: For greeting new subscribers or users. It should be warm, inviting, and informative, setting the tone for future communications.
  2. Educational Content: Used for sharing tips, guides, and resources. If you are making this template to introduce online GCSE physics tutor services that you provide, you should be clear, concise, and focused on delivering value in your template.
  3. Promotional: For announcing new features, offers, or services. It should be eye-catching and persuasive without being overly salesy.
  4. Feedback Request: Designed to solicit user feedback. This template should be engaging and make it easy for recipients to respond.
  5. Re-engagement: Aimed at rekindling interest among inactive users. It should be attention-grabbing and remind them of what they’re missing.
  6. Event Invitation: For webinars, workshops, or other events. This should be exciting and informative, providing all the necessary details.

5. Use a tool that works for you

Email is more than just a marketing platform; it’s a multifaceted tool that can drive customer engagement, support, and retention. Given its versatility, it’s crucial to choose the right email automation tool that aligns with your specific needs.

When selecting an email automation tool, consider these key features:

  1. Intuitive Interface: Even your non-technical team members should find it easy to use.
  2. Robust Segmentation Capabilities: The tool must offer advanced segmentation options to target your emails accurately.
  3. A/B Testing Functionality: Essential for optimizing your email campaigns.
  4. Integration with Other Tools: Look for a tool that integrates seamlessly with your CRM, analytics, and other marketing platforms. Additionally, integrating a multilingual translation support can further enhance the tool’s versatility, allowing you to reach a diverse audience with tailored content in their preferred languages.

Popular tools like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign offer free trials which are great for brands to take these for a spin before making a choice.

Wrapping up

Leveraging email automation makes it easier for SaaS brands to market their solutions to their audience and ultimately increase adoption rates.

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Segmenting audiences, creating messages based on their behavior, testing emails before setting campaigns live, utilizing templates for speed and consistency, and adopting a tool that you are comfortable working with are essential email marketing automation tips to help you get started on the right foot.

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