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Exploring Advanced Email Personalization Techniques



Exploring Advanced Email Personalization Techniques

Statistics show that email marketing is a powerful tool for building long-term relationships with your customers. However, email marketing works only if its content is personalized.

If done properly, customized emails can enhance customer experience by 58%.

Furthermore, a smart email marketing campaign can boost click-through rates by 75% and open rates by 82%. Businesses report that personalized email marketing improves a series of other performance indicators as well. Some of them are listed in the chart below.

Therefore, email marketing is a necessary element of effective business promotion. Although some marketers think that it is an old-fashioned way of marketing, it is far from outdated.

On the contrary, a successful email marketing campaign requires the latest technology and software. Apart from that, it requires knowledge and careful planning to make it work.

But before we get to email marketing tactics, it is important to understand the value of personalization.

What Is email personalization and why is it important?

People are exposed to a lot of ads these days. As a result, it is getting harder to attract their attention.

No one wants to read generic emails anymore. Therefore, customization and personalization of content are considered the future of email marketing.

In order to prove that you care about your customers, you want to deliver only useful and interesting content to their inboxes.

Compared to generic emails, customized and personalized emails have a 26% more chance of opening. Furthermore, they make over 7 times more income and 6 times higher transaction rates.  

One of the most common forms of email marketing is sending newsletters. The purpose of newsletters is to inform, engage, and drive customers towards products and services. Almost 80% of marketers agree that creating a newsletter is an effective way to make new leads

The benefits of email marketing personalization are many. Here is a list of the most important ones:

  • it drives conversions
  • reduces unsubscribe rates
  • provides valuable information about customers and their feedback
  • it is very cost-effective

Email marketing is very impactful in itself, but it gives the best results if combined with other types of marketing. Experts say that the combination of SMS and email marketing is particularly mighty. This is because it gives you the opportunity to simultaneously target your audience through their mobile and desktop devices.

Who are you addressing?

If you want your emails to be this effective, you will have to know who you are addressing. In-depth learning about your customers is crucial, and not as easy as it might seem.

The process of learning about your customers is the first step in market segmentation. According to a survey, gathering this information is a major source of challenges for marketers. In order to understand leads, it is necessary to know the following:

  • the basic demographics (age, gender, location, average earnings, etc.)
  • buying habits (based on previous purchases and activity)
  • the engagement (some users are more likely to dedicate time to emails than others)
  • preferred devices your target audience uses to read emails (mobile phones, desktop, tablets, etc.)

The big question is: where to find the data?

How to find data?

There are several ways to get useful information about your customers.

The easiest and most reliable way to get the data is to ask. Once a new subscriber is on board, you can ask them to answer a short survey or a signup form. The form would allow the user to specify details such as birthday, interests, location, job title, etc.

Remember to keep it short and friendly, and avoid too personal questions.

If that doesn’t work, or you would like to know more, you could use a marketing automation tool. There are many available automation tools in the market that can help you know your customers much faster and better.

Most of these tools are drag-and-drop and easy to use. However, others require basics in coding, so you might need some time to learn how to get the best out of them.

Finally, hiring a professional marketing agency is also an option. Although it is a bit costly solution, marketing agencies have a series of advantages. First of all, they have access to SEO tools that provide them with insights unavailable to common Internet users.

Additionally, their teams consist of top-notch professionals, whose job is to provide you with solutions based on thorough analysis and big data.

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Outline one or more buyer personas

The benefits of analyzing your customer’s purchasing behavior are multifold. The most important goal of such an analysis is a deep understanding of your target audience.

A buyer persona refers to ideal models of your customers. It doesn’t represent any particular person, but rather a type of people who are likely to buy your products.

Usually, having buyer personas will help you create your content accordingly. A common example of a buyer persona is Working Mom Wendy. So, if working mothers are your target audience, then you know that they are:

  • middleaged women
  • probably running home economy
  • interested in cooking, healthcare, and wellness
  • probably quite busy

Therefore, according to this profile, you will know how to best adjust your content. In this case, for instance, you should emphasize wellness topics, discounts, and present shorter content forms.

Recommend similar products

One of the most common ways email marketing works is through personalized recommendations. Emails are a great tool for upselling, especially for businesses that offer a great variety of products.

So, if a person buys a raincoat, you can guess that they might need an umbrella as well. Or, you noticed that a person is interested in skincare products. In that case, you could recommend a sun cream that is currently on sale.

Of course, it is impossible to track each customer manually. There are various software solutions designed to track customer behavior and send customized email recommendations.

Dynamic content is the new trend

Dynamic content is a fully automated personalized email marketing.

Email builder tools are able to adjust the email templates in real-time, according to available data. There is no need to manually create different email types for each buyer persona. You can send the same email, and let the software automatically adjust images, content, and message.

Offer classes and tutorials

Sending classes or tutorials on the topic of their interest provides people with real value. If they get to learn something interesting thanks to you, they will eagerly expect to hear from you again.

For example, let’s say you are a hypnotherapist. You could make a short introduction to hypnosis, break it into four educational videos, and send a new video each week. Thus, if you manage to spark their interest, people will book a session.

Besides, this approach shows that you aren’t sending the email only to get something out of it. The prospects appreciate businesses that are willing to give before they ask for something in return.

Pay special attention to the subject line

Email subject lines are the first words a prospect will read. Therefore, it is impossible to overemphasize their importance.

Just like the rest of the email, it is a good idea to personalize subject lines as well. Custom subject lines can increase the percentage of open emails. Moreover, they positively influence email revenue.

Take into consideration the client’s current stage at the funnel

The marketing funnel is a model that represents different phases of a customer journey. As you can imagine, customers at different stages require emails relevant to their current status.

Managing to adjust emails to customers at each of the stages is the true art of email marketing.

In practice, it means emails are able to move the prospect through the stages, from warming them up at the cold email stage all the way through to the purchase stage. They are powerful tools you can use if a customer gets stuck.

For example, once someone signs up, it is a good idea to send them a welcome email. In this email, you could tell them a bit more about yourself. Hopefully, it will spark interest and move them to the next stage.

Also, if a person abandons the purchase on the shipping details page, it probably means they don’t like delivery conditions or price. In such a case, a friendly email with a shipping discount could make a true difference. Except for making the purchase happen, it sends a message that you truly care about your customers.

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Take care of the annoyance level

The balance between being persistent and polite is crucial in email marketing. You don’t want to push it too far, as this can have the opposite effects. Annoying your prospects will only make them walk away for good.

That’s why you want to choose an email system with a dashboard to let you get an overview of your campaign – ideally one that lets you use rapid templates to target your market segments and carefully schedule emails in advance. You don’t want to send more than a couple of emails a week. If a person receives too many emails from you, their engagement will probably drop.

Even worse, the mailing service might recognize your emails as spam. Therefore, in order to avoid the spam folder, make sure to comply with CAN-SPAM Act.

Use automation

It is clear from everything above that email marketing campaigns require a healthy dose of automation. It is impossible to hand over the entire process to the machines. Human touch is necessary, especially for content creation.

However, the software is very helpful with repetitive tasks and data collection.

Usually, automation tools ask you to set triggers and define the appropriate actions. Here are some email automation tips for taking full advantage of email marketing software:

  • make creative and engaging subscription pop-ups. They will remind visitors of your website of all the benefits of your newsletter.
  • collect feedback from customers
  • send reminder emails to prevent cart abandonment and the subscription expiry.

1642657647 317 Exploring Advanced Email Personalization Techniques

Final thoughts

An exceptional customer experience is an important means of staying ahead of your competition. Companies that dedicate time and effort to provide valuable content to their customers are rare.

Email marketing is a powerful, effective, and cost-effective way to build your brand. It allows you to show your customers that you care about their opinion. In turn, you can expect to gain their trust and long-term loyalty.

Finally, combined with social media and SMS marketing, personalized emails can make staggering results.

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How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips



How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips

Collecting high-quality data is crucial to making strategic observations about your customers. Researchers have to consider the best ways to design their surveys and then how to increase survey completion, because it makes the data more reliable.

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

I’m going to explain how survey completion plays into the reliability of data. Then, we’ll get into how to calculate your survey completion rate versus the number of questions you ask. Finally, I’ll offer some tips to help you increase survey completion rates.

My goal is to make your data-driven decisions more accurate and effective. And just for fun, I’ll use cats in the examples because mine won’t stop walking across my keyboard.

Why Measure Survey Completion

Let’s set the scene: We’re inside a laboratory with a group of cat researchers. They’re wearing little white coats and goggles — and they desperately want to know what other cats think of various fish.

They’ve written up a 10-question survey and invited 100 cats from all socioeconomic rungs — rough and hungry alley cats all the way up to the ones that thrice daily enjoy their Fancy Feast from a crystal dish.

Now, survey completion rates are measured with two metrics: response rate and completion rate. Combining those metrics determines what percentage, out of all 100 cats, finished the entire survey. If all 100 give their full report on how delicious fish is, you’d achieve 100% survey completion and know that your information is as accurate as possible.

But the truth is, nobody achieves 100% survey completion, not even golden retrievers.

With this in mind, here’s how it plays out:

  • Let’s say 10 cats never show up for the survey because they were sleeping.
  • Of the 90 cats that started the survey, only 25 got through a few questions. Then, they wandered off to knock over drinks.
  • Thus, 90 cats gave some level of response, and 65 completed the survey (90 – 25 = 65).
  • Unfortunately, those 25 cats who only partially completed the survey had important opinions — they like salmon way more than any other fish.

The cat researchers achieved 72% survey completion (65 divided by 90), but their survey will not reflect the 25% of cats — a full quarter! — that vastly prefer salmon. (The other 65 cats had no statistically significant preference, by the way. They just wanted to eat whatever fish they saw.)

Now, the Kitty Committee reviews the research and decides, well, if they like any old fish they see, then offer the least expensive ones so they get the highest profit margin.

CatCorp, their competitors, ran the same survey; however, they offered all 100 participants their own glass of water to knock over — with a fish inside, even!

Only 10 of their 100 cats started, but did not finish the survey. And the same 10 lazy cats from the other survey didn’t show up to this one, either.

So, there were 90 respondents and 80 completed surveys. CatCorp achieved an 88% completion rate (80 divided by 90), which recorded that most cats don’t care, but some really want salmon. CatCorp made salmon available and enjoyed higher profits than the Kitty Committee.

So you see, the higher your survey completion rates, the more reliable your data is. From there, you can make solid, data-driven decisions that are more accurate and effective. That’s the goal.

We measure the completion rates to be able to say, “Here’s how sure we can feel that this information is accurate.”

And if there’s a Maine Coon tycoon looking to invest, will they be more likely to do business with a cat food company whose decision-making metrics are 72% accurate or 88%? I suppose it could depend on who’s serving salmon.

While math was not my strongest subject in school, I had the great opportunity to take several college-level research and statistics classes, and the software we used did the math for us. That’s why I used 100 cats — to keep the math easy so we could focus on the importance of building reliable data.

Now, we’re going to talk equations and use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

So, we need to take the number of completed surveys and divide that by the number of people who responded to at least one of your survey questions. Even just one question answered qualifies them as a respondent (versus nonrespondent, i.e., the 10 lazy cats who never show up).

Now, you’re running an email survey for, let’s say, Patton Avenue Pet Company. We’ll guess that the email list has 5,000 unique addresses to contact. You send out your survey to all of them.

Your analytics data reports that 3,000 people responded to one or more of your survey questions. Then, 1,200 of those respondents actually completed the entire survey.

3,000/5000 = 0.6 = 60% — that’s your pool of survey respondents who answered at least one question. That sounds pretty good! But some of them didn’t finish the survey. You need to know the percentage of people who completed the entire survey. So here we go:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

Completion rate = (1,200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Voila, 40% of your respondents did the entire survey.

Response Rate vs. Completion Rate

Okay, so we know why the completion rate matters and how we find the right number. But did you also hear the term response rate? They are completely different figures based on separate equations, and I’ll show them side by side to highlight the differences.

  • Completion Rate = # of Completed Surveys divided by # of Respondents
  • Response Rate = # of Respondents divided by Total # of surveys sent out

Here are examples using the same numbers from above:

Completion Rate = (1200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Response Rate = (3,000/5000) = 0.60 = 60%

So, they are different figures that describe different things:

  • Completion rate: The percentage of your respondents that completed the entire survey. As a result, it indicates how sure we are that the information we have is accurate.
  • Response rate: The percentage of people who responded in any way to our survey questions.

The follow-up question is: How can we make this number as high as possible in order to be closer to a truer and more complete data set from the population we surveyed?

There’s more to learn about response rates and how to bump them up as high as you can, but we’re going to keep trucking with completion rates!

What’s a good survey completion rate?

That is a heavily loaded question. People in our industry have to say, “It depends,” far more than anybody wants to hear it, but it depends. Sorry about that.

There are lots of factors at play, such as what kind of survey you’re doing, what industry you’re doing it in, if it’s an internal or external survey, the population or sample size, the confidence level you’d like to hit, the margin of error you’re willing to accept, etc.

But you can’t really get a high completion rate unless you increase response rates first.

So instead of focusing on what’s a good completion rate, I think it’s more important to understand what makes a good response rate. Aim high enough, and survey completions should follow.

I checked in with the Qualtrics community and found this discussion about survey response rates:

“Just wondering what are the average response rates we see for online B2B CX surveys? […]

Current response rates: 6%–8%… We are looking at boosting the response rates but would first like to understand what is the average.”

The best answer came from a government service provider that works with businesses. The poster notes that their service is free to use, so they get very high response rates.

“I would say around 30–40% response rates to transactional surveys,” they write. “Our annual pulse survey usually sits closer to 12%. I think the type of survey and how long it has been since you rendered services is a huge factor.”

Since this conversation, “Delighted” (the Qualtrics blog) reported some fresher data:

survey completion rate vs number of questions new data, qualtrics data

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The takeaway here is that response rates vary widely depending on the channel you use to reach respondents. On the upper end, the Qualtrics blog reports that customers had 85% response rates for employee email NPS surveys and 33% for email NPS surveys.

A good response rate, the blog writes, “ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.”

This echoes reports from Customer Thermometer, which marks a response rate of 50% or higher as excellent. Response rates between 5%-30% are much more typical, the report notes. High response rates are driven by a strong motivation to complete the survey or a personal relationship between the brand and the customer.

If your business does little person-to-person contact, you’re out of luck. Customer Thermometer says you should expect responses on the lower end of the scale. The same goes for surveys distributed from unknown senders, which typically yield the lowest level of responses.

According to SurveyMonkey, surveys where the sender has no prior relationship have response rates of 20% to 30% on the high end.

Whatever numbers you do get, keep making those efforts to bring response rates up. That way, you have a better chance of increasing your survey completion rate. How, you ask?

Tips to Increase Survey Completion

If you want to boost survey completions among your customers, try the following tips.

1. Keep your survey brief.

We shouldn’t cram lots of questions into one survey, even if it’s tempting. Sure, it’d be nice to have more data points, but random people will probably not hunker down for 100 questions when we catch them during their half-hour lunch break.

Keep it short. Pare it down in any way you can.

Survey completion rate versus number of questions is a correlative relationship — the more questions you ask, the fewer people will answer them all. If you have the budget to pay the respondents, it’s a different story — to a degree.

“If you’re paying for survey responses, you’re more likely to get completions of a decently-sized survey. You’ll just want to avoid survey lengths that might tire, confuse, or frustrate the user. You’ll want to aim for quality over quantity,” says Pamela Bump, Head of Content Growth at HubSpot.

2. Give your customers an incentive.

For instance, if they’re cats, you could give them a glass of water with a fish inside.

Offer incentives that make sense for your target audience. If they feel like they are being rewarded for giving their time, they will have more motivation to complete the survey.

This can even accomplish two things at once — if you offer promo codes, discounts on products, or free shipping, it encourages them to shop with you again.

3. Keep it smooth and easy.

Keep your survey easy to read. Simplifying your questions has at least two benefits: People will understand the question better and give you the information you need, and people won’t get confused or frustrated and just leave the survey.

4. Know your customers and how to meet them where they are.

Here’s an anecdote about understanding your customers and learning how best to meet them where they are.

Early on in her role, Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Head of Content Growth, conducted a survey of HubSpot Blog readers to learn more about their expertise levels, interests, challenges, and opportunities. Once published, she shared the survey with the blog’s email subscribers and a top reader list she had developed, aiming to receive 150+ responses.

“When the 20-question survey was getting a low response rate, I realized that blog readers were on the blog to read — not to give feedback. I removed questions that wouldn’t serve actionable insights. When I reshared a shorter, 10-question survey, it passed 200 responses in one week,” Bump shares.

Tip 5. Gamify your survey.

Make it fun! Brands have started turning surveys into eye candy with entertaining interfaces so they’re enjoyable to interact with.

Your respondents could unlock micro incentives as they answer more questions. You can word your questions in a fun and exciting way so it feels more like a BuzzFeed quiz. Someone saw the opportunity to make surveys into entertainment, and your imagination — well, and your budget — is the limit!

Your Turn to Boost Survey Completion Rates

Now, it’s time to start surveying. Remember to keep your user at the heart of the experience. Value your respondents’ time, and they’re more likely to give you compelling information. Creating short, fun-to-take surveys can also boost your completion rates.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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