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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 Although some marketers think that it is an old-fashioned way of marketing, it is far from outdated.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.

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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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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists



Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.


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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots



A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)



Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.



To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.

Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

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