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Powerful formulas to maximize email engagement

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 28 Feb, 2019
Essential Essential topic

Every irrelevant email is a missed opportunity that costs you engagement and conversion

Whether you’re cross-selling, up-selling, fighting cart abandonment, or a content site working to keep your visitors returning and engaging, the key to effective email marketing is that your messages are personally relevant and well-timed. That means your emails must be personalized and intimately connected to your visitor's behaviour.

Here are three examples of personalized email strategies, for different sites, that exceed the norm, and keep visitors coming back for more.

For a content site

Increase engagement and retention by sending personalized emails based on their interactions with your site, combined with total visitor interactions, demographic, and recent interests.

Email personalization for a content website

Send visitors personalized emails containing most popular content, based on their latest interest

  • Send AI powered recommendations in an email that show the latest articles about a visitor’s interests that were published since the last time they visited the site, excluding any articles they have already seen in the past.
  • Send a visitor email recommendations with the most popular and latest news, filtered by their political type acquired from Facebook Connect.
  • Learn the visitor’s favourite blogger from their browsing behaviours, and recommend them the most popular posts by that author which they haven’t seen yet.

Send personalized emails base on interest combined with demographic filtering

  • Send email recommendations with an algorithm to show a visitor the most recent posts based on their previous interest, filtered by the most popular amongst their gender.
  • If the visitor has commented on posts or articles, notify them via email when others have also commented, or only if they responded to their comment. Also, highlight an article in the email from the visitor’s known favourite author.
  • Send recommendations to show the most popular posts by the most popular bloggers for similar demographics to the user, like gender and age group.

For an E-commerce site

Boost conversion and keep customers coming back by utilizing detailed data about their interests, along with a powerful combination of filtering and crowd wisdom.

Email personalization for an ecommerce website

Remind and offer promotions to a customer about items they removed from their cart or abandoned in cart

  • Say a visitor purchased a tablet, but before they purchased, they had accessories in their cart and removed them at the checkout page. You can automatically remind them about these items in an email.
  • Send an email with a different algorithm to show them accessories most often bought with whatever product they purchased.
  • Send an email with recommendations that show them the cheapest items in the same category as the items they abandoned in their cart.
  • A/B test these various approaches and stick with whatever works the best.

Provide a gentle nudge to customers who haven’t been back in a while

  • Send an email with recommendations for items that have gone on sale since they last visited, based on their interest.
  • Include another algorithm that shows items that the customer previously viewed and/or added to cart, which is now running low in stock.
  • Send an email recommending the newest and/or most popular items within their known product interests.
  • Send an email when an item they’ve viewed or added to cart in the past runs out of stock, recommending similar items from the same category or brand.

Remind customers to restock their supplies on perishable or replenishable products

  • For a customer who bought from your dry bulk foods store online, send an email at the appropriate interval to remind them to re-stock their pantry with the same products.
  • Send an email with recommendations showing what other products are most popular among other customers who bought the same items.
  • For a customer who bought makeup, send an email with the latest colors and products from their favorite brand, at a time-interval after which they’ve probably run out from what they bought last.

Emails based on external events

You can also trigger emails based on external events that have nothing to do with visitor interactions with your site. This may not seem to fit the mold, but by doing this, you are still accomplishing the same goal, making your offerings relevant to the visitor.

Market to customers with emails based on real-time events

  • A restaurant can automatically send out an email which features comfort foods that are appealing in winter.
  • A fashion website can send out emails featuring winter clothes.
  • An auto-parts store can automatically send out an email recommending snow tires or chains.
  • A toy store can send an automated email to recommend sledges and other winter toys, for children.

All of these emails are tailored to current weather conditions. Think about what your customers will want in each season.

Send emails to promote special offers or events that are occurring nearby where your customers are located

  • A clothing store can automatically send an email to notify customers that a coupon for 40% off shoes is redeemable at a location in their city.
  • A local brewery can send an automatic email to all customers within a particular city that they will be vending at a large event set to occur there.
  • A construction company can email customers who visited the site from a city where they have a dip in projects, to offer free quotes

Personalization goes beyond dynamic content and recommendations on your site, it’s an entire marketing approach in itself. It should utilize machine learning, detailed user data, and automation to provide a highly tailored experience. Using this strategy allows you to turn your cross-channel online presence into a transforming marketing machine that increases returns on your investment for you, or your clients.

Personalized emails should be just as informed by detailed customer data and tracking as your website is, and will be equally important for keeping your visitors engaged and/or converting, on your site.

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