You spend a lot of time and energy following up with your contact list. You connect on the phone, and then follow up with an email, maybe inviting them to download a resource. If they don’t download it, you send an email reminding them that you sent it. And then send a thank you email after they’ve downloaded it. And so on.
It’s exhausting. To keep up with the volume, you might be tempted to set up a boilerplate email that you send to everyone. Keeping it generic means you can send it to anyone. It feels like you’re getting some of your life back.
Except people don’t respond to the generic emails very much.
And you spend so much time emailing each person manually, you miss out on other opportunities, like helping your existing customers. So, in a rush, you send a generic email offer to your customers. All at once.
And the cycle continues.
Personalized email marketing works better
Your contacts have a problem—they get a ton of email, and a bunch of it is spam. Unsolicited junk mail accounts for 86 percent of the world's email traffic, with about 400 billion spam messages sent a day. But “spam” doesn’t just mean predatory email ads for pills or asking you to help out royalty overseas. It really just refers to any unwanted email message. Generic marketing emails, even though they were sent in good faith, can still appear as spam to the recipient.
The way to combat this to personalize your emails. Seventy-four percent of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. Personalization creates an experience that’s tailored directly to them, using data that you know about them:
- Their name
- Their location
- Other relevant demographic data
- Psychographic data
- Purchase history
- Previous interactions with your web pages
These data can be added in the subject line or the body of the email, giving the email the feeling that the email was written just for the recipient. The difference between reading a robotic, generic email as opposed to a personalized one is pretty intuitive. People respond when the message feels relational.
Compared to non-personalized emails, studies show that:
- Revenue per email was 73 percent higher for emails with personalized subject lines
- Personalized promotional emails generate 41 percent more unique click-thru rates in 2013
Convincing stats, right? Well, we could go on and on. The reality is that personalization consistently provides a lift in email interactions. So much so, that it’s fair to say that your contacts don’t just want to have personalized interactions, they expect it.
Personalized email follow up is only sustainable with automation
Automation is critical to managing personalization. It’s easy enough to blast your list with a generic email, right? Type one message, and send it to everybody.
But, to ensure that you target the right message to the right people; to ensure that each email includes the right details (like name, location, purchase history, interests, etc.); that the emails are timed just right to follow up an interaction—this kind of follow up is very difficult to handle manually.
In fact, by the year 2020, it’s unlikely that small businesses will be able to compete in the email marketing space without automation. That’s because your contacts will be less and less tolerant of impersonal emails. Competition for the inbox is already fierce, but as personalized emails become more commonplace, generic email will stick out like a sore thumb.
To ensure that each and every contact gets the email content that’s right for them, you’ve got to keep track of all the important details and interactions you have with your contacts. With Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, you can gather this information as you interact with your contacts and then use it in your marketing efforts.
With a CRM in place, you can then enlist automation software to send targeted, personalized emails that follow up on interactions in a timely way. Infusionsoft integrates CRM and marketing automation together, making it a powerful tool for creating personalized automated email campaigns.
According to Experian, personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates. Personalization will give you a big boost, but it isn’t manageable without automation. If you’ve been investing a lot of your time following-up with leads, and if you’ve been using tired, generic messages as a shortcut for handling the follow up, it’s time to consider making use of personalized automated follow up.