Although considered a relatively “senior” practice in the still green digital marketing landscape when compared to channels like social and mobile, email still proves to be one of the most effective marketing strategies. In fact, a recent study by Experian showed that for every $1 spent on email marketing, businesses see an average return of $44.25.

However, as consumer expectations for relevant communications evolve, so must email marketing strategies. Of the 91% of consumers opting out of or unsubscribing from email programs, 46% cite irrelevant messages as the reason.

Case in point: sending emails with tailored subject lines boosts unique open rates by 26%, while personalized emails generate 6x higher transaction rates than non-personalized messages. What’s more, 81% of consumers say they are at least somewhat likely to make additional purchases, either online or in-store, as a result of targeted emails.

Yet 70% of brands still fail to customize their email marketing campaigns! Let’s take a look at 3 brands that are effectively building customer acquisition, conversion and loyalty with highly personalized email campaigns, and how your business can follow suit.

Happy Birthday

When fans login using their social media identities to Hunter Hayes’ website, they are asked to provide their birthdays, among other data points. This information is stored and passed to an email marketing platform that automatically dispatches birthday emails to fans on their special days, offering a celebratory 15% birthday discount.

Other personal events that can be celebrated via email? Engagements, anniversaries and graduations, just to name a few. Acknowledging customers’ milestones adds a personal touch to brand communication that fosters loyalty and meaningful relationships.

Welcome Home

Travel booking site Priceline is a master at tailoring emails to consumers’ on-site behaviors to drive conversions. For example, when a consumer books a trip using Priceline, the brand will shoot her an email welcoming her home after her vacation is over, along with a discount toward her next adventure.

In addition to rewarding current customers, Priceline also uses personalized emails to combat shopping cart abandon and drive acquisition. When a user logs in, browses vacation packages for a specific location and leaves without making a purchase, the “Negotiator” will send her a message highlighting discounted offers pertaining to that particular destination.

Just for You

Sephora helps members of its Beauty Insider loyalty program navigate its ever-expanding selection of beauty products by providing them with product recommendations specifically for their features, skin types, and color pallettes. For example, the below email features a selection of items specifically tailored to complement the recipient’s unique beauty profile.

No doubt dishing up the perfect products to consumers has a significant impact on Sephora’s revenue and retention rates. Saving customers the hassle of trying to find the perfect beauty products for their unique needs by offering up customized suggestions builds “brand love” and consumer trust.

How to Make It Happen

Here are 3 steps your business can take to improve its email marketing strategy and start sending customers customized communications that convert.

1. Identify Your Customers. Personalization starts with the ability to identify your customers – regardless of channel or device. Prompting consumers to register for and log in to your sites and apps turns anonymous site visitors into known customers. The best part? When users sign up and sign in to your properties, you can ask them for access to specific, permission-based information that can then be used to tailor future emails.

2. Build Complete Customer Profiles. To construct meaningful email campaigns, your business needs a 360 degree customer view. This means making sure that your marketing and IT departments are working together to put the technology in place to collect and consolidate all types of customer data, including social, behavioral and transactional. This makes it possible to send consumers coupons toward merchandise from their favorite brands when they abandon cart, or reward them with swag featuring their alma mater for sharing your blog on Twitter.

3) Integrate Data Across Platforms. Strategically incorporating email into your overarching marketing strategy means enabling your email marketing solution to communicate with your other existing databases and 3rd party platforms. Doing this ensures a single, accurate and current customer view that enables the highest level of relevance, as well as automatic trigger emails based on cross-channel behaviors.

To learn more about how to create personalized marketing campaigns by effectively collecting, managing and applying customer data, download our free eBook, “Achieving a Single Customer View: The Holy Grail for Marketers.”

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