The Definitive Guide to Personalized Email Automation
If personalized email automation brings to mind auto-fill subject lines and first names inserted into email greetings, you’re not alone. It was once a novel way to grab buyer attention and make them feel like a message was meant just for them. Today, those same tactics — at least when executed on their own — can feel stale and thoughtless.
To really engage with their target audiences, brands need ways to elevate the level of personalization they provide without sacrificing efficiency and scale — no easy task given the rising status quo of both across industries.
But it is possible with the right tools, strategies, and approaches to execution. In this article, we’ll dive into why it’s so critical for personalization and automation to coexist in your strategy, plus 6 ways to execute this balance effectively.
- Approximately three-quarters of buyers expect personalized experiences from brands and feel frustrated when they don’t receive them.
- Choosing an email marketing tool with sophisticated personalization and automation features is essential.
- Data is the foundation of every good personalized email automation strategy.
- Content and video inclusion in sales emails can be highly automated while still feeling very personal to the recipient.
Personalization and automation: is it possible?
Buyers across the B2B and B2C landscapes now expect exceptional levels of personalization that go beyond the standard inclusion of first names in email subject lines. Today, buyers want brand experiences to be meaningfully tailored to their needs and preferences.
Failing to deliver on these expectations can have a real impact on whether or not customers choose your brand. According to McKinsey, 71% of buyers report that they expect personalized experiences from brands, and 76% say they’re frustrated when they don’t get it.
The majority of B2B companies (68%) also indicate that their provider’s ability to understand and tailor experiences to their unique company needs is a critical factor in why they chose them over other vendors.
At the same time, however, the speed of modern business has demanded companies execute activities such as lead generation and email marketing at scale using automation technology. It doesn’t exactly align with the idea of buyer-specific personalization.
This conundrum is faced by companies across industries: Is it best to have a hyper-personalized strategy, or one that’s automated and efficient?
The reality is that companies need both to be successful. Given that email is still the most preferred method of brand communication across buyer demographics, one of the smartest places to start is with personalized email automation.
In the next section, we’ll cover 6 tips and best practices for executing a highly-automated and highly-personalized email marketing strategy that helps you generate new leads and grow your business.
Personalized Email Automation: 6 Tips for Success
Choose the right email marketing tool
Personalized email automation capabilities depend on the features of the software tool you use to execute. Look for a tool that makes personalization a priority. Typically, this means standard features like form-fill fields (first name, company name, etc.) as well as more advanced features like campaign segmentation, remarketing technology, social integration, and data analytics.
Know your customers
Meaningful personalization doesn’t have to be at the individual level — with the right research and understanding of your target audiences, personalization by customer segment can be equally effective. To achieve this, you need to have an exceptional understanding of your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas. Both inform you about buyer needs, preferences, and the types of communication likely to resonate with them most.
Take a data-driven approach to personalization
Personalized email automation is rooted in data. When you systematically collect and analyze buyer data (both demographic and behavioral) you can refine your personalization strategy over time to more effectively engage your target audience.
Email analytics give you advanced insights like: which content specific customer segments engage with most, exactly where a specific message is most effective in the sales process, and the personalization tactics that garner the highest conversion rates.
Data allows you to execute informed trial and error, continually improving your approach over time to strike the right balance between automation and personalization and maximize results.
Leverage high-value content
Buyers love to interact with brand content. In fact, they engage with 3+ pieces of content on average before they make a purchase decision. Content is also one of the best ways to execute personalized email automation. Content inclusion can be highly automated while also making messages feel highly personal to the recipient.
To achieve it, you need an integrated, platform-driven marketing strategy that streamlines buyer data across channels. Then you can automate the content inclusion in emails based on various buyer behaviors like social media engagement, online search, and ad clicks.
Make personalized video part of your plan
Video prospecting is growing in popularity as a more engaging approach to prospect outreach — but it’s still one that feels novel to your potential customers. It requires sales reps to make a personalized video to be included in prospect emails, and while this sounds time consuming, much of the process can be automated.
Using video templates to keep much of your video the same while adding short personalized clips (like in the introduction, or while highlighting potential solution value) can be extremely effective. Video prospecting tools can integrate with your email marketing platform for easy execution.
The research so far shows the ROI on this tactic to be high — sales emails that include video earn 2-3X the click-through rate on average and increase meetings booked by a whopping 500%.
Personalize your CTAs
Guiding buyers to the next action in the sales process is essential to keeping them moving through the pipeline. It’s also an important part of personalized email automation — adding the right CTAs to the right messages makes your email feel tailored to the recipient (even if that’s not necessarily the case).
CTAs are a place where the auto-fill options that sometimes feel overdone in subject lines can feel more genuine. For example: including a company name in your CTA like this:
“Are you ready to increase [company name]’s revenue this quarter? Schedule a consultation today to get started on the right path.”
Putting your buyer’s name or company name next to their desired result will make them more likely to take action right then rather than wait for another time.
Over to You
Ready to level up your email prospecting strategy? Our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations.
Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.