Email is continuing to grow as a marketing channel. Following a recent report by Communicator highlighting 28% YOY growth for email and with more being sent, personalisation is becoming increasingly important for brands to engage consumers at every step of the journey.

Personalisation can come in many forms: from simply addressing the recipient by first name, to imagery, content and even bespoke videos. Emails containing at least one piece of personalisation drives an increase in engagement but there is much more that can be done. It’s time to wake up and realise that personalisation goes beyond just a name.

Targeting the overwhelmed consumer

To stand out from their competitors, brands need to ensure personalisation is at the top of the priority list. Consumers are constantly bombarded with marketing messages and overwhelmed with choice. They want to receive emails that are personalised. With 205 billion emails sent every day, the average person spends over 20 hours per week on the internet and over two hours of that time is ‘on the go’. For your email to stand-out, personalisation is imperative.

The DMA’s recent email tracking report highlights that 63% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “most of the marketing emails I receive include no content or offers that are of interest to me”. This should serve as a warning to all email marketers. Batch and blast sending isn’t effective and it doesn’t engage consumers.

Fashion retailer Jacques Vert Group implements an email marketing strategy with personalisation at its core. The brand targets their customers based on email engagement rates, tailoring specific content to different types of subscribers. As a result, Jacques Vert Group has generated ROI of 5,000 per cent from email marketing – personalisation works!

Getting relevant in real-time

Using simply a first name approach is no longer enough. Real-time and relevant personalisation is crucial. A recipient receiving an email that is contextual and relevant at the time of open is likely to be more engaged than a recipient who receives an email that isn’t tailored, or doesn’t take any of their past behaviour into account.

For personalisation to be successful, the customer must be at the centre of everything. Brands must understand recipient’s needs so that email marketing can be of use to them. We need to look at where each individual is on their journey. Are they demonstrating behaviour that they are about to make a purchase? Take the guessing out of your email strategy by using the data you’ll be collecting every time you send an email campaign.

Data, data, data

Consumers switch off when they receive generic, one email-fits-all messages. They have individual needs, preferred methods of communication and they’re inundated daily with marketing messages. Customers value personalised content alongside tailored products and services. By using the insights and data you have from previous interactions, you can inform future campaigns and how your audiences may respond to your messages. If you’re a retailer and the customer has just bought an item from you, don’t send that same recipient an email a day later notifying them of a sale. Send them products that they may be interested in based on their behaviour and eliminate the guess work.

According to a report from Evergage, 42% of respondents aren’t using real-time personalisation, however 78% intend to within the next year. With 86% of respondents reporting lift from their personalisation initiatives, and approximately half seeing a lift greater than 10%, brands that aren’t using personalisation need to do so or risk being left behind.

Personalisation coupled with the pending reforms of the Data Protection Act provides brands with a unique opportunity. Brands can use data protection and privacy as a competitive advantage to assure their customers that data shared with them will be used effectively. Providing greater transparency to customers will also assist marketers.  As customers opt in and out of communications, marketers will know that their messages will be targeting an engaged audience, rather than ending up in the spam folder.