Hyper-Personalisation: How It’s Done And Why

Hyper-personalisation will be big news in 2018, but what is it and how can your business benefit?

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Hyper-personalisation will be big news in 2018, but what is it and how can your business benefit?


Hyper-Personalisation: How It’s Done And Why

Hyper-personalisation will be big news in 2018, but what is it and how can your business benefit?

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Personalisation is one of the biggest challenges email marketers are wrestling with right now. According to the DMA Consumer Email Tracker 2017, personalisation and content relevance is key for subscribers, with 64 percent of consumers stating that ‘good emails’ are those that are relevant to them.

Personalisation is not easy, however. Get it right and it boosts engagement, conversions, and revenue. Get it wrong and it alienates your audience, accelerates list churn and creates negative publicity.

For years, direct marketers have been adding the recipient’s name, location and other unique details into subject lines and email body content. This has worked well in the past, however excitement has waned as subscribers receive more and more messages using the same personalisation elements.

Personalisation that goes beyond a name

Email marketers are becoming increasingly aware that they need to adopt smarter, more relevant tactics to engage with the modern-day audience. The problem is that they are often unsure how this can be done. The answer lies in data.

Marketers can build a much more personal, intimate relationship with subscribers by using their email data to gain insight into their behaviour and preferences. By utilising email data, businesses can implement personalisation that goes beyond a name.

They can consider other elements of an email, including timing, content, context and tone of voice to maximise engagement levels. Indeed, the personalisation possibilities are endless with the wealth of data at marketers’ fingertips; the important part for marketers is learning how to utilise it.

The key for email marketers is to focus on the fundamentals: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Take timing, for example. Building a profile of a subscriber to ensure emails are sent at the optimum time of day has become increasingly important.

Using segmentation and conducting a deep and honest analysis of who is engaged when, given the timing and market conditions of the day, can determine the types of emails that are sent at each stage of the day to maximise subscriber engagement.

Do your customers prefer reading your emails in the morning or are they most active in the evening? You can do this on a campaign basis or go down to an individual level so your email is always top of the inbox when a customer is most likely to be active.

This “perfect time” may also change depending on the season. During the summer, it’s no surprise that customers are likely to be active later in the evening compared to the winter. Marketers need to factor this in and ensure they are sending the right message at the right time based on their recipients’ behaviour.

Taking into account the recipient’s location and environment is also another feature of hyper-personalisation. For instance, if the weather in the recipient’s area is sunny or hot then promoting weather-appropriate products or using relevant greetings or content can boost email engagement rates significantly.

But, if the weather is wet or cold then different content and products should be shown in the email body to reflect this.

These days many Email Service Providers (ESPs) also offer some form of product recommendation engine, which is usually driven by a mixture of sales data and what the customer has been browsing on a brand’s website.

These product recommendations can then be easily harnessed if marketers simply consolidate the data, then drop it into an email to help drive sales.

Personalising the mobile and desktop experience

Marketers also need to take into account the device that the recipient chooses to use. Indeed, the prevalence of mobile has fostered a lower tolerance for irrelevance.

According to the Email Client Experience report, more than half of emails worldwide (55 percent) were opened in a mobile environment in 2017; significantly more than either webmail (28 percent) or desktop (16 percent). We've subsequently started to witness new behaviours, such as subscribers triaging their mail on a smartphone and later opening the saved messages on a desktop to take action.

Expectations have risen significantly over the last decade as our world has become increasingly on-demand. Consumers expect to see and get exactly what they want, when they want. The future of email personalisation needs to incorporate these behaviours into the sending strategy.

Marketers should use their data to gain insight into how their recipients choose to access their emails and create a mobile or desktop experience accordingly. For example, it will be important for mobile users to receive emails that catch their attention, whilst desktop emails should be designed for driving the click to conversion ratio.

Building a good reputation with personalisation

As Mailbox Providers (MBPs) increasingly use engagement as a metric for reputation and delivery, personalisation and hyper-personalisation are becoming an absolute for marketers.

If a customer is opening, forwarding or interacting with a brand’s emails, it will help improve their standing with the mailbox provider, but if they are deleting without reading or ignoring emails, that won’t count positively towards them.

This can have an extremely negative impact on a brand’s email marketing programme as future emails could be sent straight to the spam folder – not only for that individual, but, in some cases, for every person using that MBP.

With customers demanding a much more tailored approach that takes into account basic features, such as name and location, as well as user behaviour and preferences, engaging content will ultimately help marketers with their inbox placement.

Whilst personalisation is becoming key for marketers, the DMA report revealed that 59 percent of consumers state they receive irrelevant emails. It can be challenging to source and integrate data for hyper-personalised content, especially if marketers are starting from scratch, but the long-term results are worth the effort.

By taking into consideration behavioural factors and preferences, including who and where recipients prefer to view their emails, and making use of data that details the location, weather and general environment of the individual, marketers can tailor their emails in a way that will maximise engagement and build longer lasting relationships – something that is becoming crucial in a world increasingly swamped by ‘personal’ messages.

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Hyper-Personalisation: How It’s Done And Why

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