It is a contradiction of course: personalised mass email marketing. How can an email be personal when it is being sent out to hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands? But there are ways to make the email specific to a group and also an individual.
The benefits of targeting are overwhelming. There are limits to how many pointless marketing emails a customer is willing to receive before ticking the opt-out box. Each one should have some relevance to the person, something to make it worth reading, as they might be concerned that they might miss the next offer.
So what are the options?
The “To” line
Although rather basic and made easy to format with modern databases, it still shows to the customer that they are treated as a person.
This is the most important way to personalise the email. Your database will show what this person is likely to be interested in. Amazon ‘recommends’ certain items according to various criteria, such as previous purchases and what others in the same general group have ordered.
The strength of such classification is that they can be refined as time goes by as the customer makes more purchases. A well run database will not only show buying behaviour but can predict what that customer might choose in the future.
When a potential customer clicks through to a website or landing page it should be geared to whichever segment that person falls in. Those excited by the prospect of a cruise though the Norwegian fiords are likely to be put off by the graphics of a stag party haven.
Newsletters are at their most powerful when used in conjunction with email marketing. So they should be as personal as the emails themselves. The content should be relevant to that specific customer group.
An article of general interest included in all newsletters should be followed by an item specific to a group’s interest.
A strength of email marketing is that it allows the collection of specifics about a customer and so enables classification into groups. You will make your customers believe you know them.