Too much of anything is NOT good

Too much of anything is NOT good – especially when it doesn’t do much for you!!

Those of you who’ve been active subscribers to newsletters and email updates will agree with me.

Hello Rahul!
How are you doing Rahul?
Hi Rahul, Email Marketing tips just for you!
Rahul this, Rahul that..
Hope you get the point ;)

Hello Rahul! – Having the name in the subject line is good to attract attention, but without letting me know anything else about the content. It thus shouts SPAM in bright neon lights!

How are you doing Rahul? – I’m fine, thank you. That’s the end of conversation.

Hi Rahul, Email Marketing tips just for you! This is probably the best of the lot, but with so many others preaching the same ‘gyaan’, what different are you going to tell me?

‘Hi Rahul, Email Marketing tips for effective personalization’ will perform much better.

Does an email merely having your name make you feel special? Do you really feel it’s personalized for you? Is that all which goes into personalization?

Now you’ll question – doesn’t personalization produce better Open and Click-through Rates, enhancing campaign effectiveness, and thus produce better Inbox Placement Rates?

What we need to scrutinize is:

Are we really personalizing a message to suit the recipient or merely overdoing the basics and overlooking the essentials of personalization?

Of course personalization is a great tool. It shows you know and care more about your audience. But employing personalization only for the sake of increasing Open or Click-through Rates is like betting short. You might get good results initially, but in the long run your recipients will learn that it’s just a gimmick you are using to get their attention. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to learn what happens next. Your campaign responses begin to deteriorate and your CMO starts asking one question more often than he calls out your name – What’s the progress in the number of leads?

Good personal emails look at aspects like:

  • What was the source of the subscriber?
  • How often has he responded (opened/clicked-through) to your emails? Have we undertaken any steps to revive the recipient’s lost interest in our email campaigns?
  • Has he landed on your website as a result of the targeted email campaigns? Which sections has he visited?
  • When was the last purchase made? What was the quantum of that purchase? What are the possible products or services that you can pitch to him based on his purchase history?

As you study these questions closely you’ll probably come to a consensus that there’s an overlap in personalization and segmentation activities. But that is the crux of personalization. Rather than merely bombarding a recipient with his name in the message and having no remote correlation to him, it makes more sense to craft and deliver messages that depict a better knowledge of consumer behavior.

Recently I was at a bookstore to pick up a specific book. The guy at the store displayed smartness in calling up another store and letting me know the book is available there. He even booked it for me. However, he did not collect any personal information from me. It was his best chance to get my details and add me to his mailing list and keep me updated with offers on latest books available.

On the following weekend I visited a new restaurant in town. What impressed me is they noted my personal details (with email address) and ever since I’m receiving mails once or twice a week related to my likes as well as what I ordered that night. I’m not much of a wine person, but was in a mood to indulge. Cashing in on it, they sent me a mail talking of a food festival and a bottle of my type of wine on a certain minimum bill. I could not make it, but forwarded it to a friend whose birthday was around the corner. The restaurant managed to get 14 new customers because of me!

You see what I mean! So let’s not go all crazy with names and try to be more specific. This isn’t too much a task if you really want to get your cash register ringing.

 

Aug, 07, 2012

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