Email marketing campaigns have an average open rate of 24.88%, according to email marketing benchmarks guide by econsultancy.
If your open rate is falling way behind these benchmarks, it indicates there is room for improvement.
Air Asia saw an 87% increase in its open rate by using personalization, engagement, and subject line testing. They achieved 27% open rate, which was almost double than the average open rate for travel industry.
La fitness, a well known health and fitness business, used data and personalization to achieve an impressive 33% open rate.
In this article, we will show you how to use data and personalization to maximize your open rates.
Segment Your Subscribers & Send Targeted Emails:
Segmented messages see 14.63% increase in the open rates when compared to non-segmented emails.
77% of email marketing ROI came from segmented and targeted campaigns, according to a survey by Digital Marketing Association.
It clearly shows that you are not going to get anywhere with those email blasts. No two persons are the same, let alone hundreds and thousands of subscribers. The only way to get noticed by your recipient is to create different segments and send customized emails. In other words, sending the right message to the right people will see your open rates rise significantly.
Following are some dimensions and parameters that you can use for segmentation.
Segmenting by Demographics:
In an Online Personal Experience study by Janrain, 74% of the respondents said that they were frustrated by the websites with content, offers, ads, and promotions that have nothing to do with their interest.
If you have information about the age, gender, or life-cycle stage of your subscribers, you can create promotions and offers that your recipients need.
For example, knowing the gender will let you create promotions that appeal a specific gender. Knowing the lifecycle stage e.g. bachelor, newly married, or full nest, will help in drafting messages that strike the right chords.
Segmenting by Purchase History:
According to Adobe Digital Index report, repeat customers are 9 times more likely to buy. The same report suggests that ecommerce stores generate 40% of revenue from just 8% of customers.
Probably the most important segment in the email list is the people who have purchased from the business in the past. Targeting these customers with special discounts, up-selling, or cross-selling offers can pay huge dividends. Those who have shown some interest in a product (e.g. abandoned cart or sales inquiries) are equally important.
Segmenting by Customer Life Cycle:
According to Online Marketing Institute, it can take more than 13 touches to generate a qualified sales lead.
Businesses that focus on lead nurturing generate 50% more qualified leads.
In Customer Relationship Management, customers are divided into three categories.
Customers in the cold stage are not yet ready to buy. They are in the awareness stage, so promotional emails with direct offers are not going to work. These customers should be engaged with high quality and helpful information.
The warm prospects have decided to buy and they are looking around for options. Contacting them with emails that explain the Unique Selling Point can help a business win these customers.
Hot leads are ready to buy. Businesses can be direct and send an offer like special discount or deal.
Here’s a screen shot of the emails from a business over the course of a few days. It starts from a welcome email, followed by a freebie, and then a one-on-one sort of email that highlights their services and makes the recipient think about the possible use.
Segmenting by Interest & Behavior:
In a survey by Demand Metric, 78% of CMOs said that they see custom content as the future of marketing.
You can send custom offers and message if you know the products or categories that they are interested in. Businesses can use a drop down menu, check button, or options in the sign up form to know what they are looking for.
Another option is to segment the recipients based on their response to your previous emails or the pages or section that they have browsed on your website.
What needs to be customized?
Open rate is all about engagement and you can only engage when the message resonates with the audience. Sending customized messages is the only way to be relevant.
Subject Line & Pre header:
A study found that using click-bait headlines or subject can actually ruin your open rate. Therefore, it is important to avoid click-baits or aggressive tactics like special characters when you are sending an email to active subscribers or potential customers.
Knowing your target audience allows you to write a subject line that instantly connects. That’s how the real “personalization” works. Simply using the recipient’s name is not enough.
Still better than nothing!
Message & Offer:
As earlier mentioned, choose the message and offer that will be of interest to your target audience. You cannot send the same message to all and sundry. Customers who are early in the purchase journey will get a different message than the ones who have made their mind.
Days & Timings:
The days and timings can have a direct impact on your open rate. Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually considered the best days but you can try different timings and see what works for your audience.
Conclusion and a Word of Caution:
Be extra careful while creating and sending personalized emails.
Some time ago, New York Times tried to retarget subscribers who have recently canceled their subscription with a special discount. A small mishap occurred and the email was sent to the entire list of 8 million subscribers instead of 300 or so that they wanted to target.
You don’t want such mishaps. So, double check everything before sending your email.
Segmenting doesn’t require advanced tools or configurations. Platforms like ours make it incredibly easy to set up.
How are you using segmentation and targeted emails to improve your open rates? Leave a comment and let us know.