It’s likely you’re doing everything you can to provide a great experience when you’re face to face with your customers.

You often know their names, personal preferences, and you enjoy interacting with them.

After doing business with you, they leave with a smile.

What if you could extend that personal experience beyond those face-to-face interactions?

Email marketing can, and should, make your customers smile also.

Your customers want to you to personalize your messages.

Consider that 52 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them.

As someone who already knows your customers because of the relationships you have with them, you have a huge advantage over big business.

Make a simple shift, so your messages feel more personal.

A funny thing happens when it’s time to send an email to your customers, suddenly it becomes about marketing and sending an email blast.

You forget about the people at the other end of the inbox.

Instead, if you think about providing value to the person receiving your emails, you’ll extend those personal interactions and the great experiences your customers expect from you.

How can I get more personal with my customers?

How can make your emails feel more personal than ever?

First, you should write your messages as though you’re writing to one person. Your reader should feel as though you’re talking with them directly, not a group of people.

Mimic what the conversation would feel like if you were face to face with your best customer.

Secondly, time and relevance matter. To have the most significant impact, offers, information, and conversations should feel timely and relevant.

How to think about time and relevance.

If you send an email about purchasing a Christmas tree in June, your message isn’t going to feel timely or relevant.

The same holds true if you send an email about cat supplies to a dog owner.

But an email about Christmas trees after Thanksgiving and an email about cat supplies to cat owners start to feel more relevant to the person receiving them.

You can get more advanced with personalization too.

When someone purchases a product, an automated series of emails to help them make the most of the purchase makes sense and are valuable to the customer.

Or perhaps, if someone shows interest in a product or service by clicking a link in an email and you follow up with more information, those emails feel timely and relevant too.

Personalized emails work better.

When you move away from the blast mentality, you’ll find the results of your email marketing improve. You’ll get more opens, more clicks, and more business. These results come from getting more of the right messages to the right people at the right times.

Here’s the simplest way to personalize your email.

Dale Carnegie reminds us that “a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

You can use a person’s name in your subject line, the greeting of your email, or within the body of your email.

Can personalization like using someone’s name feel phony?

Yes, if you overdo it. Make sure you read your email out loud. Does it sound natural or too much? If you wouldn’t do it in real life, don’t do it in your email.

Get started in your next email.

Try using someone’s name in the subject line. You can run a subject line A/B test to see if the name has an impact on your email open rates.

Note on open rates: Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection feature, which was released on September 20th, 2021, has made email open rates less reliable. While historical open rate data can still provide valuable insights, we recommend marketers focus on other email marketing metrics, like click-through rates and conversions, when measuring their success going forward.

Here’s what you need to remember about personalization:

  • Write as if you’re talking to one person
  • Make sure your messages are timely and relevant
  • Using someone’s name is a simple place to start

Remember, think of email as a way to extend the personal experiences you already provide your customers, and you’ll put a smile on their faces. And more smiles mean more business.