When email newsletters arrive in an inbox, they are sometimes surrounded by other incoming email. Competition in the inbox is greatly expanded beyond market competition. Let’s use MNB for an example. In the world of email marketing, other companies offering similar newsletter creation services are our competition. That’s a knowable amount of competition. When we send a newsletter to one our subscribers, however, we aren’t competing with other newsletter services. We are competing with every other person and company that sent an email to the same inbox. That’s a totally different game!
One method of improving email engagement that we recommend using to help find your way to being on the open list of your readers is personalization.
Use names, and not just theirs: Using a reader’s name is a great way to show that you at least have some record of who you are addressing. However, a robot could autofill names in and your readers know this. So, try having a name yourself. Some marketers use their name in the “from” field and sign their newsletters themselves. Others include their picture as well as their name. Even if your content is coming from more than one source, choosing a single person to be the front person can help give you an identity.
Know more than their name: If all you know about a user is their name and email address, it’s time to learn more so that you can more directly address a subscriber’s interests. Now, it’s very important that you not be creepy about this. You want to avoid an email that leaves your reader feeling skeezy, like maybe you’re watching them from behind the curtains. Use information they knowingly parted with, such as information you collected on your sign-up form or purchases they’ve made in the past.
Personal doesn’t mean person: You don’t have to address an email to a specific name and link that to personal information for your emails to be more relevant than a general marketing email would be. For example, segmenting your sending lists to include individuals in different industries allows you to tailor content for that industry.