I thought I’d toss together a quick video on using Summize as a research tool as it came in handy when compiling the Personalization Precept. I hope you enjoy the video and share your comments once you’ve scoped it out.
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Personalizing your emarketing items, such as newsletters, broadcasts, etc. is not new; most people who use email regularly are used to seeing their first names in email subject lines or within an email newsletter. And, if you regularly send out emails to your subscribers, you probably have remembered the “first name” merge code by heart.
But many of you may be wondering, “What is the effectiveness of personalizing my emails?” “Does it really work?” “What else can I do besides add a name to the subject line?”
According to emailstatcenter.com, “Inserting a person’s name into an email increases open rates by as much as 10%. – Jupiter Research (2006).” So it does seem that personalizing emails does have an impact, even just a little bit. But the trick is to personalize correctly.
I would bet that you have received at least one or two emails that read like the following: “For , free ebook covers this weekend only.”
Um, there should be something before that comma. Yuck.
There are a couple of instances when I recommend NOT personalizing the subject line. 1) You DO NOT require that the name field is a “required” field on your sign-up box on your website, and 2) you already have a cramped subject line slot and adding a first and/or last name or two would just be a bit too much (stick to a subject line of 56 characters or less).
By default, most programs require an email address, but you normally have to manually define other fields, including the name field, as being a “required” field in which a subscriber must enter information or they will get a reminder to input something into that particular field.
If you feel like getting fancy with personalization, there are many personalization fields to choose from and many ways to liven up your broadcasts. You can add merge codes that contain names, dates, geographic location, email address, ad categories, URL where subscriber signed up, to name a few.
Here is one example of one way you can personalize your newsletters:
One of my clients asked that I attach a subscription management reminder at the bottom of her newsletter. Basically it reads something like, “[name], you subscribed to this publication on this [date] using this [email address].” Great idea – lends credibility and reminds your readers that you aren’t spamming them. In fact, I really liked this idea so I tried it out on my own newsletter!
Check with your shopping cart or list management program to see what other merge fields or variables you can add to liven up your publications. You can search the FAQ or support pages or do a search on their site for keywords such as “personalization” or “merge fields.” I bet you’ll get a lot of ideas just by looking!
Copyright 2008 Lisa Wells
Lisa Wells is a Certified eMarketing Associate who partners with coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs, and small business owners, managing their many online marketing needs. Move your business to the next level and up your e-marketing game – sign up for her FREE e-course “e-Marketing Toolbox Essentials” at http://www.emarketingtoolboxessentials.com, where she shares ideas, tips, do’s and don’ts, as well as programs and strategies you need to avoid!
For more information on direct response personalization:
Please visit http://personalizationprecept.com to register to download our complementary special report entitled “The Personalization Precept” that is jam packed with personalization tips and statistics to help you improve your marketing ROI.
An interesting article I found while browsing Ezinearticles.com earlier:
A colleague who does work for a nonprofit organization contacted me asking if I could do research on the success rate of personalized direct mail letters (Dear Joe) versus generically addressed letters (Dear Friend). Surprisingly, I didn’t find as many statistics as expected, but I found information stating that personalized letters outperform generic letters.
The Digital Printing Council conducted a survey and the results showed “tailored direct mail pieces increase response rates by more than 500 percent over a basic, non-personalized piece.”
Gotmarketing reports that “personalizing an email marketing campaign can improve response rates by 45 percent.” This one defines customized content and the customer’s purchase history as personalization.
ClickZ shares data from a study that “found personalization was the most important factor when contributors determine which charity or fundraising direct mail they open at 62 percent.” Second place? Timing at 59 percent.
It may cost more to personalize the campaign, but the response rate more than makes up the difference than taking the cheap, generic route. When I see mail addressed to “Resident,” I promptly throw it in the trash or recycling pile.
More resouces: “Personalized donor letters always outperform generic ‘Dear Friend’ appeals. Donors deserve ‘special’ treatment and appeals should reinforce the positive relationship you’ve already established.” From FundClass.
Mal Warwick & Associates, Inc. learned “personal attention makes a big difference. The old cliche is true: people give money to people, not organizations. The more personal the contact, the more effective your fundraising will be.”
Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind meryl’s notes, eNewsletter Journal, and The Remediator Security Digest. She is also a PC Today columnist and a tour guide at InformIT. She is geared to tackle your editing, writing, content, and process needs. The native Texan resides in Plano, Texas, a heartbeat north of Dallas, and doesn’t wear a 10-gallon hat or cowboy boots.
Since Zing Sales Solutions is an Infusion Certified Consultant Partner, providing an overview video from a client perspective may benefit those of you that are evaluating Infusion or researching various automated marketing software platforms.
Below is a 15 minute (or so) video that shows how we utilize Infusion for a couple of our campaigns. As always, your feedback is appreciated.