Email Marketing: Your questions about personalization and length
Last week, I was a guest of Responsys at Responsys Interact 2013, and I had the chance to interview Rich Fleck, the company’s Vice President of Strategy.
We covered a range of topics that will appear in an upcoming MarketingSherpa how-to article, but I thought it would be interesting to address some questions from our audience that we didn’t have time to cover in MarketingSherpa webinars and MarketingExperiments Web clinics.
Here are your questions with Rich’s answers:
Rich Fleck: Yes – there is great temptation to get hyperpersonal with all the data we now have at our marketing disposal. However, it’s important to align personalization with consumer expectations and privacy guidelines.
As marketers, we need to look at our marketing efforts through a consumer lens – putting ourselves in their position to make sure our initiatives make sense in the context of the consumer experience. How will the consumer respond? Are they expecting this message? Effectively balancing the targeting/personalization with consumer expectations will drive the best marketing result.
From Ed: “How does personalization affect conversion rates?”
RF: Smart targeting and personalization drives better consumer engagement and conversion. We often see targeted messaging out-performing status quo messaging by a factor of two to three times – on both engagement and conversion metrics.
The challenge is finding the right personalization opportunities by leveraging analytics to understand consumer behavior and then aligning marketing initiatives to propel a positive behavior (purchase) or mitigate a negative behavior (unsubscribe, customer churn).
From Steve: “Why does personalization improve the effectiveness of the email marketing campaign?”
RF: With today’s digitally savvy consumer, they have raised their expectations from marketers.
They move seamlessly between digital channels (Facebook, website, email, mobile, etc.) and they expect this to be an integrated experience.
Personalization supports this new expectation – as marketers, the more relevantly we are able to speak with a consumer, the better the response rate. With crowded inboxes and the abundance of digital messaging, personalization is an effective tool to cut through the noise and attract consumer attention with a relevant and timely message.
From Cristina: “Do you recommend a certain length limit to email content based on where they are in the funnel?”
RF: In general, the best way to answer this question is to test different email content variations to determine the best result. We’ve seen different audiences respond very differently – some prefer a “loaded” email message with a lot of content, some prefer a short, concise version. However, across all audiences, we’ve seen targeted content outperform status quo content, regardless of message length.