We’ve been talking a lot about how advanced personalization can help you earn upwards of $20 for every $1 you invest in it.
That’s all well and good; but what if you don’t know much about your individual subscribers? What if there’s large portions of your mailing list missing data in fields commonly used for personalization? How can you achieve advanced personalization if you don’t even know the basics like a first name?
Good news! It’s still possible to make a more personal email experience even when most of your ESP fields are empty.
All you need to start personalizing your email is to have a subscriber open one of your emails. That will unleash a wealth of real-time data you can use to craft messages that are more relevant and engaging than a static broadcast email.
A Liveclicker client used tap-to-text to help mobile customers sign up easily for a special entertainment package. (See how in this free report: Tactics Matter: Real Results from Advanced Personalization.)
Take a step back and use segmentation to help you get that first open. It’s important that your newest customers open your emails because they generally are your most active subscribers. If they don’t, that’s an early warning that something’s amiss.
If you already send a welcome message or series of onboarding emails to your newest opt-ins, you’re a step ahead. You just need to identify those subscribers who didn’t open your emails and send an email that nudges them to open.
Send a poll to new subscribers. This can pique their interest more effectively than a standard promotional email. Plus, it can help you collect supplementary preference data along with time-of-day data (see No. 1 above).
A live poll collects immediate subscriber feedback and lets them see how they compare to other respondents. It’s an easier request than asking them to buy something if they’re not ready for that commitment.
You can add a poll to your welcome message or to one of the emails in your email onboarding series. Or, follow up a one-time welcome message with another email containing the poll.
When your subscriber opens the email and clicks on the poll, you’ll collect two kinds of data: the open data you need to start personalizing, and whatever information you collect from the poll, which you can use for more personalization or for customer segmentation.
Testing will show you when to send it and what kind of poll content is most likely to get people to participate.
Today’s consumers are less willing to share some personal kinds of information, an Advertising Research Foundation report says. Although its research focused mainly on website information-gathering, you can assume that skittish attitude might translate to email, too.
Before you ask for personal information, be sure you really need it for your business goals. If you do, explain clearly why you’re asking for it, what you will do with it and how you will protect it.
Data-security laws like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the forthcoming California Consumer Privacy Act require this. But it’s also good business to assure your customers about the data you collect.