Picture of an envelope with the word personalized showing in the windowWhatever email marketing provider you use (and I’m talking about those services like Aweber, Constant Contact, MailChimp, Infusionsoft and others) it’s pretty dang important that you learn all the features that it offers so you can use it to its fullest potential.

You might not even be aware of all the things your email marketing service provider is capable of doing. If you aren’t sure, jump in there and start asking questions, pushing buttons and figuring things out.

Or at the least, consider seeking out someone who is an expert with your particular provider choice so that everything can be set up to be the most effective and the most personal in nature.

Personalization can be as simple as inserting your subscribers’ name into the subject line of the email or into the salutation, as in, Dear Frank. And while that is a great way to personalize a message, there are some other ways to “personalize” email that will enhance the experience of your subscriber and make you shine like the start you are.

1. Craft Interest-Targeted Email Messages: Use your provider’s software to capture the information needed to personalize and craft email messages toward what your subscriber most wants to know about.

This is an important way to move your subscribers enough to purchase from you. Capturing the right information will enable you to point your subscribers to products and services that they want.

2. Create Geocentric Messages: It’s likely that your email service provider allows you to capture location-based information from subscribers. This location-based information can be used for a variety of purposes, from marketing events in their area, to encouraging them to visit your location if you have a local bricks-and-mortar business.

One of the features I love about MailChimp is that you can use their timewarp feature which allows you to email your list at a specific time in their time zone. So if you want everyone in every time zone to receive your message at 10 in the morning, the timewarp feature allows you to do that. It’s pretty cool.

3. Let Them Define What Information They Want: Sending a poll, survey, or checklist to subscribers that lets them define exactly what information they want to get is a good way to find out exactly what your subscribers need and want to hear from you.

And they’ll be a lot more responsive when they’re getting just the kind of information they want. You can always throw in what they need, too.

4. Acknowledge Purchases Made: Each time a purchase is made it’s important to acknowledge it with a thank you, but to also move them off a list that would otherwise keep promoting that item even after they’ve bought it. If they feel like you’re harassing them to buy something they already have, or if they think perhaps their order was not received, they won’t respond very well when you market something else that’s new to them.

5. Encourage Social Sharing: Put social share buttons on appropriate email messages so that your subscribers can help you get more people to sign up for your email marketing lists. This is a type of personalization that not only encourages them to share your stuff with their friends, but also encourages them to friend, like and follow you on other social channels.

6. Insert Predefined Fields:  Most email programs allow you to insert different predefined fields.

For example, if you have a website that is devoted to selling art, you could send a questionnaire to your audience asking them what their favorite style is.

Then the software will not only trigger the right emails to go out based on that style, but it will also mention the style within the email message. If they don’t fill out the predefined field, it will insert some other value that you choose into that predefined field (so you won’t look goofy).

7. Use Date Insert Fields: It’s important for many of your emails to be pre-crafted, but you can make the email message look as if it was just created by using the date insert field.

This way the email message looks timelier. With that function, in conjunction with special sales pages that also show the current date, you can personalize by keeping everything looking current.

8. Use Retargeting Technology: When someone visits your website, or buys something from you, it’s important to use the technology available to you to retarget them for buying something more. When your user receives your email and opens it, a software program can be used to install a cookie that will then allow specialized ads to be delivered to the user when they visit various webpages.

9. Ask for Reviews for Products Purchased: Whenever a customer buys a product, send them a thank you message and then a series of follow-up messages.

One of these can be a request for a product review, after giving them enough time to try and use your product or service.

The form they fill out for the review will also ask for more information about them that you can use for further targeted marketing.

Even though most consumers are savvy enough to realize that a lot of email marketing is automated today, they still respond better to more personalization than less.

So if you want to compete with other businesses similar to yours, it is imperative that you use your email service provider to its fullest potential by using as much personalization as it’s capable of.

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