What they don’t tell you about email personalisation. In order to understand the goal you need to know the rewards. Both McKinsey and Statista‘s research establishes that employing personalisation delivers as much as 20x (twenty times) the reward that promotional and marketing email delivers.
Indeed it is as high as 20x (twenty times) this, and omnichannel marketing combined. Suffice to say though, that the marketer that omits email personalisation from his considerations will be soon found out, when competitor sales soar and the disparity becomes obvious. Be assured, the professional ones are all over it, and yet there is evidence that subterfuge and obfuscation abound in the email software industry.
In a recent survey of over 432 companies surveyed, a figure in the high 98.7% of ESP’s reviewed, where identified as not offering personalisation at all.
Some by the content of their own website, are confusing “primary school examples*” of personalisation as a right to promote the fact they offered this facility. Others offer segmentation instead, claiming this was the same thing, and actually does nothing of the sort whatsoever, despite protestations to the contrary.
As is readily available to the professionals who need to know, segmentation is not personalisation, indeed we covered this specifically in our article segmentation is marketing marginalisation. This article is not a manifesto for the abolition of using an ESP, but rather an insight into the distinction between what ESPs actually offer and as an advocate for change for adopting actual personalisation software that you can swap it for in small companies, but is actually designed to run alongside it.
Segmentation is no longer necessary for email personalisation
What do we mean by “primary school examples*”? Simply put we mean, they actually suggest you include the name of the recipient, location, date of birth etc. Thinking this through; means delivery of email content pertinent to where they physically are, with the intention of ensuring they get an email on their birthday. Why, what’s that got to do with the customers most ardent desires?
It doesn’t offer choices pertinent to that individual at all! Thinking this through you come to an even bigger group of ESPs that does include what people buy in their mix at all either, and this is where the subterfuge comes in, they use this information to recommend you segment consumers into groups, to be able to pick a product to target them with.
We suggest you flip this on its head, and instead of thinking in terms of what you’d like to sell a bunch (segment) of your customers, why not think in terms of what would each individual consumer would most want to buy?
Now take this thinking further, and instead of wondering where to start to begin to capture this information, what if you already had it and simply needed a sophisticated algorithm to both rank products (on an individual consumer basis) in the precise SKU order of what each individual is mostly likely to buy next, and then implement that into a provocation to make that purchase?
So with the goal of email personalisation established (20 times the same sales you are otherwise achieving), let us address the means to implement the mechanism to achieve it. By its very nature, data processed through a predictive analytics algorithm is effectively done for you. You may be interested to read our feature What makes SaaS so successful).
It’s pretty obvious that predictive personalisation software (PPS) would be an enhancement to be able to capture more data than just on offer from Google Analytics. Then having done so, be able for that system to automatically rank each and every SKU you have into the greatest “likelihood to purchase” ranking for each and every consumer you have. And then deliver the top ones of those selected, by email, timely to that individual consumer.
The benefit of email personalisation is that when it arrives on the doormat of the recipient (figuratively), it is already well received. After all, these are consumer’s for whose loyalty to you is already established – i.e. they not only subscribe to your mailing list, are established customers, but have approved your right to the privilege of sending them emails to consider – obviously to purchase.
But loyalty is not guaranteed, as it is human nature to be fickle, and heaven help you if you find yourself undersold, or slow on delivery etc, as detailed in our feature loyalty fears grow as they start to fall.
So what does predictive personalisation email marketing deliver that ESPs can’t. The primary headline will undoubtably be the exclusion of human beings and their frailties, such as undermining data-accuracy in the process, together their cost inherent overhead to do so.
You always need to consider the cost of staff when calculating your ROI for marketing, see article “How much do your staff really cost“.
Given then these are now deadly accurate, product offerings are always on-point, being strictly those the consumer wants to buy – exclusively known by their actions, both visiting, navigation around your site and purchases made. Picture them receiving an email and thinking “I was only looking at that yesterday”. Additional benefits include that it is what they want (not what you want to sell them), the notorious volume of products returned goes through the floor. (See article the perfect solution for reducing your rate of return).
So what’s the catch? You have already established a viable stack of marketing tools that you’re happy with, and venturing into the fray again to review alternatives has in the past done nothing but caused misery from people professing to offer greater returns and only actually bring failure.
SwiftERM a Microsoft Certified Partner, offer ecommerce PPS software – on a free trial for a month without lock-in, so you can establish viability on your site for free. Installed as a SaaS, it is readily available for the 4 main platforms, but also can be built to bespoke sites by agreement.