Sellerscast: The Importance of Personalizing your E-commerce Emails

On September 3rd, 2019 our Marketing Director, Andrew Maff, and Marketing Operations Manager, Dana Dench sat down to talk about the best practices you should implement in your marketing emails to make them more personal, and increase your open rate.



Andrew Maff:  What's up? It's episode number 43 of the Sellerscast. I'm Andrew Maffettone. Once again, I am joined by the beautiful Dana Dench, our Marketing Operations Manager here at Seller's Choice. Today we are talking about the importance of personalizing your e-commerce emails.

Here's what we're talking about. Personalizing an email so that it's not a big bulk giant newsletter or auto-email of here's a standard thing I sent to everyone and there's no love behind it and no one opens it. Think of it kind of like a really bad postcard is basically how newsletters have started to come out. What you want to start doing is finding ways to personalize it. Now, if you think, "Oh, okay, he's going to talk about adding a first name to a subject line and the snippet," you are wrong. Yes, you can do that stuff. It's very rookie. Everyone does that. We do not suggest doing it in most cases. Sometimes you can, but I would say at this point-

Dana Dench :  Everyone knows about it. Skip out on it.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, it's kind of, it's dead. We're talking about getting a little bit deeper into that. We're talking about utilizing the data that you have that you may not even know that you have. Here, I'll kick it off with the stuff that you see before you even open the email, right? Your subject line, your snippet. If you don't know what a snippet is, it's a little preview area underneath the subject line. You're supposed to be using that as sales copy, not leaving it blank, but that is your opportunity to really sell someone to open it. That's what's really going to affect your open rate. So yes, you can put a first name in there, but you can also change that subject line based on the data that you have. A lot of these softwares out here now, like our favorites in-house are Klaviyo or if you're able to get something a little bulkier and have a CRM, we use HubSpot, where you can take some of the data that you have from these customers and adjust your subject line or your snippet based on who they are, locations or anything along those lines.

Before we did this, we used an example... Before we started talking, we obviously made sure we're on the same page. The example we had was if it's raining. If you're selling raincoats or umbrellas and it's raining in Florida, you can send an email straight to Florida only and tell, in the snippet or in the subject line, be like, "Tired of the rain outside?" or something like that. Something that actually hits home with the person that's reading it.

Dana Dench :  Yeah, it's time to get creative with those open subject lines and preview text. Use that data that you have to really create something that's out of the ordinary so that people will actually open email. Diving into the actual email where the design is where I love to come to stay in there in HubSpot, one thing that I would deadly recommend is to try staying away from all these big graphics and everything. If you can write a very personal email, I think that hits home more than all of these flashy graphics that take forever to load. Half the time, if it's like a very well written out letter, it sounds like it's coming from a real person, which it is, but it'll add a little bit more personality to it. Would you say the same?

Andrew Maff:  Yeah. Again, if you take some of the data that you have available and think about the many ways that you can do it. One of our favorite examples, it's someone we work with where we personalized everything for them just because we have so much data on these customers, but they sell college apparel and stuff like that. One of the things that we do is the auto emails or the newsletters or anything like that. We know based on their shopping habits, who their favorite teams are. So we'll create an email for every type of team that we have and send it out to those consumers with the team that they enjoy.

For example, I went to UCF. Go Knights. If someone sent me a USF email saying, "Hey, 20% off all of our clothes." I would go, "Screw you, I hate USF."

Dana Dench :  Yeah, I don't want to see that.

Andrew Maff:  I don't want to see that. I'm not helping you. Even if you have UCF stuff. It's personalizing it because if I see like, "Oh I love UCF. I like that hat you saw. Let me check this out." I'm more enticed to actually shop because it was a little bit more catered to me.

Dana Dench :  Yeah.

Andrew Maff:  Colors. You can personalize those too.

Dana Dench :  Yep.

Andrew Maff:  What was the... I was thinking of... Oh, sometimes it depends. If you have HubSpot or you have any... Obviously, we use HubSpot here. Thank you HubSpot for all you do. But if you have anything like that or even like Optimizely I think has this option too and there's a few other softwares out there where you can actually get data on buttons that people have clicked on your website or on email. If it turns out that you can get enough data that says, "Every button that this person has clicked is blue," then guess what color your call to action for that specific person should be.

Dana Dench :  It better be blue.

Andrew Maff:  There's a ton of personalization options you can do if you actually think about the data that you have available to you. Even if you have an extremely boring product line, like some kind of weird electronic that no one wants or whatever. You know what I mean? You can actually think about taking those products that people have purchased with you before and if you're sending out a newsletter, change out the products that you have as an example and show stuff that people have purchased before for those specific people. I forgot what HubSpot...

Dana Dench :  Product feeds.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, well, yeah, product feed or I think it's called a smart token or something. I can't remember what it's called, but it's basically based on that person's data. It will change a picture or it will change a color or it will change something like that. Being able to personalize more than just adding their first name to a subject line or a snippet is absolutely going to increase not only your open rate over time, but it will also increase your click rate and ideally of course your conversions as well.

Dana Dench :  Yeah. One way I think that is great to collect all this data to then be able to personalize is creating some kind of email that you blast out to your list that allows people to pick their preferences. Let's say we are going back to that example with the schools, sending them an email saying, "Hey, we want to personalize your email. We want to target you in a way that you can have products that you actually want to see," not like USF, US... Which letters is it? UCF.

Andrew Maff:  UCF.

Dana Dench :  UCF. Okay, whatever. I'm from New Jersey, I don't know. But being able to send out an email that allows the user to pick which types of emails that they're getting, I think that's the first step. If you don't know where to start, first step there, then you can start playing around with that data and really be able to personalize those emails.

Andrew Maff:  Beautiful. Once again, thank you everyone. We'll give some love to both Klaviyo and HubSpot since we didn't mention them enough.

But per usual, please comment below. Let us know if you have any questions, comments or complaints, which I would hope not. Or of course, let us know if there's something you want us to touch on next week. But if not, make sure you subscribe and we will see you all next time.New call-to-action




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