How to personalize your email marketing

Something special happens when you become a “regular” at your coffee shop. You feel a personal connection when you're greeted by name and the barista already knows your order.

This personal interaction became a lost art in the digital age. As companies began to conduct more business online, people became impersonal ‘users’ instead of human beings. That is starting to change.

Companies now realize the importance of building individual relationships with their customers and email personalization is helping them achieve it. In fact, 96% of organizations believe personalization improves email marketing performance.

Here’s how you can add a personal touch to your email marketing.

Email personalization starts with your human side

Surprisingly, personalization doesn’t start with knowing your subscribers’ names or interests. It starts by understanding yourself.

The ultimate goal of personalization is to build stronger relationships with your subscribers, but too often people forget that relationship building is two-sided.

It’s not enough that you know someone’s name, where they live or their favorite hobbies. For a relationship to form, they need to know something about you. You need to come across as a relatable human, not a faceless business.

Whether you are an individual or a large company, there are several ways to show your human side in emails.

1. Include a real name and photo

A personal email should come from a real person. The best way to humanize your email is to include a photo of the sender. People are visual, and a photo will make an instant connection.

2. Show your personality

Try to avoid business jargon. Talk in a friendly, more conversational manner. Your brand should have a distinct personality. Email is a great place to showcase it. Engaging personalities draw in people.

3. Make it easy to respond

A two-way relationship means people should be able to reply directly to the sender. Make sure the email address includes the sender’s name and put a process in place to respond promptly.

4. Send something fun

Every email you send doesn’t need to be about business. Try to infuse some fun to show your subscribers your human side. Wish them a happy birthday or include a video of something that you think they would enjoy.

A subscriber relationship built around trust and loyalty starts with you sharing your personality. When people know they are talking to an actual human, the dynamic changes and they are more willing to engage.

The next step is to add elements of personalization to your email. MailerLite’s Custom Fields feature enables you to insert specific details about your subscribers like their names, their company and where they live. 

How MailerLite automates email personalization for you

MailerLite automatically collects the subscriber data captured from your signup forms, such as their name and email. You can then insert that data directly into your messages to make it personal.

Instead of sending out an email with a generic salutation like “Hi there,” you can simply write “Hi {$name}” and every email will be populated with the actual person’s name (as long as you have the subscribers’ names in your custom fields.)

A custom field that reads “Hi {$name}” would be replaced with “Hi Kathy.”

Here are a few more ideas to leverage your custom fields feature:

1. Personalize the subject line. You can insert the recipient’s name in the subject line, which is a smart way to stand out in a cluttered inbox. As they skim their new emails, seeing their name will pique interest. 

2. Personalize the ‘from’ address. When the email comes from a real person instead of a disembodied company, it adds a human touch that is harder to ignore.

3. Personalize the preheader text. Also known as “the second subject line,” preheaders are very important for mobile devices. Preheader text takes up more space than the subject line, giving you another opportunity to personalize.

4. Personalize the postscript. The “P.S.” at the end of your email is often read more than the actual content. Make the text count. Maybe add another personal detail like their company name or their city. 

5. Personalize an image. Get creative by adding personal information to dynamic images. You can use a tool like Nifty Images to create and tag your image. 

While adding real names or other types of information within the text can be effective, it can also backfire if you don’t have the right information. Periodically review your lists to ensure the data is correct.

The last thing you want is to greet a subscriber with, ‘Hi jojoxyz.'

For more guidance on creating and implementing these types of personalization within MailerLite, you can watch our custom fields tutorial.

How to personalize your email content

Inserting personal information in your emails is a cool feature, but it's only effective if the rest of the content is relevant to that individual. 

An email becomes genuinely personal when you can address your subscriber’s needs.

Amazon is considered the pioneer of personalized emails because they can use your shopping history to craft content that is unique and relevant to you. 

Amazon is a massive company with a sophisticated personalization operation, but the good news is that you have similar capabilities with MailerLite.

In the two previous chapters, we covered automation and list segmentation. These are the building blocks that help you create more relevant content. 

The more you segment, the more you can deliver the right content to the right people.

Let’s say you set an automation trigger on a specific product on your website. You can configure MailerLite (using an e-commerce integration) to send that person a targeted email referencing the product and sharing similar products.

You are closer to one-to-one marketing than you think.

Enhance email personalization with integrations

Companies that collect customer data across their different tools can use it to find new ways to personalize their marketing. 

Traditionally, email marketers collected data by asking a lot of questions on a signup form. 

People don't fill out lengthy forms anymore.

When you ask for too much information, most people will never fill out the form. It’s much more important to get the subscriber first, then worry about collecting more data later. That is where integrations can come in handy.

If a customer is interacting with you, there is a chance that you already have information about them in a different system, such as a CRM, customer service software or e-commerce platform. 

When you integrate your email with these other tools, you can match the subscriber names and create more in-depth profiles. These data points allow you to segment and personalize your messaging in a more targeted manner. 

Mailerlite provides several integrations that can help you combine your data.

See all of our integrations
MailerLite Integrations

Here are 3 MailerLite integrations that will enhance your personalization

Shopify Integration

You will automatically sync customer information and purchase history data from your Shopify store to MailerLite. Use your e-commerce data to personalize email with specific products unique to them. Learn more.

PieSync Integration

Every time you add or update a subscriber in MailerLite, it is automatically synced with the other app, and vice versa. If you add a new prospect to your CRM, that contact can go to a segment in MailerLite that receives sales-specific emails that includes their first name. Learn more.

​SyncSumo Integration

Create and automate personalized follow-up emails in MailerLite that are sent to the new subscribers that found you on Facebook lead ads. Learn more.

These are just three examples of over 50 integrations you can create with MailerLite.