February 17th, 2009

Personalized email marketing for higher conversion, fewer deletes

by sage island

How many email marketing messages do you receive every day? You probably don’t even think about it as you hit the delete button. Every day, I delete more marketing messages than I can count, and most of them don’t hold my attention for longer than it takes me to remove them from my inbox.

The messages I’m most likely delete are the canned form emails — messages that have clearly been sent to every single person on the marketer’s list with no discernible difference.

When the message is personalized, I’m more likely to take notice. I’m not just talking about adding my name to the subject line or addressing the email to me personally (though that should be the very least you do). I’m talking about personalized marketing messages that address my needs directly.

Case in point: I order heartworm prevention medication for my dog, Howie, through 1-800-PetMeds every 6 months. Their successful use of email marketing is one of the reasons I continue to refill his prescription through them.

Every 6 months, I receive an email reminding me that it’s time to order Howie’s medication. The email message isn’t just a reminder, though. It’s a refill link. The details for my completed order are listed, including my subtotal, shipping address, and last four digits of my credit card. All I have to do is click the link, and my refill order is placed. Click through to enlarge the image:

1800petmeds-email

The email isn’t just a reminder that 1-800-PetMeds wants me to order from them — it’s a useful reminder that it’s time for me to reorder for my dog, Howie. Because it’s personalized and useful to me, I’m less likely to delete and more likely to take action.

They don’t stop there, though. Periodically, I receive messages that offer solutions to common health problems for pets. The most recent asked in the subject line, “Does Howie have bad breath? If so, it could mean poor health.” Thankfully, that’s not a big problem for me, but seeing my dog’s name in the subject line linked to possible health problems sure gets my attention.

Bottom line: don’t just use email marketing to remind your customers that you exist. Use it to offer your products or services to solve their problems. Be creative with personalization, and you’ll see more conversions and fewer deleted email messages.