The benefits of personalized email marketing

As 2021 draws to a close, digital marketers brace for the changes that the new year will bring. Indeed, between changes in customer behaviors and algorithms, marketing trends may only follow suit. Influencer marketing remains invaluable, for example, as audiences continue to value perceived authenticity and relatable, humanized outreach. In contrast, general SEO begins to give way to local SEO for many businesses, as the pandemic informed their focus. Finally, some forms of marketing remain timelessly valuable, as we at Digital Dot NYC can confidently claim for email marketing. Personalization plays a crucial role in its success, however. With this in mind, let us explore the benefits of personalized email marketing in some depth.

Is email marketing dead?

Initially, let us dispel any potential doubts over email marketing’s continued potency. Indeed, cold emails may not boast the same effectiveness as they once did. Impersonal emails too may not entice as many clicks, let alone drive as many conversions. But email marketing, on the whole, remains incredibly lucrative, yielding excellent Return on Investment (ROI) across all industries.

Citing Statista, Litmus, Campaign Monitor, and others, Hubspot offers some invaluable email marketing statistics to prove this claim. Among others, consider the following:

  • “64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers.” (Campaign Monitor)
  • “78% of marketers in 2020 said email is important to overall company success, compared to 71% in 2019.” (Litmus)
  • “Across all industries, the average email open rate is 19.8%, the click-through rate is 11.3%, and the bounce rate is 9.4%.” (Constant Contact)

Finally, Litmus also finds that “on average, email drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent” – translating to a staggering 3,600%!

These and others, including ones we will cite later, should prove that email marketing is not by any means dead.

The benefits of personalized email marketing

Now, personalization is a crucial component of successful email marketing campaigns. That’s in no small part because more emails are sent and received every day, leaving recipients to sort through them. Statista’s forecast for 2022 quantifies this number as over 333 billion:

A graph on emails sent and received every day around the world.

In turn, more and more recipients outright ignore emails, mark them as spam, or simply never open them.  Thankfully, the benefits of personalized email marketing span across open rates and click-through rates (CTR), all the way to loyalty.

#1 Higher open rates

Initially, personalized titles, subject lines, and email body copy all yield better open rates. The simple reason for this is that recipients perceive such emails as more relevant to them. At the very least, they seem to perceive them as spam much less, which immediately increases open probability.

To prove this, we may cite GetResponse’s email marketing benchmarks, which find that:

  • Emails without personalization in the email body yield open rates of 18.77%
  • Emails with personalization in the email body see open rates of 21.75%

Other research echoes the same findings, albeit quantifying the difference in slightly different numbers. Still, a visible boost in open rates still constitutes a substantive improvement over non-personalized emails.

#2 Higher click-through rates

After opening your emails, the next step requires that recipients actually click on your email’s offers. Naturally, offer relevance plays a crucial role in this step, which personalization entails. By tapping into your audience insights you may personalize your offers and, in turn, achieve better CTR.

Echoing GetResponse’s findings above, Woodpecker also finds that personalization notably affects CTR:

An infographic on the benefits of personalized email marketing.

Similarly, CampaignMonitor cites Aberdeen to assert that personalized emails see an average CTR improvement of 14%. Evidently, exact numbers may change over time and across research, but the benefit remains undeniable.

#3 Higher conversion rates

Similarly, personalization also yields benefits as regards conversion rates. Open rates and CTR only hold value for your business if they actually result in conversions, after all.

In this respect, personalization seems to have slightly less impressive, but still notable benefits. Aberdeen’s research above quantifies them as a 10% conversion rate boost. Similarly, Segmentify’s research quantifies them as a boost of “up to 5%” as regards eCommerce emails specifically.

#4 Reduced unsubscribe rates

Conversions aside, the benefits of personalized email marketing also extend to customer retention and loyalty. This might come as no surprise, as the fundamentals of retention dictate that continued relevance is what keeps customers engaged.

In this regard, personalization helps ensure perceived and objective relevance. In turn, recipients have fewer reasons to unsubscribe from your emails. Of course, unsubscribing may often occur for other reasons as well, as OptinMonster finds:

  • Too many emails (59%)
  • Information no longer relevant (43%)
  • No brand recognition or memory of signing up (43%)

Notably, excessive emails often occur due to poor personalization as well. Thus, by ensuring continued relevance you may need to engage less, as your fewer engagements become more meaningful instead.

#5 Better customer retention rates

Finally, continued relevance will also help bolster your overall customer retention rates. The benefits of customer retention cannot be overstated, as LinkedIn’s following illustration demonstrates:

An infographic on the benefits of customer retention.

To summarize the above, we may consolidate the ways in which email personalization yields this benefit down to the following:

  • Continued outreach relevance; simply personalizing your emails’ inbox looks ensures your customers don’t have an immediate reason to unsubscribe.
  • Less frequent, more valuable interactions; by limiting your outreach while enhancing its relevance, you further establish more valuable relationships.
  • Relevant offers; presenting your customers with personalized offers makes them feel more valued, fostering loyalty.

Reaping the benefits of personalized email marketing

Finally, before concluding, let us briefly outline some ways in which you may personalize your emails:

  • Personalized targeting; through customer segmentation, you may more accurately target different segments with more relevant offers.
  • Personalized copy; through customer data, you may further personalize your email body copy to incentivize better CTR.
  • Personalized outreach timing; through audience insights and email automation, you may fine-tune your outreach timing to maximize effectiveness.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the benefits of personalized email marketing are numerous and substantial. As regards your campaigns’ effectiveness, email personalization enhances open rates, CTR, and even conversion rates. Holistically, especially in combination with segmentation and automation solutions, it also helps increase customer retention rates and foster customer loyalty. While research may quantify these benefits differently over time and across industries, they remain unquestionable and notable.

If you would like to get a firmer grasp of your email marketing approach, make sure to reach out to Digital Dot for a consultation.

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