Email Marketing – The Fine Line Between Being Personal and Being Creepy

Email Marketing – The Fine Line Between Being Personal and Being Creepy

Recent headlines from Facebook Data Privacy have many people asking…who’s gathering what data about me and why? Consumers and businesses are sensitized to messaging that’s highly targeted.

Most people have shopped on a site, put something in their cart, then seen the same product in an email, a banner ad, and in their social media feed within 24 hours.  This type of retargeting can be highly effective in creating conversions and is good practice. It can also raise eyebrows about data privacy, especially if your messaging is not worded carefully.

Personalized, targeted messaging is the future of email marketing and creates highly specified messaging with higher open and conversion rates. It can be the exact opposite of creepy.  Emails that show I understand what your interests are and I’m showing you information about something you care about, versus a wide array of products or services, help build a relationship and trust.

So how do you strike a balance? What creates a good personal message – one that builds rapport instead of uneasiness?  How you use data, what your messaging says, and split testing should all be part of building a 1:1 Marketing Messaging Strategy.

Start with these 4 Steps to personalize your marketing:

  1. Use triggered email campaigns responding to an action someone took on your site.

    If someone requests a quote, signs up for a newsletter, orders a catalog, buys a product, or takes some other type of specific action on your site to submit data, they are opening the door to personal follow-up. Send a triggered email follow-up campaign.

  2. Use Data Segmentation to segment and personalize your broadcast emails.

    If you have contacts who expressed an interest in a specific type of service or product, such as haircuts versus facials, or petite women’s clothes versus men’s big and tall, use that data to segment your list. Instead of sending the same message to everyone every week, mix it up. Send targeted messages to different segments.
  3. When you do cross data across channels to retarget, think about the messaging and split test.

    See what people respond to. Wording, use of color, and imagery can all play a role in building trust versus a sense of caution.
  4. Check your privacy policy for a refresh

    When you are using customer data, make sure your privacy policy reflects how you collect and use data.  Be sure it is posted somewhere customers can access and review on your site.