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Why personalized email marketing is the best digital marketing strategy

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The number of businesses going online is on the rise, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Businesses are struggling to come up with new ways to keep this huge community of online users engaged with their services and products through many digital platforms and online channels and keep the revenue coming in. And all this would not be possible without an integrated plan that encompasses the latest methods to drive traffic to your business using online platforms. 

In this article, we will dive into the ins and outs of establishing a digital marketing strategy, why you need it, how you should create a solid digital marketing action plan and how email marketing is its most important facet in today’s marketing world.

What is a digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is a set of actions that use online channels and digital mediums to achieve various business objectives. In other words, marketing your products and services at the right time using the right online channels to build brand awareness, drive traffic, increase revenue and improve relationships with your audience pretty much sums up a solid digital marketing strategy.

No two digital marketing strategies are alike and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the businesses to use. Your digital marketing strategy mainly grows or shrinks with the size of your business and your business goals. There are many faces for the digital marketing strategy but many describe a comprehensive digital marketing strategy as falling into these categories: content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing and digital advertising. Further in this post, I will explain how email marketing is the most effective digital marketing tactic nowadays, but now let’s open up each tactic a little bit:

Content marketing

Let’s never forget the good old saying: Content is king! Generating relevant and engaging content is always a great idea to attract new customers to your services. It’s the most important stage in the customer journey while they are searching for answers for their problem online. Putting the content they need, such as blog articles, case studies, instructive videos and more, before their eyes will help your business win a good chunk of engaged users.

Email marketing

Emails are the primary tools for companies to stay in touch with their audience. They can be used to promote content, offering discounts, and customer follow up. Email has long been one of the most efficient and cost-effective marketing tactics and still rules the market. According to Statista, there are nearly 4 billion email users around the world. This stat alone should convince any marketer to invest heavily in email marketing strategies to reach a wider audience.

Social media marketing

Social media is and has always been one of the most engaging channels to keep customers interested and engaged in your content. There are 3.78 billion social media users worldwide, and this significant number provides a great opportunity for marketers to share news about their new products, ask questions and design fun activities to keep customers connected and engaged to their brand through both organic posts and sponsored ads on various social media platforms.

Search engine marketing

With Google being the indisputable king of search engines, search engine marketing (SEM) is now more important than ever. Either through site optimization and organic SEO practices or paid online ads, you can drive more traffic to your website and stay on top of the search results.

Digital advertising

Digital advertising is one of the key components of digital marketing strategy. By placing the right  ads in the right places you are able to increase your brand awareness and thus grow your conversions and sales. Investing in Google and Facebook as two major advertising platforms won’t disappoint you.

Why do you need a digital marketing strategy?

If done correctly, digital marketing strategy can help you make decisions about your marketing efforts with more consciousness and confidence and turn all these efforts into more visitors, leads and finally customers. Let’s see why a business needs a marketing strategy to grow online:

  1. Strategy gives direction to and an in-depth overview of your business: Companies without a digital strategy don’t have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives that they expect to achieve. Building a digital marketing strategy gives you an opportunity to analyze your business needs, your competitors and marketing trends, and with this knowledge you’ll develop your business goals better while moving in the right direction toward achieving those goals.
  2. It is trackable and measurable: You will receive useful data after you put your marketing plan into action that demonstrates what is wrong with your marketing campaigns or what works best. Using this information you can optimize your marketing campaigns and launch better ones in the future.
  3. It’s cost-effective and increases ROI: The more you track your campaigns’ performance and optimize them for better, the fewer mistakes you will make and thus, you will save big time on your marketing budget for repetitive tasks. A robust marketing strategy lets you plan in advance, track campaign performance, detect weaknesses and attack them in time before the resources and budget goes to waste with bad results.
  4. It helps you improve relationships with your customers: As much as an efficient strategy helps you gain new customers, it also lets you build deeper relationships with your existing customers. A good marketing strategy always puts customers first and provides ways to engage customers with your brand as much as possible, for example through an inviting follow up email, an engaging social media post and more.

How to create a digital marketing strategy

As mentioned earlier, a digital marketing strategy should never be one-size-fits-all. There might be different approaches toward creating a digital marketing strategy for every business. We’ll narrow it down to some key points that will help you create your plan more easily:

1. Define your goals

The first and most essential step in creating a digital marketing strategy that works is always setting goals that you want to achieve and then creating your plan depending on those goals. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, gaining more conversions or increasing sales, shaping a digital strategy would be the easiest job after defining realistic goals for your company.

2. Find your target audience

The next step toward a successful digital marketing plan is to understand and define your target audience. After all, how would you be able to create appealing content if you don’t know who exactly wants your products or services? One of the best ways to distinguish your audience is by creating a profile of them that contains information about their shopping behavior, interests and habits. This kind of customer segmentation can later be used to create highly relevant content specific to that segment. Further in this post we will explain how good segmentation can help create relevant and personalized emails, but I’ll recommend reading this post on automated customer segmentation using a marketing automation tool to understand the importance of customer segments when identifying your target audience.

3. Define a budget for different channels

Establishing a budget and knowing how much you can spend on each marketing channel is critical before setting up your marketing strategy. If you are forming a marketing team to work on your campaigns, or if you are going to use any tools in the process, they should all be mentioned and defined in your budget plan.

One other important task is to make a balance between free and paid marketing channels. Some channels like SEO and social media are free so you don’t have to pay a penny for basic content creation, and for some like online advertising you should foot the bill! Try to combine both channels and use each separately to understand which one works best for your brand.

4. Create engaging and personalized content

Now that you know your customer segments well enough, it’s time to create content that keeps them attached and engaged with your brand. This content may include blog posts, social media posts, email marketing, ads and so on. Of course the ultimate goal of content creation should be lead generation, and then, you should show them you value their presence and contribution and shower them with content that appeals to them.

5. Think mobile!

There are currently 6 billion smartphone users around the world and 69% of internet users prefer to look for product reviews on their mobile devices before making a purchase. With these numbers in mind, it’s essential to optimize your content and channels such as your website, ads, social media posts, etc. so your audience has the best user experience when interacting with your content on mobile devices.

6. Track the performance and pivot if needed

And finally, to establish a successful digital marketing strategy that will work for your needs for a long time, you will need to learn to constantly track and analyze the performance of your various marketing channels. This will help you to update, change or remove what’s not working in your marketing efforts and make sure you’re getting the results you expect from the right direction.

Why is email personalization a crucial component of digital strategy?

Looking at the 6 major components of a digital marketing strategy, we notice personalization is probably the only technique that can serve all or a majority of these goals in one go. Let’s see how.

Goal:
Personalization approaches the audience with a personal touch and triggers a sense of privilege that ultimately helps build a stronger and longer relationship between you and your customers. This obviously boosts the chance to achieve the majority of your marketing goals such as engagement, sign ups, sales and repeat sales.

Target audience:
Personalization relies heavily on well-thought-out targeting. In fact, it cannot exist without it! The goal of every marketing campaign is to target the right people with the right content.

Budget:
When you serve the right person the right content, you obviously avoid wasting your resources on broadcast emails, mass outreach campaigns, billboards, etc.

Content:
Personalization probably makes for the best possible content for a marketing campaign. It pleases your audience by showing the messages, products, services and offers that are tailored for them and only them at various points in their journey with your brand.

Personalization in email is not just about adding the recipient’s first name in the subject line. Now you can create customer segmentations based on the data you have of them like location, purchase history, industry and more and send relevant content to those segments that will ultimately foster brand loyalty and increase conversions.

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What does statistics say about email personalization?

Personalization has found its way into the marketing world since the early 2000s. It’s basically about collecting your customers’ data and later using that data to craft tailored content to specific types of customers. Personalization in marketing and email to be exact has become very popular in recent years to help engage and improve customer relationships, increase ROI and drive traffic to websites.

According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that has personalization tactics in place. 71% of consumers say personalization can affect their decision to click on and open emails from brands, and finally, emails with a personalized subject line are 26% more likely to be opened.

With this ever-rising demand for personalized content among customers, marketers are now struggling to evolve new marketing strategies to stand out in this popular and high potential crowd. Good news is that the rise of marketing automation tools helped marketers big time to personalize their messages.

What factors to consider when choosing a tool for personalized email marketing

Automation is a life saver for marketers. Marketing automation is not just about taking care of the repetitive legwork in marketing tasks anymore. It actually encompasses various stages of the customer journey. Through these different stages and the touchpoints in them like landing pages, lead generation forms, campaign ads, support, etc., you have an opportunity to present your brand to your customer and communicate your message to them. What marketing automation tools do is actually personalize your campaign across the customer journey and provide tailored messages according to customers’ behaviour and interests across those stages.

There are many marketing automation tools out there. Some like ActiveCampaign only offer email automation services, but tools like Growmatik operate across multiple channels (web pages, emails, popups). When choosing a marketing automation tool to specifically personalize your email campaigns, you should look for some vital features to guarantee you will get the results you need. Let’s review some of the most important ones and see how Growmatik defines each.

Cross-channel structure

As we said, a successful digital marketing strategy covers different channels, and a good automation tool helps personalizing content in different touchpoints of the customer journey, not just individual channels. Growmatik with its cross-channel approach ensures you have a unified personalization across different touchpoints.

Segmentation capability

The tool you choose should be able to create as many segments as your customer types based on their attributes, behavior and preferences. The more segmentation criteria it offers, the more personalized your marketing campaigns will be.

Growmatik utilizes users’ personal attributes and their behavior on your site and while shopping and creating profiles across all channels (web pages, email, popup) for behavioral segmentation and to create personalized automation. The attributes Growmatik provides about customers include:

  • Personal details: Name, Location, Timezone, Gender, Language,..
  • Referral detail: Which source were they referred by (search social, external domain, UTM),…
  • In-site activity: Landing page, visited pages, total visits, exit pages, visit date, total time spent,…
  • Shopping behavior: purchased items, product categories, abandoned cart, purchase date, order value,..
  • Email activity: campaign sent, click rate, open rate, last opened or clicked emails,…

Personalization features (keyword, product, blog)

The type and depth of personalization features your tool offers is very important. Some products offer dynamic keywords such as name tag to personalize your emails, and some tools let you personalize textual content inside your web pages. Growmatik not only offers advanced dynamic keywords, but also lets you personalize even non-textual elements like image, video, product list and blog posts based on user behavior and interests.

Tactics to achieve personalization in emails

Now that we know email marketing is one of the most important parts of any digital marketing strategy, plus how marketing automation tools have made the whole process of personalizing messages through email easier for marketers, now it’s time to focus on how to create different types of personalized emails. Below I will list some important tactics that guarantee the best personalization experience to your customers through your email campaigns using Growmatik:

Good segmentation is the key!

As mentioned a couple times before in this post, good segmentation is the first and most important step in personalization. It means grouping your customers into segments based on personal attributes and their behavior on your website. This way you’ll be able to send personalized emails to those segments on different occasions.

A good example of when segmenting your customers comes in handy for creating personalized content is segmenting your loyal customers and inactive customers using RFM segmentation.

Segment your loyal customers

Segmenting your loyal customers would give you the best opportunity to strengthen relationships with your high-value customers by sending personalized messages to them offering discounts or giveaways or just a simple thank you email for being with you.

Loyal customer segmentation is very easy on Growmatik. Based on your website’s concept you can set an “orders placed” condition if you’re selling items, or an average ”time spent” condition if you’re running a blog. The numbers you set for these conditions really depend on your definition of high-value.

  • Go to the Automate page in the Growmatik dashboard and create a rule on the Customers column. As a condition, choose User behavior > Orders placed and set a number larger than 1 (or whatever number you define yourself)
Digital marketing strategy Automation create a rule Segment your loyal customers
  • Go to the Automate page in the Growmatik dashboard and create a rule in the Leads column. As a condition, set User behavior > Time spent and set the timing according to your definition.
Digital marketing strategy Automation create a rule Segment your loyal customers spent time

Segment your inactive customers

The first step is identifying your inactive customers or subscribers, which is a breeze to do with Growmatik. Head to the Automate page and then choose whether to address leads or customers. Click the plus icon to create a new rule, then choose User behavior > Away and set a time period of inactivity.

Digital marketing strategy Automation plus icon leads or customers
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These segments can be used to send thank you emails with special offers or discounts for loyal customers and re-engagement emails with discount coupons for inactive customers.

Address by name

Addressing people by their first names in the email is a basic personalization rule and has always been one of the most effective methods in grabbing customer’s attention. You can do this quite easily in Growmatik using dynamic tags while building an email template. Just select the text element in the email editor environment, place your cursor where you want to add the dynamic keyword and click the Dynamic tags button. A menu will open, allowing you to choose “first name.” Easy as pie! Now, any customer or lead who receives an email will be pleasantly surprised at being addressed by name.

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Personalize cart abandonment emails

Sometimes customers leave items they purchased in their carts for various reasons. Getting them to return to complete their purchase is a great way to increase sales and it can be done perfectly by adding personalization. Go to the automate section in Growmatik and create a new automation with the plus button. Set the condition to User behavior > Abandoned cart. Then set the action as Send Email. Design the email as you desire in the email builder, but don’t forget to include your customer’s name using the Dynamic tags option.

Digital marketing strategy Automation cart abandoment emails customize email
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Personalize occasional emails

Occasional emails are emails that are sent on special calendar occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. With a good amount of personalization added to these kinds of emails you can drive more conversions to your website, especially by offering coupons and special offers while at the same time tightening your relationship with your customers. Head to the Automations page in Growmatik and create a new rule with the plus icon. Set Date > Specific date as the condition, select the date and save. Set Send email as the action and customize the email as desired in the email builder. Again, don’t forget to add Dynamic tags for maximum personalization.

Digital marketing strategy Automation Personalize occasional emails
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Personalize welcome emails

Nearly all of us are pretty familiar with welcome emails and have received them at least once after subscribing to a website or a blog or completing a purchase. Sending welcome emails is a great way to strengthen your relationship with your customers from the very first step while they’re the most engaged with your brand/services and are ready to grasp the content you share with them, especially if it’s personalized and relevant.

A welcome email can simply be a greeting email with some useful info about your website, the onboarding process  or showing related products to the customer’s previous purchase. You can try showing a discount coupon for their next order or displaying blog posts that are related to their interest if you’re running a blog.

Creating any kind of personalized welcome email is pretty easy in Growmatik. To craft a related-product email:

Add products element to the design of the email, then click on the gear icon to open the option panel. Select Related and make sure to mark Products related to last purchase. You can then choose the number of products to display as related.

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Digital marketing strategy email builder Personalize welcome emails

To display related blog posts:

Set the condition as User behavior > Sign up and choose the Blogs element instead of the Products element. There, you can choose whether to display the most recent, most popular or related blog posts to your new subscribers. This is a great way to welcome new subscribers and pique their interest with posts you think they might like.

Personalize cross-selling emails

If you’re running an ecommerce website and are selling products, you should add cross-sell items to be displayed when a customer is buying a product. Cross-sell items complement the original product; for example, when you buy a phone, a perfect cross-sell item for it would be a protective case. This action will bring you additional revenue while selling additional products to your existing customers.

To do this in Growmatik, go to the Automations page, click on the plus icon on the top right corner of the Customers column, and create a new rule. As a condition, select User behavior > Orders placed and set the number of orders to 1. Save it and set Send email as an action. Once the email builder is open, start creating the content. Add products element to the design of the email, then click on the gear icon to open the option panel. Select Coss-sells from the Content drop down menu, now you can customize the number, title, price, description and button of the products you want to add as you wish.

Digital marketing strategy Automation create a rule Personalize cross selling emails
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Personalize follow up emails

Some of your users may not interact with you anymore for various reasons. They might’ve forgotten about you, they might not find your services or offers interesting anymore and so on. On many occasions, these inactive customers are considered to have completely left your brand behind, but there is still a chance you can win them back. With a proper re-engagement email campaign in place, there is a high probability that you can reactivate your inactive customers.

You can personalize your re-engagement email using Growmatik. The process is already mentioned in the segmentation section above:

Go to the Automate page, and, depending on what user type – lead or customer – you want to address, click on the plus icon to create a new rule. Choose User behavior > Away and set a time period of inactivity. For Action, choose Send email and start creating the content of your follow-up email.

digital marketing strategy

Don’t forget to use dynamic tags and add their first name at the top of the email. You might send them a list of blog posts or products related to their interest that might appeal to them and bring them back to click and take a look.

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Wrapping up

Personalizing emails is one of the crucial components of any digital marketing strategy, as it is proven to be the best practice to grow your business while increasing conversions and revenue. Technology has made the whole process of personalization a lot easier these days so you don’t have an excuse to delay developing your personalization strategies! Our cross-channel and easy to use marketing automation and personalization tool, Growmatik will be of assistance at every stage of your marketing strategy development. So start today, sit back and enjoy the stellar results!

Bonus: Here are some more personalization tactics on how to send engaging emails!

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