Ping! There it goes…that melodious ring signifying that work never ends. Ping! It’s the sound that increases your phone addiction because you just need to know if it’s an important email. You click the icon and boom! You’re greeted with an email with the subject, “Get 50% off all items.” Yawn! Just another one of those emails from one of those online clothing stores you probably shouldn’t have given your email address to. You begin considering unsubscribing from the mailing list.

Email marketing is an art. Each customer is unique and is craving for personalized attention. It’s what each customer expects.  Your approach to email marketing must, therefore, be vastly different from trying to group all eggs into one basket. Personalization and segmentation aren’t options, they’re necessities.  Here’s how you can effectively use personalization and segmentation to optimize email marketing campaigns.

Unleash the Power of Self-Segmentation

Segmentation can be time-consuming, especially when you have a large subscriber list. It’s much easier to send a general email that should cover what everyone wants. Who doesn’t want a discount right?

Self-segmentation helps you save time and truly identify your target audience’s key interests. An email preference center is a great way to get this data. Simply put, an email preference center is a specially designed email that allows customers to input their preferences. It’s usually a clickable form sent in the body of an email, but it can also be a dedicated page on your website.  In fact, it’s a good idea to use both media. Good preference centers include the following options for customers:

Your customers should always be given the option to update preferences. This can be done by including a link to your static page preference center in each email. It’s a good way to ensure you have up-to-date information.

Another self-segmentation option is prompting website visitors to sign up for newsletters based on the content they read. Doing this ensures that customers only get relevant content…content that truly matters to them.

Capitalize on Dynamic Content

Personalization should never require you to spend countless hours crafting emails for specific customers.  You’ll never get other important things done! Dynamic content is displayed based on user data. For instance, Beats has headphones that are specifically tailored for either males or females. Dynamic content ensures that a female customer only sees images for the headphones designed for females. The same is true for a male customer.  A customer who opens this email will think, “They know what I want! How’d they do that?”

Automate! Automate! Automate!

You should only use a few hours to plan a series of emails that can be used in your email marketing campaign. Automation allows you to send relevant, pre-created emails to subscribers who meet certain criteria. A welcome email can be sent to subscribers who purchase specific products for instance.  Most email marketing platforms allow you to automate so you should take advantage of the feature.

Use Behavioral Marketing

Each website visitor follows a path. This path can help you learn a lot about the customer and, consequently, tailor your emails accordingly. All the data you collect about the customer’s journey (gender, location, product or content preferences, buying activity, age and so on) is pivotal to email marketing success. Collect it. Store it. Use it!

Pay Attention to Your Email’s Subject

Make each email subject line personal. Sure, it’s great to tell the customer about a deal upfront. However, it helps even more when the customer’s needs are specifically addressed from the get-go. For instance, you can say something like, “Classy Female Work Wear at 50% Off” instead of “50% Off the Latest Fashion”. A woman looking for classy workwear will be more likely to click on the former title as opposed to the latter.

Putting It All Together

Your customers are people too. Treat them like the gems they are by using personalization and segmentation in your email marketing. They’re more likely to click your emails and become paying customers if you do. The strategies presented in this article will help you get the personalization and segmentation done in no time.