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    That One Time HubSpot Got Email Personalization All Wrong

    by Katie Fassl on Apr 17, 2013 5:17:48 AM

    Last week, I got an interesting email from my friends at HubSpot. The email, with a subject line of “Come meet other HubSpot Users in Southern NH,” left me scratching my head.

    Email Personalization Don’t

    You see, I live in Illinois. I’ve never been to New Hampshire (but hey, I’ve heard it’s beautiful), and I have no plans to visit, any time soon. So why, my beloved HubSpot, did I receive this email?

    My guess is, this is a classic case of list segmentation gone wrong. (Or maybe it’s just me falling through the cracks....I’m a middle child-- :-))

    Following are several suggestions, to prevent an email personalization mishap, from happening to you:

    1. Customize your form fields.

    No matter what product or service you’re trying to sell, this is a must. Here’s an example: One of our clients provides services to both radiologists and orthopedic surgeons. In nearly every one of their forms, we have a field titled, “Specialty,” where site visitors are able to choose from Radiology, Orthopedics, or Other. On the back-end, this enables us to better segment lists, and ultimately personalize messaging based on specialty.

    2. Get familiar with personalization tokens.

    A personalization token is a code that tells the software to insert a piece of information from your database. Within our software, you can use personalization tokens in the following elements:

    • From name & email
    • Email subject line
    • Email content
    • Web version page title
    • Web version content

    Some examples of personalization tokens are:

    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Company Name
    • Twitter Username
    • Lead Owner Name
    • Lead Owner Email
    • Website URL

    A recent report from Experian found that, “Personalized promotional mailings have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% higher unique click rates than non-personalized mailings.”

    3. Test like it’s your job.

    Arguably, it is your job. As marketers, we should always be testing, analyzing, and improving. With personalization, the testing is twofold: First, you should test to see what the email will look like to recipients (within your software, there should be a “Send Test Email” option.) Secondly, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Is the email aesthetically pleasing?
    • Did you over do it with personalization? Trust me, it’s possible....and at times, borderline creepy. It’s a science and an art.
    • Do all of your personalization tokens work?
    • If you don’t have data available for a personalization field, have you assigned a default value?

    If the email passes the test, then you’re good to go.

    Would you like the ability to segment, use robust email marketing tools, and more? Click here to learn more about Inbound Marketing as a whole. Then, shoot me an email, or leave a comment below, with any questions you may have!

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