THE BLOG

Disappointed With Your Email Marketing Results? Try Personalizing Your Subject Line

02/18/2014 05:02 pm ET | Updated Apr 20, 2014

Standing out in a customer's inbox is becoming harder than ever, thanks to increasingly discerning email users. Today's savvy consumer is often checking email on mobile devices while on the go, searching subject lines and sender names for the few items worth reading.

This change in habits has led many experts to realize the importance of a good subject line. In a recent study by Experian, 62 percent of marketers say that a personalized email subject is crucial. The survey asked marketers about the results of the testing they've conducted on their own email campaigns.

Increased Open Rates

A personalized subject line increases the chances that an email will be opened, according to Experian. The unique open rate of emails with personalized subject lines is 26 percent higher than those without personalization. But perhaps more important is the fact that businesses are finding their competition is participating in personalized marketing. Failure to participate means being left behind.

Personalizing subject lines doesn't mean sending an individual email to every person who visits or purchases from your website. That would require a far higher time investment than most professionals have. Today's customized emails are being generated using affordable software solutions that monitor website behaviors and create emails based specifically on those behaviors.

About the Technology

Today's email marketing software employs sophisticated technology. Marketers can not only send messages tailored to a customer's buying preferences, but they can also track the success of those messages. Advanced analytics provide information on how many emails were opened and what clicks resulted from those opens. Responsive design technology ensures that customers can open and seamlessly read optimized emails on any mobile device. Businesses can also time-delay emails to ensure they are delivered at a time of day that customers are most likely to be monitoring their inboxes.

Email personalization relies upon the software's ability to directly connect to a business's customer databases. Based on information stored in those databases, email subject lines can include simple information like a person's name, or far more complex information like a customer's personal interests. Email lists can be created to include a streamlined group of customers, such as those who have mentioned the company on social media or visited certain pages on your website.

Importance of Testing

As sophisticated as this software is, however, it's imperative that businesses test email deployments at every stage of development and production. One error could result in major embarrassment for a company, potentially causing a loss of customers. In addition to testing, companies should also closely track the progress of each campaign to quickly discover and correct any errors.

To be most effective, the email itself should be personalized, as well. If the internal contents of an email consistently meet a customer's interests, that customer is more likely to open future emails from that company.

Conclusion

With so many available tools, businesses of all sizes can now employ the best email strategies for reaching customers. When used correctly, these tools let businesses of all sizes compete with even the largest corporations. As more marketers discover the value of personalized marketing, businesses that don't personalize their efforts will likely find their campaigns are largely unsuccessful.