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SEVENTH SENSE BLOG

How to Increase Email Engagement With Personalization

Posted by Alyssa Crabbe on Oct 18, 2019
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How to Increase Email Engagement with Personalization

As a marketing agency, we’re all too familiar with the struggles of email engagement.

Customer interests and behaviors change constantly. But your quarterly goals and product promotion schedules don’t always line up with what your customers care about. Generalized emails and batch-and-blast campaigns often miss the target, resulting in lost revenue opportunities.

At Human, we use send-time optimization and dynamic content to personalize emails and improve email engagement.

Read on to learn how we leveraged two tools, Seventh Sense and Personalize, to increase our client’s email open rates by 23% and click rates by 57%.

 

Solution #1: Optimize Email Send Times

Overcrowded email inboxes are a common reality for most consumers. While certain days of the week and times of day tend to yield higher open rates than others, isolating the right time for every person was unrealistic.

That's where Seventh Sense comes in.  It helps you win attention in your customers’ inboxes by optimizing the send time for each contact. It builds a predictive model for individual users based on their activity across various sources via HubSpot. When launching an email campaign, Seventh Sense communicates with HubSpot on when to deliver an email to each person when they're most likely to engage with it.  

Send-time optimization has countless benefits over your typical scheduled email campaigns.

  • Improved Open and Click Rates: When customers don’t open your email, they may be ignoring you – but there’s also a good chance they didn’t notice your email at all. 

  • Higher Engagement: By ensuring customers receive your messages when they’re most likely to engage, you boost the success of your campaigns. 

  • Avoid Triggering Spam Filters: Throttling outbound email can help you land more messages in the inbox and avoid triggering spam filters. 

  • Even Out Demand: Traditional email blasts can cause a spike in demand for your product, which can overload your servers, deplete your stock and frustrate your customers. 

 

Solution #2: Send Personalized Recommendations

When you nail down send-time optimization with Seventh Sense, your emails will start hitting customers at the perfect time. But that’s only half of the solution. Are you sending content that your customers care about right now?

65% of marketers agree that dynamic content is the most effective personalization tactic in their arsenal. Sending dynamic content means your audience receives information that’s relevant right now – not what they wanted six months ago.

Lots of marketers use batch-and-blast email campaigns to segment contacts into buckets based on a product or service they showed interest in at one point or another. But user interests, needs and motivations can shift daily.

Promoting products that a user wanted in the past won’t resonate today. And when users receive an irrelevant message or feel overwhelmed with options, they’ll be far less likely to open and click your email.

Here at Human, we developed a marketing software called Personalize to solve this issue. The AI-based algorithm monitors user behavior across your website and determines visitors’ top interests based on three factors:

  • Page view frequency

  • Time on page

  • Visit recency 

Personalize collects data on all contacts that visit your website to determine their primary interest at any given moment. It also tracks how those interests fluctuate over time.

Armed with this data, you can create personalized campaigns that resonate with every customer and deliver the right content at the right time.

 

Case Study: Global Learning Provider

If you sell more than a handful of products, understanding what to send your audience when is an uncrackable code.

This customer faced this exact issue. The global company sells hundreds of training courses and struggled to hit its audience with the most relevant message at the right time. Some contacts had been in the same email list for months or years, so email engagement rates were stagnant.

Human experimented with send-time optimization and dynamic content to help improve engagement. The result? We increased email open rates by more than 23% and click rates by 57%.

Here’s how we did it.

 

Test #1: Seventh Sense

We performed an A/B test to determine whether optimizing the send time for each contact would improve open rates.

Step 1: Segment Your Audience By Engagement

We segmented our newsletter promotion list audience into two groups: never engaged
(opened or clicked at least one email) and historically engaged (opened or clicked at
least one email). We then split each segment into two subgroups: people who had been sent 10 or fewer emails all-time and people who had been sent 11 or more emails all-time.

Step 2: Test Email Send Times

Seventh Sense's system used an algorithm to schedule each person’s email delivery time during a 24-hour window. For group A lists, we blasted the emails at 9:00AM PST on a Thursday. For group B lists, Seventh Sense used predicted send times over 24 hours, from 12:00AM PST to 11:59PM PST on the same Thursday.

Step 3: Assess the Results

Within the “Never Engaged” audience, Seventh Sense improved open rates for new contacts by 54%. Low-engagement people had a 6% difference in favor of Seventh Sense.

Within the “Historically Engaged” audience, Seventh Sense improved open rates for engaged people by 32%. The low-engagement group had a 41% higher open rate in favor of Seventh Sense.

 

Test #2: Personalize

To improve the relevance of emails, we performed an A/B test on the client’s newsletter list using Personalize.

Step 1: Define User Interest Groups

The company sells IT training, so we defined interests as training categories, such as Cisco, Microsoft, cybersecurity and leadership training.

Step 2: Test the Same Content Across Two Lists

We sent the same email to two different lists: 

  • General Newsletter List: Contacts who expressed interest in the technology at some point by filling out a form, enrolling in a class, etc.

  • Most Interested List: Contacts who were most interested in the technology at that given time, based on data gathered from the Personalize algorithm.

Step 3: Assess the Results

We ran the test once a month for seven months to measure its true impact. And the results speak for themselves.

Across seven tests, Personalize emails had a 13.1% higher average open rate and 56.7% higher average click rate than non-personalized emails.

Personalize - Seventh Sense Results

Start Increasing Email Engagement Today

Are you making the most of personalization in your email strategy? As a marketer, it’s up to you to keep your customers engaged and promote the products and services they actually care about.

If you follow the steps outlined above, we guarantee you’ll see better email engagement and longer-lasting customer relationships.

Learn more about Personalize and sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

 

Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Email, HubSpot, Email Marketing, send time optimization, eCommerce Email Marketing

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