At a consulting client meeting the other day my business partner and I were doing some discovery on this particular businesses internal processes to identify gaps we could help them close. They are a smaller insurance company who gets incoming leads that they qualify, match needs, and make sales. As anyone with sales experience know you don’t close every lead you get, and especially not always on the first contact. The problem this business was having is that they were collecting e-mail addresses but their follow up e-mail they referred to me as a “blast” or “bulk” e-mail that they send to their warm and cold contacts randomly. This is not OK.
Cringe Worthy E-mail ‘Blasts’
I actually cringed when they described their e-mail marketing in this manner yet was immediately delighted to see that I could help get this spammy e-mail tactic back under control with some personalization and automation. Basically they were using Microsoft Outlook to send and template e-mail which I happened to get a copy of so you can see what I’m talking about(and so I could improve it for them of course which means starting from scratch):
3 Worst Elements of this Email
- Not Personalized with Hello First Name, or a Personal Signature
- Not customized based on the recipients original inquiry
- This same e-mail is ‘blasted’ to the same list at frequent times
There is lots more wrong with this e-mail and I am not going to list it all. It should though be mentioned that the delivered rate of this e-mail is extremely low because it’s more than likely been ‘marked as spam’ hundreds of times by recipients and also it does not include a link to ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘stop receiving these e-mails’ which is borderline against CAN-SPAM regulations for sending e-mails.
A Better E-mail with Personalization
It didn’t take me long to search my e-mail and find an example of another business who is doing everything right already with their personalization and e-mails(Did I mention this e-mail looks great on an iphone too?):
Do you see how this e-mail is personalized to me and it appears to be from a real person? Not only that but the subject matter is very relevant to my interests and resourceful as well by offering me valuable free information: a blog post and accompanying webinar. Also it has an easy unsubscribe button right below where it tells me why I received this e-mail. Beautiful.
Personalization Shouldn’t be an Option
This concept of personalization in marketing and sales is not a new one and many young or new marketers forget that. Thankfully there are tools available now that are relatively affordable that can give you leverage for personalizing your sales and marketing e-mails in a highly automated fashion. This is a form of lead nurturing that when done proper has the ability to take a prospect from looking for information to qualifying themselves for a sale or purchase. Personalization is powerful and this can be illustrated in other ways outside of sales and marketing.
The Act of Personalized Gift Giving
The concept of this blog post originally stemmed from a gift I received in the mail from my mother who was visiting her friend who lives in Hawaii. One day I got a text message and it was my mom asking for me to send her a picture of my sailboat. I sent her one photo and did not really ask why or care why she wanted it.
A few weeks later I get a box in the mail and when I open it up here is what I found:
You can see this custom pillow was handmade and personalized just for me with my boat on it. So what’s my point? Personalized gifts rock? No (this pillow does rock though!). My point is that my old sailboat needs a lot of things besides a pillow such as a new mainsail cover, mooring ball cleaning service, or mast/boom repair but would I trade the pillow for any of those things… no way.
I loved this gift so much that I was immediately hesitant to even take it out to my boat which lives on the salt water 365 days a year. I even considered scotch guarding it or keeping it in a plastic bag out there I was so serious about how cool I thought the gift was.
The Bottom Line on Personalization
Whether you are creating marketing that people love or gift giving personalization is very crucial if you want to make a real impression. If your business or organization is sending e-mails that look like the first example above you might want to do something about it. Next time you go to send that e-mail or gift or whatever it is ask yourself if there is a way you could personalize it that might make it better? Chances are there is a way.
Have you received an amazing personalized gift or e-mail that really hit home with you? Please share in the comments below.