How to Get Started with B2B Email Personalisation

How to Get Started with B2B Email Personalisation

June 2021 | Digital Marketing

B2B email personalisation doesn't have to be complicated. Start simple, with these five quick and easy ways to personalise your marketing emails.

Good personalisation doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it can be quite simple. The goal of email personalisation is not to create a 1:1 email for every subscriber. That's as bad as no personalisation at all. Instead, the aim is to increase engagement by making the content more relevant to the needs and priorities of the recipient. For email campaigns, that can be as easy as tweaking the email copy to fit the audience. Even a few words here and there can make a drastic difference to campaign results.

In a B2B context, all you need to know is a contact's job title, as well as some basic information about the size and industry of their company. You don't even need to know the company's customer status or purchase history, although having that background definitely helps. From that, you can create targeted content based on the contact's buying persona and their previous relationship with your organisation. Mix that with the information you have about each individual to send personalised campaigns that get results.

Every marketing automation platform has features that allow you to quickly add personalisation to your emails. From merge tags to dynamic content, you're probably already familiar with the functionality needed to make email personalisation shine. The goal is to instead use those features in the most effective way, without complicating campaign delivery. To get started, here are five common approaches to email personalisation.

1. Personalised Greetings

Add a personalised greeting to each email you send. This increases engagement by showing that the email was intended for them. Most marketers use Dear First Name in emails, but including the person's name or campaign in the subject line can also be effective. Make sure your data is 100% accurate before doing this. If you get it wrong, the recipient might choose to unsubscribe instead.

2. Include their Role or Industry

Refer to the contact's industry in the subject line or email copy, making the content appear more relevant to the individual. This is particularly effective when used in the email body. Referencing the contact's specific persona in an email rather than using generic terminology will make a big difference to click-through rates. You only need to change a few words to make this work.

3. Dynamic Images

Change the email text and images to fit the contact's job title or company size more closely. Many enterprise decision makers will ignore content if it appears targeted at SMB audiences, while many SMB decision makers will ignore products that appear targeted at enterprise audiences. You don't even need to change the email content either, just changing the banner image can make a difference in click-through or conversion rates.

4. Alternative CTAs

Increase cross-sell and up-sell opportunities by using dynamic content to change the call to actions in the email to fit the customer's subscriptions or purchase history. This is particularly effective when used in product emails to promote add-on modules or accessories. The same tactic can be used for secondary call to actions in newsletters to ensure that contacts are shown the most relevant articles.

5. Change the Sender

Build on existing personal relationships by sending email campaigns from account managers or a trusted salesperson. When done correctly, this can have a substantial impact on open rates. When personalising the sender, it's important to make sure that every contact will recognise the individual from whom you're sending the email otherwise you may see a reduction in open rates.

Some approaches will be more effective for your audience than others, so use A/B testing to measure the impact of each approach on your campaigns. Your contact strategy should identify where you need to tailor content to the audience. Then use constant iteration and continuous testing to discover what works and what doesn't. So long as you have the contact data and the content, you can do what you want. Beware of diminishing returns though. If your personalisation is too targeted, you'll appear creepy to your audience. That's a sure fire way to collect unsubscribes and lose customers. As a general rule, stick to personalising only one or two items in each email. Within that boundary, the only real roadblock is scale and efficiency rather than ambition. The sky's the limit!

Written by
Marketing Operations Consultant and Solutions Architect at CRMT Digital specialising in marketing technology architecture. Advisor on marketing effectiveness and martech optimisation.