A great way to inspire your customers and incentivize new purchases is with personalized newsletters. Newsletters are an essential part of customer communication for many companies. But the daily flood of emails in your customers’ inboxes is enormous. That’s why it’s critical to make your electronic mail stand out from the crowd with relevant content.
Personalization is a crucial factor that often determines success or failure in terms of newsletter interaction rates. In a study by SmartHQ1, 72% of respondents said they would only interact with the sender in a commercial environment if the content in the newsletter aligned with their interests.
In this post, you’ll learn how newsletter personalization works, what elements you can customize for each recipient, and what types of personalized outreach will intrigue customers.
How does newsletter personalization work?
Our Artificial Intelligence (AI) for personalization tool analyzes your customers’ behavior based on current shopping patterns and historical transaction data. Then the AI identifies the affinity of each of your customers for specific products, product groups, or content in real-time. Simultaneously, the AI predicts the most appropriate content for each person. The content in the email is generated only once the receiver opens the newsletter. In this way, the AI ensures that it also includes the most recent customer interactions in the app or online store instead of only considering the actions taken before sending the newsletter. Depending on which recommendation types you choose in your newsletter, recipients get specific content, whether that’s product-related, category-related, user-related, search term-related, or global recommendations.
You can also use different logics on a personalized space:
This data-driven personalization allows you to communicate 1:1 with your customers in the newsletter. In our customer projects, personalized newsletters have enabled retailers to noticeably increase interaction rates and thus sales, while reducing unsubscribe rates.
Which newsletter elements can you personalize?
You can personalize various elements based on the recommendation type you choose.
1) Banner personalization
Banners with personalized content in the newsletter attract a lot of attention, in part because of their size. Dynamic banners generate even more attention by changing content. For example, you could alternate between user-related products, products currently in high demand in the online store, and your newest product arrivals. As well, you could fill the banner with products from the recipient’s favorite brand. Read more about banner personalization here.
2) Category recommendations
Most customers have two or three favorite categories they are particularly fond of. If your newsletter recipient receives recommendations from these categories, there is a higher probability that they will take a closer look at them. With category recommendations, you can also specify more closely and test out what triggers the highest interaction among your customers:
- The favorite category.
- The category that best matches the favorite category.
- The top-selling subcategory of the favorite category.
- The highest-demand categories in the online store.
Read more about this in our post on category recommendations.
3) Product offers
In our newsletter projects, we have found that user-related recommendation types achieve a high response rate. So, another idea is to combine an interesting product for the recipient with another suitable product (e.g., coffee machine and coffee beans) and offer it as a product bundle. Or you can include visually similar items for a product that sold out while sitting in your customer’s shopping cart. Also popular: you can push products from your current sale offer if the recipient finds these products exciting (based on their behavioral data).
With personalized coupons, you can provide outstanding purchase incentives in the newsletter. The AI calculates the interesting products for the recipient and combines them with a fixed discount to build intrigue. Our customer Coop increased the purchase frequency and the shopping cart value among its newsletter recipients by using personalized coupons. Read more about this in our case study on Coop.
5) Editorial content
You can also supplement your product offerings with relevant editorial content in various formats. For example, if your customer is interested in baby care products, the AI can recommend thematically relevant articles such as “The safest changing tables.” If your customer is interested in makeup and cosmetics, the AI will suggest a post on beauty tips. Such posts deliver real value to the recipient and often lead to interaction.
What types of newsletters can AI personalize?
You can personalize any type of newsletter to achieve higher click-through and interaction rates. For example, a campaign newsletter promotes a particular product or segment that you are newly offering in your assortment. Here, it can also be helpful to pre-select your customers according to the target group.
Our customer WMF also likes to use automated campaign newsletters to increase the interaction rate. If you want to read more about the joint project, visit our case study on WMF.
Many retailers also rely on newsletters for birthdays, Christmas, or customer loyalty anniversaries. These special occasions are great opportunities to contact your customers through a personalized newsletter. In our projects, we have seen new and creative ways that online retailers are getting in touch with their customers even between the occasions mentioned above, such as a ranking of products as inspiration:
Newsletters on specific sale promotions such as Singles Day, Black Friday, or the end of the season are also very popular. The majority of customers expect special offers on these days. If you manage to include your customers’ personal interests in the sale promotions here, you greatly increase the likelihood of purchase.
In addition, emails like payment confirmation or shipping confirmation offer the opportunity for a new interaction. You should include inspirational recommendations for the next order here as well.