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Sheri Hebbeln
 
February 6, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Personalization Leads Email Marketing Efforts

No matter how many other wine marketing methods you use, email should still be a vital part of your arsenal. Although it's the oldest form of digital communication, you can teach email new tricks and keep seeing a return on investment. Personalization and adding new, creative elements into your email can help you sustain results.

Rather than losing effectiveness as new marketing channels crop up, email has gotten stronger. In fact, it demonstrates better ROI than social media, according to Inquistr. It's also easier to measure campaign performance compared to social networks. One common misconception about email marketing is that it's limited to promotional communications, but it's an essential tool for e-commerce. For example, you can email customers immediately after they buy wine online and include an additional call to action for a special offer. 

The campaign possibilities are nearly endless. Especially if you're using customer relationship management software data, it's easy to split your list into different segments and use email as an engagement tool, which can be effective to get back in touch with consumers who haven't made a purchase in a while.

Personalization is key
Modern email marketing has come a long way from the days of dial-up Internet. You can utilize data to tailor communications to customer preferences and history. A recent survey from Harris Interactive and Listrak revealed personalized product recommendations have the biggest influence on consumers. In fact, targeted communications make your client base more open to receiving additional emails and more willing to share personal information. 

In the past, it wasn't possible to personalize emails to the same degree. Most marketers sent out untargeted, blanket email blasts. Now it's far easier for wineries to make recommendations based on customers' previous orders. The study found that 82 percent of online shoppers are likely to spend more per order after receiving emails tailored around their interests. The majority of shoppers were also interested in getting emails that alert them when their favorite products go on sale. This could allow you to encourage more online wine sales. 

Your CRM can provide valuable customer data to help you craft email messages to suit individual preferences. You can still use email as a promotional tool, but it may be more beneficial to create unique messages for individuals. 

How to successfully personalize email campaigns
Personalization is a highly useful tactic, but only when it's done properly. Business 2 Community cited data from The Economist that found many U.S. and U.K. e-commerce shoppers found vendors' personalized emails to be fake or irritating. Marketers often struggle with this objective, especially because they need to ask permission before using consumer data. You need to find the right mix of utilizing information without overdoing it or infringing on privacy. Most e-commerce shoppers are aware of big data and are somewhat more concerned with guarding their personal information from misuse. 

There are a bunch of different aspects you can personalize in a single email, but Business 2 Community suggests limiting it to two or three. It can be overwhelming for recipients if messages have too many specific elements, and they may feel like you're taking advantage of their personal information. Don't use data your customers didn't realize they shared with you. Additionally, preferences for personalization vary by age. Younger shoppers are more likely to feel comfortable with this technique, especially if messages involve a special offer. 

Email marketing is a highly effective way of increasing online wine sales, and with new techniques emerging, it will continue to be very relevant to e-commerce shoppers. 

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