Using a Contact’s Preferences to Send Personalized Follow Up

A contact has just opted in to your list– you have their attention and they are ready to engage with your brand. This is your opportunity to put your data to work and make an impactful impression with your first campaign.

In my previous post, Get Personal With Your Opt In Form, I discussed the importance of personalization in marketing automation and explored three key elements to consider when capturing contact preferences at opt in— timing, segmentation, and personalization.

This post will show you how to use your data to create personalized email campaigns based on your contacts’ preferences that will enhance the customer experience resulting in more interaction, elevated engagement rates, and increased ROI.

“How often does your contact want to receive communication from you?”

Now that you know how often your contact wants to hear from you, you should respect their inbox and send messages based on their preference.

You can group contacts that have the same preference by using the segment builder to create saved segments that are easy to access when it’s time to send your next campaign. You can access the segment builder from the Contacts section of your account by clicking on the Search contacts field and selecting Advanced Search.

Creating a saved search

Once you’ve saved a segment, any new contacts that meet the search conditions will be added to the grouping and you’ll be able to select the segment from the List section of the campaign builder.

If you want to create your campaigns in advance, you can use the scheduling feature that is available on the campaign summary page to schedule your campaign to go out at a future day and time.

Once you have developed a sending cadence you can begin to perfect your timing by taking advantage of the Open/Read Trends data available in the Reports section. This report displays the percentage of contacts that open your emails by weekday and by hour. As you continue to send campaigns you can adjust the timing based on these trends to maximize engagement and improve your open rates.

“What lists do they want to subscribe to?”

You collected the right information initially by including a list selector on your opt in form, but as we all know people’s preferences can change over time. There are two techniques I recommend for managing your lists and ensuring you are retaining engaged contacts.

The first is to use a Subscription Update Form link in your campaigns. This link can be used to collect updated information from your contacts and will help to keep your lists clean and up-to-date. The link is created from within the campaign builder and is generated using a personalization tag, so it will automatically pull in existing contact data for any of the fields included on your form.

The second is to actively manage your unsubscribes by directing your contacts to a landing page with a preference form when they click an unsubscribe link in one of your messages. Using this method will allow your contacts to adjust their list subscriptions without unsubscribing from all your communications.

“What are their interests?”

Last, but certainly not least, we take in to consideration the unique interests of your contacts. Your messages should subtly pique your customers’ attention by including tailored content that is relevant to their interests.

The simplest way to do this is to use personalization tags within your emails. Each time you create a custom field, a correlating personalization tag is generated. When you insert the tag it will automatically populate individual contact data in to your message. You can create unlimited custom fields to represent data that is unique to your business.

I recommend adding a default value for each custom field. The default value will populate if the data does not exist on a contact profile, eliminating the possibility of a blank space in your message. Custom fields are housed in the Forms section of the platform and can be accessed by clicking the Manage Fields button.

You can also use custom fields and tags to create conditional content in your campaigns. Conditional content uses the data already stored on your contact’s profile to display varied content based on established conditions. This allows you to send the same campaign to a group of contacts and present each recipient with information uniquely aligned with their interests.

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Now that you are familiar with some techniques to power your campaigns with personalized data, I recommend activating the Site Tracking feature. Once installed, Site Tracking automatically logs active contacts’ visits to pages of your website and can trigger automations to apply interest tags as they browse, allowing you to continue effortlessly collecting valuable data about your contacts.

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