Of these two email subject lines, which one would you open?
- [Your name], we’re offering a 25% discount to [grade level] teachers!
- Get a 25% discount today!
Both promote compelling offers. But if you chose email A, then you’re like many educators. In a recent survey to educators in edtech, Agile found that respondents are most likely to open an email when it’s helpful and addresses a specific need or problem they’re facing. When asked what prompts them to take action on emails, respondents said they’re most compelled by messages that teach them skills or strategies that are helpful to their jobs, or when they want to learn more about a specific product that seems to meet their needs. These answers have something in common: personalization. Hundreds of emails can pass through an educator’s inbox daily. You can get educators’ attention — and keep it — by segmenting your audience and personalizing content to create relevant, meaningful messages that speak to individual interests and needs.
Personalizing with Marketing Automation
When you have hundreds or thousands — or even hundreds of thousands — of educators in your database, the thought of tailoring content to each contact probably seems daunting — and perhaps impossible. This is where a tool like marketing automation comes in handy. With marketing automation, you can personalize messages on a mass scale by tailoring messaging to specific audience segments through variable tags, dynamic content and trigger campaigns. So even if you have a massive database, you can engage with each and every contact as though you know them personally.
The Benefits of Personalized Marketing
Taking advantage of marketing automation to create these tailored 1:1 email experiences can translate to more successful campaigns. Here’s how:
- Personalization can improve response. Personalizing messaging can increase engagement and entice educators to take action at every step of the email journey. Campaign Monitor reports that emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened; Aberdeen has found that personalized emails also boost click-through rates and conversions.
- Personalization breeds trust and loyalty. Imagine sending an ELA teacher a white paper about the current focus on increasing the use of nonfiction text in the classroom. A week after the teacher downloads the white paper, your marketing automation system will send an email promoting a webinar about how to incorporate authentic content into instruction. A week after that, a message is sent with a trial offer to access your library of informational text.
- Personalization can boost ROI. The example above also is a model for how you can use automation and personalization to nurture leads through the buying cycle. When you know where a customer is at in the education purchasing cycle, you can deliver content that answers the questions and concerns they have at that particular moment. With this level of precise targeting and timing, you can convert more prospects to qualified leads and more qualified leads to customers. Data from the Lyris Email Optimizer report supports this: 24 percent of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced greater revenue.
Through this series of personalized, yet automated, emails, you’ve proven that you’re aware of and well-informed about a current pain point that educator is facing and that you have the solution. With consistent messaging that’s tailored to educators’ specific needs, you can connect with your audience on a more personal level. Delivering this kind of relevant, helpful content can help lower unsubscribe rates and increase customer retention.
How to Personalize Your Marketing
Personalization can range from simple to sophisticated, going well beyond addressing email recipients by their first names. You can use automation tools to easily and efficiently personalize text, offers and even images by segmenting your audience database according to detailed characteristics such as:
- Job titles and district, school or grade level involvement
- Demographics, such as city, state, ELL population, and Title I funding
- Behavior, including past opens, clicks and conversions
With marketing automation, it’s simple to personalize your email messages from the first interaction to the last, from the subject line to the email message and even to the landing page. Visit our website to learn more about how Agile can help you segment your email lists and personalize your messaging to improve response and ROI.
Want to learn more about marketing automation? Our partner PR with Panache! has a great post to get you aquainted with program basics: what marketing automation is, how it helps nurture leads and manage workflows, and some of the marketing automation tools available.