How to Add a Human Touch to Your Email Marketing
Does your company rely on email marketing?
If so, you probably rely on an email marketing automation tool, too. And, yet, if you aren’t seeing the results you want, that software could be – at least partially – to blame. That’s because it can be easy to forget that emails sent with this technology often lack the human touch.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
These days, it seems like the list of options for marketing your company grows every day. With so many new methods to choose from, it can be easy to forget that email marketing is still one of the best. For one thing, it gives you direct access to your audience. When you want to get a message to your list of recipients, it’s as easy as writing it and hitting “send.”
Unlike a blog or a social media post, you don’t have to hope people will find the time to search it out. Better still, you can monitor their reactions. Using email marketing software, you will see how many people open your emails, click on links, forward them, and much more. That’s a lot of feedback to help you create better posts in the future. Of course, for best results, you need to humanize your email marketing efforts.
What Does It Mean to Humanize Your Email Marketing?
To humanize your email marketing means to make it more personal and relatable. It doesn’t mean not using marketing automation tools, but it does mean striving to give the recipient the sense that they’re hearing from an actual human being. There are a number of ways to humanize your automated emails:
- Schedule Emails for Appropriate Times – Nothing says “we used a marketing automation tool” quite like sending an email to your recipients at 2 A.M.
- Tailor the Content – If you have a large enough list, you can segment it based on the information recipients enjoy most (more on this later). You wouldn’t send a friend a message they had no interest in, so don’t do it to your company’s email list.
- Use Their Name – This is the easiest option by far. Instead of “Dear Customer” or some other robotic greeting, use software that lets you insert the recipient’s name.
Likewise, don’t always opt for an automated email. If a customer is emailing your support inbox, respond with an email that shows you’ve read their message over and will get back to them immediately.
Humanization Is Not the Same as Personalization
Though they sound similar, humanizing your emails isn’t the same as using personalization. Again, humanization is about making choices regarding your emails’ content and delivery schedule that closely resembles what recipients could expect if a human being was writing each message one-by-one.
Personalization is a class of ecommerce tools that make this easier. A personalization platform will assess feedback from your recipients and automatically decide which messages they’ll like most. For example, if your company offers tools for property-rental companies, some of your recipients may click on a link that promises to show them how to better care for the duplexes they own. Some of your recipients won’t.
Based on this feedback, your personalization tool would automatically send the former group more emails that covered topics specific to people who own duplexes. It wouldn’t send these emails to the group that showed no interest. This is an incredibly powerful tool. Personalized emails earn 6x better transaction rates.
Where Humanization and Personalization Meet
Much of this has to do with the amount of overlap that humanization and personalization can have.
However, it’s important not to use personalization tools without taking the time to humanize your messages. Otherwise, the former will come off as robotic and unrelatable.
The first thing to do is to think about the tone of voice to use for your customers. It should be appropriate for the content of the email. If you’re talking about something serious, like life insurance, it’s best to take a formal tone and avoid any attempts at humor.
At the same time, if you’re talking about something fun – like a trip to Cancun – it would be equally off-putting if your tone was too formal. It might even feel as though the writer was using some sort of marketing automation template, one they use for any number of other unrelated services. This will not endear you to any of your customers. At the very least, write your emails with a tone that is:
You can adjust your tone once these bases are covered, but these three must be your priority.
Using Segmentation to Add Humanization to Your Email Marketing
People often confuse personalization and segmentation. While they are usually used in concert, in the case of email marketing, the latter refers to looking at your total list of recipients and cutting it up into different segments. For example, if you make software for Amazon sellers, your list may include people who are:
- Interested in selling
- Currently selling as a part-time job
- People who sell as their full-time job
- Companies that use Amazon as one of many channels
Sending all four groups the same email will almost guarantee it fails with all of them. Instead, each group should get their own email. This will allow you to humanize them further. For the first group, you may start your email with:
I want to tell you about a common beginner mistake sellers make on Amazon.”
Whereas you’d want to start an email to the fourth group with:
Are you using information from your other channels to help you better succeed with Amazon?”
These emails resemble the way a human would write, not a mindless template that sends the same exact copy to completely different groups.
Don’t Let Email Marketing Automation Become an Obstacle
There’s no doubt about it: email marketing automation tools represent a massive advantage for the companies that use them. If yours has an email list, there is absolutely no reason not to use a marketing automation tool to make the most of it.
That said, this software doesn’t mean you don’t have to do any work. You should constantly review your analytics and look for opportunities to further humanize them. In the digital age, the human touch has become so rare that it makes all the difference.