How To Set Up The Most Effective Email Follow Up System – Part 5

Getting Personal with Your Prospects

When’s the last time a billboard, or a magazine ad, or a radio spot made you feel like a business was talking to you directly? If you’re anything like me, probably never. So-called “mass” media can reach large numbers of people, but its great limitation is its inability to engage those people on a 1-on-1 basis.

One of the main reasons that email marketing outperforms mass media is that with email, you *can* speak to people on a 1-to-1 basis. You can engage them, build a relationship with them. You can make people feel like you’re talking only to them.

Personalization Helps Make It Possible

Inserting someone’s name into an email message is such a simple step, but over and over I see studies that link it to increased response rates. Of course, personalization doesn’t stop at a name. You can merge many pieces of information into your messages. For example, Aweber personalization allows you to insert and personalize with the following tags:

  • Name: {!name_fix}
  • Email address: {!email}
  • The date they signed up: {!signdate dayname}, {!signdate long}
  • Today’s date: {!date abb+0}
  • Or a future date, say a week from today: {!date abb+7}
  • Approximate Geographic Location: {!geog_city} {!geog_region}
  • Any other information you collect from subscribers

If this post was sent out as an email, all the above information would be filled in with your name, email, etc. For more personalization choices, check out AWeber’s knowledge base article.

“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.”

Yes, that is a line from the Spider Man movies, but more importantly, it’s quite applicable to what we’re talking about today. Remember: your subscribers aren’t dumb. Personalization is powerful, but it’s nothing new to most of them, and even before email, they received personalized direct mail.

Mix up how/where/what you personalize in your emails to get the best response. Don’t personalize just because you can do so – excessive personalization is transparent and blunt.

Right… So How Can I Creatively Personalize My Emails?

A few things to try:

  • Limited Time Offers: use a date variable in a follow up email to specify when a sale or offer expires. That way, regardless of when your subscriber gets your email, a sense of urgency accompanies it.
  • Build anticipation: tell people when they’ll next hear from you using day/date variables (I’ve done this in a couple of these Test Drive emails).
  • Use geographic targeting to isolate and email people in a certain part of the country/world — make offers to your {!geog_city} area subscribers.
  • (Didn’t realize you could segment based on where your subscribers are located? Not only can you do that, you can access geographic reporting *and* even map out your subscribers’ location. For example:

    World Map

    Pretty cool, no?)

These are just some of the ways you can personalize your messages to increase your subscribers’ response. As you go, you’ll undoubtedly discover all sorts of new ways to use email personalization to your advantage.

Don’t Delay Any Longer

If you’ve been getting just 100 people per day to your site, that’s over *2000* potential sales/readers that you may have lost to inaction. And 100 more each day. There’s nothing funny about that. Every website visitor is an opportunity. Don’t let yours go to waste. Remember, it’s only take $1 to set up an Aweber account.

What’s Next?

So far, I’ve focused on turning your website visitors into prospects and customers. But what about people who aren’t even coming to your website but are still interested in what you have to offer? Tomorrow, I’ll show you some simple ways to measure the success of your email campaign.