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Email Personalization: How to Be Relevant No Matter Where People Travel This Summer

Email Personalization: How to Be Relevant No Matter Where People Travel This Summer Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

August 8th, 2017 min read

Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.

You can imagine my disappointment to learn this wasn't actually said by the Dalai Lama like so many Instagram and Pinterest boards claim -- but hey, that doesn’t make any less true in my book.

A vacation to me is not a success unless I go somewhere or see something that I have never seen before, and I know I’m not the only one.

Simply glance at your Facebook timeline and I’m sure you’ll see dozens of people jet-setting to exotic locations this summer, looking for adventure.

While that’s wonderful for them, from a marketer’s perspective, it throws quite a wrench in our campaign calendars.

With everyone on-the-go, when is the right time to send out that next big email marketing campaign? When can you unleash your secret weapon without it getting missed? How can you still be relevant?

Fear not friends! Just because your buyers are on holiday doesn’t mean your email marketing efforts have to come to a screeching halt.

Here’s how one simple personalization token can help keep you in the game, even when your leads are soaking up some sun.

Location, Location, Location.

Before we get down to the nitty gritty, let me share a little background story.

On a short family trip I made earlier a few months ago, I had limited internet access, so time was of the essence.

I checked-in on Facebook, did a little Instagram stalking, and cleared out my email all at lightning speed -- but on the second day of my trip, this email from Sephora stopped me in my tracks.

Sephora-email-personalization.png

There I was, sitting at my great uncle’s kitchen table in the middle of Mississauga, Ontario, and Sephora knew.

After my initial “wow, that’s creepy” reaction, I couldn’t help but be impressed.

Never have I seen a brand so cleverly incorporate location personalization into a marketing email.

Obviously, I never disclosed to the company that I would be out of town, but using my uncle’s IP address (and Powerinbox’s DynamicMail), they were able to deliver relevant and useful information to me even when I wasn’t home.

In the summer season, when you may never know for sure where someone might be or if you’ll catch them in the right place at the right time, this kind of above-and-beyond personalization is commendable.

By relying on IP location to customize the content of its email, Sephora made sure their message would resonate with me regardless of where I was. (Note: Yes, the email content did change when I got back home!)

This is not only smart, thoughtful marketing that takes into consideration buyer behavior, but it also created a memorable and delightful user experience.

Now, it's important to note that IP location isn't always reliable, but when it is, the rewards are unmatched. 

Had the team simply used the address they have on record for me (as many businesses do), the message wouldn’t have had even remotely the same impact that seeing my real-time location did.

They would’ve risked sending me content that was completely irrelevant to my current situation and ending up in my trash can.

But instead, they took their personalization to the next level -- and now have this little article dedicated to their strategy. Lucky them!

3 Simple Ways to Use Location Personalization in Your Email Marketing

So, how can your marketing team capitalize on this kind of email personalization this summer? While the forecast approach may not work for every business, here are three more general ways to use IP location in your email marketing.

1. Highlight Nearby Locations

If you run a brick-and-mortar business with multiple locations or offices, consider using IP location to highlight your nearest locations in a summer email to your contacts.

Having a sale or offering a deal? Even if someone is away from home, showing them where they can take advantage of your promotion will not only delight, but also more likely drum up some business you may have otherwise lost out on.

2. Share Local Support/Service Numbers

Sell a SaaS or other type of service?

In your email, providing people with a local support/service phone number based on their IP will let them know that local help is readily available whenever or wherever they may need it.

No locations nearby? If your reader’s IP location isn’t within a reasonable distance of an office, you can consider changing your message to “visit us online at _____.” While not as personal as a phone call, the consideration and guidance will be appreciated.

3. Incorporate the Location into Your Messaging

Even if you don’t have local offices or numbers, you can cleverly incorporate your readers’ IP locations into your copy or messaging. Perhaps position your offer as an exclusive for people in that area or simply say “how’s it going down in [insert location]?”

No matter what your approach, this touch of personalization will make your message hit home that much more and make it stand out even if someone is on vacation.

Key Takeaway

It may take a little more effort on your part, but don’t let your marketing initiatives sit idly by as your audience vacations during the summer months.

While you should always respect your audience's privacy and avoid bombarding them with marketing messages, don't be afraid to get creative!

With things like personalization tokens or even features like HubSpot’s Smart Scheduling, you stay top of mind and continue to deliver the right messages at the time even when people are on-the-go.

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