When was the last time you went into a job interview without doing any research? Never, right?

Of course not. When you prepare for an interview, you visit the company’s website, download a case study or review other content, familiarize yourself with the industry and the company’s competitors, etc.

It’s been said before and it’s a cliche for a reason: you only get one shot to make a first impression.

In today’s day and age, with infinite data at hand, content to consume, social posts to scope, and third-party reviews to peruse, walking into an interview without any knowledge of the potential employer isn’t going to cut it — regardless of your experience. Why would a company want to hire you if you don’t seem to know anything about its business?

The same can be said for marketers and their audiences. As an email marketer, when was the last time you sent an email without doing any research on your customer? Today? Yikes! Why would a shopper choose to do business with a company that doesn’t seem to know the first thing about him?

In this blog post, I’ll walk through two different examples of companies that sent me either completely generic or irrelevant emails, rather than leverage information they should already know to engage me. I’ll show you what they sent me and offer suggestions for making the experience better. Let’s dive in!  

On-Site Behavior and Engagement

I recently spent a ton of time on the Nike website, browsing through many different Nike gym bags. I even added one to my cart so I could come back to it later, but left the site to shop around. Before I left, I decided to sign up to receive the company’s emails.

Later, I received this welcome email:

relevant emails

Notice that the imagery is generic and the CTA is Shop Now. E-commerce sites are in the business of selling stuff (and sooner rather than later), but this CTA ignores that fact that I have already been shopping on the site very recently.

What do you think would happen to its conversion rate if Nike sent out welcome emails like this instead?

relevant emails

Notice that the CTA now suggests that I “jump back in” where I left off in my latest browsing session on the site. It also recommends a few products I might like in my current favorite category (gym bags) in the colors I was browsing (black and gray).

With its initial welcome email, Nike wasted the opportunity to demonstrate that it understood my needs and entice me with products that are relevant to me. By personalizing the content of the email, it would be a lot more effective.

Real-time Weather

I’ve spent time browsing lots of men’s dress shirts in the past 30 days on the Nordstrom website. I’m also an email subscriber and have made purchases in Nordstrom stores in the past. With that in mind, the company should at the very least know that I’m interested in men’s clothing.

With spring around the corner, I understand retailers want to push new arrivals. But this is a recent email I received from Nordstrom:

relevant emails

I have never done anything to indicate that I am interested in women’s sandals. Plus, I live in Boston and we just got several inches of snow this week. Instead of sending this content to everyone on its list, Nordstrom should be personalizing the content of its emails to each person. It should be able to identify my location and my past browsing behavior, so it could send me something like this:

relevant emails

Notice that the image is of a men’s shoe, which I am more likely to appreciate given my history of shopping for men’s clothes on the site. And the “winter adventures” message feels much more timely than a sandal since there’s snow on the ground where I live.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re interviewing for a new job or trying to engage a prospect with an email, it’s all about doing your homework. Marketers need to know that everyone today expects a more relevant and personalized experience.

Luckily, with personalization technology, email marketers don’t have to send irrelevant emails anymore. They can learn about their shoppers and customers and send individualized emails to each one of them.

And don’t worry, you don’t need to write a million business rules to ensure each person receives a relevant email. You can leverage machine learning to send personalized emails at scale. Request a demo today to learn how Evergage can help. #MakeEmailRelevantAgain