Ever received an email with your name in the subject line or in the email body? Did you appreciate the fact that the sender was addressing you directly? Personalization like this is just one of the many engaging features of modern email marketing. What makes it possible? A tiny piece of behind-the-scenes tech: personalized tags.
In this article, we’re taking a look at how to use these tags. We’ll also learn about how to fix them when things go wrong.
First, let’s unpack what personalized tags in emails are and what they do beyond just being able to address the receiver by name.
What are personalized tags in email?
Personalized tags, also known as merge tags or dynamic tags, are placeholders in your email content that are dynamically replaced with relevant information for each recipient. Every subscriber list you create starts with default fields like “Name” and “Email address,” but you can also add custom fields to collect additional information. When you send your email, the tags are replaced with the specific details of each recipient. For example, a clothing retailer could use a “first name” personalization tag to address each subscriber by their name.
Using these tags in your email marketing campaigns has many benefits. Firstly, personalized emails have been shown to have 26% higher open rates. When subscribers see their name or other personal information in the email, they are more likely to pay attention and respond to your message. The tags also allow you to segment and target your audience more effectively. This makes it easier to deliver relevant content to specific groups in line with their preferences and behaviors.
Best Practices for Personalized Tags in Email Marketing
To use tags effectively in your email marketing, it’s important to follow these best practices:
Segment your audience
Before using dynamic tags, ensure that you have segmented your audience based on relevant criteria. This means you need to be sure that the segment of your audience you’ll be addressing has the necessary data for your tag to work.
For example, imagine you are creating an email for your eCommerce apparel brand and mentioning your subscriber’s favorite print. Make sure the audience receiving this email to has this data associated with their profiles. This way, you’ll avoid broken dynamic tags and ensure that the information for each contact is available in your marketing database.
Set default values
If some recipients don’t have data associated with a specific field, set default values or fallback terms to substitute for missing subscriber data.
For example, if you’re using the recipient’s first name in your email’s subject line, make sure you add a fallback or default term like “friend” or “bestie” (or something relevant to your brand) to ensure your email platform has something to use for those profiles without a first name associated with their emails instead of adding just a white space. This ensures that even if certain information is unavailable, your emails still display meaningful content and make sense.
Collect data effectively
To use personalized tags beyond default fields, collect data through subscription forms, import data from external systems, or leverage integrations with other tools. This enables you to gather more information about your subscribers and personalize your emails accordingly.
This is becoming increasingly important as digital marketing relies more on zero and first-party data, so there’s no better time to start thinking about how to collect relevant data for your list and leverage it in your email marketing strategy.
Test your personalized tags
Before sending out your email campaign, thoroughly test your personalized tags to ensure they are functioning correctly.
In many email automation platforms, you can’t check your personalized or dynamic tags on the preview tools they provide. The best way to ensure the tag works is to do a one-time send-out of your email campaign to your email address and check it right in your inbox.
Don’t overuse tags
While personalization is important, avoid using too many personalized tags in a single email. Excessive use may make your email appear cluttered or spammy.
Fixing Common Issues with Personalized Tags
While personalized tags can significantly enhance your email marketing efforts, they may occasionally encounter issues. Here are some common issues you may encounter and tips for resolving them:
If a personalization tag doesn’t have any fallback term and there’s no data to show, a blank space will be inserted. This can result in unintended sentence structure issues. Always include fallback terms to avoid such problems.
Dynamic tags not working
Some tags may only work when the email is part of an automation triggered by subscriber actions on your website. Ensure that you have set up the necessary triggers and conditions for your dynamic tags to function correctly.
Check if your merge tag syntax is correct. Make sure that the merge tag name is surrounded by the special characters (either brackets or asterisks) your email automation platforms requests.
Using Personalized Tags in Klaviyo
Klaviyo is a popular email marketing platform known for its robust features that allow you to implement personalized tags. Here is a step-by-step overview of how you can add personalized tags in Klaviyo to enhance your email campaigns:
- Start by creating your email either from scratch or by using one of the pre-built templates offered by Klaviyo.
- Insert a text block into your email and write your copy as you normally would.
- Click on the “Add Personalization” button within Klaviyo’s email editor. This will open up the options for adding personalized tags to your email content.
- Look for the specific profile property from which you want to draw the information. Klaviyo allows you to personalize your email content based on default various properties, such as name, location, or purchase history. But you can also use any custom properties you’ve created and collected data for.
- Click on the desired profile property, and Klaviyo will automatically populate the personalized tag next to your copy. The tag represents the dynamic information that will be inserted for each recipient.
- To test the functionality of the personalized tag, use Klaviyo’s preview and test tools. You can preview the entire email by searching for a profile that has the necessary information to populate the tag correctly. Klaviyo‘s preview tool allows you to see how the personalized tag will appear in the final email.
- If a recipient’s profile doesn’t have the necessary information for a personalized tag, you can add a default term. Simply place relevant text between double quotation marks (“”) in the tag. This default term will be displayed if specific information is not available for a recipient.
- After adding a default term, test your email once more to ensure that the personalized tag is working as intended. Verify that the default term is displayed when the required information is missing.
Using Personalized Tags in HubSpot
HubSpot provides powerful personalization capabilities that enable you to create dynamic tags, known as “Contact Properties,” using any field in your marketing database. Here’s how you can effectively leverage personalized tags in HubSpot, specifically in your subject lines:
- Once you have created your email content in HubSpot, navigate to the settings section for that email.
- Insert your subject line copy in the designated field within the settings.
- Click on the “Personalize” button, which allows you to add personalized tags to your subject line.
- Look for the specific custom property you want to include in your subject line. HubSpot allows you to personalize your subject lines based on various custom fields in your marketing database.
- HubSpot will prompt you to provide a default term. It will use this term if a recipient’s profile doesn’t have the required data for your tag to function properly. Fill in the appropriate default term and click the “INSERT” button.
- HubSpot will prompt you to provide a default term to use in case a recipient’s profile doesn’t have the required data for your tag to function properly. Fill in the appropriate default term and click the “INSERT” button.
- Unfortunately, HubSpot’s preview tool does not allow the testing of subject line tags. To test your subject line, you need to send a test email. Choose the email address that will receive the test email and select the specific profile you want to test the tag with. Send the test email.
- Check the inbox of the email address you used for the test. Verify that the personalized tag in the subject line is working as expected.
Personalized tags offer a range of possibilities to enhance your email marketing. While we’ve covered the basics, there are countless additional ways to leverage these tags for smarter and more impactful email campaigns.
By incorporating personalized tags, you can craft engaging email experiences that truly connect with your subscribers. This leads to better outcomes for your email marketing strategy.
If you’re eager to explore further, book a free call with our team of retention marketing specialists. They can provide valuable insights and help develop a tailored email marketing strategy specifically designed to meet the needs of your customers. Take this opportunity to elevate your email marketing efforts and achieve greater success.