In many cases, when you think of using location for personalizing messaging campaigns, you think of mobile. Geofencing can allow brands — with the user’s permission — to know when a customer is in a particular area and set up trigger campaigns to prompt them to take some action. It can be a powerful tool for marketing and is worth exploring, especially for brands with brick-and-mortar locations.
But with email, location-based personalization is less about fancy technology and more about thoughtfully using zero-party data in a way that takes your recipient’s location into account while putting together a campaign. Where a customer lives tells you more about them than just their city or even their address. Differences in climate, culture, language, etc., can all inform the personalized content of your emails. It’s a way of showing empathy for the customer and making them feel understood as an individual rather than like part of a general email blast that took none of their personal information into account.
Here are four ways brands can take that location data a customer provides you and use it to better personalize their next email campaign:
Few things vary more across the different places people live than the weather, so it’s a perfect example of how you can use location to tailor your email campaigns. Once you know where the recipient lives, you can segment them into an audience based upon that location and have different content based upon what the weather is like where they are.
In this email from clothing brand Uniqlo, they’ve even pulled in the actual 7-day forecast for the recipient’s city as an extra layer of customization to make it feel like the email is talking directly to this customer. And then the content matches it well, showing what you can imagine are transitional sorts of temperatures for St. Paul, Minn., as they move into the latter stages of winter. And that provides them the backdrop against which to promote their techwear that helps make this sort of weather more doable.
Another “take the next step” opportunity for brands when you know where a recipient lives is to give them information about their nearest store. This should be easy enough to pull in from your data, and it can add a nice personal touch that helps to show you’re paying attention to the individual who’s receiving the email.
Party City did this well in a recent email, highlighting not only the street the store is located on, but several details about that particular store. They tell what time the store opens, its full address and phone number, and even some of the services they provide, like curbside pickup and balloon delivery. Not only does that add a personal layer to the email, but it might save the recipient the time it would take to look all of that information up for themselves.
In email marketing for enterprise brands, it’s important to remember that holidays vary pretty widely around the world, and you should be cognizant of that around those special times of the year. You can’t always be sure which holidays your customers celebrate, but location can be a great hint in some cases.
Google is obviously a global brand sending email campaigns to billions of people across the world, but using location as a segment allowed them to send this email talking about how Google Assistant can help with a recipient’s Fourth of July planning. This email only works for U.S. residents, which makes it a perfect example of segmenting smartly with location in mind to deliver more relevant content.
Location for travel
When you’re an international airline, a key part of staying relevant to all your email recipients is remembering that people in various parts of the world are going to have different travel preferences, and use different currency when they book. To whatever extent you can personalize these emails, the better, and location can be a good starting point in many cases.
These emails from Emirates use the same image but have very different destination picks for recipients in various parts of the world. One customer in Europe is recommended flights to Vietnam and New Zealand, while another in Switzerland is shown a number of countries including Thailand, Vietnam, and Maldives. Note the currency is matched to the recipient’s country. This is a good example of how the same email can be completely different based upon location and just a little bit of preference data.
These aren’t the only ways you can use location as the basis for personalizing email campaigns, but these are some quality examples to start with. When you’re building your next campaign, think about how your recipients’ location could be a key building block for tailoring each email to the individual customer’s needs.