UrbanClap Co-founder Abhiraj Bhal mailed me. Here’s why

I recently received a mail titled ‘Hi from Abhiraj, Co-founder at UrbanClap!’ Suspicion sets in. Is he bashing me for negative coverage? I don’t remember any. Does he want to be-friend me? I’m no celeb.

Turns out its clever e-mail marketing - an automated message sent to probably thousands of UrbanClap subscribers.

Don’t jump to close your browser tabs now, hang on.

It’s the first time I remember reading a mail like that from an Indian startup worth over $100 million. Quirky Indian startups like Happily Unmarried and Bewakoof.com have also been sending out personalized e-mails.

Airtel customers have been privy to mails from CEO Gopal Vittal. Only last year the company sent out mails, explaining the call drop phenomenon.

Marketing e-mails from Treehouse co-founder Ryan are fun and personal.

E-mails are sent ‘from’ Ryan's email address, and the content is always personalized. The subject lines are creative. What more, if you reply to the mail, you'll even get a prompt response from Ryan himself.

Adding a personal element to marketing emails helps. No one enjoys feeling like they're being marketed to. Most email tools allow you to enter short-codes that will be replaced with the recipient’s name when the email is sent out.

In a day and age where consumers are bombarded with marketing messages, and it’s getting harder to get their attention, being impossible to miss without being annoying can take you a long way.

In fact, according to an A/B test conducted by the marketing team at HubSpot revealed that emails sent by a real person are more likely to be clicked on than emails sent from a company name.

The opportunity is for marketers to use the capabilities that are unique to marketing automation to make their email more conversational and relevant. This would include behavioral targeting, strategic metrics and multi-step cross-channel conversations.

If marketing automation is used to its fullest, it can become a full-blown engagement-orchestration tool, enabling you to listen to consumers’ unique needs and deliver what they really want. No Indian startups have got to that.

We’ve all received messages in our inbox, only to mark it as spam or completely ignore it. Grabbing your audience’s attention doesn’t necessarily mean your calls to action yell “Click me!”

Me? I sleep happy knowing you would at least click on this article. You see, that’s the hook.

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