Improving Your Email Marketing with Personalization

Despite all the talk about tweets, likes and shares, email marketing is still nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined for acquiring customers.1 There are now over four billion email users worldwide,2 and 99% of them check their personal email every day.3 That’s a lot of potential customers, but connecting with them through email requires an understanding of their expectations and needs. 71% of consumers say a personalized experience influences their decision to open and read brand emails, and 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails.4 Below we’ll explore the many ways your business can provide personalized emails with relevant content to reach more customers, boost customer retention, and increase your sales.

Improving Your Email Marketing with Personalization

First Names First

Using your recipient’s first name in the salutation is the first step in personalizing your emails. Obviously, this means addressing your recipients by their first name in your email salutation. However, You should also consider including their first name in your email subject line whenever possible. Research shows that using the recipient’s name in the subject line can increase open rates by 50%.5 Equally important is the “from” or sender name. People everywhere hesitate before opening emails from unknown senders, and 68% of Americans base their decision to open an email on the “from” name alone.6 To build trust, you can use the name of the business owner or the local sales rep in the “from” field.

Knowing Your Brand’s Demographic

By asking the right questions when customers sign up to receive emails or free content, such as newsletters, videos or educational materials, you can gather a wealth of demographic data to further personalize your emails. Using this data, you can segment your email list into smaller groups to send personalized emails featuring highly targeted and relevant content. How effective is segmentation? Not only only do 39% of email marketers that practice email segmentation see better open rates, but segmented campaigns can lead to an astounding 760% increase in revenue.7

Types of Segmentation

  • By Location – allows you to send emails about sales and promotions at local stores and highlight content related to the subscriber’s location such as local events and holidays, sports teams, even the weather. You can also send emails out at the best time based on the customer’s time zone.
  • By Age & Gender – ensures your email contains the right content and tone. For example, you may choose to use a different type of language to address college students and senior citizens and only offer certain products to men and women. Birthday greetings are always appreciated and can help increase the sense of a personal connection.
  • By Occupation and Industry – enables you to connect by using specific industry slang, jargon or images and showcase products that might be of more interest to a particular profession or income bracket.
  • By Hobbies and Interests – gives you the opportunity to really connect with your customers and show you “know” them by offering products, services and other content related to their favorite activities.

Responding to Your Customers’ Behavior

Knowing where your subscribers are on their particular customer journey is essential to providing them with relevant content. By carefully tracking your subscribers’ behavior, you can send emails with targeted content that shows you understand their needs. Some customers might need an introduction to your brand or help choosing a product while others may be looking for a discount or other incentive to help them make a final purchase.

Welcome Emails

This is where your email relationship with your customers begins. It’s a great time to introduce your brand and highlight the products and services you offer. The average open rate for a welcome email is 82%5 so you want to make as strong a personal connection as possible and show you understand their needs by featuring relevant content from the get go. Welcome style emails should also be sent each time a customer subscribes to your email list or signs up for a newsletter or new program. Take the opportunity to build on your relationship and show your appreciation for their interest in your brand.

Browsing History

91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.4 How can you make sure your emails satisfy this need for relevant content? When it comes to existing customers, nothing compares to the information provided by tracking customers’ browser activity on your website or e-commerce platform. Based on a customer’s browser activity, you can send emails with product recommendations and special offers that you know for certain will interest them. In addition, these emails can include personalized or “smart” Calls-to-Action (CTAs). For example, a CTA offering a discount on a product that your customer was recently browsing. Personalized CTAs convert 202% better than a basic CTA.8

Purchase History

A customer’s purchase history provides more invaluable insights and another opportunity to connect with them. Whenever a customer makes a purchase, a “transactional” email should be automatically sent to them. This is known to marketers as a transactional email, and open rates for transactional emails are four to eight times higher than for traditional emails.9 It’s a great opportunity to show your appreciation while providing other product recommendations and/or special offers to thank them for their business. At a later date, your emails can provide tips on how to better use the purchased product, updates on new models, and discounts or perks to reward frequent buyers.

Abandoned Shopping Cart

The digital shopping cart abandonment rate is 74.3%, meaning that only around one in four carts actually get checked out.10 Whatever the reason for a customer not checking out, you still have a chance to convince them to complete their purchase by sending a personalized email. Your email can simply remind them that they have items in their cart, offer a small discount, or even waive shipping charges. When deciding if abandoned shopping cart emails are worth it, it’s important to know that 60% of shoppers return to complete their purchase after receiving a personalized abandoned cart email.11 And, you shouldn’t hesitate to send several email reminders: research shows that sending three abandoned cart emails results in 69% more orders than a single email.5


No one likes losing customers. Personalization is one way you can keep them from leaving and even win them back. As soon as you notice that a customer has unsubscribed from your email list or has stopped visiting your site, it’s time to send out a personalized email. You can start by sending them a personalized email asking for feedback, letting them know you appreciate them  and encouraging them to come back. You can even go one step further and send emails with special offers carefully tailored to their interests based on their browsing and purchasing history. As with abandoned shopping cart emails, you might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Getting Personal

Email marketing is as valuable as ever for connecting with consumers and growing your business. However, consumers have made it clear that they want to receive personalized content that is relevant to their needs and lifestyle. 84% of consumers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business, and 83% are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience.4 What that means is that with the right email marketing strategy, you can successfully meet the demands of your target audience. Connext Digital is here to help you collect, analyze and leverage the data you need to connect with the right consumers. Contact us today to learn how our unique data enhancements can help you create a personalized email marketing strategy that reaches new customers and strengthens your existing relationships.

Jessica Rodriguez