Using Email Personalisation Effectively


Email personalisation forms an important part of establishing a trusting and long-lasting relationship with your clients or customers. In fact, a study on personalisation in emails revealed that personalized emails had a 17.36% higher click through rate.

Personalizing basic elements, such as subscribers’ names, birthdays and gender is a simple but effective way to do this. Similarly, creating content suited to their user habits is a fantastic method to boost engagement. It shows recipients that you care about meeting their needs with content that’s relevant to their interests and buying decisions. Remember that communication should primarily be a conversation, and not just a sales pitch.

Through constant research, we know that your readers want to feel special and want to be treated as individuals, as opposed to just another consumer in a database. Therefore, it makes sense to tailor your offering in light of this – cementing lasting relationships that will positively affect your relationship with customers and in turn positively affect sales.

Here we’ll explore some of the ways in which you can effectively use personalisation to increase opens and click-through rates, making your campaigns more effective and more likely to provide better returns in the process.

How to personalise your email content

One effective way to personalize your mails is to make use of conditional content, which will be sent to subscribers on your list when their profile matches specific conditions you’ve set, i.e. their gender, location or birthday. Let’s explore these key areas:

  • Name – Using someone’s name is a good way to get their attention and is commonly used for statement mailers and promotional offerings.
  • Gender – Tailoring content to suit each reader’s gender is not only part of influencing their buying decisions, but also helps make your offering more relevant to them and their interests, in most cases.
  • Birthdays – For most readers, it’s nice to know that companies are going the extra mile to celebrate them as a friend or family member would. This is also a good opportunity for you to personalize content that would encourage them to treat themselves or to offer them a gift or a voucher. Doing this will not only lead them in-store but also make them feel valued and as though they have gained something from their relationship with your brand.

The same approach can be taken with regards to other special occasions, relevant to your business, i.e. if they've signed up for your baby shower or wedding registry service, you could offer them a voucher as your gift to them for this special time, or even a year later for their anniversary for example.

Using dynamic content

If you want to create multi-media content that changes based on the reader it’s being sent to, you can make use of a dynamic content tool. This will allow you to manipulate the video, audio or image content of your mails based on the information you have on your various recipients, as individuals – by creating a set of HTML rules. If you use dynamic content tags around the blocks you’d like to change, you can offer messaging that is further tailored to your recipients’ interests or personal particulars, all within the same campaign.

Email personalisation best practice

The best-practice approach requires you to also consider monitoring your visitors’ habits. Depending on how closely you monitor the activity of your visitors, you could have a plethora of information that will help you tailor your content to individuals based on their online behaviour. For example, if you can see that they've viewed a certain item of clothing or certain accessories, you can use your communications to punt similar items that are likely to be relevant to their current interests. Alternatively, if you can see that they’re engaging with competitions and promotions, you might want to highlight the latest deals you have on offer.

This is where it becomes important to get as much information about your consumers as possible, either through a list subscription process, when they sign up to receive your mails, or through regular polls. Of course, this also benefits them, in that they are assured of more relevant and exciting content. So everybody wins. In fact, Marketing Sherpa, released statistics that showed a 66% increase in purchases based on segmented and personalized email marketing, at their email summit in 2014. Because consumers were more interested in their personalized mails, they became more likely to buy the items they saw.

Personalising other fields

While in-content personalisation is key, you can also opt to incorporate this into other areas of your communications, such as the from-name and subject line, in order to grab the recipient’s attention early on.

Bear in mind that personalization is not an exact science. It can be influenced by anything from the nature of your readers, to the frequency of implementation, i.e. how often, and to what extent, you personalize your communications. In some instances, readers may actually become uncomfortable with the level of familiarity you show them. This is why it’s so important to A/B split test your campaigns to see which elements work and which are best avoided. However, generally speaking, more is more when it comes to personalizing your content, and building lasting relationships and trust with your consumers.