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Making Email Personalization Personal

Posted on 6.15.2015

Despite all the technological advancements in the past decade, most senders have yet to master the art or science of personalization - and that's unfortunate because there tends to be no more effective marketing channel than that of email.

Consumers, of course, are inundated with email - and it's starting to show. In a recent Adobe and Direct Marketing Association (DMA) study, two thirds of marketers indicated they were less than satisfied with their current email marketing efforts and in the next 12 months, planned to focus on real-time engagement and content personalization. That's easier said than done of course.

Email marketers sending messages today must not only be able to develop holistic views of their customer and their customer's behavior across channels, they must be able to track it all as well. Perhaps more important, however, is this: just because you can personlize does not mean that you're doing it right. Developing robust, integrated profiles is one thing - putting it to use is something entirely different.

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How often have you received what you would expect to be personalized emails only to find them inaccurate or simply not relevant to you at all? My guess is it is pretty common. No one but your consumers/buyers know what they want. What personlization provides is an opportunity to test the inclusion of the data at your disposal. If the data, for example, reveals a user regularly buys one brand, it doesn't make a lot of sense to send them something different (at least not all the time). That, obviously, can be very confusing for consumers.

Ideally, campaign personalization should be able to address past purchases and forecast what similar buyers have bought or will buy in the future. That's a lot smarter than sending a list of products that at best would only be considered a shallow, broad representation of the message recipient.

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