Email Marketing Personalization: Examples, Tips & Tools

Email Marketing Personalization: Examples, Tips, & Tools to Try

Email Marketing Personalization: Examples, Tips, and Tools

Having trouble getting your audience’s attention? Wondering why your emails don’t seem to drive results? Email marketing personalization might be the key. This guide shows how personalized emails can solve engagement issues and create stronger connections with your audience.

What Is Email Marketing Personalization?

Email marketing personalization means tailoring your email content to meet the specific interests, needs, and preferences of each recipient. It’s about making your emails feel more relevant and engaging to the individual, rather than sending generic messages to your entire list.

What Makes a Marketing Email Personalized?

  • Relevance to Target Audience: Personalized emails match the specific likes and needs of the target audience. For instance, if a customer frequently buys books from your online store, your email would highlight the latest releases in their favorite products.
  • Strategic Timing: These emails are sent at just the right moment. For example, sending a promotional offer on fitness gear just before New Year, tapping into common resolutions.
  • Personal Sender: The email feels like it comes from a real person, not a corporation. This can be as simple as using a human name in the sender field instead of the company name.
  • Individualized Connection: These emails create a special bond with each recipient. This can be achieved by mentioning their past purchases or interactions, like, “We noticed you enjoyed our baking workshop last month, and thought you might like our new baking book.”

Top 10 Personalization Factors Used by Email Marketers

Top 10 personalization factors used by email marketers

Source: 2021 State of Email Report by Litmus, Litmus.com

Why Personalized Emails Are More Effective?

“Providing value in email means sending targeted and personalized emails that are of interest to your subscribers and that also convert. By sending emails that are relevant to your subscribers’ interests and needs, you can increase the chances that they will open and click on your emails and take desired actions.”

– Yanna-Torry Aspraki

Source: Mailmodo, State of Email 2023

Personalized email campaigns are not only more engaging and effective at driving sales but are also crucial in establishing lasting relationships with customers. By leveraging personalization, your business can significantly enhance its email marketing impact, leading to higher open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately, increased revenue.

9 in 10 marketers believed personalization is crucial to overall business strategy

Source: Constant Contact

Benefits of Personalized Email Marketing Strategy

  • Higher Open Rates: Emails with personalized subject lines have a 22% higher chance of being opened. This statistic shows that making email subject lines personal can really help in getting more people to open the emails.
  • Higher Conversion Rates: Customized calls to action in emails are twice as effective at converting readers compared to generic ones, showing a 202% improvement in conversion rates. This underscores the power of personalization in driving better results.
  • More Engagement: According to Mailmodo, 57% of marketers attribute improved visitor engagement to the implementation of email personalization.
  • Higher Revenues: Personalizing emails can lead to a significant increase in revenue per email, potentially up to 57%. However, it’s important to note that these figures can vary greatly depending on factors like the industry, the nature of the products or services offered, and other specific characteristics of the email marketing campaign.
  • Lower Unsubscribe Rates: Email personalization can positively impact unsubscribe rates. According to research, marketers who use email segmentation, a key aspect of personalization, notice a reduction in unsubscribe rates.
  • Increase in Sales: According to Twilio’s fourth annual State of Personalization Report, 80% of business leaders observed that consumers tend to spend more, with an average increase of 38%, when they receive a personalized experience.
  • Higher Retention Rates: Twilio also reveals that 56% of consumers acknowledge the value of personalization, stating they are more likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized experience.
Note

83% of consumers are open to sharing their information in exchange for a more tailored experience. This willingness demonstrates how much customers value personalization in their interactions.

 

Source: 2021 State of Email Report by Litmus, Litmus.com

22 Winning Email Personalization Techniques with Examples

The email personalization strategies outlined here present effective techniques for personalizing emails across various aspects such as sender details, content, engagement, targeted offers, transactional messages, and personalized incentives. Each technique is accompanied by practical examples, offering insights for marketers at all levels.

These tactics are not just about sending emails; they’re about crafting messages that resonate personally with each recipient, thus making your email campaigns more effective and engaging.

Sender and Subject Personalization

1. “From” Name

In the weight loss app Noom’s email campaign, they utilized personalized sender name, “Jennifer from Noom,” in a promotional email offering a personal diet plan. This technique helps in creating a more personal connection, as it appears the email is coming from an individual rather than a faceless brand, enhancing the user’s engagement with the content.
Example of sender personalization in marketing email from Noom

2. Personalized P.S.

A personalized P.S. at the end of a marketing email adds a special touch, making the message feel more tailored and direct. For instance, an email from Search Engine Journal confirming a sign-up for a webinar ends with a P.S. that personally addresses the recipient, informing that if they’re unable to attend the live event, an on-demand version will be available later.
Example of using a P.S. for a personal touch in a marketing email from Search Engine Journal

3. Personalized Signatures

Personalized signatures in marketing emails add a sense of authenticity and personal connection. For example, an email from Search Engine Journal includes a signature featuring an image of the project’s founder along with his job title. This not only humanizes the email but also adds a level of credibility and personal touch.
Personal signature example in a marketing email by Search Engine Journal

4. Personalized Subject Lines

Personalized subject lines significantly boost the relevance and appeal of marketing emails. For instance, Pinterest used a personalized subject line, “Office Outfits for Ela,” which was based on user’s previous searches for office attire. This tailored approach made the email more relevant and engaging for the recipient, as it directly aligned with her interests.
Personalized subject line in a marketing email from Pinterest

Content Customization

5. Personalized Email Content

Customizing the content of an email adds a highly personal touch. In this example, after signing up for a Canva course, a participant receives a personalized email addressing them by their first name and using a conversational tone.
Example of a personalized email content received after signing up for a Canva course online6. Personalized Images

Using personalized images in emails significantly enhances their appeal. An example of this is an email from Pinterest updating about new posts. The email features a selection of images that are tailored based on the recipient’s personal preferences and past searches on the platform.
Selection of images based on personal preferences in an email from Pinterest

7. Dynamic Content Offers

Dynamic Content Offers in email marketing allow for the automatic customization of offers based on the recipient’s behavior or profile. For example, an online store such as Arket could send emails featuring product recommendations that change based on the recipient’s browsing history or previous purchases. This approach ensures that the offers in the email are highly relevant and personalized, increasing the likelihood of the recipient’s engagement and conversion.

Dynamic content offer example from Arket

Engagement and Feedback

8. Interactive Emails

Interactive emails asking for engagement are a powerful tool in email marketing personalization. For instance, after a customer purchases a pair of jeans from Good American, they receive an email with an interactive feature that allows them to provide feedback directly within the email. This not only makes it easy for the customer to engage but also increases the likelihood of receiving valuable feedback.
Example of an interactive emails asking for feedback

9. Re-engagement Campaigns

Re-engagement campaigns targeted at inactive subscribers are a strategic approach to reignite their interest. For instance, a company might send a personalized email to subscribers who haven’t interacted with their emails for a while. This email could include special offers or updates tailored to their interests, based on their past interactions.
The aim is to re-capture their attention and encourage them to re-engage with the brand. Below, a re-engagement email example from the Runkeeper app.
Re-engagement campaign example by Runkeeper app, asking for user's feedback

Targeted Offers and Recommendations

10. Product Recommendations

Product recommendations in email marketing are a key personalization tactic. For example, ASICS could send an email suggesting their bestseller sports shoes, tailored to the recipient’s previous purchases or browsing history. This method ensures the recommendations are relevant and appealing to the individual, increasing the likelihood of further engagement and potential sales.

Product recommendations email example from Asics

11. Loyalty and VIP Programs

Loyalty and VIP programs in email marketing are closely tied to personalization. They involve sending exclusive offers and updates to loyal customers or VIP members, often based on their past interactions and preferences. For example, consider a discount club email from Wizz Air.

This strategy acknowledges and rewards their loyalty, creating a more personalized and appreciative relationship, which in turn can enhance customer satisfaction and retention.

Discount club email example by Wizzair

12. Cart Abandonment Emails

Abandoned cart emails are a crucial aspect of email marketing personalization, aimed at encouraging customers to complete their purchases. A notable example is Casper’s abandoned cart email, which features the engaging headline “COME BACK TO BED.” This playful and attention-grabbing phrase effectively entices recipients to revisit their cart, cleverly linking the product (beds) with a call to action.
Email Marketing Personalization - Cluster: Email Marketing - Ela
Source: Shopify.com

13. Welcome Offers

Welcome offers in email marketing are a great way to engage new subscribers. For instance, Vichy effectively uses this technique by offering a 10% discount to new newsletter subscribers. This welcome offer includes a personal discount code, adding a sense of exclusivity and appreciation for the new subscriber.

Such personalized incentives not only encourage initial purchases but also help in building a positive first impression
Personalized welcome offer example from Vichy.com

14. Event Invitations

Personalizing event invitations in email marketing can significantly increase attendance and engagement. The key is to tailor the invite to the recipient’s interests and past interactions. For instance, if hosting a webinar on digital marketing, the email could highlight specific topics relevant to the recipient’s industry or previous queries.

Twilio Segment effectively demonstrates this practice by sending personalized invitations for a webinar about Predictive Recommendations. This invitation is targeted at recipients who have shown interest in marketing personalization by signing up to receive a related report.
Event invitation example - Webinar by Twilio Segment

Transactional Communications

15. Onboarding Emails

Onboarding emails are a vital component of email marketing, especially for software companies like Omnisend. They guide new users through the initial stages of using the software. Take Omnisend’s approach, for example. Their onboarding email efficiently lists the first steps for new users, providing clear guidance on how to get started with their software.

This not only aids in user engagement but also enhances the user experience by simplifying the initial learning process, making it more accessible and user-friendly.

Onboarding email example from Omnisend

16. Order Confirmations
Order confirmation emails are a key touchpoint in email personalization. For example, an email from Zara confirming a purchase would include specific order details and tracking information. This personalized communication reassures the customer about their transaction and provides them with valuable information about the status and delivery of their order.

Such emails enhance customer experience by keeping them informed and engaged with the brand post-purchase.
Order tracking email example from Zara

17. Milestones
Using milestones in personalized emails is an effective way to engage and motivate users. For example, Grammarly sends emails reporting on user milestones, such as the amount of time spent using the software or the volume of text analyzed. These emails often include badges or acknowledgments, celebrating the user’s progress and involvement.

This approach not only personalizes the experience but also encourages continued use of the software.
Milestone update email example from Grammarly

18. Personal Activity Reports
Personal Activity Reports in email marketing offer valuable insights to users about their engagement with an app. For instance, Runkeeper sends a monthly recap email providing personal statistics on the user’s running activities while using the app. These reports can include data like total distance run, average pace, and personal bests.

Such emails deliver useful, personalized content to the user and serve to motivate and encourage continued use of the app by highlighting their achievements and progress.

Monthly activity re-cap from the Runkeeper app

19. Anniversaries

Highlighting anniversaries in personalized emails can create a sense of celebration and appreciation. A good example is ASOS, which sends a birthday email to its customers offering a unique discount code. This birthday discount adds a personal touch, making the customer feel valued on their special day.

Birthday discount personalized email example from Asos

20. Back in Stock Alerts

Back in stock email alerts are a helpful tool for keeping customers informed about the availability of their desired products. For instance, the clothing brand Sézane sends email alerts to customers who showed interest in particular items that were previously out of stock. This email notifies them when the item is available again, with a direct link to purchase.

Back in stock alert example from Sezanne

Personalized Incentives

21. Social Media Updates

Updates on social media activity via email are a strategic way to keep subscribers informed about the latest online content. For instance, the weight loss app Zero could send a newsletter featuring highlights from its latest social media posts. This can include updates, tips, success stories, or new features shared on social platforms.

Such emails keep subscribers connected with the app’s online community, enhancing engagement and providing valuable, relevant content beyond the app itself.

Updates about new social media post in Zero weight loss app's newsletter

22. Online Challenges

Incentivizing participation in online challenges via email is a dynamic way to engage users. Take Zero app’s approach, for example. They promote a 28-day intermittent fasting challenge through their emails. These emails encourage and motivate users to participate. By tying the challenge to their email campaign, Zero effectively drives user engagement and participation, leveraging the challenge to foster community and user commitment to their health goals.

28-day intermittent fasting challenge by Zero

How to Use Personalization in Email Marketing: 6 Steps

Optimizing how you collect, analyze and use first party data in your campaigns will enable you to adhere to customers’ demand for privacy while still meeting their expectations for personalization.”

– Mark McShane, Sheffield First Aid Courses

Source: Mailmodo, State of Email 2023

Step 1: Gather Customer Data

The first step in personalizing your email marketing is to gather customer data effectively.

Prioritize first-party data, which is directly collected from your audience through interactions like sign-ups, purchases, or surveys. This data is crucial for tailoring your emails to individual preferences and behaviors.

Always ensure that your data collection methods adhere to privacy regulations and compliance laws, as respecting customer privacy is a key trust factor.

Utilizing users’ browsing history through cookies or browser tracking can offer valuable insights into their interests, but remember to obtain consent for this type of data collection as part of your commitment to user privacy.

Note

Only 51% of consumers trust brands to keep their personal data secure and use it responsibly.

 

Source: Twilio Segment, State of Personalization Report

Step 2: Segment Your Email List

Segmentation is the process of dividing your email list into smaller groups based on specific criteria.

This can be initiated at the sign-up stage itself. For instance, an online clothing brand’s newsletter sign-up form can ask customers about their interest in women’s, men’s fashion, or both.

Newsletter sign-up pop up with build-in segmentation questions

Example of a newsletter sign-up enabling immediate segmentation. Source: Revolve

Effective segmentation requires a clear understanding of your audience’s preferences, behaviors, and needs. Use the data collected to create segments that are meaningful for your business. This could include demographic information, purchasing behavior, or engagement level with previous emails.

Proper segmentation allows for more targeted and relevant email campaigns, improving the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Step 3: Align Emails with the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey refers to the stages a customer goes through before making a purchase, typically categorized as awareness, consideration, and decision.

Buyer journey stages

To align email campaigns with this journey, start by building automated email sequences tailored to each stage. For instance, send informative content during the awareness phase and more detailed product information in the consideration stage.

Use behavior triggers to send personalized emails at key moments, such as when a customer views a product or abandons a cart. Email automation is crucial here, as it ensures timely and relevant communication.

Additionally, adding subscriber tags based on their actions or preferences can further segment subscribers, allowing for even more precise targeting throughout their journey.

Step 4: Design Personalized Emails

  • Write Personalized Subject Lines: Craft subject lines that speak directly to the recipient, perhaps including their name or a reference to their recent activity or interests.
  • Send Emails from a Person, Not a Company: Use an individual’s name in the sender field instead of the company name to create a more personal connection.
  • Create Email Campaigns for Unique Segments in Your Email List: Tailor your emails to fit the specific characteristics and needs of each segment in your list.
  • Use Images to Personalize Emails: Incorporate images that are relevant to the segment or individual receiving the email.
  • Send Limited-Time Unique Email Offers: Create a sense of exclusivity and urgency with offers that are personalized and time-sensitive.
  • Schedule Emails at the Right Time: Time your emails to align with when your segments are most likely to engage, considering factors like time zones and typical email-checking habits.

Step 5: Consider Using Email Marketing Personalization Templates

Email marketing personalization templates are pre-designed frameworks that help you quickly create effective, personalized emails. They simplify the process by providing a structure that you can customize with specific details relevant to your audience segments. Using these templates can significantly speed up campaign creation and ensure consistency in your communications.

When choosing templates, look for reputable email marketing platforms that offer a range of templates. These can often be found on websites like Mailchimp, HubSpot, or Campaign Monitor.

Free templates are a good starting point, especially for smaller businesses or those new to email marketing. Paid templates often offer more advanced features and customization options, which can be beneficial for larger or more experienced marketers seeking to refine their strategies.

Step 6: Conduct A/B Testing

A/B testing helps fine-tune your email personalization strategy for optimal engagement and conversion rates. Consider testing:

  • Different Subject Lines: Compare the effectiveness of various subject lines to see which yields higher open rates.
  • Email Content Variations: Test different email content, such as text, images, and layout, to identify what resonates best with your audience.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): Experiment with different CTAs to determine which leads to higher click-through rates.
  • Sending Times: Test different sending times to find when your audience is most likely to engage with your emails.
  • Personalization Techniques: Compare the effectiveness of different levels of personalization, such as name use, personalized product recommendations, or tailored content based on user behavior.

Use of AI in Email Personalization

The growing trend of AI in email marketing is leading businesses to adopt AI-enhanced tools for more effective campaign personalization.

Note

More than 9 in 10 businesses (92%) are now incorporating AI-driven personalization into their email marketing strategies.

 

Source: Twilio Segment, State of Personalization Report

These tools utilize artificial intelligence to deeply analyze customer interactions and behaviors, enabling the creation of highly targeted and relevant email content. They are designed to automate complex processes like segmentation, content customization, and optimal timing for email delivery, thereby improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.

Best AI-powered Email Personalization Tools

These popular email marketing tools leverage AI to enhance different aspects of personalization, from content to analytics and optimization.

Mailchimp

Email Marketing Personalization Tools by Mailchimp

Mailchimp uses AI to segment audiences and predict the best times to send emails, enhancing open rates and engagement. It also offers personalized product recommendations, which are generated through AI analyzing customer purchase history and behaviors.

HubSpot Email Marketing

Email Marketing Personalization Tools by HubSpot

HubSpot’s AI capabilities focus on content creation and analytics. It analyzes user interactions to tailor content and subject lines, making them more relevant to each recipient. The platform also provides AI-driven insights for campaign optimization.

ActiveCampaign

Email Marketing Personalization Tools by ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign specializes in AI-based automation for customer journey mapping. Its AI system tracks user behavior to trigger personalized emails, offering a customized experience at every stage of the customer journey.

Final Word: Personalization is The Key, But Don’t Neglect Privacy

Achieving a delicate balance between personalized content and privacy is crucial in contemporary email marketing strategies. Incorporating AI enhances the ability to tailor results more accurately, aligning with individual preferences while maintaining privacy. This approach not only respects user data but also elevates the effectiveness of email campaigns, making them more relevant and engaging in the digital marketing landscape.

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About Email Marketing

Frequently Asked Questions

How to personalize an email with name?

To personalize an email with a name, include the recipient’s name in key parts of the email. This can be done in the subject line to grab attention or in the greeting at the beginning of the email body. Utilize email marketing software that allows for dynamic insertion of names from your contact list into the email template. This simple act of addressing the recipient by name can make the email feel more personal and engaging.

What is an example of a personalization mistake in email marketing?

A common mistake in email marketing personalization is misusing data, such as sending an email with the greeting “Dear [Name]” instead of the actual name. This error typically results from mishandled personalization fields or database issues. It disrupts the personal touch of the email, making it appear careless and automated, which can negatively impact the recipient’s view of the brand.

What is the difference between email segmentation and personalization?

Email segmentation is the process of dividing your email list into smaller groups based on certain criteria like demographics, purchase history, or behavior. It allows for targeted communication but doesn’t necessarily tailor the content to individual preferences.

Email personalization, on the other hand, involves customizing the content of the emails to address the individual interests, preferences, or past behaviors of each recipient. It’s about making each email feel unique and relevant to the person receiving it.

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