4 Ways to Personalize your Email Campaigns

Karen Evans
June 21, 2019 ·
4 Ways to Personalize your Email Campaigns

When one of your customers reads an email that doesn’t feel personal, it is obvious at first glance that it is the same email that thousands of other people are reading.

This will create a feeling that you are not putting the effort in emails you send to them. In turn, they will probably delete your future emails without opening them.

They could even unsubscribe from your mailing list and mark you as a spammer. After all, if you are not putting an effort into writing those emails, why should they spend their time reading them?

Everyone from people starting a blog, to owners of huge companies should tailor email campaigns with this in mind.

But the generic <<First Name>> has been done to death. In fact many savvy marketers are ditching the low effort ploy altogether, and instead opening their mails with an informal “hey”, or diving straight into the content without preamble.

Nut personalization in emails is largely untapped. Brands do not do it. Or they do so inconsistently.

So here are 4 less known personalization tactics that you can use right away for more relevant messages that do not languish in the inbox!

Consider the Gender of a Subscriber

We live in an era where assuming someone’s gender can be considered a taboo. Fighting against gender-based discrimination often makes us forget that tailoring email campaigns based on gender can be beneficial.

I am not inviting you to discriminate against your subscribers based on their gender; I just want to point out that not all products are created with both genders in mind.

Imagine this scenario. You are running a shoe company and you have a new collection of shoes that you want to promote. You have already personalized your emails by adding the first name of your subscribers and you decide to send the same offer to all of your subscribers. Don’t you think that Sarah could find a special offer tailored just for her a bit weird if you are offering her male shoes? This would beat the whole purpose of using Sarah’s first name in the subject, as email would make it clear that usage of the name is generic, and that your campaign isn’t really personalized.

No matter what line of business you are in, it is possible that you have some products that are designed for a specific gender.

Lots of companies send offers that contain both male and female products in the same email. If you separate those offers and send specialized offers based on gender (in addition to usual offers that are gender neutral) you will add another layer of personalization to your campaign.

CAVEAT: Personalization on the basis of gender may not sit on the right side of privacy regulations like the GDPR. Always make sure that the data you have on your subscribers has been collected with consent and is processed using one of the six lawful bases.

Consider the Location of your Subscribers

Location of a subscriber will give you plenty of ways to personalize emails you send to them. One piece of information that comes with the location is the time zone of subscribers. If you know their time zone of you can start your emails with an appropriate greeting. Email starting with “Good morning Sarah…” will already seem more personal than generic “Hello Sarah…”. Starting each of your emails with hello will give them a generic feel. There are dozen different greetings based on the time of the day. Alternating between them will give the impression that there is an actual human being writing those emails.

Sending a greeting based on the time of the day is the most basic way to use localization in your email campaigns. There are some more impactful means of personalizing your email campaigns. One of them is to let your subscribers know when you have content, event, or product that might interest them based on their location.

This approach can be used in virtually any line of business. If you are a blogger you could let know that you recently published a post about their town. As the owner of a clothing brand, you could let them know about a discount in a nearby store.

Use Images to Evoke Emotions

Pictures are often used in email campaigns because they produce stronger emotional reactions than words. You should not waste a picture’s potential by using non-personalized imagery. Image personalization will vary depending on the line of business you are in, but there are some general principles you can use in any business.

You can combine image personalization with using the first name of your subscriber. For example, during Christmas discounts, you could use a picture of a gift box under the Christmas tree. Then you can just add a name of a subscriber on the text that is written on the box. This way of personalization will have even more impact than just using the first name in the subject line of your email.

NiftyImages is one of the several tools out there offering this capability.

When sending pictures of landmarks as part of your emailing campaign you should consider the location of your subscribers. Picture of The Eiffel Tower will probably have a better effect on a French subscriber than a picture of The Golden Gate Bridge.

It is impossible to cover all the ways to personalize the use of images in your email campaigns in just one article. The most important thing to remember is that a little bit of creativity in the personalization of images can become your most effective way of personalizing email campaigns.

Personalization Based on Past Purchases

Past purchases of your customers are the most relevant information you can have about them. They will tell you what your customers like, as well as their purchasing habits. This piece of information is the most relevant because it is the most individual. You may have 500 customers called John that live in San Francisco, but each of them will have different purchasing habits. You should use that information to customize offers you send to them. This will really make your emails personal. Let your customers know there is a discount on their favorite beverage. Send them an email when you release similar shoes to the ones they previously both. Remind them if snacks they regularly order are close to running out of stock.

Personalizing your email campaigns based on individual tastes of your subscribers will make each of your emails relevant. You will avoid coming off as a greedy salesman. Instead, you will be perceived as someone who cares about the needs of each of your customers. After all, the best way to get your subscribers to read your emails is to genuinely pique their interest.

Recommended Resource:
If you are biting your nails worrying about how to personalize your marketing without violating privacy, this article tackling the question of consent vs. legitimate interest is for you.

Final Words

Personalizing your email campaigns can make a huge impact on your business. If you follow pieces of advice from this article you can easily improve your email campaigns. Your subscriber Sarah from San Francisco will never again have to read a generic email she doesn’t care about.

Instead, she might find an email saying, “Good morning Sarah! A new coat you will love is on a discount in a nearby store!” The email will be accompanied by a fashionable image of a model wearing a coat that suits Sarah’s taste and a map showing the location of the store. 

99 Conversion Tips
99 Conversion Tips
Originally published June 21, 2019 - Updated December 21, 2021
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Karen Evans
Karen Evans Karen Evans is a former college student who, after making real money learning how to build and scale niche blogs, decided to go full time and hasn't looked back since.

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