Lack of personalization in your emails could cost an organization a loss of up to $2.5 trillion, according to a study conducted by Accenture.

In a research conducted by Adage, marketers were asked to prioritize one skill that they believe will be most important to their future marketing endeavors and 33% of them answered: “personalization.”

As can clearly be seen through empirical evidence, personalization is of paramount importance. But what is the reason behind this?

Why Personalization?

When subscribers opt-in to your email list, apart from providing their email address, they also enter personal details like name, company name, country, etc. This data needs to be put to work or it becomes a wasted opportunity.

Customer data can be considered currency. When a customer reveals this data to you they anticipate relevant emails in return. Personalized emails help make the subscriber feel special especially when the email addresses them with their name. It gets perceived as a friendlier approach and this increases the possibility of subscribers opening, reading, and engaging with your emails. This, in turn, improves the credibility of your brand.

What To Personalize?

To get started on personalizing your emails or to get better at personalization, there are a few elements that you need to focus on.

  • Copy

The email copy is the message you are conveying to your subscriber and can include details like their interests, gender, or even their name.

  • Offers

The offers you promote to your customers should tap into the core of what your target audience needs and wants which will ensure their sustained interest in tour brand and will inhibit them from moving to your competitors.

  • Product Recommendations

Through the integration of your customers’ browsing history and the purchases they have made in the past, you will be able to send hand-picked recommendations to them and this would increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.

  • Images

As images tend to draw more attention in an email, adding personalization to it will get you more click-throughs.

  • Cart Abandonment

Using personalized cart abandonment emails that feature a relevant message about the items left behind, helps keep your customers engaged with your brand.

How To Personalize?

In order to aid in effective email personalization efforts, there are certain technologies that can be used.

Using AI technology, marketers are able to engage with each and every customer in a personalized and meaningful manner.

Using BI, marketers are able to make accurate predictions about their marketing campaign ROI which helps them effectively manage the campaign.

  • Big Data

Big Data allows marketers to collect, analyze and manage large datasets that are both structured and unstructured.

Through the use of predictive analytics and algorithms in order to analyze data, marketers are able to learn insights and make decisions that resonate with specific customers.

How Personal Is Too Personal?

Excessive personalization will ruin a customer’s experience of your brand and make them feel like their personal space has been invaded and pried on. Use the data you collect for the sole purpose of being helpful and not to show how much you know them. There are certain things you can do and avoid doing to ensure you walk the safe path when personalizing your emails.

  • Starting at a small scale, first, find the right tone for different audience segments before scaling up.
  • Conduct enough research into the needs and wants of your customers according to which buying stage they currently are in.
  • Create Buyers Personas based on the information you have collected in order to create better-targeted emails.
  • Personalization in your email needs to be subtle and not make your subscriber feel like their every move is being tracked, even if it is.
  • Incorporate only relevant information in your email copy.
  • With the help of behavioral automation, give subscribers control over the conversation.
  • Ensure your email responds to each customer’s actions and needs.
  • Continually test and monitor the amount of personalization you are adding.
  • Offer subscribers the option to give feedback or to opt-out of your brand’s emails.

Personalization and GDPR

The core GDPR concepts that pertain to marketers are legitimate interest, permission and individual rights.

Legitimate Interest

If you have established legitimate interest from the customer for the solution you provide then there is no need for obtaining permission. When a customer is on your website and has decided to make a purchase, they expect you to lead them through the entire buying process. For this, you can ask for their details and send emails of a transactional nature like purchase confirmation or browsing abandonment.


Just because a customer bought your solution, does not mean that you can automatically subscribe them to your newsletter as it isn’t vital for the purchase. You must get permission.

Individual Rights

There are some individual rights that people can invoke when contacting you and when they give you their personal details.

  • Right to erasure – Delete all user data and treat them as new prospects when they visit your site next.
  • Right to object – Permanently cease all permission-based marketing and user personalization.

GDPR is an opportunity and not a threat to email personalization as it makes your marketing more targeted and in tune with the type of content that the user is most interested in. This adds incredible value to their experience.


As there are a growing number of businesses using personalization in their email marketing strategy, it has become increasingly necessary to understand how to effectively implement it. Personalization is an attainable marketing strategy that works for any business. Ensure that you make the best business and target audience choices and remember to personalize wisely.


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