Tips and Examples of the Best Personalization for Email Marketing

OstapWritten by OstapJul 11, 2018

1. What is personalized email marketing
2. Personalization for email marketing stats
3. Email personalization benefits
4. Where to start your personalized email marketing
5. Why do you need to automate?
6. Ways to personalize your email marketing
7. Create special landing pages
8. Consider privacy issues and GDPR
9. Services that provide email personalization

It’s time to get personal, the days of one-size-fits-all email marketing are long gone. Nowadays every business goes out of their way to personalize and customize their email campaigns. And with good reason, as email personalization pays off. Among the most obvious benefits of personalization in marketing is increasing the probability of the email being open and creating a much warmer, welcoming experience for the recipient.

You might be wondering how to add that personal touch to your email communications? No sweat - we’ve got you covered! In this article we’ll share with you useful tips and examples of the best personalization for your email marketing campaigns.

What is personalized email marketing

I bet the first thing that comes to mind when you think about email personalization is adding the recipient’s name into the email salutation and subject line. Although writing the name is a surefire way to catch the eyeballs, email personalization examples are more far-reaching.

Personalization is all about leveraging the data you have about your customers in order to create personalized email campaigns relevant for specific subscribers and their individual interests.

If you’re still in doubt as to whether you need to personalize your email marketing, check out these stats.

Personalization for email marketing stats

These hard numbers will take the guesswork out of the picture and explain all the buzz around email marketing personalization.

Marketing email personalization

Image source Statista

Email personalization benefits

These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg, there is much more to email personalization benefits, than meets the eye.

  • Increase open rates

We receive a humongous number of emails every day, so obviously there’s not enough time to go through all of them thoroughly. That’s why in order to be open, an email needs to stand out from the clutter of your inbox and compel you to open it. The above mentioned numbers don’t lie, customers are more willing to open an email, if they are provided specific tailor-made offers.

  • Increase click-through rates

Personalization is also a proven way to increase your click-through rates (by an average of 14%). If you’re anything like most people you wouldn’t click on some generic, non-relevant offer or promotion. You would actually get irritated and frustrated if the brands failed to deliver personalized recommendations to your inbox.

Brands lack personalization

Image source Adobe

  • Increase engagement

If brands play their cards right and put all the data they’ve gathered to good use, they can create a memorable experience for their subscribers. Marketers are fully aware of that, as 74% claim that targeted personalization increases customer engagement. Take for instance the creative idea of EasyJet to celebrate their 20th anniversary with personalized message to each and every one of their customers. If this doesn’t make you feel special, then I don’t know what could.

Increase engagement example

Image source EasyJet

  • Increase ROI

Personalization is not just about creating that warm fuzzy feeling of being special, it also has a measurable impact on your ROI. 79% of companies which exceeded their revenue goals had a well-documented personalization strategy (Personalization Development Study). Read more about how personalized marketing can help boost your sales here.

Where to start your personalized email marketing

  • Develop your marketing personas

In order to foster customer loyalty, you need to know your customer. What are their personal characteristics, challenges and goals? What drives them to make a purchase? Developing your marketing persona is a must-have for a successful personalized marketing campaign, as you can create a more relevant message and in general communicate more effectively with your subscribers. A simple way to create your persona is by gathering and analyzing information about your existing customers, identifying their common behaviors and purchasing decisions.

  • Collect data

There’s no magic spell that will help you personalize your email marketing other than collecting huge amount of data about your customers. You may get this info through observing your subscriber’s behavior on your website. Pay attention to how they get to your website, through which channels, what they click on. Another way to gather data is by asking your subscribers to give it of their own free will - through sign up forms. The more specific questions you put there, the clearer image of your persona you get.

  • Understand how you can segment your list

Segmentation of your client list proves to be a really effective technique in delivering more relevant content to your subscribers. Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report states that, 39% of respondents who used email list segmentation experienced higher open rates, 34% claimed better email relevance, and 24% increased sales leads and deliverability rates. Criterias for segmentation may vary from demographic (age, gender, level of education, employment, income, location) to how long they have been your customers (new or VIP clients), their personal preferences, purchase history, inactivity, abandoned shopping carts, etc. Once you’ve segmented your subscribers, you’ll be able to better cater to their specific needs and interests.

List segmentation

Image source Lyris

  • Choose your email marketing software

There’s an abundance of email marketing tools and software. Choosing the right one will help you kick up the personalization game. You have to admit: it’s great when you can just lean back and see how the professionally-looking emails like newsletters, invites, offers or promotions are automatically sent, when triggered by your customer’s behavior. It makes your life so much easier and your time more efficiently spent.

  • Sync your CRM, website, and email marketing software

For effective personalization of email campaigns, everything should work like clockwork, so you need to synchronize your CRM, website and email marketing software. In this way, you will ensure that your sales, service, and marketing systems are all integrated, and empower you to create hyper-focused emails, which will always hit home.

Why do you need to automate?

According to Epsilon Email Institute automated email messages generate a 70.5% higher open rate and a 152% higher click-through rate than common marketing messages. So as a result, they drive more visits and revenue for your business. Apart from that email marketing automation also eliminates tedious and mundane tasks, cutting the time and cost.

Ways to personalize your email marketing

  • Simple: use "YOU" and {NAME}

Yes, it’s an old, tired and predictable technique, but it works! People are drawn to their names. So whether you like it or not, using first name in salutation and subject line will draw your attention and increase the open rates (as Experian study showed, by 37%).

  • Use time and location

It’s no secret that certain time of the day may be better suited for sending emails. But if your customers are scattered across different time zones, how will you send them emails at the right time? - Easy-peasy! You just need to collect customers’ data and automate sending emails at the most optimum time for them. You might think, why bother? Well, BustedTees used this trick and didn’t regret it. Personalizing time and location proved to have a significant positive impact for them on both click-through rate (11% increase) and sales (8% uplift in email revenue overnight).

  • Segment by gender

You may not be a big fan of stereotypes, like “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” but you have to agree, that segmenting customer list by gender makes total sense. Especially for companies selling clothes, shoes, perfume, etc. Take Adidas, for instance, they used dynamic personalization which shows either a male or female version depending on the recipient’s gender.

Segment by gender

Image source Adidas

  • Use behavioral triggered emails and dynamic content

Behavior-triggered emails are automatically sent when your subscriber takes some action or reaches an important milestone. With their help your brand can show that it cares for their customers and it encourages your clients to take the next step. These emails may have different purposes:

  • Up-selling

Up-selling doesn’t have to be just some sleazy way of getting more money out of your customers, it can actually provide them with more value. Remember that timing and subtlety are the key. Behavior triggered email can be automatically sent to suggest, for instance, upgrading to the paid membership, like Grammarly does in their email.

Grammarly up-selling example

Image source Grammarly

  • Cross-selling

You can use the data you have about your customers’ purchase history to cross-sell similar or complementary products. This data may be put dynamically inside email templates, by inserting if-then conditions. For example, if you have just ordered some product from Huckberry, you may receive an email suggesting you similar outdoorsy products.

cross-selling example

Image source Huckberry

  • Re-engagement emails

Behavior-triggered emails may be sent not just because of some actions were taken but also upon their absence. They then encourage the customer to re-engage, as showed in personalized email example by Duolingo below.

Re-engagement Duolingo

Image source Dulolingo

  • Based on past purchases and viewed pages

You can now create one-to-one targeted content by leveraging data about not only recent purchases but even just viewed items, which the consumer didn’t buy.

email based on past purchases

Image source Brooklinen

  • Send personalized incentives

With the help of AI and personalization you can deliver individually tailored incentives in order to convert each user. Marketers often struggle finding the balance - either discounting too much or adding no discounts at all. You can embed in the email an algorithm which would learn from different incentives and adapt to offer best deals.

Personalized incentives

Image source Emarsys

  • Send birthday greetings

You can use the data gathered about your clients to create a small birthday surprise for them. It’s always nice to receive attention and presents on your birthday and it’s very easy to automate emails to be sent like that.

Birthday greeting example

Image source Sunglass Hut

  • Status or progress reports

In order to keep your subscribers engaged with your product, you may send them weekly/monthly personalized reports, showing their activity on your website. For instance, have a look at how Fitbit keeps its subscribers engaged by sending them report on how much they have achieved in a year.

status or progress report email

Image source Fitbit

Personalize your business

Personalization should not be just limited to only your clients’ data, you can actually personalize your brand. Soften the edges of your big corporation by creating email signatures. It’s easy to add this personal touch to your automatically triggered email campaigns by using email signature generators like Newoldstamp. Customers react more positively when they know that there are real people behind your brand. So don’t sound robotic, create a more personal, friendship-like connection with your customer. With such a small detail like email signature, you can make your brand more human and show that you really care about your customers.

Create Professional Email Signature

Create special landing pages

To push your success rate even further, you can pair up personalized emails with special landing pages. Top them off with a personalized call to action and you’ll present your customer with a consistent unified experience. This will, of course, lead to higher conversion rates as your subscribers will be exposed to the more personalized and targeted campaigns based on their specific interests.

Consider privacy issues and GDPR

privacy issues and GDPR

Image source GDPR

As personalization involves a lot of data collecting, you should take into account privacy issues and new GDPR regulations. I bet you’ve already received tons of GDPR related emails and you’re tired of all this hustle. But better be safe, than sorry. Remember that you have to be extra careful while collecting and processing personal data of EU residents, which can identify them directly and indirectly. Non-compliance can result in fines. So what can you do to be compliant? Add double opt-in to your emails. It means apart from entering personal data to sign up, your subscribers need to also verify their identity through the email address. They have to consent to sharing their personal information with you, so don’t forget to double-check that. Sounds like too much? Don’t freak out and give up on personalization. You can also target segments which group people without identifying specific person and therefore it doesn’t fall under the GDPR scope.

Services that provide email personalization

If you want to excel at email marketing today, you need to utilize services and tools to facilitate the automation and personalization processes. To tailor your messaging you’ll have to funnel contacts in very specific campaigns and track their movements on your site.


drip logo

Image source Drip

As you can guess from the name itself, Drip is an app designed to streamline and automate drip mail process. It’s a simple but powerful tool which makes email creating easier by using pre-made templates, drag and drop elements and email gathering technology.


mailchimp logo

Image source MailChimp

MailChimp takes the game a bit further and allows you to send drip emails based on your subscribers’ website activity or inactivity, abandoned carts and much more.


GetResponse logo

Image source GetResponse

GetResponse is an email newsletter app which will help you send emails at predetermined times, integrated into your calendar with autoresponding feature.

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor logo

Image source Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is an email tracking and monitoring tool which enables you to automate such things like testing, tracking and optimizing. It also presents interactive analytics, which is easy to understand and act upon.


optinmonster logo

Image source OptinMonster

No email marketing drip campaign or newsletter is possible if you don’t have subscribers. OptinMonster uses behavior personalization to segment leads and customers and funnel them into automated campaigns.


Personalizing your email campaigns means delivering relevant content to specific customers, thus fostering customer loyalty and brand engagement. Apart from that it’s a proven way to increase ROI and revenue for your business. It may seem like a big undertaking but we hope that tips and examples that we mentioned here will make this task easier for you.


Ostap is a strong marketing professional with 3+ years of experience in the software industry. Skilled in Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing, SMM, Content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Analytics and Google Adwords.

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