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Erik Bullen: How Personalized Emails Will Increase Your Profit

June 23, 2017

Erik Bullen is the CEO at MageMail / GrooveJar | Startup Mentor, Advisor, and Investor.  He published the following on June 23, 2017 on LinkedIn.

Picture this.

You’re at a networking event. You go up and talk to the first person you see.

You shake hands, introduce yourself and begin talking.

In no time at all, the conversation is going great.

You’re really hitting it off with this stranger, but you soon realise that you have to go.

You’d like to see this person again, so you decide to grab their phone number.


Oh – you just forgot their name. Silence…

Remember how that feels?

Luckily for you, they were thinking the exact same thing.

“Hey Jim, let me grab your number.”

By some miracle, they’ve remembered your name! And it makes you feel happy.


This is the psychology of personalization.

Believe it or not, your own name is one of the sweetest sounds you will ever hear – which makes remembering it a powerful act.

As people, we crave this kind of experience.

As email marketers, we should be taking advantage of this simple truth, and using it in our favour.

Why a personalized email is so effective

Including a personal touch will dramatically improve various email marketing metrics. A study done by Experian found that when compared to non-personalized emails, personalization achieved the following:

  • 6x increase in transaction rates and revenue
  • 29% higher open rates
  • 41% higher click-through rates
  • 2x increase in conversion rates for triggered emails

By looking at user’s behaviour, needs and interests, we can target them via a more one-to-one dialogue. This delivers a better customer experience during any interaction they have with our brand.

Why aren’t marketers using personalized emails?

Even though we know that personalized emails are epic, 70% of brands don’t use them.

Marketers don’t know how to implement effective personalization in their email campaigns. From segmenting their email list to using the right tools, all the way to incorporating it into their strategy. Most think they will have to re-organize their entire email database. However, a small change can drive big results.

Let’s look at some of the ways we can personalize our emails.

Capture their data

Personalization is only possible if you have customer data. This shouldn’t be a problem as you would have captured it through the following:

  • Email opt-in forms
  • Abandoned carts
  • Content downloads
  • Website interactions (products and pages viewed)
  • Mobile app interactions
  • Location
  • Purchase history

Here’s a post-purchase email by Prezzybox showing how they used the signup form (for the name) and purchase history (for the products) to craft this winning email:

Correct sign-up forms

As mentioned above, capturing customer data is key to a successfully personalized email campaign. However, you don’t want to capture data if you’re not gonna use it.

Your sign-up form is the most important tool you have to capture customer information, as you can tailor this to ask unique questions.

Here is Snapchat’s sign-up form. They include a birthday box as they believe it to be important personalized information.

Snapchat sign up form

Check out Bombfell’s advanced signup form. A lot more information is required so their stylists can pick the right clothes for their customers. From height, weight, preferred style and much more.

Bombfell advanced signup form

Segment your list

Since we have a lot of data on our customers, we should segment our email list for further personalization.

Here’s why:

  • Segmented campaigns were opened 14.64% more than non-segmented and experienced 59.99% more clicks based on MailChimp’s latest user data
  • 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns according to DMA

Email segmentation is the art of splitting your list into groups. Your email list consists of different types of people, with different behavior, profiles, and interests.

For example, we can look at customers who have spent a total of $100 in the past 6 months. A majority of these customers will most likely be one-time purchase customers. We could send them a 40% discount offer to make them repurchase again. Customers who have purchased more than once are likely repurchase again as they will be more familiar with the brand.

Aside from purchase history, we could look at their geographic location. For example, Australian customers might be interested in exclusive promotional deals on their national holiday, Australia Day.

Here’s a great visual representation of a well segmented list from Email Monday:

segmented list from email Monday

There are many ways you can segment your list. Here are some categories you might use:

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Purchase history
  • Behavioral data from website interaction
  • Age
  • Job title

But there is more…

Interested in the other examples of personalization, including behavioral triggers and sender customization? See the complete post on MageMail’s Blog, named as one of the top ecommerce blogs to follow in 2017. On the site, you can also receive a free paper with 15 additional email personalization examples.

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