As great as it is, personalization can be tricky. Too personal and you’re in danger of getting a restraining order or worse – an unsubscribe! Remember when Target figured out a girl was pregnant based off her shopping habits?

But if you’re not personal enough, then your recipients might simply ignore you as another sender of bulk mail.

So how do you hit the perfect sweet spot of personalization? Here are 3 ways to get personal (but not too personal!) with data you already have.

Interested In? Links

Let’s say you’re sending out an email to segment, but you know that a subset of that segment clicked the same link in the last email campaign you sent the same group.

Try including a section in your email with links your segment might be interested in. Include pages that has content similar to the one that the subset clicked.

Taking this one step further, you can A/B test your emails to the same group, sending half of them links that go to related content, and the other half links that go to content that is unrelated. This could give you some information on what this segment of your audience is looking for, and potentially more data on your buyer personas.

This type of personalization is even more effective than including your customers name, city and the cost of the last purchase they made on your site: it works because your leads won’t know you’re doing it.

Sign-Up Date

This is another piece of data that your leads won’t know you’re using but can help you to personalize emails. Customers who have been signed up with your company for a long time have probably seen your services and products go through multiple changes.

Personalization here doesn’t have to be extensive, it could just mean a short line at the bottom of your next email that thanks them for signing up to your list ‘X’ years ago. Or you could send them a survey that asks questions about what you offer so you get their valuable insight and feedback.

Leads with more recent sign up dates are important too, especially if you make changes to what you offer in the time that they’ve been engaged with your company.

For example, if you send out an application update that’s separate from your regular emails, you could include a note for subscribers that have been added to your list for less than a week that assures them that they won’t receive these types of messages too often.

Open Rates

This is a common one that I haven’t really seen many marketers use to its full potential. I also think it’s the perfect way to personalize your emails without getting too personal. Your leads already expect that you know whether or not they open your emails, so why not use this information to your advantage?

More than sending an email to a customer who is completely disengaged, you can send personalized emails to customers who rarely open your messages. A free offer with a short survey could help push them along into being more engaged with your content, or could lead to an unsubscribe.

You could create a short survey asking them what kind of information they want to receive from you, with the subject line that calls out why they’re getting the email:

So We Noticed You Don’t Really Read Our Emails…


Read Any Good Emails Lately? Not Ours, Of Course

(See my blog post on how to win back inactive subscribers with a reactivation campaign.)

This could work the other way too, particularly for leads that open all of your emails and click most or all of your links. Keep an eye out for special opportunities or offers you can give to this segment so that they really feel the love.

When it comes to personalizing your emails, a softer touch will work best. Gently mentioning that they’re getting the email because you notice they’re ‘highly engaged’ will help them get some context, and will let them know that if they have something to say, you’re likely to listen. Maropost for Marketing can create the best-personalized emails to meet all of your customer’s needs.

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