What is Email Personalization and How to Use It?

Email personalization is the process of adding personal details to the email message in order to create a strong connection with the recipient. Personalized emails are an essential part of email marketing. Without personalization, the effect of email communication is low.

Customers and clients expect a high level of personalization from companies across all industries. Long gone are the days when “dear sir or madam” was an absolutely normal beginning of an email message. Today, such generic emails go directly to the trash, or worse, to spam folders.

Let’s take a look at email personalization and using it to market your company.

The Importance of Email Personalization

Over the past decade, personalization has become an integral part of all marketing tactics, and email marketing is hardly an exception. Without email marketing personalization, your messages are likely to end up in spam or trash folders, thus hindering all your marketing efforts from SEO to offline advertising.

Higher Open Rates

One of the key metrics that help you understand how well your campaign is doing is the open rate. How often do your emails get opened and viewed? Recipients rarely open generic non-personalized emails. If they do, it usually happens by mistake.

Studies demonstrate that personalized emails can increase the open rate by as much as 26%. Simply creating a personalized subject line or adding a name to the greeting can increase the effectiveness of your message tremendously.

Improved Customer Engagement

Customer engagement can drive the relationship and ensure a high LTV (Customer Lifetime Value). A special approach to each customer is a great way to improve engagement and keep the recipient interested in your offer.

Email personalization techniques make the customer feel special and encourage them to go down the sales funnel. The right approach to personalized email marketing can turn recipients into brand ambassadors and capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing.  

Higher Revenue

Email personalization is an effective tactic that can increase your company’s revenue. The key to this increase is the ability to offer the customer what they really need and help them see the right offer.

By implementing email personalization, you are making it easier for customers to notice your brand and interact with it. It helps your marketing team with conversion and retention efforts.

Easier Reengagement

No matter how well you design your personalized marketing campaign, some leads never turn into customers. Emails are often the only way to re-engage old customers and bring them back to your doorstep.

Until the email verifier doesn’t say that their address is invalid, you still have a chance to increase the LTV.

Before you remove their addresses from the email list, try writing personalized emails aimed at helping the customer see the benefits of re-engagement. The more personalization you put into the message, the more likely you are to bring them back into the loop.

Key Elements of Email Personalization

More than 70% of consumers say that a personalized experience affects their decision to open brand emails. Personalized email marketing begins with studying the recipient’s pain points and implementing them into the message.

Customer Persona

To create a personalized email, you need to work on creating and segmenting your buyer personas. Knowing what the customer needs and wants can help you create a personalized email designed specifically for their needs.

Many companies need to create a variety of buyer personas according to different segments of their target audience. When you send an email, it should contain personalized content aimed at a small segment.

This increases your chances of addressing the right pain point and initiating a connection that drives the buyer down the sales funnel.

Client’s Name

The best personalized email messages address the recipient by name. Instead of “dear sir,” you can insert the client’s name if you know it. To make sure you have this type of personal information, you can add the “name” field to the form you use to solicit emails.

The right email marketing software can help you insert the client’s name into messages designed for a specific audience segment.

If you don’t have an opportunity to source a client’s name or last name, you can still personalize the greeting by making it less generic. For example, you can say:

  • Hey there
  • Long time no see
  • Glad to have your attention
  • How’s the weather

Depending on your brand’s voice, you can add informal elements to the greeting and keep the “dear sir” and “to whom it may concern” out of the interaction.

Sender’s Name

When customers see a company’s name in the sender’s section, they may ignore it. This often happens if they don’t recognize the company’s name or receive too many promotional emails.

To add more personalization to your message, consider inserting a real name or even a title. For example, instead of leaving “manager@flowershop.com” in the sender’s section, try:

  • Jennifer from Flower Shop
  • CEO of Flower Shop
  • Your personal manager Bob from Flower Shop

Adding a name moves the interaction to a more personal level and makes it harder for the recipient to send your message to trash or spam.

Valuable Content

Valuable content is the backbone of any email marketing strategy. Besides offering something to solve your client’s pain point, you need to provide content they want to read. Generic content is no longer something that can work simply by catching the recipient’s attention.

You need to work on high-quality relevant content that can educate the person who receives your email. Such content doesn’t just push the client down the sales funnel. It helps you raise brand awareness and build authority.

Personalized content in emails is the key to retaining existing customers and reengaging clients who haven’t interacted with your brand in a while.

Subject Lines

The subject line is the first impression you make on the recipient. If this part of the message isn’t in top shape, the rest of your email marketing efforts may be lost in vain. The subject line has to be catchy, informative, and easy to read.

It should also be free of words that may trigger spam filters. Some words in subject lines and email content can hurt your email campaign without you knowing. Your sender’s reputation may suffer while your messages could continue going to spam.

Take the time to learn what these words are and make sure they never make their way into your otherwise personalized subject lines.


While email content is highly important to the success of your email personalization effort, it’s not the only factor that affects email marketing campaigns. Timing is another email personalization technique that helps you make an impression and catch the recipient’s attention.

Things to consider to ensure proper timing include:

  • The recipient’s time zone
  • The recipient’s workday
  • Whether the recipient drives or takes public transporation to work
  • If the recipient is in school

This can help you figure out the best time to send your emails. According to HubSpot’s study, email marketers say that the highest engagement for emails is between 9 am and 3 pm. The same survey found that the best days to send marketing emails are Monday and Tuesday.

The best time to send an email can vary from audience to audience. With time, you can figure out what your own engagement rate is and adjust the sending times accordingly.

How to Use Email Personalization

Email personalization is the driving force behind the success of your email campaigns. Learning how to use it could help you achieve an impressive 4400% ROI. Here are a few email personalization strategies that can help you streamline your marketing campaign.

1. Collect Data

Customer data is the most important part of your personalized marketing strategy. Without information about your clients, it’s impossible to create a personalized email.

The most convenient place where you can get the data is a form that customers fill out when sharing their email addresses. The toughest part about creating the right form is maintaining the delicate balance between asking for as much data as you can and keeping customer frustration out of the picture.

The key data to collect are the customer’s birthday, name, and location. This subscriber data can be enough to create a personalized message and to look for the customer on social media.

2. Implement Behavior Triggered Emails

Behavior-triggered emails are automated emails that go out to the customer in response to specific behavior. Common examples of such messages are:

  • Welcome email
  • Follow up email
  • Abandoned cart email
  • Subscription confirmation email

These email messages make the customer feel special while allowing you to keep them on track and ensure a successful collaboration. When trigger emails go out on time, they have high open rates and stimulate customer engagement.

3. Add Special Offers

Special offers can be highly helpful in improving customer engagement and bringing clients back to the website to make a purchase. By studying customer behavior, you can create a personalized offer that’s likely to become a solution to their pain point.

For example, if the customer’s birthday is coming up, you can offer a list of venues, party clothes, cakes, or whatever is a part of your offer. You can also provide relevant discounts to help the recipient make a positive decision.

4. Send Milestone Emails

Milestone emails are extremely important to maintaining a good client relationship. They also show that you care. Milestone emails can include:

  • 1 year with the company
  • First 10 purchases
  • Two seasons with the brand

This type of email personalization cements the close relationship you have with the client by making them feel important. Loyal customers can also get special offers together with milestone emails. This can help hone their loyalty and stimulate word-of-mouth marketing.

5.  Add Product Recommendations

Any email message to your customers can be personalized with product recommendations. Whether it’s an automated message that confirms a purchase or a weekly newsletter, use the opportunity to market your products while making the customer feel special.

You would need to gather customer data, including past purchase history and website browsing history to figure out what may match their current needs. A simple list of recommended products that keeps the customers’ pain points in mind can go a long way toward improving personalization.

Today, 66% of customers expect the company to know about their needs. If you don’t demonstrate such knowledge, your email marketing efforts may fail.  

6. Test Email Messages

When you create a campaign with email personalization elements, you can test how well messages are working. After designing an email, make sure to send it to different devices to see how it appears to the recipient.

You would also need to check whether your email marketing software is working properly when it adds personalized details to automated emails.

It’s also a good idea to a/b test your personalized messages to see which ones get better open rates. You can split test subject lines, greetings, number of images, content word count, and any other element.

7.  Implement Segmentation

By segmenting your email list, you are improving your email personalization tactics tremendously. Most likely you have many clients who have similar needs. However, others may require a completely different approach.

Make sure to segment your email address list to send the right message to the right audience. Otherwise, all your other personalization efforts stop being effective.

Proper email list segmentation doesn’t just improve your email marketing efforts. It helps you cut costs, increase marketing ROI, and prevent customers from unsubscribing.

The Takeaway

Email personalization is an integral part of a successful marketing campaign. Since 21st-century customers and clients expect personalized communications, it’s imperative to make them feel important.

Without proper personalization you don’t just lose customers, you minimize the possibility of your loyal audience turning into brand ambassadors. By implementing advanced email personalization elements, you are increasing open rate, improving conversion tactics, and streamlining retention.

Start personalizing your email campaign today!

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