In Email Marketing

Have you ever received an email from a company that felt like it was meant just for you? Likely it was—and you were the benefactor of email personalization.

Email personalization is a technique that uses email marketing software, customer data, and solid email list management to create email campaigns that speak directly to each recipient. It’s a personal improvement over the (impersonal) practice of sending the same email message to all your customers.

How is email personalization related to email segmentation?  Good question—the practices are related, but different in scope. Email segmentation allows you to send emails relevant to categories of people, but email personalization delivers emails that are relevant to individuals.

What does email personalization look like?

Email personalization can range in degree from simply personalizing the subject lines with your recipient’s first name, to completely personalizing content so it matches your recipient’s previous purchases, preferences, and other details.

Here’s an example:

Hi [First Name],

Wow – I can’t believe it’s been [X days] since you first started shopping with us at [X Location]


[Tip:By reminding a customer of the initial connection, it strengthens the relationship.]

What are the benefits of email personalization?

Email personalization does require extra work, technology, and attention to detail, but it delivers amazing results. Here’s why it makes email marketing so much better:

Better open rates

Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

With so many messages coming our way, it’s an accomplishment just to get readers to open your email. Aside from being a trusted sender, a powerful, targeted subject line is the most influential way to get someone to open your email. By personalizing your subject line to the recipient, it will catch their eye and signal that your email may be important to them.

Greater engagement

Once a reader opens your email, the next goal is engagement, such as clicking a link to “read more” or “Buy Your Tickets Now.” In any conversation, people are more likely to engage when the content resonates with them. The same goes for emails. In fact, 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging.

Higher conversions

91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.

Personalized CTAs perform 202% better compared to non-personalized CTAs.

Need we say more?

Improved trust

84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.

70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails, and millennial brand loyalty increases by 28% if they receive personalized communication.

We love this benefit of personalization, because we believe building trust with clients is the most important part of our customer relationships.

Making email personalization a regular part of your small business marketing

We love email marketing for small businesses—for good reason. And while it might be nice to sometimes connect with our beloved audience individually, it’s not realistic given our other responsibilities. With email personalization, we can make automated email marketing efforts as personalized as possible—with amazing benefits and time back in our pocket.

To get started with email personalization, take baby steps. Begin by making sure the information in your email list is cleaned up (your subscriber information should be fully populated and typo-free). Next, get familiar with your email marketing platform’s “merge tags” or “variables” (depending on the name they use). These are what really make personalization possible (see MailChimp’s personalization overview to get a better idea).

Looking for a partner and guide to jump-start your email strategy and execution? Schedule a no-cost 30-minute call to talk about how we can help.


Key Takeaways

  • Email personalization speaks directly to each recipient, such as personalized subject lines, product offers, and email copy.
  • Emails with personalized subject lines and messaging greatly increase open rates and engagement.
  • Personalized CTAs and shopping recommendations have shown much higher conversion rates than non-personalized CTAs.
  • Email personalization has shown to greatly improve customer trust and loyalty, especially with the millennial generation.
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