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Email Marketing: Making It Personal

Email Marketing: Making It Personal

Posted 26/05/2009 by Gareth Cutter

In a recent survey, Internet Retailer asked survey respondents what their adoption of email marketing tactics was like in comparison to other forms of marketing. A lot of the signs were good: 51.6% said they plan to increase usage during the recession, while only 4.7% planned to decrease it. However, some of the statistics around what tactics retailers were using left us both surprised and puzzled. For instance:

  • Only 36.5% of email marketers are personalising messages by addressing recipients by first name.

This figure is remarkably low for such a basic feature of email marketing. Personalisation greatly increases relevancy to, and engagement from subscribers because it addresses them as an individual and stands out from the masses of generic messaging people already receive.

Who doesn't prefer to be addressed by their first or even surname as opposed to 'Dear Subscriber? Mail-merging your contact data with an email marketing programme is a relatively easy thing to do - one your email marketing provider should offer as standard (and if not, you should ask them why).

If you're not sure what the fuss is about, consider the impression your current email marketing campaign is creating amongst subscribers. It could be either:

  • "I'm just another 'subscriber' on a list; no reason for me to get excited about the offer (or open the next email for that matter)"


  • "This email has come to me addressed by name; it's nice that a company took the trouble to learn it"

While personalisation might not create an earth-shattering surge in sales, it will go a long way to creating a happier and more valued subscriber list, with just the simplest of clicks. If your company wants to generate more sales using email marketing, you have to be ticking off these basic best practice boxes. So, are you?

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