In our latest survey, we found that email is the most popular channel for personalization. Yet the most common way that marketers personalize their emails today is to incorporate the recipient’s first name or company name into the subject line or body of the email. This is good, but it’s only a start.

Just think about your own personal inbox. I know I am constantly deleting irrelevant emails. Even brands I shop regularly send me too many emails, so I unsubscribe from many of them. The same applies to business emails. There are just too many of them. Simply including my name or company in them isn’t enough to help address the problem of volume and irrelevance.

The best way to cut down on email clutter and ensure your emails are relevant to each recipient is to make sure your emails:

  1. Are sent (triggered) at the right moment in the person’s journey or relationship with the company.
  2. Contain accurate and relevant information to the recipient at the moment the email is opened.

To expound on these topics and provide useful examples to help you get started, we recently published a new eBook: Email Personalization: 15 Examples that Go Way Beyond {First_Name}. In this blog post, I’ll present three of those use cases, but you should download the eBook for much more detail.

Drive Shoppers Back to Your Site After They Abandon a Search

Most e-commerce marketers are already familiar with triggered emails — typically using them for cart abandonment messages. But there are other reasons to send abandonment triggered emails to shoppers. For example, if a shopper conducted a search while on your site — even if she didn’t actually add anything to her cart — you know what she is looking for. So if a shopper searched for cat collars (as in this example below), you can send a search abandonment email to bring her back to the site to finish her research.

email personalization examples

Never Send an Outdated Email

Demand gen marketers often send emails to prospects encouraging them to engage with their content and learn more about their products or services. It’s tough enough to get those prospects to open those emails, but if the content within them is irrelevant, you will lose the opportunity to drive that person to your website.

Any email that is sent to a prospect should contain content that reflects the most up-to-date information you have about the actions the person has already taken. Has she already downloaded that eBook? Don’t feature it in an email! Is she already signed up for that webinar? Don’t promote it to her again! Has she already read certain blog posts? Don’t recommend those! This seems obvious, but if you can’t personalize your emails at open time, you aren’t able to avoid these potentially embarrassing situations. In this example below, a person who has already signed up for a webinar shouldn’t see a promotion for that webinar when he opens the email:

email personalization examples

Instead, he should receive a reminder of the webinar and relevant blog articles he can read before the webinar.

email personalization examples

Alert Internal Teams to Major Activity Changes

Email personalization doesn’t just need to be used for external communication to shoppers, prospects and customers. It can also be used to inform internal staff about important developments they need to be aware of. For example, you can send a triggered email to a salesperson to alert them to any activity one of their target accounts has taken on your website. Or you could let the appropriate customer success person know about any developments with their customers so they can follow up appropriately.

For example, if a customer who usually logs into a media site once or twice a week suddenly stops logging in for several weeks, the company could trigger an email (such as the one below) to a customer representative encouraging her to follow up with the customer.

email personalization examples

Final Thoughts

Email remains a critical channel for engaging your audience and driving them to your site. But you aren’t doing yourself any favors by sending large batches of irrelevant emails to your prospects and customers. Instead, cut through the clutter of today’s overstuffed inboxes with true email personalization.

In this blog post, I’ve described three examples of successful email personalization. Download the eBook, Email Personalization: 15 Examples that Go Way Beyond {First_Name}, for more examples.