Email marketing personalization boosts results: the evidence


This concise guide outlines the evidence for personalization improving email marketing results, and how to do it.

Companies use email marketing to reach customers at all stages of the sales retail funnel. From brand new and potential customers to the returning and loyal customers, email marketing lets you speak to them on a more personal level.

But how personal is your current email marketing? Are you providing your customers with the experience they are really looking for from your company?

Personalization is crucial for email marketing

Personalization is a big deal in email marketing. If you’re simply adding a name token to your subject lines and calling it a day — you’re not doing enough. Your customers expect to receive information that is personal and relevant to their needs, not just another batch and blast message. And it has a huge impact — 56% of customers will buy an item at full price after having a personalized and optimized email experience.

Luckily, providing a personalized email experience is easier than ever before. With the help of advanced technology, improved segmentation, and a few other personalization steps you can quickly start to improve your emails.

Here’s a quick look at the personalization tactics we’ll cover in this article:

  • How to use predictive personalization
  • Why segmentation is so important
  • Why you’ll want to A/B test your emails
  • How trigger emails can improve personalization

Personalization research on email marketing

Personalization is no longer just a nice-to-have tactic in your email marketing strategy, it’s essential. Your customers expect that you will provide them with relevant content and personalize their experience.

In fact, 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. That means if you aren’t taking the time to personalize your messages, you’re more than likely frustrating more than half of your customer base.

Email Marketing Personalisation

Personalization has proven to provide companies with increased investments and improve marketing efforts. It’s a great option when looking for ways to improve your current marketing efforts. Image courtesy of Adobe.

You should be building personalization into everything you do with your email marketing strategy. From simply learning more about what your customers want from you to using predictive analytics to provide an advanced personalization experience — the right personalization can drastically improve your success rates.

Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can improve your current personalization tactics to better serve your customers.

Use predictive personalization tactics

Predictive personalization takes the historical data you currently have of your customers and allows you to predict future behaviors. With the help of technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, you can make data-driven decisions around your email personalization.

Positive Effects of Email Marketing

Using artificial intelligence and other advanced technology will help improve your personalization and improve your metrics. From revenue to click-through and open rates, you’ll find it’s worth the investment. Image courtesy of Business2Community.

There are a few different ways to leverage predictive personalization to improve your current strategy.

Predictive analytics for email marketing

Predictive analytics uses advanced technology to help you understand the behaviors of your customers. Knowing this information allows you to provide them with relevant content based on their interests, wants, and journey.

Using predictive analytics will allow you to pinpoint exactly what a customer needs when they need it. Sending a perfectly timed email with the right content will encourage your customer to open, click, and convert.

What can you learn from predictive analytics?

  • Future spend potential
  • Changes in their lifecycle stage
  • Likelihood of making a purchase
  • Probability of them clicking and opening emails
  • Identify potential unsubscribes

Predictive analytics provides you with valuable insight into the habits of your customers. It presents an opportunity to leverage this data and provide them with a more personalized email experience.

Optimizes send times

Stop relying on articles and publications telling you when the best time to send your emails is. With the help of predictive personalization tactics, you can send your emails when your customers are most active.

Artificial intelligence technology can identify the best time to send emails to each individual customer and only deliver emails during that time. That means that your message will land in their inbox during the time they are most likely to engage with it. By optimizing send times, you’ll see an increase in engagement and conversions.

Predictive product recommendations

As you collect data on the shopping and browsing behaviors of your customers, you can start to learn more about their interests. Knowing this information will allow you to predict and suggest new products that they may be interested in.

Product Recommendations

Sephora sends customers new products related to something they’ve recently purchased. This is a great way to upsell additional products that the customer may be interested in. Image courtesy of Sephora Marketing.

Machine learning is the technology behind this personalization tactic. It learns from the data you have and the actions of your customers to understand and predict future product interests. With that knowledge, you can serve the right content at the right time to encourage a customer to make a purchase.

Improve email marketing segmentation

List segmentation is a big part of providing personalized emails to your customers. Understanding your customers on a deeper level through their demographics, behaviors, and other traits will allow you to provide them with the right content.

Having the right segmentation in place will help make your email personalization journey more manageable. Grouping like-minded customers will allow you to create email marketing campaigns that target their specific interests and needs.

What are a few ways to segment your customer list?

  • Demographics including age and gender
  • Email engagement
  • Location and geography details
  • Purchasing and browsing behaviors
  • Spending history
  • Stage in the sales funnel

The more you know about your customers, the more specific your email marketing campaigns can become. Segmentation will allow you to personalize down to very granular levels for larger groups of customers and still ensure the content is relevant to each person.

Keep in mind, the data you’re using for your segmentation efforts can also be leveraged when using predictive personalization tactics.

Utilize A/B testing

A/B testing is a great way to improve your email marketing in general, but it can also help your personalization efforts. By learning what works and what doesn’t work with your customers, you’ll be able to improve their experience.

AB Testing Email Marketing

The more you know about what your customers are engaging with, the better emails you can create. Understanding that emails with personalized messages outperform those with just personalized subject lines is a great example of learning where to put your personalization efforts. Image courtesy of Statista.

Testing your emails will let you start to see trends in what your customers engage most with. You can then use that information to improve your future emails to include the things your customers like most. This will improve their experience and your email campaign metrics.

A/B testing is an important step that many marketers tend to forget about. But by adding it to your personalization process, you can set time aside to learn first hand what your customers want to see from your emails.

Implement trigger emails

Trigger emails are another great solution when it comes to improving personalization for your customers. They are emails that are sent to a user based on a specific action, or trigger. These can help improve your personalization efforts by sending customers relevant follow-up or reminder information.

Email triggers

Triggered emails can be used in a variety of ways. This example looked at the customer’s browsing behavior and sent a reminder message about products they were recently looking at. Image courtesy of Sperry Marketing.

What do trigger emails look like?

  • Welcome campaigns
  • Abandoned cart messages
  • Appointment reminders
  • Retention campaigns
  • Purchase confirmations
  • Shipping and delivery updates

Using trigger emails will provide your customers with the relevant information they want and need related to the action they recently took. Because they are so relevant, triggered emails tend to have higher engagement rates and many customers welcome them.


These tactics are great options if you’re looking for new ways to improve your email personalization. Whether you choose to start with one, two, or all of these tactics, you’re on the way to providing your customers with a more personalized email experience. As you continue to grow your personalization tactics, you’ll quickly see that it was worth the investment.

About Kayla Stone

Kayla Stone is a marketing specialist at Nakturnal.

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