Email Personalization Beyond Hello {FirstName}

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Email Personalization Beyond Hello {FirstName}


coffee mugEarlier today, while sipping my morning coffee and quickly scanning my 114 new promotional emails, one in particular caught my attention. The email was from J.Crew, and the subject line read, “Easiest wedding ever – two steps to the perfect bridal party.” As a recently engaged bride-to-be, knee deep in wedding planning mode, my curiosity took over and I opened the email.

This was the only email of the 114 I opened. And I am sure I don’t need to tell you what happened to the remaining 113 (insert evil laugh here).

So what about that email made it so unique it avoided the dreaded trash folder? Well it just so happens that earlier this week I was perusing the bridal gowns and bridesmaid’s dresses on Unlike the other 113 emails that were offering free shipping, half off pants, BOGO sweaters and gosh knows what else, J.Crew used behavioral intelligence to develop a message that really resonated with me. Sure it is much easier to create one-size-fits-all emails, but easier does not always equate to the best results.

While most marketers agree email personalization is important, not many companies today are leveraging the power of personalization. In fact, according to the 2013 Experian Digital Marketer Report, 70 percent of brands are not personalizing emails sent to their subscribers.

For those companies that take the extra step of creating personalized campaigns, the results speak for themselves. Here are a few more interesting statistics from the report.

  • Personalized promotional emails had a 29 percent higher unique open rate and 41 percent higher unique click rate compared to non-personalized emails
  • Personalized triggered emails had a 25 percent higher unique open rate and a 51 percent higher click rate
  • Personalized emails generate transaction rates and revenue per email that is more than six times higher than non-personalized emails

With the tools available to marketers today, creating a personalized experience for your audience in well within your reach. Personalization is much more than including the person’s first name in the subject line or body copy. A truly personal email speaks to the subscriber’s pain points, preferences, fears and stage within the buying cycle.

Developing buyer personas is a great way to uncover a potential buyer’s preferences, pain points, fears, etc. Targeting smaller subsets rather than blasting your entire audience with a generic offer often increases engagement rate and, in turn, conversions.

Remember simpler is not always better. Is your company part of the 70 percent underutilizing the power personalization?

photo credit: JacobEnos 

Shannon Fuldauer

Shannon Fuldauer has a B2B and B2C eCommerce Marketing background including roles as Vice President of Marketing & Sales Support, and subsequently Vice President of Public Relations & SEO Services, for She has expertise in digital marketing and advanced email communications.

email buyer journey


Can you tell me exactly what in the email sparked you to click in? I'm in the same spot with emails. As a marketer, it's my job to send 'em but as a user, I hate 'em. There's always onnneee company that usually knows the way directly to my email heart and gets a click though. Care to share how JCrew personalized the email you clicked?
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 10:00 AM by Lisa
Great question Lisa. It was all about the right content being delivered at the right time. The subject line hit a personal pain point of wedding planning stress. Here is a link to the email
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 3:13 PM by Shannon Fuldauer
Definitely something we marketers need to get our heads around. Content will begin to fail without context. It's so important to know those buyer personas. Nice work Shannon. Inspiring post. Cheers!
Posted @ Saturday, August 24, 2013 8:06 PM by Dan Moyle
Great point Dan! Content isn't nearly as impactful without context. 
Shannon, did you complete a different CTA with J Crew previously for them to know you were a bride to be (congrats by the way!)? I'm just curious on how other companies are identifying the stages their prospects are at in life. Thanks!
Posted @ Sunday, August 25, 2013 7:38 AM by Ryan King
Thanks Dan :o)
Posted @ Monday, August 26, 2013 9:20 AM by Shannon Fuldauer
Hi Ryan, I do not recall completing a different CTA. Thanks for the congrats!
Posted @ Monday, August 26, 2013 9:23 AM by Shannon Fuldauer
Frankly speaking first i don't know about the personalizing emails Shannon Fuldauer but understand the region behind it . Yes is most popular profitable business for internet users. You have explained it very nicely. Thank you for your article!
Posted @ Wednesday, August 28, 2013 6:25 AM by John
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