Personalization Email Marketing is Still Going Strong, Studies Report

Personalization Email Marketing is Still Going Strong, Studies Report

By Karen TaylorAug 20 /2019

A vast 94.2% of all businesses are personalizing their email marketing campaigns, according to the 2019 Personalization Development Study by Monetate. That’s up over 15% from 79% just two years ago.

In email marketing, personalization is the act of targeting an email campaign to specific subscribers by leveraging the data and information collected from them. Relevant information includes consumers’ names, the last products they bought, where they live, and how many times they log into an app, along with a wide range of other data points.

Personalizing emails include an array of data-driven techniques. Essential email personalization includes tactics like using a subscriber’s name in the subject line or making product recommendations based on a consumer’s most recent purchases.

More advanced tactics include using dynamic content, which involves changing elements of each email based on the subscriber’s gender, location, purchases and other details in five key areas:

  • Subject line
  • Salutation
  • Images
  • Content
  • Product offering

Personalized emails work because they’re more relevant to recipients. Instead of receiving an email with generic, one-size-fits-all messaging and offers, they receive emails targeted directly at them, providing offers for products and services relevant to their interests.

A wide range of research is reporting on the successful results of email marketing. Combined, they offer insight into how to do email personalization in ways that generate the best results. Here are highlights from four of the leading studies.

1 — Accenture — Increase Purchases

Email personalization is trending because personalization works across the marketing spectrum. Accenture found that 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from retailers that deliver these three benefits: make them feel recognized, give them relevant recommendations and ensure they are remembered as customers. And personalized emails hit all of these buttons.

The survey showed how much consumers appreciate and have a positive attitude toward personalized offers that deliver these advantages:

  • Being recognized — More than 1 in 2 consumers (56%) are more likely to shop in businesses that recognize them by name.
  • Being offered relevant recommendations — 3 in 5 consumers (58%) are more likely to make purchases when businesses recommend options for them based on their past purchases and preferences.
  • Being remembered — 2 in 3 consumers (65%) are more likely to shop at businesses that know their purchase history.

2 — Dynamic Yield — Boost Influence

Over 60% of consumers in North America respond favorably to emails that contain content personalized to their interests, according to Dynamic Yield. Still, 75% felt overall that the emails they receive do not contain content personalized for them, which is a huge missed opportunity for businesses.

Another finding from the study regards influence, which speaks to the power of understanding the incentives behind what has the potential to drive more meaningful interactions with prospects.

Respondents said they are influenced by emails, but only from companies with the most robust email content and offers, defined by several variables, including enjoyable experience, tailored recommendations, relevant products featured and detailed information.

Primarily, consumers are largely influenced by what comes into their inboxes and when, which represents a significant opportunity for brands with the strongest email strategies.

  • 55% of respondents stated that a more enjoyable email experience would include companies offering more targeted promotions and discounts.
  • 37% indicated that brands providing recommendations more tailored to their interests would make for more enjoyable emails
  • 25% want companies to make it easier to discover new products
  • 23% want informed on product and service details, as well as product availability

3 — Segment — Personalization Gap

On average, 71% of prospects express some level of frustration when their experiences are impersonal, according to a study by Segment. These consumers expect highly personalized shopping experiences and are willing to spend more money when brands deliver targeted recommendations. Despite these expectations, however, a majority of consumers are disappointed with the ongoing lack of personalization in their shopping experiences.

The proliferation of new devices and the rapidly evolving technology landscape has led to a “personalization gap” in the shopping experience. As consumers’ expectations for personalized experiences rise, businesses are struggling to meet them.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • 54% of consumers expect to receive a personalized discount within 24 hours of identifying themselves to a brand, such as by submitting their email or signing up for an account
  • 49% have purchased a product they did not initially intend to buy after receiving a personalized recommendation from a brand
  • 44% say that they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a particular company

4 — One Spot — Highly Effective

With a large percentage of marketers deploying email personalization, where exactly are they focusing their efforts? More than 65% of email marketers think dynamic content is the most effective tactic, according to a study by One Spot.

Despite the tactic having the highest potential to drive business goals, 78% of marketers say they only use first-name personalization to customize messages. What’s more, as many as half are still not using personalized product recommendations in their emails.

Further findings from the study include:

  • 60% say real-time data in email — i.e., contextual signals like location or weather — is “effective” or “highly effective”
  • 58% report that machine learning to drive email personalization is “effective” or “highly effective”
  • 17% more revenue is generated in companies that use email personalization in their campaigns

If you’re not leveraging the power of email personalization yet, these four studies should inspire you to create more personalized emails to gain better results from your campaigns based on these key insights:

  • Remember the three Rs — recognize, relevance and remember
  • Personalize better — and more often
  • Bridge the “personalization gap” — and reach out quickly
  • Explore dynamic content — and boost potential results

For further inspiration, read how four companies did personalization right.

Email Marketing Strategies in Content & Design for 2017

Karen Taylor
The Author

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor is a professional content marketing writer with experience writing for over 100 companies and publications. Her experience includes the full range of content marketing projects — from blogs, to white papers, to ebooks. She has a particular knack for creating content that clarifies and strengthens a company’s marketing message, and delivers optimum impact and maximum results. Learn more at