Dotdigital blog

Personalization has a new standard – are you meeting it?

Why your personalized emails should go beyond first name salutation.

What’s in a name?

In an online world: not as much as there used to be.

As far as emails go, it’s well known that we like messages that speak to us directly as individuals rather than just another person in the crowd.

In 2016, Experian released some interesting statistics:

  • 7%- The number an email was more likely to be opened if it contained a personalized subject line e.g. first/surname
  • 61% & 55%- The percentage of marketers in the UK & North America that personalize using basic data e.g. first names.
  • 61%- Of consumers are put off by communications that use incorrect personal details
  • 49%- Of consumers think less of brand when incorrect data is used[1]

With so many companies (both B2C and B2B) competing for our attention, basic personalization isn’t going to be enough to even capture your recipient’s attention, let alone attract their engagement and convince them to convert.

What can I do to stand out further?

Look to personalize messages based on who your recipients are, rather than just the name they’ve given your database, dotmailer allows you to add as many data fields that you would like and create segments from this. This way you can set up campaigns for smaller, more targeted campaigns. This can turn your email from:

“Subject: Az Burman, we think you’ll like this

Hi Az,

Other people really liked…”


“Subject: Az, as a Londoner, you’ll love this…

Hi Az,

We know you Londoners are a peculiar bunch, but others in your great city loved…”

You’re able to create segments on data fields such as location, gender, anything, that you have set up. Using this data to add more to a campaign will let your recipient know that you are caring about them specifically.

Not only does dotmailer allow you to personalize your email campaigns, you can also set up unique audience journeys with speed and ease. Using the automation program builder you can send campaigns based on decisions your recipients make. You’re able to send different campaigns to non-openers; people who clicked on a link, those who didn’t; – even to those who have opened but taken no further action.

For those of us that use e-commerce platforms and/or a CRM system, the amount of data we hold on our contact’s interaction, purchase history and engagement with our brand is staggering. Harnessing this data and using it to automate personalized and relevant email campaigns will undoubtedly hit the mark with every customer. Not only will you know more about your recipient, but they’ll know that you care about them and value their interaction.

The great thing is that getting started with advanced personalization doesn’t have to be daunting; it’s as we always say: start small, think big, scale quickly. If you’re not already, begin to segment your current contacts; experiment with dynamic content to avoid campaigns becoming too generic and set expectations with a personalized welcome program for new sign-ups!

I know that, personally, I’d prefer an email that says:

“Az, hope you like your new jeans, here’s a few items that we think would go great with them:”


“Az, thanks for your purchase, what not buy some more items?”

If you have any further questions on advanced personalization or want to know how to get started- get in touch with your dedicated Account Manager or one of our wonderful team who’d be more than happy to help.

Want to find out how you can easily work automation tactics into your email marketing strategy? Take a look at our advanced guide!


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