Email remains one of the top marketing tools for B2B and B2C businesses. Thanks to evolving marketing technology, we have more opportunities than ever to get significantly better results with our email marketing. We can do this through marketing personalization to our existing customer base.

Study Shows Significant Benefits from Personalized Marketing Email

According to researchers at Stanford University and the University of Chicago, their experiments with recipients of millions of emails revealed the following about personalization in email marketing:

“We find consistently that personalizing the emails, while adding no informative content about the product or the company, benefits the advertisers.” Their in-depth experiment found that personalization as simple as adding the person’s name to the subject line had tremendous positive impact:

•    The probability of the recipient opening it increased by 20%
•    This translated to increased sales leads of 31%
•    It decreased unsubscribes by 17%”

Other studies and personalization statistics confirm the benefits as show in this chart:

marketing email open and click rates by personalizationChart source: Statista

What is Personalized Email Marketing?

Personalized email marketing is the addition of consumer-specific information to your email. These variable details can be used in the subject line or the body of the email, or both.

Types of Marketing Email Personalization

Demographic Information

This type of personalization in the study used demographic information. While the study only concerned itself with the person’s name, used in various spots in the emails, variable data can make use of other demographic information, such as company, age, gender, location, or any other static information about the recipient.

Behavioral Information

Yet personalization can also be applied to data about customer behavior that’s gained from all their interactions with your business, both online and offline.

•    What links did they click prior to purchase?
•    What searches did they perform prior to purchase?
•    For which items did they leave reviews?
•    Which items do they like/dislike?
•    What item did they just purchase?
•    What brought them to your store?

When you know the answers to such questions, you get clues about their intent. You can make relevant product suggestions to help them find what they want.

The goal of personalization is to provide the customer with what they want without them having to ask for it or search for it.

Missed Marketing Opportunities in Transactional Email

Transactional emails (the receipts and invoices for a purchase) are often overlooked as a marketing tool, yet they are one of the most effective ways to cut through inbox clutter.

According to flexReceipts, transaction receipt emails have 45-80% open rates and are viewed an average of 3-5 times. An email receipt with relevant suggestions, based on the customers behavior or demographics, are sure to be read.

Another important point made by flexReceipts is that in brick and mortar stores, transactional emails are an effective way to collect customer information. “Up to 75% of shoppers provide valid emails in return for digital receipts.” All you have to do is ask.

6 Important Elements for Maximum Impact Personalized Email

Naturally, email personalization isn’t only about automatically inserting a bunch of consumer-centric data for its own sake.

The following elements are also important when you create your marketing personalization plan:

•    Timing
•    Relevance
•    Reminders
•    Consistency
•    Motivation
•    Empathy

The infographic below goes into more detail on what your clients expect and why it’s important.

personalized marketing emails


It’s likely you have a lot of information available about your customers and their individual shopping behavior. Use it to personalize your marketing emails, especially transactional (receipt) emails. Even simple personalization is proven to increase sales. Then test different variables and monitor your results.

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Andre Palko Owner
Andre Palko is founder of the Small Business Rainmaker™ and its free weekly e-newsletter. He is dedicated to delivering award-winning marketing and content that helps business owners thrive in any economy.