J&C Blog

Find all the latest marketing trends on the J&C Blog.

How much email personalization is acceptable?

Posted by Quentin Hart on February 23, 2016

As marketers we have to be smart when the noise gets louder. In order to reach and resonate with your audience you need to be relevant for each individual, and being personal with your audience is one important part of being relevant – but how much email personalizaiton is acceptable?


Working with email marketing, we have an extremely powerful tool in our hands. It is not a silver bullet though, and we need to do it right to thrive with email marketing. Check out these tips on the best tactics to include personalization in an email.




Evaluate Your Audience
Before incorporating every nugget of information you’ve captured about your consumer into your messages, evaluate your audience. Where a tech-savvy group will be more receptive to greater email personalization, other groups may be leery of the of the extent and origin of the data you provide.


Use Personally Identifiable Information

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual, most commonly demographic (location, gender, age) and firmographic (industry, company size, title) information.


The benefits of this method are that the customer generally provides this information to you, meaning that unless they filled out the information erroneously, there is little-to-no guesswork involved in accessing the quality of the data and its origin is crystal clear.

Common emails that use PII include:

  • Localized sales and promotions
  • Birthday messages
  • Gender-specific product or service promotions
  • Lead generation within specific business industries, sizes and job titles


Incorporate Predictive Personalization

Predictive email personalization, on the other hand, requires access to your own internal data about subscribers and site visitors (e.g., past products or topics viewed, purchase history, activities of similar consumers). If you have the ability to connect this data to your email or automation system, this is often the most effective method for personalization as it allows you to present tailored, behavior-based content to your audience.


Common emails that leverage this data for predictive personalization are:

• Abandoned cart/abandoned browse reminders
• Follow-ups for product reviews
• Similar content or products based on browsing history
• Suggestions for products or downloads related to previous transactions
• Discounts based on site activity




The hard truth is that personalization is the advancing norm for every email marketer. Consumers increasingly expect relevant, individualized engagement, and failing to deliver it in email will increasingly condemn your messages to the spam box. These eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart dialogues with audiences have tremendous payoffs when strategic, relevant personalization is applied. Be sure to evaluate your audience to find the most effective balance of personalization in your campaigns.



If you are looking for additional information on how to improve your campaigns, contact Jacobs & Clevenger to set up an email marketing assessment with our team.



Topics: Email Marketing

Recent Posts