Effective Personal Marketing is Carefully Planned

Personalizing marketing is becoming increasingly important and the focus will only increase in the future.

Why Is Personal Marketing So Important?

Consumers and businesses are paying more attention to who has access to their contact information. People are sometimes inundated with more messages than they can consume across social media, push messaging, text and email. Your contacts are using more discretion about which messages they’ll respond to and who they’ll continue to receive communications from.

The way to win the attention battle among crowded communications is simple. Talk about what your audience wants to hear, versus what your brand wants to say. Build a relationship by talking about the things they care most about.

Email gives you incredible flexibility to implement personalized marketing, but it has to be done strategically.

Personalizing Messages Can Backfire if Done Without Thorough Logic

Common Mistake #1:

Let’s look at the simplest and perhaps oldest way of personalizing a marketing email: inserting a first name in the body copy or subject line. Even if your email is using more advanced personal data, this is a perfect case to show how good intentions can go awry.

Here are two mock contacts in a database:

Email: Jane@companyabc.com

First Name: Jane

Company: Companyabc


Email: John@companyxyz.com

First Name:


Here’s how a message might look to these two contacts:


And the second:


Or it could be worse:


Both mistakes are actually fairly common in email marketing. Calling someone “Valued Subscriber” is about as impersonal as you can get. It shows you really don’t know the contact. Having a blank field really shows a void in the relationship.

What’s a better way to handle this situation? Send two versions of the email. The first is designed to go to everyone with a first name populated. The second goes to everyone where first name is blank.

So your second email might look more like this:


You can see how having two versions of the message allows people you know something about to have a personalized experience. They know you know who they are. The second still provides a warm experience for the contact you don’t know so well.

Any time you know information about your subscribers, it is an opportunity to segment your list and share relevant content. You can personalize your message for geography, product interest, an anniversary date, an action someone took on your site, responses to a survey, and many more options. Each segmentation and each customization requires some strategic thinking to consider the exceptions to the rule and build a modified message, or an exclusion for that audience.