Automated and Personalized Email Marketing

Making Email Marketing Personal

We at RapidPage love email marketing. It has proven to be so successful for our clients. We love how email marketing connects back to your clients, keeps your business at the forefront of the clients’ minds. In addition, email marketing is fast, efficient and very low-cost. We have compiled these articles so you can see the power of personalizing email and using automation to make it easier for you.

[1]Consumers have come to demand and expect relevant and personalized content and experience, both online and offline.

To meet those demands, marketers are striving to leverage email personalization to move toward 1:1 experiences that not only meet but exceed consumer expectations and set them apart from the competition. That’s why it’s not surprising that, when asked to prioritize one capability that will be most important to marketing in the future, 33% of marketers answered: “personalization.” Furthermore, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement, and they see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized experiences.

Read on to learn some basic personalization tactics like personalizing an email subject line and more sophisticated techniques like using dynamic content or behavioural data based on how consumers are engaging with your brand. As a result, marketers at every level and ability can reap the benefits of sending more relevant and personalized messages that get results.

What is email personalization?

In the context of email marketing, personalization is the act of targeting an email campaign to a specific subscriber by leveraging the data and information you have about them. It could be information like their first name, the last product they bought, where they live, how many times they log into your app or other data points.

Personalization is a broad term, and it can vary in sophistication. For example, basic email personalization includes tactics like using a subscriber’s name in the subject line. In contrast, more advanced tactics can include changing the content of the email based on a subscriber’s gender, location, or other things you know about them.

Personalizing your email campaigns is a proven way to increase your open and click-through rates and have a measurable impact on your ROI and revenue. Studies have shown that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without. In addition, rich Relevance found that revenue is 5.7 times higher in emails that employ personalization.

These results stem from the fact that personalized emails are more relevant to subscribers. Instead of receiving a campaign with generic offers and messaging, your subscribers will receive an email targeted directly at them, includes their name, and provides offers (products, promotions, etc.) relevant to their interests.

What can be personalized?

Using professional-grade email marketing tools like Campaign Monitor, almost every part of your email marketing campaigns can be personalized, using tactics that range from the simple to the more advanced. We’ll cover each of these tactics so you can understand the realm of possibilities.

It’s entirely possible to start simple and then work your way toward more advanced tactics as you go along. The key is to use personalization in big and small ways to add value to your customers’ experiences.

Basic Email Personalization Tactics

Most marketers using basic personalization tactics are looking to do email newsletter-type marketing. However, they may not have the resources or capacity to focus on email personalization. Still, some basic tactics can help them get better results from their efforts and increase their engagement metrics.

1. “From” name

The “from” name is one of the most prominently displayed elements of your campaign when it arrives in your subscriber’s inbox.

This field has a larger text and heavier font on many desktop and mobile clients to help people quickly identify who the email is from before the recipient opens it.

Given its prominence, it’s unsurprising that 68% of Americans say they base their decision to open an email on the “from” name.

To appeal to these people and get more of them to open your campaigns, you can personalize your emails’ “from” names so that different subscribers see different names.

A common use case for this is sending your marketing campaigns from the individual sales representative or account manager currently working with a particular account.

Dubsat does a good job of this in their promotional campaigns, dynamically changing the “from” name so that the email campaign appears to come from the account manager the client interacts with regularly.

If you’re a Campaign Monitor customer, you can do this easily using Personalization Tags.

You enter the Personalization Tag you wish to use in the “from” name area as you create your campaign. Then, when you send your campaign, it will automatically be replaced by the information you have stored in your email list (i.e., the name of the sales representative working with the account).

2. Subject line

After the “from” name, the subject line is the second most prominent element in the inbox.

On most devices, the subject line has a darker, heavier text to make it stand out among the other details of the email.

Given its prominence in the inbox, it’s inevitable that your chosen subject line will have a significant effect on open rates, and our research shows that using the recipient’s first name in the subject line can increase open rates by 26%.

Converse does this well in their email campaigns, adding the subscriber’s first name to the subject line to help the campaign stand out in the inbox and get people to open.

If you’re a Campaign Monitor customer, you can do this using Personalization Tags.

When writing your subject line, click the “Insert Personalization” button, and you’ll see a list of the different Personalization Tags you can insert into your subject line. Then, when you send your campaign, it will automatically be replaced by the information you have stored in your email list (i.e., the subscriber’s first name.)

Medium sophistication email personalization tactics

Marketers utilizing medium sophistication personalization tactics are starting to develop deeper relationships with consumers and are moving toward marketing that is more targeted and fosters even higher levels of engagement.

1. Email content

Beyond just the “from” name and subject line, there are also many ways in which you can personalize the body content of your email campaigns to make them more relevant to subscribers and increase the chance they’ll click through.

2. Copy

If you have your subscriber’s first name, company, or even t-shirt size stored in your email list, then you can easily use that information to personalize the text in your email campaigns.

The most common example of this is adding a subscriber’s first name to the email, like this example from Sephora, who included the subscriber’s first name to address them more directly.

3. Imagery

Beyond just text, you can also dynamically change the images in your email marketing campaigns to better appeal to specific subscribers.

Using imagery is a powerful way of increasing your email click-through rate. In fact, in a recent campaign, we tested dynamically changing the images to match the subscriber’s location. First, we created different images for people in the UK, USA, and Australia. Then, we tested them against a generic version (with just one location-agnostic image) to see if personalized images worked better.

By making the images in our email campaign personalized to the subscriber’s location, we increased our email click-through rate by 29%.

If you’re a Campaign Monitor customer, you can easily do this in the email builder. First, select the images you wish to personalize, and then select the segment of your list you want it to show for (i.e., subscribers in Australia).

Dynamic content offers

Savvy brands are using demographic and geographic data to personalize the offers delivered to each consumer. You can dynamically change entire content sections within your email to make the entire campaign more relevant and more appealing to subscribers.

A common use case would be showing menswear to your male subscribers while showing womenswear to female subscribers.

Adidas did this in their email campaigns for the Originals series. By dynamically switching the products being promoted based on the subscriber’s gender, they ensured each subscriber saw the most relevant and appealing products that would entice them to purchase.


You can use email marketing personalization and automation to encourage customers who have already engaged to come back.

For example, St. Jude Children’s Hospital automatically sends reminders to re-engage their past donors. They’ll automatically receive a message six months after donating to remind them of St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s impact that encourages them to donate again.

You can send a re-engagement campaign asking them if they still want to hear from you to re-engage inactive subscribers. You can also send special promos, thank you notes, or actively ask them for their feedback. Remember, this should be a pull-out-all-the-stops, best content, best offer kind of email because this may be the last chance you have to impress your subscribers.

[2]Email Automation

Use predefined rules to trigger email messages and personalize your messages based on specific actions customers take—or don’t take, using email or marketing automation software. Some examples include when you automate welcome emails sent when a customer signs up for a mailing list, similar product recommendations after a user has bought from your site, or a quick reminder that the customer placed something in their cart but never finished checking out. Email automation takes repetitive tasks off your to-do list to free up your time for other valuable tasks, such as responding to customer questions. In addition, it can help customers learn more about your brand, encourage them to keep coming back or remind them of why they bought from you in the first place.

As a marketer or business owner, you’d like to stay connected to your customers. Email automation is a powerful marketing automation tool that lets you send the right message to the right people at the right time, using automated workflows, which is extremely effective for lead nurturing, and ultimately, to drive sales from potential customers and existing ones.

What is email automation?

Email automation is a way to create emails that reach the right people with the right message at the right moment—without doing the work every time, sending automated messages leveraging a marketing automation tool.

When you link your website analytics with your email marketing platform, you can target people based on behaviour, preferences, and previous sales. Then you can personalize each customer’s experience and increase the relevance of your automated campaigns.

The benefits of email automation

Email automation lets you:

1. Personalize your customers’ experiences.

Research backs up what most marketers already know: Customers love personalization.

  • 90% of consumers find personalized content very or somewhat appealing.
  • 91% of consumers are more likely to patronize businesses that provide individualized recommendations and offers.
  • A recent experiment revealed that when shoppers knew an ad was based on their activity on the site, their click-through rates increased by 11% and revenue from the product grew by 38%.
  • In 2019, 72% of customers only responded to marketing messages that targeted their interests.
  • The leading type of personalization experience that marketers use is email.

With email automation, you can even create a series of automated emails to help grow your relationships with your customers—and your business. Thus, improving email marketing efficiency as a marketing channel through the sales funnel.

2. Make the most of your marketing team.

Automation is changing the way that all kinds of teams do business. According to a 2017 survey of information workers, respondents said they believe automating email marketing can improve employee productivity:

  • 69% said automation could help reduce wasted time.
  • 59% said that they could save at least 6 hours a week if the repetitive aspects of their job were automated.
  • 72% said that they would use the time they saved to focus on higher-value work.

For email marketing teams, this could mean less time spent on manually compiling email lists and scheduling messages. Instead, team members could use that time to focus on other important tasks, such as in-depth customer relationship building.

The bottom line is that with automation, more gets done, and the added productivity is of higher value.

3. Improve your customer retention rate.

It’s much easier and more cost-effective to sell to an existing customer than to convert a new one, and with automation, you can stay in touch better than ever before. Schedule your messages so that your customers don’t go too long without hearing from you—and be sure the copy is relevant to maximize its impact.

An email that reads, “Hey, we haven’t heard from you in a while. Pay us a visit!” is likely to end up in the trash. Compare that to this one:

“Dear Joe, we haven’t heard from you in a while, and we wanted to make sure that you heard about our latest offer. The printer you’ve been buying parts for came out with a new model, and it’s 20% off! So come check it out.”

That’s an example of a message that fills a need, which is more likely to bring back a customer.

4. It makes your marketing strategy scalable.

When you send out an email series manually, the size of your staff limits the number of customers that you can reach. Would you be able to stay on schedule if your customer base suddenly doubled in size? What if it tripled?

When you send automated emails, you scale your email marketing efforts. For example, when you’ve set it up so that your platform sends a message every time someone signs up for your mailing list via a custom signup form, you don’t have to make sure a staff member is available to do it. Check out more email marketing campaign tips for more ideas.

With email automation, customers automatically integrate into your system as soon as they perform any of your track actions. Their behaviour tells your system what messages to send them next without additional demands on your limited resources.

Using email automation to grow your business

In email automation, a trigger is a specific date, event, or contact activity that tells your system to send out a related message. You can choose triggers and triggered messages based on your contact’s journey.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

Trigger: New subscriber

Email: “Welcome!”

Even if your website is an e-commerce store, many of your first-time visitors won’t be ready to make a purchase. So if you capture their interest with a “subscribe now” button, what should you do with an email once you have it?

Welcome emails have become like thank you notes after a job interview. There’s no rule that you have to send them, but people notice when you don’t:

  • 74% of people expect to receive a welcome email when they subscribe to a mailing list.
  • Welcome messages get 4 times more reads and 5 times more clicks than standard marketing emails.
  • They generate as much as 320% more income per email than other promotional messages.

When you get a new subscriber, following up with a warm welcome can help turn new leads into customers without any extra effort.

Trigger: Cart abandonment

Email: “Forget something?”

It only takes 1 click to add an item to your cart, but following through takes more steps. Unfortunately, about 70% of e-commerce shoppers abandon their carts for many reasons, including high shipping costs, having to register for an account, or concerns about the site’s security.

Abandoned cart emails can help you recover lost sales. Once you get to know your audience and write a clear, timely email, you can start recapturing the interest of your shoppers.

Trigger: New products or promotions

Email: “Something special for you!”

If you announce every new product release, upgrade, or promotion to every customer, your messages can start to lose their effectiveness.

Email automation helps you avoid this trap because it lets you announce products to particular customers based on their interests. In fact, if you include personalized recommendations in your email campaign, you can increase sales per email opening by an average of 150%.

Making email automation more effective

Here are a few tips to help your new automated email strategy run as smoothly as possible:

1. Track responses to collect more information.

Every time you send an automated email, you have the opportunity to get key information from each customer. You can learn whether or not the person:

  • Opens the email
  • Clicks through to your site
  • Uses an offer
  • Buys a suggested product
  • Continues to browse once they’re on your site

When targeting your automated emails, everything you learn about your shoppers can direct your next move. Try a different tactic if your recipients aren’t opening your discount emails or not clicking on your recommendations.

2. Offer discounts strategically.

The high cost of shipping is one of the biggest reasons that people abandon their shopping carts.

You can’t eliminate shipping fees or lower your prices, but you can send out discount coupons or promo codes to entice reluctant spenders. This can be an effective strategy, but be careful not to overuse it. If you offer too many discounts, your customers might expect to receive them more often.

3. Create automated drip campaigns.

Some people interact with your company several times before they become customers. So drip campaigns gradually “drip” useful content about a company, product, or industry.

These campaigns have to be relevant to work, and with email automation, drip campaign messages only go out to prospects who have demonstrated interest.

Start building customer relationships.

Email automation helps you find your audience and engage your customers. Unlike manual campaigns, automation runs in the background while you tend to do other valuable tasks.

With automation, you can send personalized emails for each individual, from new visitors to repeat buyers. And if you combine email automation with customer analytics, you can refine your targeting every time you send a message—and grow your business without sacrificing that special personal touch. Finally, be sure to check out Mailchimp’s email marketing statistics by industry so you can keep track of how you’re doing.

Check out how Mailchimp’s free marketing automation tools stack up against the competition.


Test out some of the above ideas, and you will not be disappointed! If you need help, give a call today.

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