Email has come a long way since it was introduced to the public in the early 70s. You might not even be able to recognize it compared to the message you see in your inbox today.

Almost every brand is using email, which means there is a lot of innovation, but it also means that there is a lot of saturation. You need to do something truly amazing to stand out and claim your piece of the pie to increase your ROI.

It can be a real challenge, not to mention super expensive to achieve true, complex personalization. On this page I will take you through all the details you’ll ever want to know about the email personalization landscape, how you can implement your own strategy quickly, what hold ups you might face and how to tackle them, and finally, tools that will make your life easier! All of this will help you improve your email programs and start cashing in on the email.

The Email Personalization Landscape:

Open your inbox and pick any promotional email at random. Chances are that email uses some kind of personalization. Over 80% of all retail and ecommerce marketers use some form of personalization in email marketing. The most common, first-name personalization is used by 86%, followed by subject-line personalization at 72% of marketers and finally email body content at 66% of marketers.

But this type of personalization is losing efficacy. Consumers, on average get over 100 emails a day, and you have only about 2 seconds to grab their attention. Deeper, more complex personalization is now required to get the ROI from email that makes a difference.

This type of personalization includes things like custom images, product recommendations, and location data. The brands that can successfully utilize their data to create individual emails for each consumer have managed to take more market share than the competition. Some companies even report a 17% increase in revenue.

How to Implement Basic Personalization:

More than 80% of marketers are already implementing some kind of personalization. Most of that 80% is doing so with basic information stored in a single database, like an ESP or CRM.

As a consumer you know what I am talking about. Any email that contains your name or recent purchase history falls under this category.

This is the most common form of personalization because it is the easiest to achieve. All it takes, in most cases, is as an email merge tag.

You can pull in previously collected data right into your emails by simply adding a token. Your ESP does the work for you in connecting the two. This can be effective if it’s your only personalization option, especially if you personalize your subject line.

But this basic type of personalization has diminishing returns. It no longer surprises and delights the savvy consumer. They’ve simply seen it once too often.

How to Personalize With More Complexity:

Once you’ve mastered the basic personalization and see some lift, you might want to branch out. How can you incorporate more data and be even more relevant to your audience? Use more of your data!

To really hit that personalization homerun you need to use more than a name and birthday. Many forward thinking companies have begun to create individualized emails that pull in relevant personal, location and/or weather data!

For instance, live images, images that update with personalized data at the moment of open are the state of the art solution to personalized emails.

Finding interesting ways to combine all the different data points you can collect is paramount to creating hyper-personalized emails. These combinations of demographic, geographic and personal tid-bits of info will resonate with more people than the average batch and blast emails.

What Are the Hold Ups:

It may seem a little overwhelming when you think about all the data you collect. You probably have multiple databases that store all your data. So how do you normalize that and get it to fit into your current workflow?

Data normalization and utilization can be the most time consuming and expensive challenges marketers face.

Some solutions have risen to this challenge and are helping marketers achieve hyper-personalized emails at scale.

How to Fix Your Emails:

Zembula is the first solution to make this type of personalization available for every email marketing campaign. With the Zembula platform you can use any and all of your data sources to create live images that are personalized at the moment of open. The tech does the heavy lifting for you and normalizes your data; all you have to do is drag and drop your way to dynamic images.

Historically this has been really expensive to achieve – meaning it eats into your ROI. That, however, is not the case with Zembula.

What is the end result?

When you invest in your email marketing it gives back. As mentioned above, adding real-time personalization that goes beyond just name adds a $20 return for every $1 spent on top of the typical email ROI of $32 to $44 for every $1 of investment. That is impressive on its own but there are more numbers to back up this argument that hyper-personalized emails are worth every bit of investment.

Hyper-personalized emails have shown a 12% Increase in conversion rate, a 90% increase in site visits and a whopping 110% revenue increase for retailers!

If that doesn’t convince you, you should also know that personalized emails create more brand affinity and increase customer lifetime value. If you invest in creating a stellar customer experience, your customers stick around longer, spend more, and buy more often.

Personalization is about more than email merge tags.
There are lots of ways to cash in on this benefit.

Wondering how your brand can get their share?