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Customers expect to receive personalized emails that make their experiences better at every stage of the customer lifecycle. It’s not just a “Dear First Name” line anymore that hooks subscribers, nor is it only dynamic content that makes them feel like you understand them.

Personalized email marketing is still misunderstood — and in many cases, not even used — in both B2B and B2C marketing. Out of 3,500 marketers surveyed in our fourth annual “State of Marketing” report, 51% say they send the same email to everyone on their subscriber lists, and only 29% say that their email messages evolve based on customer behavior.

There are any number of reasons why half of marketers have yet to make personalized email a go-to arrow in their quiver, such as:

  • Not having enough budget to invest in the right technology

  • Not having sales, service, and marketing efforts (and data) connected

  • Not getting buy-in from the CMO or other company leaders

  • Not having a documented strategy that outlines organizational goals for personalized marketing

The list of “nots” goes on and on. If you’re not gaining ground because these challenges are weighing you down, here are three reasons why you should prioritize personalization in your email marketing strategy:

1. Subscribers give you their personal information. Use it.

If you’re collecting data for the sake of just having it, you need to start putting it to work. Some 63% of Millennials, 58% of Gen Xers, and 46% of Baby Boomers are willing to share personal information with companies — if they get personalized offers or discounts. Collecting data isn’t a one-way street. There’s an element of give-and-take in which marketers have a key role to play.

If you’re not using customer data to improve experiences, on email or other channels, what are you using it for?

2. Customers will find a better experience.

Customers expect content to be tailored to their exact needs, so what happens when email content, for example, isn’t personalized?

For starters,
52% of customers say they’ll find somewhere else to go. That may seem unfair, even a little bit harsh, but the marketing landscape is simply no longer in the hands of marketers. It’s filled with and influenced by customers who thrive on technology and who won’t hesitate to use it as a means to find companies that fit their needs.

What’s even more jarring is that only
23% of marketers say they feel extremely satisfied with their ability to leverage customer data to create more relevant experiences.

Check out these 
eight stories of email success to get inspiration from brands creating awesome personalized email experiences.

3. You can increase revenue.

It may be old news, but every year, marketers are reminded that ROI from email marketing outweighs revenue produced via other channels. Salesforce’s own “State of Marketing” report also shows that 89% of marketing leaders agree that a connected customer journey has a positive impact on revenue growth.

Still, just having an email marketing strategy doesn’t guarantee revenue growth. Emails need to be personal — and in many cases, automated and tied to other marketing channels. According to
eMarketer, the Data & Marketing Association (formerly the Direct Marketing Association) found that personalized email marketing generates a median ROI of 122%. With such high revenue potential, it’s a no-brainer to start personalizing emails.

Convinced you need a personalized email strategy but not sure how to actually get started? Here are some helpful resources to put you on the path to making email a vital asset in your marketing arsenal.