Email Personalization Lessons from Brands that are Doing It Right!

The following is a guest post by Kevin Geroge. Kevin, the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks – one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies, specializes in crafting beautiful email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing tips at his blog.

It is an era of personalization. Emails that are the one-size-fits-all kind do not work anymore. To make a mark with your email marketing activities, you need to make sure that the emails you send address the needs and interests of your subscribers and are relevant to them. An email that resonates with your subscribers and speaks of their needs is more likely to get a response than an email with a generic offer.

With brands figuring out ways to engage more and more prospects with their emails, using personalization has become one of the most popular tactics. According to a study by Evergage, 77% of customers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.

Let us have a look at some popular brands that have nailed email personalization and lessons to implement personalization in our own business.

Lyft: Insights into User’s Activities

Lyft is one of the most innovative ride-sharing brands and an elite in email marketing. The brand keeps a track of real-time user data and sends the users insights of how they have engaged with them. This, in turn, increases the brand engagement. Apart from sending a customized report, the brand has included rewards, badges and fun facts in the email to encourage the subscribers to stay on board.

This is a great tactic to keep your subscribers engaged with your brand’s emails. Send them timely rewards and discounts and show them a summary of their past purchases and activities. This can be done for all types of businesses and online stores.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

Amazon: Recommendations and Customer Feedback

Amazon has mastered the art of hyper-personalizing the customers’ shopping experience. The brand focuses on understanding their customers’ interests, needs, and challenges, to create content for their emails. Apart from sending relevant product recommendations, the brand takes feedback from the customers on their recent purchases to enhance their services.

In this email, the customer is asked to review the product that they bought recently. This helps in building trust and making the customer relationship stronger. Amazon also sends cart abandonment emails and product recommendation emails that play a major role in keeping the customers constantly in touch with the brand’s offerings.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

Grammarly: Tracking User Data

Grammarly, the writing tool tracks real-time user data and sends a weekly email to their customers. Apart from weekly reports, it also sends a yearly roundup of the users’ activities to their customers. This will let the subscribers know about their activity on the tool, compare with the others using the tool and make necessary changes to improve.

This email shows the summary of the user’s activity, including their productivity and accuracy and encourages them to keep using the tool. A good practice is to segment your customers as per their activity on your tool/website and then send relevant reports and insights that would keep them glued to using your brand.

Source: Really Good Emails

Airbnb: Using Dynamic Content

Airbnb focuses on sending personalized relevant data to its users. The brand’s emails provide personalized recommendations based on the users’ profile information such as their location, past activities, and behavior. Based on the data of their customers, they create dynamic content to include only relevant and useful data in their emails.

The above email is a summary roundup email that gives insights into the user’s past trips and activities. They have personalized the email by using dynamic content based on their cities. This helps in making the email highly relevant to the subscribers. The email also shows recommendations to plan their next trip, based on the insights collected.

Image Source: Litmus Scope

Jack Wills: Cart Abandonment Reminder

Jack Wills, the fashion brand uses personalization in their email marketing strategy. The brand believes in providing their customers with what they want and when they want it, thereby delivering a personalized customer experience to each subscriber.

Sending cart abandonment emails is a great tactic to re-engage your subscribers and entice them to purchase the products that they left halfway in the cart. This cart abandonment email from Jack Wills shows multiple product images with their details and price in the email itself, along with the order details. The email also has a section for related products that the customer might like, to improve engagement.

Source: Really Good Emails

Adidas: Automated Emails

Adidas is a pioneer brand in providing personalized experiences to its customers. From using dynamic content to sending product recommendations, the brand leverages personalization to a great extent in its email marketing campaigns. Automated emails that are personalized to the customer’s action will keep your subscribers interested in your emails.

This email from Adidas is one such automated email that includes the image of a recently searched product which was out of stock. The requested item is shown along with the size details and image, with a confirmation that the customer will be informed when the product is back in stock. Sending such emails when the product is out of stock will refrain the subscriber from buying the product from some other brand. E-commerce businesses can use this tactic to keep subscribers engaged with your brand instead of buying from competitors.

Source: Really Good Emails

In a nutshell, segment your email list to send the right email at the right time and make sure your email personalization strategy includes the following:

  • Personalized subject lines that entice the users to open the emails
  • Relevant product recommendations based on their interests and past purchases
  • Real-time user activity reports and summary of past engagement
  • Personalized images and content addressed to each individual customer
  • Cart abandonment reminders to bring back the abandoners
  • New product notifications, back in stock notifications or replenishment notifications
  • VIP/Loyalty offers to entice subscribers to make purchases
  • Dynamic content and images to make the emails highly relevant
  • Re-engagement emails to encourage the inactive subscribers to engage with your brand’s emails

Wrapping Up

If you are new to email marketing, then incorporating personalization in your email campaigns would be a great way to build trust with your customers. Start out small by collecting the right data, segmenting it in the right manner and implementing it at the right time. The key to good email marketing is to understand, observe and invest in your prospects and customers.

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Let us have a look at some popular brands that have nailed email personalization and how you can implement personalization in your own business. email marketing examples, email marketing tips, email marketing success, email marketing campaigns, email marketing strategy

  • Ivan Bayross

    Let me start off by saying I agree with all the content that was delivered in this post.

    It’s useful to know how giants are leveraging email marketing for engaging, building trust, and boosting ‘Sales’.

    As a small business owner leveraging the Internet to earn a living, I found the content of this post unsatisfying.

    Here are my reasons:
    1. As a small business owner I often spend hours trying to get the best out of 3rd Party Email providers like MialChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact and more. For example I spent a couple of hours trying to figure out how to address my subscriber by the ‘First Name’.

    2. I spent a few months learning to art of writing email content that would engage with my prospect. I’ms still not spot on.

    3 There are terrific suggestions in this post:
    a. Track cart abondonment
    b. Track an attempt to purchase an item that was ‘Out Of Stock’
    c. Use personalized images and content for individual customers.
    d. Re-engagement emails for customers who seem to have dropped of the face of the earth

    What’s not mentioned is that the ‘Giants’ who can and do leverage all of this have deployed frightfully expensive software that automates most (if not all) of this.

    They have teams of 10 to 30 people (if not more) deployed to watch over this expensive system like hawks to ensure everything goes like clock work.

    What does the individual who does not have:
    – The money to deploy expensive tracking software mapped to (or built into) their e-commerce package
    – The ‘person power’ to track all MIS information and leverage it
    What do I do?

    The Post title drew me in. The content is beautifully laid out well written and I did enjoy the read but it did not add a lot of value to me,

    Just sharing, not complaining.


    Ivan Bayross

    • TheSocialMarketers

      Hi Ivan,

      Welcome! Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      You’re right, as an individual you can not compete on budget or manpower. But…

      You can still do a lot!

      One of the things that I found to be essential in the past to be able to do this is to get the software stack you use right (and I spent ages to figure this out myself). Here is an example:

      As an email software I use Drip – which gives me two things:

      – easy to use automation and personalization (you still have to learn it) – a lot of integrations (including zapier – which gives me even more integrations)

      The integrations are key – they allow me to use specific software for tracking essential stuff. From here it is all about selecting exactly the stuff I need. I can track payments in stripe (even failed payments) for instance. I can connect to a crm. I can set up personalized deadlines via deadline funnel. And so on.

      The key here is that you should stay clear of all in one software and to use software that works best for you – and to be willing to work out how stuff works.

      A big team or a big budget don’t necessarily make this easier. The key is to do your research and to not always jump for the simplest solution.


      Am 17.02.2018 06:15 schrieb “Disqus” :

      • Ivan Bayross

        Thank you,

        I was pleasantly surprised. I never thought I’d get a reply as that happens in most cases.

        I’m grateful for the information that you’ve given me. It makes sense to me.

        I’ve been a staunch user of MailChimp for about 4 years now. It took me a fairly long time to get it sorted but I did eventually. I will give ‘Drip’ a good looking over for sure though.

        With the ‘Learning’ I got from MailChimp I’m pretty sure Drip ought to be easier to navigate around.

        I also use Zapier. I’ve written a few recipes myself.

        Today after a lot of hard work, I get between a 3% to 7% return on my Email marketing strategies. I keep striving to get around 9%. One day hopefully I’ll get there :-).

        I use WooCommerce and WordPress LMS. I’m learning the nuances of WooCommerce with Stripe and Paypal. It’s a plod but Hey! I know I’m going to make it soon.

        BTW, which CRM do you use?

        Have a profitable weekend.

        Ivan Bayross

  • Joost Hoogstrate

    Nice read indeed…only for visitors whose e-mailadress you don’t have / didn’t opt-in you should make use of other possibilities to reach out, such as website retargeting or programmatic advertising. In this article ( ) we list 130 different scenario’s/triggers on how to engage with your non-engaging visitors/users/clients… maybe some of your readers might like the suggestions.