Personalization remains a missed opportunity for many marketers

We led last week’s “Monday Catch-up” post with this news, but the fact that almost half of email marketers are not taking advantage of personalization and other methods of targeting their campaigns is worthy of a deeper dive.

As we noted Monday, according to a report from GetResponse summarizing the results of a recent survey conducted in the United States and Europe, “42 percent of marketers send everyone on their list the same email” and “only four percent use behavioral and survey data for personalizing emails and targeting.”

Nevertheless, according to the report’s co-author, despite findings that show “there is still room for improvement [when] it comes to advanced marketing techniques like data segmentation, testing, measurement and optimization,” the findings confirm that “email remains one of the top revenue generating channels with the greatest ROI.”

As we have previously discussed, today’s mobile-enabled world gives us the opportunity to think about readers in new ways. It is no longer, “what do we know about you that we can feed back to you.” The new perspective on personalization is:

  • Where are you?
  • Where are you going?
  • What device are you using?
  • What time is it?
  • What’s the weather like?
  • What information do you need where and when you are?

Answering these questions allows the development of contextually relevant information to deliver potential customers a personalized, attention-grabbing (and keeping) experience.

The value of email personalization is becoming increasingly evident. Campaign Monitor recently shared a few eye-popping stats that illuminate that value, including:

  • Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates. (Experian)
  • Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. (DMA)
  • Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. (Campaign Monitor)
  • 53% of marketers say ongoing, personalized communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact. – (DemandGen)

With results like these, you would think that a significant majority of email marketers would be employing all the personalization tools they can to connect with customers contextually and seamlessly between moments, places and devices.

But, according to the GetResponse report, more than 50% are not using those tools. Why not? A likely reason is data – specifically, the perception that you may not have what’s needed for effective personalization, or the resources to collect it. But chances are that you do have some of the data you need to get started. For instance, if you’ve been collecting information with email sign-up forms, an easy first step is to incorporate details like a name, or segment by job title, to offer more targeted messaging.

Need data for even more specific messaging? It can be as simple as including a series of one to two question polls in emails to build data profiles. Progressive profiling allows you to gradually collect data on your subscribers without overwhelming them with a long form or survey all at once.

We have no doubt that savvy email marketers will be making greater use of personalization in the months ahead. In fact, Campaign Monitor also predicts, citing VentureBeat, that 75% of enterprises will be investing in personalized messaging in 2015. Will yours be one of them?