How to Effectively Personalize Email Marketing Campaign Beyond the First Name

You’ve probably come across these email personalization stats. 

99% of email marketers say email personalization can advance customer relationships. 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer them personalized experiences. Plus, it’s the number one tactic to increase engagement rates.

And I could go on.

In short, every marketer knows how effective personalization can be to their marketing efforts. However, only a few email marketers know how personalization works. 

It goes beyond mentioning your subscribers by their name. That’s what we’ll check out in this post. Let’s get started.

Email Targeting

You already have a significant number of email subscribers. But how sure are you that you’ve got the right people who are interested in your product/service?

To answer that question, you need targeted email marketing. It’s a modern technique that leverages digital technology to identify a specific part of your list for personalized email campaigns.

In other words, email targeting narrows your audience through segmentation and understanding their demographic. Once you’ve done that, you create framed messages that fit everyone’s context.

It’s not only effective in personalization. Email targeting also improves your brand’s relevance, creates better relationships, and guarantees longer customer retention.

There are multiple ways to create targeted campaigns. But we’ll only give you two of the most effective methods.

Gender Targeted Emails

“Gender marketing” is a common word in the marketing industry.

However, most brands only use it on specific days and events like women’s day, men’s day, father’s day, and mother’s day.

What if you could implement it every single time in your email campaign? 

The result is that your email marketing efforts will be perfect 85% of the time which can record a high click-through rate.

For example, Coyuchi, an innovative manufacturer of organic linen, uses this type of targeted email marketing to communicate to their female and male subscribers with unique offers.

In one of their earlier campaigns, they had a man as the hero image of the male variation of their product and no individual in the female variation of their email.

Source: Coyuchi

They later noticed that although the clickthrough rates were almost similar for both campaigns, the men’s side was slightly higher.

So they changed their strategy to showing different colors: grays and blues for men and pastels for women. 

This campaign saw a massive click-through rate because each subscriber was targeted based on the colors they resonated with as females or males.

Source: Coyuchi

Geo-Location Targeted email

As the name hints, this kind of targeted email is dependent on knowing your subscriber’s location.

Now imagine that you’re out for a quick stroll around your city. You then get an email from your favorite clothes shop with a one-day offer as you walk around. 

But that wasn’t your plan. So you do what everyone would do – ignoring it while regretting losing such an offer.

Now, what if the brand had a store near you and included a map to that store on the email. It changes everything. You wouldn’t think twice.

That’s what geo-targeted email marketing does. It segments your list based on location which allows you to send framed messages that resonate with their address.

Knowing your subscribers’ location is quite simple. You just have to look at the delivery address, purchase history, and zip codes. Suppose you’re not getting valid information, you can try an email enrichment service to get their location. 

Using Dynamic Content

If you don’t have the time to segment your list for a targeted campaign, you can use dynamic content, which is equally effective.

As the name hints, dynamic content is presenting multiple types of content that appeal to different subscribers based on gender and preferences.

This means that you get to present everyone with multiple options of what they might need. At the same time, you can make sales without breaking a sweat which is a win-win.

The reason why dynamic content is so effective is that it’s purely based on data. Luckily, most email service providers provide vital insights like CTR, open rates, and close rates.

With the data, you’ll know what to present to your audience, the kind of texts, call to action, and visuals to employ.

Here’s a welcome email Help Scout sends to all their new subscribers.

Source: Helpscout

Since it’s the first interaction with new subscribers, they don’t have much data for robust dynamic content.

But to close that gap, they don’t send you a welcome email as most other brands do. Instead, Helpscout sends you to a blog post that directs you to other valuable content that you’ll choose.

This type of dynamic content gives new subscribers insights about their company while at the same time allowing subscribers to engage with multiple contents.

Let’s look at another example of a brand that harnesses the power of data to create compelling dynamic content.

You don’t have to look further. Here’s how Netflix is winning the game.

The streaming service monitors the type of movies and series you like watching. They’ll then use this data to recommend the multiple shows you’ll automatically love.

Finally, using dynamic content for your email marketing doesn’t mean that you should always create new emails from scratch. You can still come up with personalized email templates to make the process easy.

Create Automated Triggered Emails

Automated triggered emails come in handy when you want to employ real-time reactions to your audience’s behavior.

They have a higher open rate than regular emails and are the backbone of personalization. Examples of triggered emails can be welcome emails, reminders, and lead nurturing emails. 

Here’s an example of an automated triggered reminder email.

Source: Alison courses

Another example you must have come across is Facebook. They send you a reminder email if you’ve not logged into your account for some time.

SEO analytics tool, Moz, also has a robust automated email. After creating a new account, they start monitoring what you’re doing during the free trial.

Later, they’ll send you an email with new data about your account and add a link to the resource. Just below the email, you’ll see a conspicuous CTA that asks you if you’re ready to get started. 

That’s not the only approach. Moz changes the messaging based on which part of the marketing funnel you’re in.

However, it targets one thing – to take you back into using the product based on what you want. While it does, Moz still creates pictures that it’s there and has value for you as the customer. 

Use Personal Email

You’re probably thinking that using personal emails for your email marketing campaign will put you in jeopardy. You’re worried that you might face legal implications because you’re not giving users an option to opt-out of your campaigns.

As much as all these are true, there’s still room for sending emails using your personal email without breaking any law.

Still, you need to be extra careful when doing this. You can only use personal email when you don’t have a huge list or want to communicate a special offer to a small segment of your list. Plus, you should only use it once in a while.

That said, research has it that 68% of Americans open emails by just looking at the name coming after “from.”

This means that if you use a real person’s name after the word “from” instead of a logo, business name, or avatar, you have a higher chance of getting your emails opened. Using personal email adds that special touch which is very effective in marketing.

Check their browsing history

This comes in handy for eCommerce stores because their subscribers check out their website regularly. Luckily, multiple tools can track how your website visitors navigate your website. 

These tools will try to understand how users behave on your site, the kind of products they’ve shown interest in, and how they feel when scrolling through your page.

If you don’t need a tool that will cost you, you can use cookies. Cookies monitor your audience and remember certain information about them.

Either way, the data the tools provide comes in handy when you want to create super-targeted email marketing to recommend products your customers were checking.

Here’s an example.

This type of personalization is also highly effective when you want to personalize cart recovery emails. If you know how to use them well, you can also contact customers who purchased products that need accessories.

For instance, if a customer purchases a TV or home appliance like a fridge, you can later reach out to them, reminding them that you also have power guards which go hand in hand with the product they purchased earlier. 


Email marketers who want to see the full potential of their email marketing efforts should do more for personalization.

The market is getting tougher by the day and people need more attention to even show interest in your product. 

Therefore, your email personalization should dive deeper into their needs, not just calling them by their first names.