Creating Relevancy and Personalization with Limited Data

Posted by Alexandra Braunstein on

In an ideal world, all email marketers would have access to unlimited subscriber data. From demographic data to purchase and browse behavior, they’d be able to easily customize all emails based on subscriber level attributes, helping increase response and revenue. However, for most email marketers actually getting access to all this data and then utilizing it for emails can often be a huge challenge, requiring vast resources and time. So while all marketers should strive to make their email program as dynamic as possible by incorporating subscriber personalization, there are still ways to give emails a personalized and relevant feel, even without this level of data.

Basing message content on things like weather , seasons, and even current events can make them feel more relevant and timely, helping them stand out in the inbox and resonate with your subscribers.

Both Jcrew Factory and Joe Fresh recently sent emails segmented by subscriber location to give the messages a personalized feeling. Getting access to your subscribers’ location, by collecting zipcode information at sign up, is usually a fairly common data point most marketers do have access to, so use this to your advantage when designing your emails.

J.Crew Factory
Subject Line: A Finally-Feels-Like-Spring Flash Sale (Finally!)
After an incredibly long winter here on the east coast with cold temperatures lasting into early spring, we finally got some seasonably warm days in the middle of April. On the second day of this 70 degree weather, Jcrew Factory sent this email message which immediately caught my attention with its timely subject line.  It was like Jcrew Factory could read my mind and knew exactly how excited I was about the beautiful weather. Plus, the email creative cleverly used an animated gif of a tulip slowly opening its petals to symbolize the new season.

jcrew-1-1

Joe Fresh
Subject line: Don’t Forget Your Umbrella!
On a rainy, dreary day here in NYC, I woke up to this email in my inbox from Joe Fresh reminding me to bring my umbrella with me. Joe Fresh used the weather forecast for my area to specifically target me with a message that would feel personalized.  The subject line immediately stood out to me and the promotional offer on rain outerwear and footwear was extremely relevant to combat April showers.

joefresh-1

Another great and simple way to bring a relevant and personalized feel to your messages is to base email content on current events. Plus, this strategy does not require the use of subscriber data. Both Hotels.com and Travelocity used this approach by incorporating the tax filing deadline into their content and message themes.

Hotels.com
Subject Line: Turn Your Tax Refund into a Vacation + Get an Extra 10% Off
Just as tax refunds may be top of mind for most people, Hotels.com used it to their advantage by calling it out in their email’s subject line and offering a discount on all bookings.

hotels-1

Travelocity
Subject Line:💰 You Deserve a Little Cha-Ching This Tax Day!
Travelocity also used the term “tax day” as well as an eye-catching icon to be timely and relevant and stand out in the inbox.

travelocity

So whether you have access to unlimited subscriber data or not, your main goal when crafting your email marketing strategy should always be to make your messages as relevant as possible for your audience. This is the best way to promote engagement and increase your bottom line. Looking for even more strategy ideas? Check out some email examples from brands promoting wacky unofficial holidays.


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About Alexandra Braunstein

Alexandra has been helping world class brands grow and optimize their email marketing strategies and initiatives for over a decade. As an Email Strategist for Return Path, Alexandra uses her passion for analytical and creative thinking to help marketers refine their email programs, resulting in more emails getting delivered to the inbox, improved subscriber engagement, and increased ROI.

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