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3 Great Examples of Email Personalization in Retail

February 8, 2017
By Phil Davis

Email personalization is a retailer’s golden ticket to engaging subscribers, delighting customers and building brand loyalty.

A 2015 report by Aberdeen Group showed personalized email messages increase click-through rates by an average of 14 percent and conversion rates by 10 percent. And according to Experian Marketing Services, personalized emails inspire six times higher transaction rates.email personalization

Why do customers love personalized emails so much? Because they offer greater value in the form of highly relevant content and the kind of VIP deals that make your customers feel special.

Smart brands know the way to effectively personalize emails is by using customer data creatively (and correctly) to serve up a truly unique experience. Check out how these three retailers used email personalization to treat their customers right.

1. BirchboxBirchbox

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers cosmetics and beauty-related products to customers based on their unique skin, hair and style traits. Their entire business platform depends on delivering a personalized experience, and their email marketing campaigns follow suit.

Most customers realize their favorite brands are keeping a close eye on their online activity. But Birchbox comes right out and tells you they “peeked” at your sample and purchase history to compose personalized offers just for you. This approach is enticing—it makes recipients want to click and scroll through their email message to find out what “must-have” products were picked out just for them.

Not only do product recommendations give emails a personal touch but they also help take some of the hassle out of shopping. When a brand’s recommendations are spot-on, its customers feel as if they’re receiving a gift from someone who truly gets them and wants to make their lives easier.

2. FreshDirectFreshDirect

Using a recipient’s name in the subject line of an email used to be the latest thing; now it’s pretty standard. FreshDirect, an online grocery shopping and food delivery site, decided to put a new spin on including its subscribers’ first names by actually incorporating it into the content of the email. This is on top of offering an exclusive discount to the recipient.

In addition to the vibrant colors and minimal text (which are both good practices), another appealing aspect of this email is its use of magnetic fridge letters in the creative. The choice is appropriate (since it’s a grocery delivery service) and also has an element of nostalgia. Emotional targeting is already an effective strategy, but using imagery that evokes pleasant memories helps to strengthen the relationship between brand and customer. FreshDirect’s approach is also especially fitting because its primary audience likely is composed of mostly busy young professionals who appreciate authentic, nostalgic-centric campaigns.

3. The Entertainer Toy ShopThe Entertainer

The Entertainer Toy Shop is the U.K.’s largest independent toy retailer. The store has experienced impressive growth recently, opening at least 50 percent of its stores over the past five years. Part of this success is the result of a well-executed email marketing strategy.

The Entertainer faces a unique challenge: For the most part, the people for whom their products are bought are not the same as the shoppers actually making the purchase—in other words, their audience is adults who are buying toys for the children in their lives. Additionally, these customers are often only purchasing twice a year, either for a birthday or during the holidays.

To make their emails count, the company sends shoppers a post-purchase email inviting them to join their “Special Offers Club.” When the recipients register, they are asked a few introductory questions about the child or children for whom they’re shopping. Using this information, The Entertainer can send timely, highly relevant emails to subscribers with personalized recommendations and exclusive offers, making customers feel as if they have their own personal shopper.

To seriously wow your customers, you must get creative with how you translate personal information into personalized experiences. If you want your subscribers to feel comfortable providing more and more information about themselves, you must offer them more and more valuable content in return.

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