Personalisation – more than just a name

6 minute read

When reading about email marketing, there is a lot of information out there on personalising your campaign and it is often suggested that you will see improved subscriber engagement rates by doing so. But what does personalisation actually mean?

Adding a subscriber’s details to your campaign

Including someone’s name in your email can be done easily in However there are some interesting arguments both for and against personalising your campaigns with a “Hi John” at the beginning. There’s no denying the power of calling someone by name, but if someone puts false details into your form or misspells their name then this could undermine your efforts. Personalised subject lines are up for debate as well; seeing my own name in my inbox would definitely get my attention, but spammers sometimes employ this technique for that very reason.

People can be sometimes be cynical about receiving personalised email as it is often obvious that a campaign has been sent out in bulk. This is quite a key point and it’s much more important for you to consider what is appropriate for your email than to include someone’s name because you’ve read that you should. What is your campaign about and what kind of tone does it have? Also think about how often you contact your subscriber and if it actually makes sense for you to personally address them.

Whatever your opinion on this, there’s much more to personalisation than just adding a first name to your campaign. Within you can personalise your emails with any information you have on file for a subscriber. We have a large range of standard fields, but if you have additional information then you can also set up your own custom fields. This could be utilised for personalising emails with things such as membership numbers, nearest venues or favourite products. This gives you a real opportunity to connect with your subscribers using information relevant to them.

See what works best with  split testing

The best way to define whether personalisation is working for you is by running a split test on your campaign. Send different versions of your campaign to sample segments of your list to give you an idea of what’s working best; you might want to run more than one split test or face off more than two versions of your campaign. Test with and without different methods of personalisation to see what your subscribers respond to.

Take it further by segmenting your subscriber base

Once you’ve got someone’s attention using personalised fields, don’t drop the ball when it comes to content. Take time to tailor the content of your emails to those receiving it. Why not try segmenting your lists so you have some distinct groups of subscribers to talk to? You could start segmenting your subscribers by location, age, gender, sign up source or purchase history. Show a subscriber you care about who they are and they will often respond positively to your campaigns.

You could also try looking at how subscribers have interacted with your past campaigns. allows you to create lists of subscribers based on activity, so you can re-target those people who clicked on a particular link and send them something else they might like. How about re-targeting people who didn’t open? You could try a different approach next time with these subscribers or you could ask them what they are interested in receiving from you in the future. Letting your subscribers know that they are significant and valued is the key.

In summary…

This post is about encouraging you to make time for your subscribers; put some thought into who they are and what they want from you. The more personal you can make the content of your campaigns, the more importance a subscriber will place on your message. Whether you do this through including a name or other piece of personal information, tailoring your content for a segmented list or acknowledging past interaction with your brand (or better yet, all of the above!); show your subscriber some love and your campaign stats will show you how it’s being returned.

How do you feel about personalising your campaigns with a subscriber’s name? What other kinds of personalisation methods do you use? Join the discussion in the comments below. As always, if you have any questions about personalisation or anything else in your account, get in touch with our Support team for assistance.