Hello: Four simple ways to customise your email marketing

The world is growing increasingly plentiful in one commodity: data.

Data has been pivotal in many key improvements within email marketing, such as the development of A/B split testing and mobile aware design, for example.

However, utilising your customers/users’ data to customise your email marketing is hugely under developed in comparison. There’s no simpler way to concentrate your communications and improve open/conversion rates. It’s easy too. Check out these four simple tips you can incorporate user data into your email marketing today.

Merge Tags

Merge tags are super simple (and super effective). Merge tags allow you to add dynamic content to your email communications and specifically address your audience. From first names to cities there’s a vast variety of merge tags; if you have the information – they’ll be a merge tag for it. Check out MailChimp’s merge tag cheat sheet here.

It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many emails open with ‘Hello everyone’ (and how poor the open rates often are for those emails).


Segmentation is an effective way of focusing your email marketing activity. The first step is to work out where the key divisions already exist in your audience.

Let’s use the example of an FMCG food brand that has a mixture of retail and trade based customers. Retail customers will have very different points of interests to trade customers.

Segmenting their audience into two groups allows that brand to send out two distinctly-focused sets of email communication. The retail newsletter could include competitions, links to social media and recipe content for example. The trade newsletter could include industry-specific news, bulk-order offers, etc.

Customer Personas

A more advanced form of segmentation – that could be of interest to your brand – is the development of customer personas. It’s a terrific way of understanding your customers. The personas can be based around a range of data, such as website behaviour, download history or age/location demographics.

Once these personas are constructed, you can begin to group your audience within these personas. For example, someone who visits your e-commerce site and often reads your blog posts on the latest trends will be more interested in reading content. Contrastingly, someone who visits the site and regularly puts things in their basket without checking out may respond well to emails offering them personalised offers, such as free shipping if they order before 10pm that day. This type of email is known as behaviour-triggered communication, we’ll run through this below in our next point.

When planning your email marketing activity, you can draw up separate schedules for each of your personas. You can even give them real names – easier to reference your Emily audience than your data-marketing-behaviour-2018-01 audience

Behaviour Triggers

Every received an email from Facebook telling you that you haven’t logged in to Facebook in five days? We certainly have. This is a notable example of a behavioural trigger email. It shouldn’t be surprising to find out that this type of email performs incredibly well.

Although these emails appear as incredibly focused and personalised, they are easy to set up and automate. To return to the example of an e-commerce site, if someone looks at a pair of headphones on your site you can send them a simple email summarising what offers you currently have on headphones and audio technology. You can make these emails quite tongue-in-cheek in tone, to contrast against the obviously automated nature of that type of email. It’s a simple but effective way to inject some personality.

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