Retailers To Improve Email Personalization In 2017

Nearly half of retail marketers still send email campaigns lacking personalized subject lines, according to a recent study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing.

An additional two-thirds of retail marketers fail to personalize email copy, according to the poll of 300 marketers both online and in-person at the National Retail Federation’s Digital Summit conference.

The survey revealed that 46% of marketers do not personalize subject lines, while 65% do not personalize email copy. Forty-nine percent of respondents described their marketing efforts as "one-size-fits-all.”

“As with many marketing issues, data is most likely the root of the problem,” says Marc Shull, SVP of social and disruptive marketing strategies at Yes Lifecycle Marketing. "Information about purchases and browsing history that would allow them to personalize in a more targeted way is not easy for marketers to pull together and analyze.”

Shull described how siloed data sources are still an issue for many marketers, with demographic, point-of-sale and email engagement information contained in separate databases. Siloed data “makes it impossible to have a consistent view of the customer,” he says.  

Yet personalization is likely critical for marketers looking to meet their 2017 goals. The top three goals expressed by marketers polled by Yes Lifecycle Marketing were to increase sales, customer engagement and customer acquisition.

The report suggests that marketers are aware that their personalization tactics are suspect and want to improve their marketing this year. In fact, half of marketers even described their personalization tactics as “weak,” while 68% expressed plans to improve email personalization in 2017.

Shull recommends that marketers begin testing personalization tactics now to optimize revenue during the critical holiday season at the end of the year.

“In the first two quarters of the year, test five small personalization tactics such as different offers, frequencies or content,” he says. “Then in the third quarter, evaluate which are the top two best-performing. With an eye to optimizing fourth-quarter revenue, refine them and roll them out in quarter four when you need them the most.”



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