Email Personalization: It’s Not What You Think It Is

November 9, 2016 Heather Cherry

email delivery graphicIt's time to get personal with your clients. I don't mean customizing just the greetings of your emails.

It's time to stop treating your email database as one big group of people who want to receive the same email.

Each of your contacts is a unique individual who deserves a tailored email experience.

Here are a few simple ways to take your emails to the next level with personalization.

More than a %%_name_%%


Nothing has rocked the world of email marketing quite like personalization tags.

We can insert a small piece of code to pull a contact's first name into an email. No need to send individual emails to each recipient.

You can't get more personal than calling the recipient by name, right? Wrong.

First name personalization tags are a great way to grab attention. But, there are better ways to customize the email experience.

Plus, the novelty of personalization tags is wearing off as more companies use them.

Data is everything

Information about your recipients can take your emails to the next level. Think: geographic location, buying history, and referral source. Use this data to tailor your emails to each type of recipient.

But, you can't personalize an email if you don't know anything about the recipient. If you don't have much information on your contacts, don't panic.

Send a survey to your database asking for more information about them. In the future, consider making demographic fields required for form submissions.

Relevant content = happy recipients


Emails with tailored content that is relevant and useful for your recipients perform better. And, they can help you build more meaningful relationships with your contacts.

Your audience will appreciate receiving information they will actually use. Be considerate.

To customize email content, look at your database. Put your contacts into groups based on shared characteristics. You can group by demographics, line of business, behaviors, and more.

Once you have organized your audience, adapt your messaging to align with their needs. You'll end up with a pretty compelling email your recipients will actually want to read (and act on).

Newton's Third Law


Actions launch reactions. What you learned in science class can apply to email personalization, too.

Someone fills out an online form. He signs up for a newsletter. Or, she buys an insurance policy. They not only welcome a response from you in these situations. They expect one.

By sending that email, you are providing a real-time reaction to their behavior. This is behavioral marketing. It's one of the most successful strategies for personalized experiences.

The easiest way to use behavioral marketing in your email strategy is a welcome campaign. Or, an email confirmation from a quote request.

Once you get comfortable with those campaigns, start adding in drip campaigns.

ITC customers with AgencyBuzz, Insurance Website Builder and/or TurboRater get a bonus. Our automated campaigns are easy to set up, and they can go out to your online visitors who fill out forms or request quotes.

It's okay to have personality

Email marketing doesn't have to be rigid and formal. Ditch formal, third-person language, and the masked catchall email address you send from. Like no-reply@myinsurance.com.

Instead, show your brand's personality through everyday language and second-person pronouns. Try sending your emails from an actual agent's email address.

This switch creates an immediate conversation with your recipients. It invites them to build a more personal relationship with you. A relationship that could turn into brand loyalty and lifelong clients.

Personalization is the best way to take your email marketing to the next level. What ways are you personalizing your emails?

About the Author

Heather Cherry

Heather Cherry provides training and support on AgencyBuzz to ITC customers, leads AgencyBuzz Academy and presents on email marketing at Masters of Marketing. She has a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and writing from The University of Texas at Austin. Heather’s email marketing specialties include newsletters, unique content, contact segmentation, and targeted marketing. She is also a self-proclaimed social media junkie, cat lover, hopeless romantic, and music buff.

Follow on Twitter More Content by Heather Cherry
Previous Article
The What, Why and How of Repurposing Your Content
The What, Why and How of Repurposing Your Content

Repurposing content on your insurance website can help you reach new prospects with minimal effort.

Next Article
Why You Can’t Just SEO Your Insurance Website
Why You Can’t Just SEO Your Insurance Website

SEO is not a one-off activity on your insurance website. There is no a quick fix. Here’s why.