5 stages of email personalisation

5 Stages Of Email Personalisation

Level – Beginner
Platform – Mailchimp/General Marketing

Personalised communications are essential at all points of the customer and audience lifecycle. No matter what industry you are communicating from, it should be present from the smallest purchase to the big-ticket items. Perhaps even more so at the high-value end as people expect a certain level of personal service, the “Hello Mr X” when you walk into a car showroom, but digitally. As soon as a customer reference number is used instead of their name, you’ve lost their attention.

It’s an essential part of your communications strategy for e-commerce and retail, with customer experience being one of the top priorities for companies across the board, at all stages of the customer journey. What are the steps of personalisation that should be essential?

For this piece, we will be referring to Sam, where required, a mid-late twenties, male, frequently using e-commerce platforms for shopping.

1. Say hello to “Sam”.

As part of the customer journey, you captured their name, use this within the transactional communications, grabbing their attention from the moment that the email lands in their inbox. Subject Line – “Sam, your ZZZZ is on its way”. With the additional permissions requested, this can then be transferred over to the marketing streams it is fundamental, but by doing this, you have their attention.

2. Your systems know about their purchase and history.

This data is available through the purchase process, and further details can be added, including; engagement and additional purchases, creating a bigger picture of the customer, their wants, needs and interests. What can be done with this level of information though?

For current customers going through the customer journey, they have made the decision, and they are counting down the hours and minutes till their purchase arrives. It should be a standard to send personalised content that relates directly to their purchase and how to get the most out of what they have brought. It keeps them engaged and increases the opportunities to cross and upsell them to additional features and products.


 For future customers that are still in the decision making phase, their choice can be influenced by personalised messaging. For example; a personalised automated quotation, that is tailored specifically to their product of interest.

3. Knowing about the person

During the customer journey, the customer enters enough data points into the e-commerce system to create a well-rounded view of them and their interests (relating to what you sell). With these details available, combined with past email interactivity, it opens up the possibilities for additional relevant product based communications. For instance, guiding them to a set of related products (or services) that complement what they have already purchased is likely to drive them back to the website to engage further.

4. Paperwork

If Sam hasn’t seen his receipt and delivery note yet, you should remind him about them. Based on email engagement reports within MailChimp, you can with a level of confidence, see who hasn’t opened an email. Which can then be used to drive a secondary campaign that sends out a notification to say, have you seen your receipt/delivery notification? It can be a generic email at this point that links back to your portal so they can log in and see the details.

5. Follow Up

Following up after purchases should be part of your standard procedure. As a company, you want to know about the good bits, but you should also want to know about what let the customer experience (or product) down so that you can improve them for the future. Adding reviews on places like Google, Trustpilot and Feefo are great, but getting people to do this can be tricky unless prompted. To encourage these reviews, start with an automated post-purchase email to ask them to participate in a survey is a good starting point. Once they have completed the survey, asking them to leave a review is a natural step. Here you can filter out the promotors to leave reviews. Detractors can be processed separately as a growth and research activity.

Dropping an email to Sam after his purchase to say thank you and ask him about the specific elements can make a massive impact on his perception of the company. If he has had a good experience, his perception of your brand name becomes stronger.

Throughout these stages, marketing, operations and customer experience teams want to get the most out of the process as possible and at the same time. If any of the above sounds like it will take time, the answer is yes, yes it can. However, systems like MailChimp can take the stress out of this scenario by automating the process, connecting multiple data sources, enabling high quality, data-driven transactional and marketing communications.  Everything from service update messages, critical timing messaging, creating personalised one to one messaging, abandoned cart messaging and essential communications.

Are you interested in exploring better personalisation within your communications and improving the customers’ experience? Contact us via the contact page.

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