Your average customer receives hundreds of emails on any given day. A small fraction of them are opened, some are glanced at, very few are read, and even fewer are clicked on. Unfortunately, there's no secret formula that'll ensure that your emails are opened and engaged with.
But here's the thing: to make your emails stand out among the crowd and make your readers engage with it, you'll need to make them more personalized. If your emails are personalized as per each of your customer’s specific attributes, you've a higher chance of grabbing and retaining their attention.
In fact, as per a study conducted by VentureBeat, 95% of email marketers have witnessed higher open rates by personalizing their emails.
Receiving a personalized email makes your existing and potential customers feel special and valued. It offers them a sense of control knowing that the email is tailored as per their interests and needs. As a result, they are far more inclined to read through personalized emails and take the desired action than standard templatized bulk emails.
Personalized email marketing incorporates various data points such as purchase history, website activity, and special days like birthdays to send targeted emails. This has proven to deliver 6x higher transaction rates.
Moreover, email personalization allows your eCommerce business to improve your sender reputation—thereby building brand credibility.
Finally, email personalization helps boost your open and click-through rates, thus driving better ROI.
If you're wondering how you get started with email personalization, don't worry. We’ve curated 20 email personalization examples from trendsetting brands across the world that'll give you all the inspiration you need.
Let's dive in.
Short on time? Here's a quick video with all the brilliant emails:
20 email personalization templates from top brands to help you woo your target audience
In today’s day and age, email personalization goes far beyond using first names in subject lines.
Here are 20 curated email personalization examples to inspire you to create your own.
1. Track customer online behavior for cart recovery
Cart abandonment is the leading source of reduced sales and revenues among eCommerce businesses today. Email personalization can help combat the issue by enticing buyers to recover their carts and complete their purchases.
Going by popular marketing jargon, such emails are called trigger-based emails wherein a particular email is triggered after a customer abandons their cart. The beauty of such emails is the degree of personalization they involve. To craft a cart recovery email that works, make sure you include as many details as possible of the product abandoned, the over and above discount the buyer can avail if they purchase the item, and why they should consider going back to their cart.
Here’s an excellent example of the same by Black Mill Clothing:
✔ Use an unconventional, attention-grabbing subject line
✔ Clearly list down all products abandoned
✔ Use quirky copy [That gear in your cart is lonely and cold. And all it needs is someone to love it and wear it. That someone could be you]
✔ Have a clear CTA that leads the receiver to their abandoned cart
2. Use customer data smartly to improve sales
Your customers’ birthdays and anniversaries are a great time to make them feel special and remind them that you value them. Make sure you collect this data at the time of account creation or via some contest where shoppers are incentivized to share their birthdays and anniversaries with you. This information will come in handy to send them personalized notes via email on their special occasions and also extend an exclusive discount that they can redeem within a definitive time frame.
Let’s take a look at an example of the same by Converse:
✔ Craft simple, clear, and crisp messaging with no room for confusion
✔ Make sure the exclusive coupon code stands out in the email
✔ Very specifically mention the timeframe for discount applicability [entire birthday month in this case]
3. Remind customers of previously viewed items to nudge a purchase
One of the key segments of your visitor base would undoubtedly be window shoppers. These are buyers that might visit your online store, check out a few items, evaluate them, and then drop-off due to low purchase intent or other distractions. You can win them back by sending them personalized emails that feature the products or category of products they once viewed on your store to remind them of what they have left behind and nudge them to reconsider purchasing them.
Society6’s email is an example of the same is worth going through:
✔ Include other items from the same category along with the specific ones viewed by the visitor to offer abundant choice
✔ Give links to all products featured in your personalized emails so that customers can directly go to their product pages and checkout
✔ Give proper context via your email copy [here are the things you’ve checked out..]
4. Leverage purchase history to gather social proof
Your customers’ buying journeys shouldn’t end at making a purchase. You must also make sure that you complete the feedback loop by asking them for their review of the products purchased. By personalizing emails as per shoppers’ last purchased items and requesting them to share their opinion, you have a fantastic opportunity to gather social proof on your online store that would come in handy in persuading other potential customers.
OpenTable uses this strategy remarkably well:
✔ Clearly specify the details of the product/service/experience you are referring to
✔ Have a proper CTA that leads the reader to your site where they can leave their review
5. Send personalized restocking reminders
Your customers’ past purchase history can be used to send them reminders to restock on their favorite products before they run out. Such emails work wonderfully well not just as timely reminders, but also in allowing buyers to conveniently repurchase their favorite items without having to visit your site again and search for them. With a simple email, you can make their products utterly accessible to them, while making them feel special and important.
Here’s how global cosmetic retailer Sephora uses email personalization to send restock reminders:
✔ Also showcase product suggestions other than the one that you are sending a reminder for
✔ Include a clear picture of the product so the reader is immediately reminded of the same
✔ Also mention other important details in the email such as loyalty points balance, membership status, and so on
6. Use demographic data smartly
You might argue that this point has been talked about time and time again. Demographic factors such as age, gender, education level, etc. have always been a source of relevant information for marketing efforts. However, brands are seldom seen making the most of it. Email personalization is one area where demographic information can come in handy to tailor relevant content for your customers so they are not bombarded with irrelevant emails that don’t interest them.
Make sure you use demographic attributes such as age, gender, ethnicity, educational and family background to deliver highly customized emails that interest the receiver.
Adidas is one brand that targets their key segments—men and women separately to only send each of them highly personalized promotional emails that are worth engaging with.
✔ Only include products relevant to a particular customer in the email
✔ Target your key segments separately
✔ Make graphics the hero of your emails to immediately capture attention and make your point
7. Personalize your emails for mobile
Did you know that over 61% of emails are opened on mobile? Given that whopping number, if you are not personalizing your mails for mobile, you might be losing out on more than half of your target audience. Mobile optimization is important because desktop versions are hard to read on mobile screens due to lack of digital real estate. Therefore, if you use large sized images, write long paragraphs, don’t use CTA buttons, your emails will not load perfectly on mobile devices and hence you will lose an opportunity to engage with your mobile audience.
Here’s an excellent example from Travel Pirates of how you must personalize your emails for mobile:
✔ Keep your copy short and crisp and write shorter sentences, so readers don’t have to scroll endlessly on mobile
✔ Use responsive images that are easily loaded and fit into the mobile screen
✔ Customize your CTA buttons for mobile so they can be spotted easily
8. Revive inactive customers by incentivizing them
Not all the buyers on your online store will turn into loyalists. Some might only stay engaged with your brand for a couple of purchases and then become inactive. You can use email personalization to target such dormant customers and nudge them to return to your store and browse your new collections. By tracking all such customers who have not engaged with your store in a while, you can use this data to reach out to them via tailored email communication and incentivize them to buy from you again.
Virgin Experience Days has set an inspiring example of how this is done:
✔ Use persuasive copy [We’d hate for you to miss out, so we’ve dropped a little saving to use against your next order]
✔ Offer irresistible and relevant discounts
✔ Make the purpose of the mail clear with the header itself
9. Personalize emails using your customers’ geographic locations
No matter which part of the world you operate in, your customers from two different geographic locations will always have to be targeted distinctly. Your customers’ geographic location data comes in handy when personalizing emails for them based on the weather, currency/payment method, and so on. The consistent use of such data to craft relevant emails makes your customers engage better with them as it is more likely to be specific and not vague.
Marine Layer smartly uses location data to send personalized emails to its customers based on the weather so they can suggest relevant clothing items to them. Here’s an example wherein Marine Layer’s customers from the midwest received a customized email during the snow season:
✔ Use words that clearly convey the personalized message [warmth, quilted capsule]
✔ Keep it simple, don’t end up confusing the readers
✔ Use convincing supporting imagery that emphasizes your point
10. Be transparent about personalization in your emails
Very often, customers are suspicious of how or why you have collected their personal information, due to which they avoid interacting with personalized emails. However, if you tell them upfront about how and why you got their personal info, that might help reduce their hesitation and hence improve the efficacy of your email marketing efforts.
Here’s an example from Birchbox where they are transparent about their personalization intentions with the receiver:
✔ Have a separate CTA for each of the offers mentioned in the email
✔ Don’t delve into too much detail about why and how customers’ personal data was captured - keep it short and easily understandable
11. Use a representative’s name as the sender
As opposed to sending emails directly from your company name, use one of your marketing team member’s names so as to add a human touch to the communication. Without a human name, the email seems to be a bulk communication that may or may not be relevant to the particular reader and hence might go unnoticed. Adding a human name ensures that your customers find your email worthy enough to engage with as it doesn’t seem like they are responding to a bot.
Here’s how HubSpot ensures their emails are addressed by real people from their team so they connect better with their audience:
✔ Mention the designation of the representative in the signature
✔ Also include links to their social profile so that customers can verify the same if need be
12. Send personalized year in review emails
The ultimate aim of email personalization is not just driving sales. Personalization is extremely beneficial in engaging with your customer base and nurturing a solid long-term relationship with them. Year in reviews come in handy in taking customers down memory lane and reminding them of how your journey so far has been - a comprehensive timeline of all their purchases and interactions with your brand. This helps build a sense of mutual connection that customers appreciate and value. By reminding them of your past interactions, you are also reminding them of the times they trusted your brand, thus encouraging them to do so again.
Take a look at easyJet’s personalized review email where they talk about each and every trip a particular customer has booked via the platform - a great way to take customers down memory lane and have them revisit their fun-filled moments.
✔ Make the copy extremely personal and human
✔ Keep the focus on the customer and not your product, service, or brand
✔ Do end with a relevant CTA so as to encourage action
13. Remind customers of their accumulated loyalty points
Personalized emails are a great way to remind your loyal customers of their collected reward points. These are quite effective in refreshing shoppers’ memory and getting them excited about their reward points that can yield them exclusive discounts and deals. More often than not, such mails work marvelously well in driving customers to shop more to collect more points and reach a certain milestone where they can redeem them.
Here’s how Nordstrom is acing loyalty points reminder emails:
✔ Clearly mention the exact number in the email - don’t share a link that the reader needs to click on to view their balance
✔ Include relevant CTAs such as shop now and manage your account that covers all next obvious steps
✔ Keep the tonality of the copy celebratory to build excitement and encourage action
14. Gamify your emails
Gamification of emails goes a long way in engaging customers meaningfully. What better way to deliver exclusive deals and offers to your customers than directly in their inbox via a fun game that they don’t mind spending time on. Gamifying your emails ensures customers view you as an interesting and innovative brand that they look forward to engaging with.
The only thing to be careful about is sending relevant deals to customers based on their previous interactions with your brand. Make sure you personalize offers that are sure to excite a particular segment of customers and nudge them to utilize them.
Here’s a fun example from Neiman Marcus:
✔ Make sure the reward is directly proportional to the effort required by the customer to avail of it
✔ Keep it simple - don’t try to overcomplicate the email by including a complex game
✔ Offer clear instructions and leave nothing ambiguous
15. Send price drop emails to bargain hunters
Very often, certain shoppers drop off from category or product pages solely because they didn’t get the desired item at their expected price. Such shoppers might visit a product page repeatedly to check if the price has dropped or not. You can target them smartly using trigger-based personalized emails wherein you send them a nudge whenever the price of that particular item has finally dropped. Since these are high intent buyers waiting to get their hands on a good bargain, they are likely to convert then and there.
Take a look at an example of the same from Forever 21:
✔ Mention the new price of the product clearly to leave no scope for confusion
✔ Include a large and clear CTA to redirect readers to the checkout page
✔ Try to avoid including anything else in the email so as to make this product the complete focus
16. Use social proof to win back trust
Multiple studies have shown the efficacy of social proof in winning back trust and driving action. Email personalization enables you as a marketer to leverage social proof to target visitors who dropped off from your online store without converting. Hearing awesome things reviews about your products from your customers themselves will surely work wonders in convincing those dropped visitors to come back.
Let’s look at a fantastic example of the same by Dollar Shave Club:
✔ Include actual names and photos of the reviewers
✔ Have a single, prominent CTA
✔ If you are not sure about the pages visited and products reviewed, you can use a somewhat generic copy [we heard you dropped by the clubhouse, but didn’t stay]
17. Create a sense of urgency using countdown timers
Email personalization can be leveraged to send emails with countdown timers that indicate that shoppers only have a certain time frame before the said deal expires, thus creating a sense of urgency in their minds. Based on your customers’ respective time zones, you can personalize such emails to be sent out during their most active hours so they have a high probability of being read and engaged.
Here’s a clever example of the same from BustedTees:
✔ Share all offer details and terms and conditions clearly in the email copy
✔ Keep the email minimalistic to avoid confusion
✔ Make sure that the timer is the center of attraction
18. Send out timely maintenance reminders
If some of the products you sell come with a warranty or maintenance clause, you can use email personalization to remind your buyers that it is time to renew their warranty, get the maintenance service, and so on. These are aspects that most customers forget about and need to be reminded of. As a brand, if you send out such timely reminders, your customers will appreciate the same.
Nissan is setting a great example of the same:
✔ Include a clear image of the product being referred to
✔ Mention the timelines clearly
19. Send back in stock emails meticulously
Oftentimes, shoppers are really convinced to buy a product that is currently unavailable. They end up revisiting the product page over and over again, only to end up disappointed. This is a great conversion opportunity no eCommerce marketer would want to miss out on, given the extremely high purchase intent of the shoppers. Use your site and app data to track such customers so you can send them emails as and when those respective products are back in stock.
Here’s an example from Saks Fifth Avenue that does justice to this strategy:
✔ The image should be clear as customers might have forgotten that they had expressed interest in the given product
✔ Also include other relevant details (such as size, price, and color) in the email copy to enable quick decision making
✔ Keep the subject line straightforward, something along the lines of - your waitlist item is now available
20. Reengage with seemingly uninterested subscribers
Keep a constant check on your performance metrics so you can understand the segment of subscribers that aren’t actively interacting with your emails. It could be either due to the lack of interest or just because something exciting hasn’t caught their eye yet. Either way, it’s best to ask them clearly if they would like to continue receiving emails from your brand. If not, you can remove those particular email ids from your lists and only target customers that seem inclined to engage with you.
Here’s a straightforward example of the same by HireVue:
✔ Keep the copy extremely personal and authentic; ensure it doesn’t sound robotic
✔ Have a clear CTA that asks the reader to take action if they want to stay connected
✔ Keep the copy short and subject line relevant or else this email might get ignored as well
All your email personalization questions answered
1. What is email personalization?
Email personalization is when eCommerce businesses use customer data to make emails more tailored to each respondent. Sending personalized eCommerce emails helps customers receive more relevant and customized content. Some email personalization examples are segmenting customers into specific lists or sending personalized offers to each recipient.
There are 3 essential elements in a personalized email:
- Relevance - Personalized emails are far from being generic. They are highly targeted as per customer preferences.
- Timely - With customer data, you know which stage of the journey they are in and what will be the right time to send an email.
- Comes from a real person - Personalized emails are rarely automate emails. These generally come from a person and not just a business email id. This helps in building credibility.
2. Why should you send personalized emails?
Personalized emails help build 1:1 experiences that exceed customer expectations. More and more eCommerce marketers are shifting towards personalized email marketing. In fact, 74% of marketers believe that personalization helps boost customer engagement. They also witness a 20% surge in sales when they deliver personalized email experiences. Research shows that using personalized subject lines in emails leads to 26% higher open rates. Moreover, brands that have used email personalization have witnessed 5.7 times higher revenue.
3. Why do customers look for personalization?
Customers today are looking for personalized experiences, especially in emails. Since personalized experiences are difficult to replicated by competitors, hence customers prefer such experiences since they have an unique edge. Research shows that 80% of customers expect retailers to offer personalized experiences. Customers want to engage only with experiences that are worth their time and money. Hence personalization becomes so valuable to them.
4. Are personalized emails effective?
Personalized emails increases the effectiveness of your email campaigns many fold. It boosts customer loyalty by building 1:1 relationships. It increases email engagement. It also improves the chances of conversions. Finally, it helps in boosting long-term customer retention.
5. How to personalize your emails?
Personalized email marketing helps your emails stand out in the crowd. There are many ways you can implement a personalized email marketing strategy:
- Using email segmentation
- Addressing them with their names
- Sending emails based on behavioral triggers
- Sharing relevant product recommendations
Time to put your learnings to the test!
Now that we’ve gone over various inspiring examples of email personalization that set the bar really high, you are all set to use the takeaways to tailor your own strategy. Remember that the key to personalization is data, which should be kept at the forefront of all your decisions. Collect as much customer data as possible from all stages of their purchase journey and use it to send personalized, relevant, and engaging emails that help your brand stand out among your competitors. Once you start making the most out of data and adding a human touch to your mails, you're automatically going to witness a huge improvement in your marketing ROI and other engagement metrics.
To help you in the personalization process, ConvertCart has a special done-for-you email marketing software Engage. It offers email automation, personalization, and smart behavioral segmentation. The added USP is that they bring in human intervention in your automated email marketing process. Here's how: your email orkflows are proactively monitored by eCommerce email marketing experts. This ensures you keep driving higher conversions. Whether you're an enterprise-level business or a medium-sized business, Engage will successfully help you scale your email marketing efforts.