Why does email personalisation matter so much for closing sales? | DMA

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Why does email personalisation matter so much for closing sales?


We don’t often receive physical mail as much as we used to, and even when we do it’s mostly limited to bills, notices, random packages from eBay and the occasional bank statement. So think of how enjoyable it is to receive a handwritten letter – particularly if it’s from someone important to you. That’s the kind of effect you can have on your buyers using personalisation in your emails.

Our email inbox’s are busy, cluttered, and on average we receive about 121 emails per day with that number only set to rise. With so many voices clamouring for attention, how do we decide which emails are worth our time and which ones we should immediately dismiss or unsubscribe from?

Let’s get personal

Even simple personalisation can have a dramatic effect on the open rate and engagement of your electronic missives. In fact, studies have shown that personalisation with just the recipients name shows a 5.2% higher open rate, and detailed personalisation produces anywhere between a 11% increase, to a whopping 55% increase in open rate. With figures like that, it seems shocking that only around 5% of companies use extensive personalisation in their campaigns.

Why bother?

If the above figures aren’t enough to convince you, what would you say if you knew that recipients of personalised emails tend to be more open to future purchases? Did your ears just prick up?

A 2013 study by Harris Interactive found that 81% of respondents who received personalised emails indicated that they’d be more likely to purchase from this vendor again. So not only does personalisation make your emails more likely to be opened, but they also increase the likelihood of your subscribers making a purchase from you. When you consider that email marketing is also a low-cost method of communication, you’re going to be hard-pushed to find reasons not to personalise those emails!

Dynamic response

Personalisation has so much more to offer than just high open rates and recurrent purchases. Let’s not forget that whilst setting up segments for your email lists can be a little bit more work, but the pay-off is absolutely worth it. Once you start to specialise the information and content you’re providing to the segment or the individual buyer, the dialogue you have is less like sending the recipient a brochure and more reminiscent of a conversation you’d have with the buyer in a physical location.

This type of conversation would be where their needs and interests are responded to, and the products and services you present keep those parameters in mind. This type of dynamic conversation can be replicated successfully with personalised emails, and by personalising the standard marketing emails you send you nurture your leads by responsively offering them content that is both relevant and useful.


Another type of email that frequently gets left out of this list is the transactional email- the reactionary emails that your system sends when a user requests a certain piece of information (be it a receipt, shipping details, password resets, invitations etc.) The content of these emails is usually left in the source code as a stock-standard reply, but don’t forget this is where your customers have asked for contact from you, so it is another opportunity for you to open a dialogue with them (and stand out from the crowd even more!)

Two top tips on this:
The attention should be on where the buyer is at, not on how you knew where they were.
Observation can be helpful for the buyer, but if you draw too much attention to it, things can get a little creepy.


It won’t come as any surprise to you that here at Pure360 we get a little excited about email marketing done well, and we think personalisation is crucial for not only ensuring your emails are opened, but also for the role it can play in closing sales and encouraging recurrent purchases. Personalising your email marketing campaign is something that will only take a short period of time to set up, but can ultimately pay dividends in the long run, with buyers more likely to open and engage with personalised campaigns but also more likely to make a purchase with you in the future.

If you’re not sure where to start with personalisation, our Advanced Email Series: Personalisation guide is a great place to start. Download it for free here.

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