Personalized marketing is the new black. It's no longer enough for you as a company or organization, to only communicate generic content to your entire audience. No, if you do, you need to think again. You need to know who your customers and recipients are, understand what they like and don't like, and develop target group-adapted communication that is based on the recipients' interests and behaviors. You need to show that you care and make the customers feel seen. Communication and marketing that cuts through the noise and that truly captures the recipients' attention – that's what you should care about.

But, how do you do it? How can you personalize your marketing? In this blog post, we share seven content tips that you can use to personalize your newsletters and emails. Namely, e-mail is a superb channel for personal communication that builds stronger customer relationships (if you use it correctly, that is). Now: let's get started!

1. Use merge tags that intercept the recipient's name

"Hello Sara, here is information for your visit on Thursday!" Using such a sentence, which uses the recipient's first name, is a smart move. You, who send the newsletter or e-mail, may not experience the meaning particularly personally yourself – what you see when you enter the merge tag is, after all, {{person:firstName}}. You might also assume that all recipients will understand that it's a database that picks up the name? That you actually don't know everyone's names?

Think again! Although personal merge tags – which can pick up name as well as city and date of birth – are used in every other email today and are no more than a technical feature, they arouse the recipient's curiosity. When the recipient sees his or her name in the mail, it's difficult for him or her not to check what you, as the sender, want to say to him or her. In addition, it feels like you and the customer have a close relationship – you even address the customer by name!

Attention! Make sure that the content is relevant to the recipient. If you use the person's name and write about things that are not at all interesting to the recipient, the experience of a close relationship can be the opposite.

Who is your recipient? And how can you become more personal in your communication with your customers?

2. Create video greetings from interesting and relevant people

Something that attracts the recipient's eyes is moving material such as videos. If the video also contains something that captures the recipient's interest, you can count on really high engagement!

We would like to advise on sending personal video greetings. It could be the artist or the band welcoming the audience to the weekend's concert, the hockey player who wants to thank them for the season or the set designer who tells about how the production of the play's scenography went.

Remember! The vast majority of email clients don't support video, but you can use looping GIFs in your newsletters and emails. Another option is to include an image with a play button in the mailing. Also, be sure to link to the actual video!

Tip! If you send a personal video greeting in your e-mail, you can also mention this in the subject line. For example, you can write "A personal greeting from Taylor Swift for Friday". This causes the open rate to increase significantly!

Record a video with a relevant person and send it to your customers.

3. Add Spotify playlists to get the recipient in the right mood

Surely music is nice? A Spotify playlist that you create uniquely for your customers can put the recipient in the right mood for the festival, the ice hockey match or the visit to your spa resort. An e-mail that evokes joy and enthusiasm is also good if you want to strengthen the relationship with your customers.

Furthermore, you can send tips on what the guest should do while listening to the Spotify list. If a visit to the spa resort is on the recipient's agenda, you send a list of lounge music and recommend lighting candles and putting on a face mask. If it's a festival, you instead link to a list that collects the songs of the festival artists and give tips on which luggage the visitor should bring.

Think creatively! What do your customers and recipients like? And what music should you send?

4. Use emojis adapted to your target groups and recipients

There is research that shows that emojis – whether they are face emojis or represent real objects – bring positive emotions and joy. Even when the message is of a more negative tone, the recipient perceives the message as more positive if you use emojis.

That being said, you should absolutely use emojis in your newsletters and emails. But which emojis should you use? Here you need to take a step back and think about who you are communicating with. Is the target group young or old? Does the segment like classical music or rock? Try to adapt the choice of emojis to the person you are writing to, and don't be afraid to put an emoji in the subject line.

Use emojis in your emails! They bring joy to the recipient.

5. Relate the content to the recipient's interests and characteristics

We've already had a look at this point: video greetings that capture the recipient's interest, Spotify lists adapted to the product the customer purchased, and emojis that are suitable for the target group. As you may have understood by now, you should adapt most of your newsletters or e-mails to the target group.

How can you customize the mailing further? If you know that many of the recipients that you write for have children, you can suggest suitable children's activities nearby. If you communicate with people who live in a certain city, your content may be related to the city in question. Or, if your target audience consists mostly of women, you can design the content in a way that appeals to them.

Psst! Content refers to text as well as images, films and the design of the mailing.

What content can your newsletter or e-mail contain that will make the recipient open it?

6. Arrange a contest that engages the recipient

Content that creates engagement from your recipients and customers is something you want to invest in. Why? Because engaging content…

... creates strong bonds with your customers.
This gives you more loyal customers and contributes to you being perceived as more credible.

... boosts brand awareness.
On the one hand, engaging content attracts attention, and on the other hand, it increases the likelihood that the content will be spread further.

... drives sales.
An engaged audience is more likely to shop with you than an audience that is not engaged with your content and brand.

A competition that engages your recipients can contribute to increasing both customer relations, brand awareness and sales. Contests require the recipients to get involved in some way, and many choose to reward those who share the contest. When the competition is over, you can also give everyone who participated a discount code – a smart tactic as you then already have their attention.

Think about which competition you can arrange that creates interest and commitment!

7. Give recommendations based on the recipient's purchase history & behaviors

Our final tip for personalized content for your e-mails, is to recommend products and experiences to the recipients based on previous purchases. Something that both strengthens your credibility and increases your sales. If you use a system where you can filter out customers who bought a certain service or product, you can easily target your mailings and recommend the same or similar products.

If you work at, for example, a ski resort, you can suggest things like dog sledding or whiskey tastings. If you instead work within a sports club, merchandise and hamburger menus are probably more important. At a theme or amusement park, instead, ponchos, candy and coupons for pentathlons might be more interesting.

You can also make recommendations based on previous ticket purchases as well as entire bookings and packages. Then you start, for example, from event tags, send to those who usually visit you on weekdays or give suggestions for spa packages that are similar to other packages the customer has bought.

So, make recommendations based on the recipient's previous purchases and behaviors in your mailings. It will work, we promise!

"The email channel has become much more efficient! We spend less time on that point, with less effort. We also send more emails and newsletters, while the opening rate is higher and more people click on the links in the mailings."

Mattias Ezra

Digital Marketer, Uppsala Konsert & Kongress

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Email – perhaps your most important channel

For many people, email marketing feels quite old. But, in a society where the number of digital channels only gets more and more and the recipients more and more busy, it's incredibly important to use the channel in the right way to keep your customers and subscribers. And, with an email tool directly connected to your customer data, it's simple. Really simple.

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