Look Out For Common Personalization Missteps June 18, 2019, | Posted by erin

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We’ve written several times about how important personalization is now and how vital it will be in the future as consumers and business owners alike demand more out of their email marketing messages; but if you haven’t started in on personalization efforts already, it can be easy to make mistakes and come across in a way you don’t want. Site Impact has been helping our clients send out personalized emails for just about as long as it’s been a possibility, and we’ve got some insights on the most common missteps, as well as how to prevent them. Take a look and avoid the most basic mistakes as you wade into personalization.


Misstep One: Message has bad variable name

One of the most common snafus that can occur with personalization is when the subject line or the body content has a personal address (think, “Hi, *First Name*!”), but the field doesn’t populate, or instead it shows the command for the variable (such as “%firstname%”). This takes the little dash of illusion involved in personalization away, and actually creates a worse impact than not including any personal details would. To avoid it, there are a few measures you can take:

     Make sure you’re using the correct command every time--and test that it’s the correct one with a sample email sent to yourself/a testing email address

     Use an interface that allows you to “point-and-click” the field to incorporate the command

     Incorporate the command into your guideline text, so that it can be copy-pasted exactly as it should be every time

By taking one (or more) of these steps, you’ll make sure your personalized address to your recipient really is personalized.


Misstep Two: Incorrectly segmented content

There’s nothing that damages the feeling of a personal connection quite like receiving a message clearly intended for a different audience. Segmentation is an important aspect of successful personalization, and done properly it can really foster a feeling of intimacy and connection between you and your recipients--but if you slip up in your segments, you can instead end up sending the wrong things to the wrong people, and put them off. Avoid this mistake by taking a few basic precautions:

     Clearly label each list you compose with information that ensures you’ll be using the right message for each list (demographic, buying history, etc)

     Check your lists regularly to make sure your information is up to date (particularly important for history with your brand)

     Build highly specific lists to begin with--the more personal you get, the better you’re going to be at getting the right emails to the right people


These are not the only missteps that you can get into when it comes to personalization but they’re two of the biggest ones that we’ve seen. By taking care of the basics, you can make sure to get into personalized email marketing with the best possible impression on your recipients, and move on to more complex forms of personalization. Contact Site Impact to learn how we can help you navigate the first steps towards creating a more personal connection with subscribers.