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BizReport : Email Marketing : February 11, 2013

How brands can recover from overly personalized emails

Email personalization has become an important part of email strategy. Knowing what particular list segments want allows businesses to offer more relevant advertising. But there is the possibility of getting too personal with an email list member; here's how a brand can recover.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: In 2011 and 2012, the mantra of personalization exploded on the Internet. Is it possible for brands to be 'too personal'?

Rama Ramakrishnan, Founder and CEO, CQuotient: Brands can definitely be too personal. This often comes about when a company is trying to show off its technical prowess and how much data it is able to aggregate. While most consumers are interested in related deals or similar products to their past searches, many are cautious about personal information being available online - birthdays, family structure, income, etc.

Kristina: Once a brand has gone too personal, how can they draw back and reengage those users who may have been turned off?

Rama: This dilemma plagues many retailers with overly aggressive marketing tactics. Once a customer has left, it is rare that they will be willing to engage with the brand again, and to a brand's dismay, they may not be able to reengage that consumer. The best course of action for brands that have over-personalized is to be more respectful of the remaining customers they do have. Over time, with more fitting marketing tactics, a brand can rebuild their reputation and draw defected customers back through demand.

Kristina: What strategies should brands employ to ensure they're personal but not crossing any consumer lines?

Rama: Consumers today are aware that their actions are being tracked; however, there is a fine line. For example, some customers find location-based services as intrusive. A good rule of thumb is to start from the perspective of the consumer and ask, "What do they want?" This approach always works better than, "What do I want to tell them?"

You can read part one of my chat with Rama, including the best email strategies for 2013, here.

Tags: CQuotient, email marketing, email personalization, email trends, personalization strategies

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  • Some segmentation is great, for sure, but you definitely don't want a brand telling you, "We're in a van parked outside your house right now." Unless, of course, they're giving out 50% off coupons.



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