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GUEST COMMENT Use your existing data resources for next-level email personalisation

Credit: Ongage

Melissa Pekel and Haim Pekel (H&M) are VP marketing & VP growth at Ongage

Your customers are craving individuality, and you have the means to provide it. Stand out in the inbox with meaningful, personalised emails that drive conversions by accessing data you didn’t know you already had.

Compare your phone’s lock screen with the next person. Is it the same? Nope. And there’s a good reason for that.

We love to feel unique. To Have things the way we want them.

We notice when someone takes time to get to know us – the real us. It’s human nature: the more personal the message, the more we’re interested.

And it’s what consumers want. Studies prove that’s the case, with 76% of consumers frustrated at an impersonal shopping experience and 45% reporting that brand emails feel like spam.

In other words, businesses aren’t making things personal enough.

But how can you do that with your emails? The recipe is simple: use the data you already have strategically while taking advantage of technology.

Let’s take a look at how to do it.

How putting data to work is a game-changer

One thing that makes email so unique and powerful is the ability to customize and tailor them to each recipient on an individual level.

However, data is needed at each step to make the message truly unique to the reader. Without it, your emails will look and read as generic as they come. And with so many emails flooding inboxes, you can’t stand to afford to be left behind.

Once you have the data you need, it can be overwhelming, and some marketers aren’t sure what to do with it. 

Here are some actionable ways to go about it.

1:1 Personalisation

Whether you’re browsing for the perfect bottle of wine or a new car, there’s nothing like receiving one-on-one personal attention to help you find what you’re looking for. 

But the kind of attention you receive in an email can never match the level of attention in person. right…?

Think again. 

Based on unique behavioral and human profiles, a 1:1 personalized message can be delivered to match the recipient’s unique needs. 

This message can be based on:

  • Products they’ve recently viewed.
  • Past purchases.
  • Queries left in your inbox
  • Other data they shared with you.

Then, you’ll be able to offer personalized promotions and offering to match specific intents and desires, generating a lift in your KPIs.


Segmentation of an email list is absolutely essential for delivering an effective email campaign. Without segmentation, your email list is just a sea of contacts–disorganized and all looking alike.

What makes us unique comes from a variety of factors: our history, geographic location, interests, etc. With some inventive thinking, you can use these data points as criteria to create different segments.

Perhaps you want to contact only your VIP customers? Or maybe target those who only shop during promotions? The possibilities are endless and are mainly up to your efforts and your email marketing platform’s capabilities.

From there, a much more personal, targeted message can be crafted using these segments, providing a far more engaging experience for the reader.


At each point of the customer’s journey, an automated email that’s personal to them can be sent to help them convert. By using data collected from the customer journey, the email can be tailored to create a targeted, compelling message just for them.

For example, let’s say a customer has begun adding items to their cart but fails to proceed to checkout. That’s when an automated transactional email that highlights their abandoned products gets sent and encourages the customer to make the purchase.

It doesn’t have to stop there, though. Personalised transactional emails exist in many forms, like:

  • Invoices.
  • Shipping alerts.
  • Customer support updates.
  • Activity notifications.
  • And more.

Now that we see what a personalised email can consist of, let’s establish how we can get that precious data that lets us personalise emails.

Your best data sources

We’ll take a look at three of the most effective sources of data that any company can use to gain key insights into their customers.

Sign up forms

Sign up forms are a fantastic chance to learn more about your new subscribers. Adding 1-2 more fields can make the difference between a generic and an engaging email down the line.

At the risk of overwhelming users with too many questions, stick to three fields: their name, email, and the one question you need to know. This can vary from business to business, but it should be focused on the main goal that your company wants to know to help tailor your offer to them. 

Include an incentive (it doesn’t have to be monetary) by offering value for their signup. This will help them provide the data you can use to increase conversions in your custom email. 

Welcome email

Once someone signs up for your mailing list, you must act fast and send a warm welcome email. There’s a variety of ways to approach this, but in terms of personalization, it’s a great avenue to collect more data.

All the questions you wanted to ask during sign-up but were too afraid of due to friction? Now’s the time to ask them.

Your new subscribers are highly engaged at this moment, so be sure to ask them the right questions that will provide value in future communications.

Website behaviour

Collecting behavioural data from your website or app is something that can give you the edge you need.

You own this data, so there’s no cookiepocalypse looming over your head. Further, this data accurately reflects what your subscribers truly want and need.

Use this information to create segments and tailor messages that will resonate with your audience.

Make an impact by going beyond just their name

Credit: Ongage

Names certainly help when it comes to grabbing attention. However, they have become ubiquitous with almost every email sent to users–including some spam.

To separate yourself and make your offer irresistible, you’ll have to go beyond just a name to personalise emails.

You’ve seen what’s possible with data, how to get that data, and how to put it to work. All that’s left is acting on it.

Whether it’s providing deals that entice a sale, reminders that motivate action, or keying in on what certain users want, the existing data that any company can access can take their email game to the next level.

Melissa Pekel and Haim Pekel (H&M) are VP Marketing & VP Growth at Ongage

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