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Risks and Rewards of Personalization in Marketing Messages

As marketers and data scientists, A/B testing results, Web statistics, email metrics, and CRM analytics illuminate the right paths for critical business decisions we make. At Transformania, we have the privilege (and responsibility) of helping companies strengthen their metrics to garner the best ROI.

That’s why we are so focused on the importance of personalization and identification in marketing and email messages. As I discussed in a previous blog, marketing science has shown that even small adjustments to email personalization and identification can pay impressive dividends. By adding the name of the email recipient to the message subject line, for instance, you can realize a 20% increase in open rate by increasing perceived relevance of the information shared and decreasing recipient skepticism.

Risks and Rewards of Personalization in Marketing MessagesA recent study marks perceived irrelevance as a major annoyance by 90% of email recipients. Despite this fact, studies suggest that up to 75% of CRM users still fail to use customer’s names in emails while continuing to default to such painfully generic terms as “sir” or “ma’am” or even worse: “user”.

But at the same time, something as equally small as having a name spelled incorrectly can actually have a profound negative impact on the effectiveness of an email campaign. In fact, name misspelling and “getting my identity or gender wrong” are ranked #3 and #4 in a list of the most common irritants noted by email recipients. As Tom Zawacki of Infogroup concluded in May 2019: “Without a doubt, we’ve entered an era in which consumers expect companies to know who they are on the surface, and also what they like and need on a deeper level.”

More dangerous still is the reality that over 30% of people report that they see badly managed personalization and identification as an explicit invasion of privacy. Thomas Goetz, co-founder of the digital health start up Iodine, warns: “Email pitches will always be a game of darts. But bad ones aren’t just ineffective; they’re destructive to your company’s reputation. They make you look like you either don’t care or are desperate. If you send spam, you’re a spammer. And nobody wants to do business with a spammer.”

In a recent article on the “6 Effective CRM Strategies to Stop Leaving Leads on the Table,” one tactic stood out as particularly powerful: Helpful Automatic Detection. Put simply, a great way to optimize any CRM is through detection-based data which automatically detects opportunities to personalize communication with your lead and, by extension, improve their experience with your business. As the article concludes, the value of this type of personalization is immediate and clear: “Leads notice when you go the extra mile and are often swayed by websites and apps that are intuitively easy to use.”

And a 2019 global survey of 12,815 marketing, advertising, and ecommerce professionals concluded that “data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual” is the single most exciting enterprise opportunity available to companies looking to optimize business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing through advertising and email campaigns. A full 28% of these respondents admitted that personalizing customer experience without violating consumer privacy was seen as a challenge. A 2018 study by Salesforce reinforces this view with “[m]ore than half (51%) of marketers say they’re more mindful about balancing personalization and privacy” then they were even two years earlier.

This is where Transformania’s powerful data cleansing and formatting features become invaluable. Not only can Transformania’s 50+ features significantly decrease the risk of your email being marked as spam (because nobody wants to do business with a spammer), but its patent-pending DearMe™ feature is over 99% accurate at:

  • Personalizing “From” and “Subject” lines.
  • Creating both formal and informal salutations so you can say “Dear Ms. Jones” or “Good morning, Alison” depending on your level of familiarity
  • Adding important prefixes and suffixes to names, including specialized multi-part military titles like Lt. Col
  • Recognizing multi-part first names while maintaining accurate capitalization
  • Managing common name confusions (McDonald or MacDonald), multi-part given names (La Toya, Mia-Louise), European surname capitalizations (von Diesen), and even common Cantonese name order and gender markers
  • Capturing crucial data from incoming email addresses, including common and known variation nicknames.

Email campaigns are, indeed, a highly volatile risk/reward proposition. Emails still provide a strong return on investment, with every $1 spent returning an average of $42 in returns. But with over 293 billion emails sent and received each day and with anti-spam legislation evolving and tightening every year, the challenges are definitely trending upward.

Transformania’s DearMe™ feature is a proven and reliable tool to mitigate risk while elevating the rewards associated with personalized email campaigns to previously unimagined levels.