Personalizing your e-newsletter, the process of adding someone’s name or contact information into the opening or a field of text, has, in most cases, proven to increase engagement. But it can also backfire.

I am sure that you have, at some point, received an email with your last name first or worse yet, something like “We really value your service (blank space) !” When you see something like that, it actually undermines the messages that are being conveyed. Writing effective E-newsletters can be challenging in and of itself. Personalizing your E-newsletters can be even more challenging and you need to make sure that your approach is effective. Your ultimate goal, of course, is to get a lower and lower bounce rate and to increase your E-newsletter distribution list going forward. You can learn more about Adding Personalization to Your Mailings and Dear First Name – When Personalization Doesn’t Work! Undoubtedly, you will find the information helpful.

Here are ways to use personalization to really engage your readers:

  • In the salutation: Whether you use a standard like “Dear Franklin” or a more informal “Howdy Malcolm” (like WordPress does in it’s interface), this is a quick way to set the tone of your mailing. Be sure that you are using an appropriate choice – “Howdy” may not be as welcome from a financial adviser (unless you are both in Texas – then maybe it IS appropriate!).
  • In the body of your email: Think along the lines of “Thank you, Gina.” However, you can also use something other than someone’s name. If you create team-related gear, you could consider adding their school’s team in the body or closing. Something like “Go Crimson!” or “Go Tigers!” – just be sure that you have an appropriate team name for each recipient and that you have it in the correct field.
  • In an award or certificate: You can also insert your personalization into a document, like a certificate for Customer of the Month. I would not suggest, of course, that you send something like that out to everyone, but it could be very effective for a smaller group. You could also send out birthday wishes to your readers (see the example above). If you have a pediatric dental practice, you could send something out at the beginning of the month to anyone with a birthday that month. Or, if you have the time and staff, you could create a “personalized” greeting for each one and schedule it, ahead of time, to arrive in time for his or her birthday. This could work well in a retail boutique as well, especially if paired with a coupon of some kind!
  • In a loyalty card: You can quickly and easily generate a series of “loyalty cards,” which your customers can then use in the bricks-and-mortar store. These are more difficult to redeem online but can be helpful in driving traffic to a physical location.
  • In a coupon: It is easy to add coupons to almost any template. You can also personalize into the coupon field. This can be useful if you want to keep track of who is redeeming your coupons and/or to ensure that they are only redeeming it once. I prefer to encourage people to share their coupon by asking them to forward it along to their friends. You can even incentivize sharing by keeping track of whose name is on the most coupons redeemed and offering an additional perk or discount to that reader!


If done correctly, personalization can help you engage your readers and encourage them to become your ambassadors! So, start personalizing and use all of the tools at your fingertips in your marketing efforts.

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