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With 5.6% increase in sales and $260 billion in revenue (source: Persio), personalization isn’t a nice-to-have but a must-have in email marketing. We’re not talking about inserting each recipient’s first name into your emails here, but real and relevant personalization, which is also the most struggling to achieve for marketers.

Indeed, according to Smart Insights, consumers find brand email’s content less and less interesting and over half of them believe that only a third of all emails received are relevant. In fact, this is not surprising when a report from GetResponse shows that 42% of marketers send the very same email to everyone on their list.

Marketers collect tons and tons of data today on their email subscribers but how to use it to personalize their campaigns? Location, weather conditions, time of the day and device are factors that can influence openers actions. Here are the four questions you need to ask yourself in order to personalize your emails to those factors in real-time for each recipient.

Where are your recipients?

Marketers used to collect location data when someone was subscribing to their newsletter. This gave them the country and/or town of living for each recipient and allowed them to then segment their list based on that intel. An e-commerce site having shops in different countries could then insert a map with the relevant store depending on each subscriber’s country of living.

But things are different today. With 36 millions of people having a smartphone — in France only — and 55% of recipients using it to check their emails, it’s getting harder to get the location right each time you send an email. It’s quite impossible actually. One’s can open your email at work, on the tube, at the restaurant, when visiting a friend abroad, etc.

The trick is to know where each recipient is every time he opens your email. Email intelligence technologies empower you to do so by detecting each opener’s location in real-time, so at each open of your email, the map inserted is updated to always show the nearest store.

What’s the weather like?

Depending on the products you sell, weather conditions can impact your sales. Back in the days, it was common to use location data to “predict” your recipients weather conditions. In France, it made sense to segment one’s list into two categories: bad weather and cold temperatures in the north, and better and warmer weather conditions in the south. But this is no longer relevant as one’s location when opening an email can change all the time.

You cannot change the weather but you can adapt your content to it. Technologies allow you to modify your email’s content after it’s sent based on weather conditions. A fashion website can display its new summer collection if it’s hot when a recipient opens the email, and the last products of its winter collection if it’s cold at the moment-of-open.


What time is it?

Some activities and sales strategies can be time-sensitive. If you send an email at 9AM promoting your 2-hour flash sale and a recipient opens your email at 1PM, he will see the very same email promoting your flash sale when it is actually finished. Time is not on your side here, as it makes your email totally irrelevant.

Email intelligence technologies allow you to change your message based on what time it is when each recipient opens your emails. Back to our flash sale example, you could display an image promoting your flash sale if the email is opening before 11AM and another image if it’s opened after 11AM. This makes your email relevant no matter when each recipient opens it.

What device are your recipients using?

Marketers didn’t have to ask themselves this question a few years ago because desktop was the only device people could actually check their emails on. Then mobile came, along with tablets and smartphones, and now emails are at one’s fingertips at all times. So how can you start sending device-targeted emails with mobile-specific content?

Email intelligence technologies detect each opener’s device to display the most relevant content in real-time. If you send an email with discount codes, you could set it up so it shows a barcode to scan in-store if it’s opened on mobile, and a text code to use online if it’s opened on desktop. Or you could choose to display a banner to download your app to mobile-openers only.


Originally published on Medium