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Feb 22, 2011

New Chart: What it takes to personalize email

SUMMARY: We surveyed more than 1,000 businesses about what data they collect and use for email personalization. A delicate balance is struck between granting a marketer’s wish list and not asking for so much information that it creates friction for the customer. This week’s chart looks at data collected and how companies are using it.
by Jeff Rice, Research Analyst

Data collected for email personalization goes beyond subscriber name

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The majority of email data collection takes place during registration. A delicate balance is struck between granting a marketer’s wish list and not asking for so much information that it creates friction for the customer. For most companies, asking for a customer’s personal name, company name and lead source is more important than titles, physical addresses and phone numbers. However, each company must select their own criteria based on their industry and sales pipeline.

The industry channel determines the priority and usage of a subscriber’s personalized data. B2B sales are typically complex, so marketers require company name, professional title, company address and phone number. Meanwhile, B2C marketers are more interested in age, gender or other demographic information to tailor their communications. Both B2B and B2C companies find personal name and the source of the lead information key to successful email campaigns.

As predicted, strategic marketers are more likely to collect and use subscriber personalized data. The one exception is the request for personal or company physical addresses. Trial phase companies’ sales and marketing processes heavily rely on offline tactics such as direct mail or face-to-face sales.

For additional research data and insights about email marketing, download and read the free Executive Summary from the MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.

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Comments about this Chart

Feb 22, 2011 - Paul Rosenblum of MyBuys says:
Thanks for another piece of data backed analysis. I love that about Marketing Sherpa. I do worry a little that in this case, we're seeing a "looking for the keys under the lamp post" kind of phenomenon. Here's what I mean: we've found that without collecting any of that PII, you can get much better personalization and relevance. Pay attention to what people want, not who they are. And they seem to react better. Ironic that this came out today as today is the Email Marketing and Personalization track of eTail 2011. If you're a retailer and in the neighborhood, should be a good set of discussions.

Feb 24, 2011 - Irina Issakova of Rapleaf says:
@Jeff - great research! @Paul - do you think knowing demographic information about your customers would hurt in any way? What if you could get it without asking them? Or do you think knowing who they are will shift your focus from personalizing to what they want to personalizing to who they are?

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