At any time of year, personalization in an email marketing campaign is an excellent strategy for boosting engagement, brand recall, and sales. Consider the fact that 74% of marketers identify personalization as the key to increased customer engagement, and ROI is on average 5.7 times higher. Additionally, email is the most personalized channel (80% of marketers utilize email personalization) when compared with any other outlet that can deliver experiences and messages directly to customers.

It’s pretty simple to understand the appeal of email personalization for consumers. Instead of a one-size-fits-all email template, customers receive an email that feels specifically tailored to them. A personalized subject line alone earns 26% higher click-thru as people are more compelled to open these and less likely to relegate them immediately to the spam folder.

An email with personalized details will also include content that is more relevant and interesting to the recipient. Therefore, they will be more likely to take action and convert, thereby making your email marketing strategy more effective overall.

When it comes to the holiday time period, personalized email becomes an even more essential part of your marketing strategy. In general, retailers double the amount of emails they send between the period spanning Thanksgiving to New Year’s. In order to stand out in consumers’ inboxes, personalization is your best secret weapon.

Here are four ways to make your brand stand out this holiday season with personalized emails.

1. Make it Personal Before the Email is Even Opened

Like we mentioned earlier, a personalized subject line leads to an average increase in CTR of 26%. Using the recipient’s first name in the email subject line is a simple way to grab their attention and compel them to open the rest of the email.

The From name is another easy area for personalization. Consumers want to feel like they’re receiving emails from real people. Using a real individual in your company (bonus: include a headshot!) as the sender name is a basic but effective measure to relate to the recipients of your holiday emails.

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Image source: CampaignMonitor

2. Tailor the Message to Their Location

The amount of data you can cull from your subscriber list is immense. Of this treasure trove of information, you can pinpoint their location easily, then tailor your content to that fact.

This is especially helpful for retailers with brick-and-mortar establishments, as you can send an email with an embedded map or link to their nearest store location. Especially around the holiday period when you’re launching promotions and deals, letting people know precisely where they can redeem the offer can lead to in-store conversions and boost sales.

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Image source: MovableInk

3. Utilize the Effectiveness of Sharing

One of the greatest personalized holiday emails to date is Iberia’s December, 2106 campaign. Though it only ran for a short few weeks and exclusively in Spain, the airline company demonstrated an ingenious tactic for letting customers do some of the legwork in a holiday email marketing campaign.

Their strategy was as follows: Send subscribers with a question for them to answer: If you could go anywhere, where would you go and with who? Customers could then follow a link to Iberia’s website to fill out a short questionnaire, including providing the contact details of their specified travel partner. Starting to catch on yet with this tactic?

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Image source: skift

That partner would then receive an email with a note letting them know there was a holiday card created by a friend of theirs. They would click a link to view the card, and that’s when Iberia’s ingenious team of marketers would tag the user with a cookie so that they would see personalized travel ads across the web every time they were online. The ads would read something like, “Alejandro’s dream is to travel to Bilbao, and you can fulfill it.”

Not only did Iberia succeed at acquiring more subscribers by having friends share the holiday email, but also they tailored their message to customers with personalized banner ads for greater effectiveness. The advertisements would even cycle through based on if they were clicked or not.

Consider creative tactics for deploying your personalized marketing messages that are more than tweaks to content or sender name. Doing so means reaping additional rewards from your holiday email marketing, like more subscribers and ideas for cross-platform advertising content.

4. Segment Your List, then Customize

In addition to location, you can pull the gender, age, and more of your subscribers. Segmenting your holiday emails by these various characteristics means you can tailor the content of the email and the products you’re showcasing based on the audience.

For example, a company selling outerwear can segment their list into male and female subscribers. Then, the content of their email can show a male model for the male list, and a female model for the female segment. Additionally, the items shown can be outerwear specific to male vs. female audiences.  

Image source: salecycle

This allows customers to imagine themselves using or wearing the product more easily, while making them feel personally engaged with your brand.

Dynamic content is especially useful during the holiday time period, as the audiences, you’re targeting can be more diverse. You may carry products for both children and adults, and therefore could have one email depicting your children’s products (sent to parent-aged subscribers), and another sent showing your adult ones.

It’s clear the personalized emails can be a key to success. Leverage this strategy during the busy holiday time period to stand out from the rest of the marketing emails clogging up inboxes. With these four tips, you’ll already be at least one step ahead of the competition this holiday season.

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About Author

Rae is a Content Strategist at Taktical Digital, an award-winning performance marketing agency in NYC. When she's not optimizing landing pages, writing Facebook ad copy, or curating the company's weekly newsletters, Rae enjoys exploring the culinary scene of the city. Her other passions include learning Mandarin, traveling, cooking, and of course writing.