We all get a huge number of emails delivered to our inbox every day and it is easy to feel frustrated or like you are being spammed.  You are not alone in feeling this way – consumers have higher expectations from email marketing campaigns than ever before.  With personalisation being a marketer’s favourite word this year, customers are getting more and more used to receiving emails that cater to their individual needs. And with that becoming the norm, brands need to keep up with their customers’ demands in order to capture their audience’s attention and ensure that email is a positive form of communication for their customers rather than one simply to be ignored.

According to research from the Direct Marketing Association UK in February 2014, email was the preferred marketing channel among internet users for all age groups. However, there is a catch!  Simply spamming your audiences with irrelevant messages will not work – you need to be targeted, personal and creative in your approach. Research by RedShift found that people are turned off by too many branded emails and 39% said they would simply unsubscribe if emails were too frequent.  Unsurprisingly, 64% of respondents prefer emails with that personal touch, such as emails from brands that recommend products consumers have previously shown an interest in. Overall, not only for Quidco is email a channel in which the personalised message is king.

I have picked 5 of the best email campaigns that dropped into my inbox recently to showcase how to do it right:

Tesco’s shopping list

By utilising data Tesco holds on its ClubCard members, the company is able to personalise its messaging according to previous purchases. The email campaign presents recipients with a recommended shopping list based on the customer’s preferences.

This allows Tesco to send unique email campaigns and the customer benefits from an already prepared shopping list – all they need to do is click to buy.

The shopping list is not just based on customers’ online orders. By utilising dunnhumby’s insight on Tesco ClubCard holders, the company is able to target offline customers online by presenting shopping lists based on their in-store purchases.

This campaign is not just a perfect example for personalising content but also for bridging the gap between offline and online commerce.

ModCloth’s Purchase Reminder

ModCloth sends customers an email based on their previous site behaviour alerting customers that the item they were interested in is nearly out of stock.

Two things are at work here: personalised email content showing customers exactly what they looked at and a sheer panic of the customers that they might miss out – this is a call to action that drives me to purchase every time!

Incorporating onsite data to personalise email campaigns provides brands with highly targeted messaging and content and catches the customer’s eye. The previous interest in the product increases the purchase probability hugely by presenting a product the customer searched for rather than just a random product overview.

Amazon’s Purchase Recommendation

Amazon was one of the first retailers that understood how to effectively use customer data. Back in 2004, the company transformed the e-commerce industry by having the ability to analyse customer data and by being able to show individual product suggestions to its customers based on their preferences, search history and previous purchases.

And their email marketing campaigns work in the exact same way. Amazon sends its customers personalised product recommendations enticing them to buy something they looked at or searched for previously.

Combined with events such as Mother’s Day or Christmas, Amazon’s personalised email campaigns are an effective way of getting existing customers (which is nearly everyone!) to buy through them again and again.

Secret Escapes Teaser

This happens to me every Monday and never fails to make me think about my next holiday. By using the right timing and data the holiday booking company holds on its members, people are tempted by beautiful images of beaches, landscapes and romantic villages on their email account.

Secret Escapes loves sending these emails on a Monday morning when you are on your way to work and you just cannot help thinking about booking your next holiday. Again, the email is tailored towards the recipient’s previous behaviour on the Secret Escapes site. Clever timing and clever use of data.

Banana Republic’s Birthday Message

This is a really easy thing to do providing a company has access to their customers birthday date. The fashion retailer, Banana Republic offers its customers a special discount for birthday boys and girls.

This makes the customer feel special and will also drive sales – it’s a win/win.

Brands need to make use of the latest technology available to them in order to attract new and existing customers. Consumer-facing brands hold data on their customers and it would be foolish to not to use this insight for their marketing efforts.

Personalising email content is just one of the many options companies have to make use of their insight. There are countless ways of personalising content online and as long as it benefits the customers and enhances their experience, there is no reason why those activities shouldn’t be implemented.