Personalisation is powerful, so here's why you should branch out beyond the first name!

At Litmus Live Week this year, personalisation was again named as the most wanted email feature. And it's plain to see why. Good use of personalisation can boost an email's ROI to 44:1, and improve click-through rates. But using it can be tricky, as it requires time and a clear strategy to know what you want to achieve with personalisation. And you need to make sure that your data is not only in a usable state and available to use, but also that it pulls through correctly to the email.

So it makes sense that, because of its desirability for customers but potentially tricky usage, many brands send emails with basic personalisation, i.e - not really going beyond adding the first name. And it does give you a quick win. Deloitte found that just including this increased open rates by 5.2%. With the possibility of more intricate and advanced personalisation boosting your email performance exponentially, it's important to dedicate time to getting it right. Let's look at some of the benefits.

Personalising subject lines is a great way to boost email performance.

The stat: Personalising your subject line increases open rates by 50%

Personalisation in the subject line is an easy win for those wanting to explore personalisation beyond Hi %FIRSTNAME% in their email copy - with so much competition in the inbox from other brands, it's a great opportunity to stand out for readers scanning their inbox.

The natural recognition of our own name immediately draws our attention to when it is displayed, and so it's not surprising that including names in the subject lines gives your email a huge edge.

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The emails above show how simple but effective this is. Just Eat have combined personalisation and an offer in their subject line, and made sure it fits in the 'preview' part of the subject line to really pull in and grab their readers attention.

Matt Parsloe

Content Marketer at Taxi for Email

Top tip! It's important to have a fallback set up in your personalisation handlebars, just in case. There will usually be one or two people who fall through the cracks. Something like 'Hi there' will keep your email looking strong, even if something slips up.

Personalising modules increases click-through rates

The stat: Imagery personalised to the subscriber can increase click-through rates by 29%

If you want to get more expansive with your personalisation, you can enable assets like imagery and even whole modules to be bespoke to each recipient. For example, you could highlight items similar to those that the customer has purchased before. Promotional emails like this are really effective at engaging the subscriber, as they not only address them but also put offers and content directly relevant to their interactions with your brand in front of them.

Take this email from Brightwave. The main module has been personalised to recommend a recording that the subscriber may like, based on interests that they have previously inputted / interacted with on their website. Also, the inclusion of a CTA that enables them to look for more talks and informational pieces on their website is a nice touch that maintains the opportunity for interaction, even if the personalised piece doesn't appeal as intended.  

Personalised triggered emails directly connect to the customer

The stat(s): Triggered emails have a 70.5% higher open rate than regular email marketing, and personalised emails deliver 6x transactional rates.

Triggered emails can be a fantastic way to establish a relationship with your customers through personalisation. This type of email is sent to the most engaged users (triggered by an action or purchase) which gives you an opportunity to build a strong relationship with your customers.

Adding in extra personalisation that is specific to the customer, such as further recommended purchases, booking information, and review opportunities can enable these emails to gain such high open and transactional rates. Not only is this appealing, but it gives the opportunity to navigate customers back to your site, so you can keep their experience with you going. The triggered email from OpenTable above is a great example. It's personalised to the customer's name, where they have been, when they went and gives them an opportunity to give personal feedback.

Personalisation connects your brand to your customers

The stat: Those receiving personalised emails were 80% more likely to make a repeat purchase

Perhaps the biggest selling point for enhanced personalisation is how it builds a connection between your brand and the customer. In an age of constant advertisement and high consumer demands, consumers are looking more and more towards brands that they can establish an emotional relationship with, in terms of shared values and ethics. And the desire to be treated as an individual with specific needs and wants is high up the list. Personalising emails to not only refer to your customers by their names but also presenting them with bespoke offers, product recommendations or information that may be useful to them goes a long way to making them feel specifically valued.

Personalised birthday emails are especially effective. This one was probably a smash with millennials. Source: Really Good Emails.

And this can go even further. Triggered personalised birthday emails to your subscribers containing 'birthday' offers, so they see you are recognising their special day, can yield 342% more revenue than regular promotional emails. It's because the consumer is made to feel special and that, throughout the millions of people out there, you are recognising them as a person rather than a piece of data on a spreadsheet. That type of emotional connection can not only generate more immediate revenue, but develop a long lasting relationship with your brand and in turn sustain their loyalty.

Why personalising email using Taxi is the best way

If you are inspired to dig deeper into personalisation but aren't sure where to start, you're not alone. Only 6% of companies have said they are using 'advanced' personalisation. More advanced personalisation can be tricky to master, with different tags for different ESPs and potentially siloed data sets.

Taxi helps ensure using personalisation is a lot easier, accessible to all, and guarded against common mistakes arising from repetitive tagging and complex coding.

By letting Taxi do the work, you can now personalise emails more quickly and with less stress, leaving you time to be creative in other areas. Here's how:

Accurate personalisation tags every time

Personalisation tags can be saved in Taxi, which will save time adding complicated ESP-specific code to your emails, and you can ensure the correct code is added to the right email each time.  

Put personalisation into the hands of the marketer

Technical users can perform the one-time setup for the personalised fields, meaning the wider team can easily add personalised content to emails at the click of a button. Personalisation tags place less reliance on different teams in the email process, leading to a quicker and smoother build time. Marketers get an easier way to personalise, and more technical team members can concentrate on bigger tasks rather than repetitive setup and testing of personalisation code.

Linking up with your data and customer behaviour

Taxi makes your personalisation process really simple and easy, meaning you can do more with your emails, with less work involved. Personalised discounts and receipts can easily be inserted, using Taxi’s personalisation tags, or choosing to hardcode these into your Email Design System. These support transactional, abandon basket or confirmation email campaigns by not needing to think about adding the correct tags every time, and knowing they will render the way you want especially if you're pulling different images in the receipt.

Helping support a more collaborative team

For teams using multiple ESPs, each with their own unique personalisation language, Taxi enables you to set-up values separately for each. This means you’ll know you will have the correct values, no matter what ESP you use.

In addition, translators can clearly control where personalised text goes in a sentence. This works especially well for languages where text moves around within the structure of a sentence.

All without touching your data

We don’t touch your data! Taxi simply tells your ESP what to add, meaning once you export your ready-to-send email, the personalisation tag will tell your ESP what to add from your data and where, so when you send your email the correct copy is added.

Taxi can help you achieve better personalisation.

Get in touch for a demo to see how!


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