10 Myths About Email Personalization BUSTED! How to Win with Personalized Emails


Email is personal. Unlike most marketing channels, email really is communication at a 1:1 level. It’s your opportunity to reach people with messages just for them.

Email personalization has revolutionized the way we engage with audiences, turning generic promotional and transactional email programs into tailored conversations that resonate with each recipient.

However, despite its proven benefits, several myths persist that prevent marketing teams from fully leveraging the power of email personalization.

That’s why we partnered with Act-On, an all-in-one email software—and experts on email personalization—to bust these myths once and for all in a two-part series. Catch-up with part one here.

Let’s debunk these misconceptions and unlock the true potential of personalized email so you can reach the people who matter with the best messaging possible. Read ahead to see the biggest email personalization myths bustedor watch the video.


Myth 1: Email personalization leads to errors in emails

Why this myth exists

We’ve all experienced the cringe-worthy moment of receiving an email addressed to the wrong person or with incorrect information. These mishaps create a fear of personalization errors among marketers, who might worry that their emails will contain similar mistakes.

Busting the myth

Email personalization may seem like a risky operation to implement. After all, you’re one poorly personalized email away from an unsubscribe. Why poke the bear? In reality, personalization can be implemented simply and with the right tools and a little elbow grease, errors can be avoided. Imagine sending millions of emails, but each recipient got something that felt catered just for them? This is how you build relationships. Here are some quick practices to apply:

Robust email testing: Implementing a thorough email testing strategy is essential. Tools like Litmus allow you to test your emails across different clients and scenarios, ensuring that personalized content appears correctly.
Data hygiene: Maintaining clean and accurate data is crucial. Only use data you are 100% confident in, and regularly update and validate your information.
Extra protection: Always have a fallback in place for personalized elements. For example, if a first name isn’t available, default to a more generic greeting to avoid embarrassing errors. You can also defend against errors when Mail Privacy Protection is applied (ex. if the image is cached and an accurate countdown timer can’t be displayed, they can show a generic message or image instead).

The takeaway: Email personalization doesn’t mean you have to worry about error-filled emails. On the contrary, email personalization often leads to enhanced inbox experiences for your subscribers. Just take the steps outlined here to ensure you have clean data and have tested everything ahead of time.

Myth 2: It’s too challenging to collect data to create personalized emails

Why this myth exists

The belief that data collection is cumbersome and complex deters many from pursuing personalization. However, advancements in data collection strategies have simplified the process.

Busting the myth

Collecting data for personalization is more straightforward than you might think.  A great starting point is with your email preference center, which boasts a wealth of zero-party data for you to work with.  With Google’s phase out of third-party cookies on the horizon, first-party and zero-party data will become even more valuable for marketers .. Marketers can efficiently collect and use this data to enhance email personalization without facing significant challenges. Here are some things to consider:

Preference centers and zero-party data: An essential part of any email marketing program that empowers subscribers to share their preferences directly. An effective preference center living within each of your emails can be a valuable aspect of building and maintaining trust at any point along the customer journey—e.g. new customers or to lapsed customers as part of a re-engagement campaign— prompting subscribers to provide valuable data.
Implementing data for personalization: Successful preference centers offer a user-friendly interface and clearly explain the benefits of providing information. Collecting zero-party data through interactive content like surveys and polls within your emails can also be an engaging way to learn more about your subscribers to  enhance personalization.

The takeaway: Encourage subscribers to fill in preference centers during sign-up or through periodic prompts in your emails. Leverage dynamic email content to provide personalized experiences and track user behavior to continually optimize your email strategies.

Then, use the collected data to refine your segmentation and personalize future email campaigns.

Myth 3: Only B2C marketers use email personalization and it only works for promotions

Why this myth exists

Personalization is often associated with B2C tactics like product recommendations and promotional offers, leading to the misconception that it doesn’t apply to B2B marketing.

Busting the myth

Marketers from all industries and business types can achieve significant success with personalization by leveraging data segmentation,automation, and dynamic content. By adopting these strategies, B2B marketers can create impactful, personalized email campaigns:

B2B email personalization: B2B brands can harness personalization by segmenting email lists based on organization size or type, industry, and user preferences. Automation tools can tailor messages with dynamic content based on these parameters,enhancing relevance and engagement.
Examples: Use cases could include personalized account-based marketing emails and segmentation based on company size or industry needs. Live dynamic email personalization features like countdown timers can be used to promote events like webinars, new product features, or announcements. Add-to-calendar links can help you garner better meeting attendance by allowing subscribers to add bookings directly to their calendars from the email. Litmus uses live polls to gain better insight into who our audiences are and what types of email content they prefer.

The takeaway: There is no shortage of opportunities to personalize email in B2B email marketing. Leverage the different tactics and email personalization features to your advantage to make your emails feel like truly personal experiences.

Myth 4: Live email content just makes an email look cool; they don’t lead to business success

Why this myth exists

Some believe that dynamic content is merely a visual enhancement without substantial impact on business outcomes. The assumption is that things like live polls, countdown timers, and personalized images are just there to make emails look pretty, but they don’t offer improved email marketing strategies.

Busting the myth

Dynamic content goes beyond aesthetics, driving real business results by enticing subscribers to take action and ultimately increasing engagement and conversions. With proven success rates, marketers can trust that dynamic content is a valuable investment that enhances the effectiveness of their email campaigns. Here’s what we know about dynamic email content.

Engagement and conversions: Dynamic content significantly boosts engagement and conversion rates. By leveraging fun, engaging, email content that is personalized to each subscriber, email recipients feel valued and more driven  to interact with your brand.
Benefits of personalization:  At Litmus, we’ve seen email teams who leverage email personalization with Litmus Personalize drive these real results:

A 45% increase in conversion rate
A 49% increase in average order value
A 96% increase in revenue

The takeaway: Don’t just create personalized emails for the sake of making things “look good.” You have a real opportunity to establish and nurture strong relationships by customizing content for your subscribers and customers. The data shows there’s true business value in personalized email.

Deliver 1:1 experiences your subscribers expect

In just a few clicks, you can create live email elements—like Live Polls, Scratch-Offs, and Countdown Timers—that are proven to improve email engagement and effectiveness.

Myth 5: It’s difficult to measure hyper-personalized email success

Why this myth exists:

The complexity of hyper-personalization can make marketers skeptical about the feasibility of measuring its success accurately.

Busting the myth

With a plethora of metrics and analytics tools available, measuring the success of hyper-personalized emails is more accessible than ever. By leveraging these tools and conducting A/B tests, marketers can gain clear insights into the effectiveness of their personalized elements, enabling continual optimization. Here are some considerations:

Metrics and tools: Various metrics and tools are available to measure the impact of hyper-personalized emails, from click-through rates to conversion rates and revenue attribution. Litmus Personalize, for example, offers a range of analytics to help you see how subscribers respond to or interact with your personalized elements.
A/B testing: A/B testing different personalization elements allows you to identify what resonates most with your audience. Use these insights to continually refine your approach.
Successful measurement: Track and analyze data to optimize future campaigns. Regularly review performance metrics to ensure your personalization efforts are driving the desired outcomes.

The takeaway: Focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to your goals and use email analytics tools to gather actionable insights and monitor which content garners engagement within your emails.

Myth 6: Email personalization is hard to do at scale

Why this myth exists

The perceived complexity of scaling personalized email campaigns leads many to believe it’s an unmanageable task.

Busting the myth

Scaling personalized email campaigns is achievable with the right tools and strategies—like Litmus Personalize–and data segmentation makes it possible to deliver personalized content to large audiences efficiently. Marketers can streamline their processes to ensure scalability without sacrificing personalization quality.

Data and tools: Access to data and the right tools can simplify the process of scaling personalized email campaigns. Personalization platforms–like Litmus Personalize– can handle large volumes of personalized emails efficiently by making it as quick and easy as possible to define and build the different email experiences you want for each unique audience or subscriber, while alleviating the need to create separate emails for each.
Examples: Examples include automated drip campaigns, dynamic content blocks tailored based on unique subscriber parameters like product preferences or location,and proven engagement tactics like scratch-offs and countdown timers.

The takeaway: Streamline and automate your email processes. Use segmentation and automation efficiencies within personalization platforms to ensure personalized content reaches the right audience at the right time, regardless of scale.

Email personalization is vital, but can be done simply

By debunking these common myths, we can see that email personalization is not only feasible but also incredibly valuable for driving engagement and conversions.

Embrace personalized email strategies to build better relationships with your audience and achieve greater marketing success.

The future of email marketing lies in personalization. Don’t let misconceptions hold you back

Make a connection with perfectly personalized emails

Captivate subscribers with live email content that is personalized the moment it’s opened and delight them by delivering the right message at the right time with behavioral targeting.

The post 10 Myths About Email Personalization BUSTED! How to Win with Personalized Emails appeared first on Litmus.


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