Alex Hammond

6 min read

The top five marketing personalization strategies

Want to know the best way to use personalization in your next marketing campaign? Let’s take five examples of how businesses target customers to boost their marketing ROI.

  1. The simplest form of personalization we see day-to-day is what is called {{ FNAME }} ( – a bit of code that adds your name to an email subject line. It’s been around for ages and its efficiency is failing. Studies show that it can be effective, but you should see it as a basic practice these days.

  2. Tracking online behaviour and serving relevant advertising is another form of personalization. Unless you block cookies, they will monitor your journey around the web and trigger subsequent marketing messages that arrive either as an email sequence or a cross-channel nurturing campaign.

  3. Personalization based on user-provided data is like tracking but uses data you have actively provided. Various sources will collect your personal details, career information, and maybe even your hobbies and general interests, and then sell or share that data. If you are in the market for a 2-bed North London apartment, a business may use that information to tailor a marketing campaign towards you.

  4. Your reaction and response to previous personalized campaigns, and the resulting success or failure metrics, may inform a subsequent marketing strategy. If you replied to a WhatsApp marketing message but failed to open the same message on email, a business may measure those actions and use them to further fine-tune you as a customer.

  5. Personalization through images or video is sometimes used to present your data in a more engaging way. It may show you a product you have viewed online, or might represent data, such as the color of the car you purchased last year, in a customer retention campaign. The more relevant and astonishing the image, the better. [link to another blog]

All this personalization is based on data: your data. Your web history, preferences, circumstances – and a whole lot more – are rows upon rows of words and numbers in spreadsheets floating around in the clouds. However valuable this data is, the real key is how a business uses it. Algorithms, machine learning and a world of seriously clever – if not, frightening – analysis can take your data to make assumptions and decisions that guide a marketing process.

But, as privacy movements fight against big organizations harvesting data, survey results suggest that 57% of respondents are fine with providing personal information on a website so long as it benefits them, and business use it in responsible ways.

There is a movement that returns to a marketing strategy of previous generations and shows signs of being a major driver in online commerce. Personalization is the start, but the real challenge is creating a brand that we want in our lives.

Your local butcher on main street might know your name, your kids, what you like doing at the weekend and how often you entertain guests – and, therefore, what products you want to buy. It’s unlikely you’d seriously object to him knowing this ‘data’ about you, as there is likely to be a form of reciprocal knowledge, a mutual appreciation of the butcher’s ‘products’, and a broad ethos alignment.

While we will never turn our backs on e-commerce, we will intensify our scrutiny of brands. We will demand to know more about brands as a business: their ideology, environmental impact, and who they are as people. If those brands or organizations align with us as segmented consumers, we will be happier to engage with them.

This will be our way of choosing who gets our attention, who is permitted to know and use our data, and who, fundamentally, is worthy of our money.

Alex Hammond Founder of

Personalized photos: the next level of marketing personalization.

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