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Email personalization bloopers

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday October 2, 2008 )

While personalization of emails is a great way of adding a human touch, sometimes it can do the exact opposite.

Personalizing an email campaign with the recipient’s name in the subject line and body can (sometimes) help boost open rates and responses; but working with databases can be tricky and create unexpected results.

For example, I received the following email from one of Australia’s largest electronic retailers a couple of days ago which opened with:

“Dear 4878603,”

.. wow, that made me feel really special :). I guess that was my account number or signup id number. I pity the person who scored the ID of 666 – they are probably booking themselves in for therapy or exorcism right now.

My focus was entirely that I was just a number to them and I couldn’t tell you anything about the rest of the email.

So, while everyone wants their email to get noticed, not all attention is create equal. However, on the bright side, it’s somewhat comforting to know that even the biggest and brightest occasionally screw up :).

Moral of the story (and one I need to remember myself from time to time) – always test your email campaigns before doing a live send.


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