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Can Personalization and Marketing Automation Play Well Together?


It doesn’t seem like marketing automation and personalization would go well together. Automation seems about as impersonal as it gets. But actually, automation is what allows you to implement personalization on a large scale, and in today’s marketplace, that’s essential for success.

Remember the garish, flashing banner ads you used to see on online? They had nothing to do with your personal interests or tastes, making them impersonal and, well, rather blunt. They did little to spark your interest, and even less to keep it because they weren’t customized towards your particular needs. Cut to today where any ad you see is based on your previous search history and buying patterns. It’s advertising that makes sense for you because it’s built on the very actions that you take. It’s easy to see how personalized marketing makes for a better return on investment

Together, personalization and automation can get you the results you’re after, and help you resonate more with your audiences. Let’s dig deeper to uncover why. 

Emails Must Be Personalized 

Let’s talk subject lines for a minute. Email subject lines are like first impressions. They’re the first thing your subscribers see and therefore are a major deciding factor in whether or not your email gets opened. Emails with a personalized subject line have a 22 percent increased chance of being opened, and on average, personalized email subject lines lead to a 50 percent higher open rate. And since your emails need to be opened in order to be effective, then it’s quite simple: your emails must be personalized. 

With the right marketing automation software, however, you can personalize subject lines en masse. When people opt-in to your email marketing, they provide you with their names and emails. This allows you to use your email provider and marketing automation software to place an email recipient’s first name into the subject line by inserting a custom field. It’s easy, and there’s really no reason not to do it.

Segmentation Boosts Email Open Rates

Segmentation and personalization are similar, but not identical. Knowing the differences and how to use each can further boost your email message open rates. Segmentation ensures that the content of that personalized email makes sense for that recipient. Suppose you sell sporting goods and are having a big sale on tennis gear. Sending personalized messages to people who have indicated a primary interest in softball is unlikely to lead to many sales.

You can use marketing automation software to segment contacts in terms of:


Pair that with personalization, and you’re likelier to end up with the scenario where recipients receive emails addressed to them that actually speak to their needs and interests.

Marketing Automation Software Helps You Time Outreach 

Timing is a critical component of marketing outreach, and marketing automation software can help.

Not only does marketing automation software help you with things like segmenting and personalizing emails, but it also performs another critical task. In essence, it enables you to time your messages for optimum lead nurture. With custom workflows that auto-send personalized messages on a schedule or after a triggering event, you can seriously boost conversions

Measure Outcomes for Continued Improvement

Another terrific advantage of marketing automation software is that it helps you to measure outcomes systematically so you can make sense of them. Successful email marketing (or any other kind of marketing, for that matter) is a strategy of continual improvement because what worked last year may be superseded by something else this year. Measuring your outcomes and testing new approaches is the only sure way to determine what works. It also keeps you ahead of the curve so your marketing tactics don’t become outdated and less engaging.

Personalizing email messages according to user devices, geographic locations, recipient qualifications, and other parameters, as well as segmenting messages depending on your products, helps ensure the right person receives a relevant message at precisely the right time. Trying to do this manually would be impossible, but marketing automation software is up to the task.

It almost seems ironic that automation could allow for better personalization, but that is, in fact, the case, and you’d be remiss not to take advantage of it. 


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