Just 10 percent of email marketers individualize all aspects of their email campaigns. That includes personalizing the salutation, images, timing and promotions, according to a survey of nearly 300 marketing executives by the Direct Marketing Association.
A majority (64 percent) of those surveyed by DMA said lack of sufficient time and resources was the biggest obstacle to achieving that level of personalization in their email campaigns. Others cited barriers, including having limited information about customers and the lack of integrated data.
According to another survey, 44 percent of marketers were found to personalize some part of their email campaigns. This was conducted by Responsys, an email services provider.
In the Responsys survey, 89 percent of those polled said they plan to increase their use of personalization in the future. But with almost 40 percent of them limiting their use of personalized elements to email salutations, personalization has a long way to go before it fully delivers on its promise, the Responsys analysts conclude.
"Research shows that relevant campaigns increase net profits 18 times more than broadcast mailings," says Scott Olrich, the company's chief marketing officer. "Unfortunately, marketers can't achieve relevance by personalizing just a single element of a campaign."
Driving campaign results requires the individualization of the entire marketing message, based on customer profiles, preferences and behavior across channels, Olrich says. In another study, 44 percent of online retailers said they plan to implement more highly automated campaigns, while 39 percent said they hoped to launch multichannel marketing campaigns that span email, print, websites, call centers and mobile devices.
Personalization of websites can be valuable in converting browsers to buyers, and it can also feed merchants with valuable information for personalized email campaigns.
"Best in class retailers today are increasingly sophisticated in the ways they monitor online customer behavior through analytics, and utilize that information to feed personalization back to their customer facing applications," says John Lovett, research analyst for the Aberdeen Group's ecommerce practice. His company found that 65 percent of successful retailers deploy applications such as search and analytics to personalize sites for unique customers and customer segments, to improve the experience and the bottom line.
Some information in this article was edited from InternetRetailer.com.
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