Beating Email Fatigue with Smart Personalization

Liad Agmon on how marketers can balance the need to deliver high impact email campaigns with positive customer experiences.

Director of Marketing, Dynamic Yield

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Email is this one area where there is a lot of debate internally within our customers about creatives, about the message. How do I send my customers a hundred emails a year without sounding repetitive? What we are pushing our customers to do is to use the same technologies they use for ad serving and for the onsite optimization within emails. You want to send a few variations of the content, and to have an algorithm decide in real-time when the email is opened what content do I show each individual user. We encourage them to connect their CRM data to the merchandising within emails. The nice thing about email is that you have the email of the customer, which means that I can connect them to my CRM and I know all their purchase history. Can you do merchandising based on history of purchases? It's gonna be much more efficient than some merchandiser deciding, oh, I want to show five shirts for all my customers. So adding algorithms to the world of email has created, for our customers, not only an increase in CTRs, but we measure attribution, also viewability attribution. Because I can open the email when I'm on the road, I'm not gonna go and click and transact right now, 'cause I'm busy, but if the email was compelling and I saw compelling products, I'm gonna go back home afterward and I'm gonna make a transaction on the desktop. So if you can do the attribution between the email opens and the transaction on a desktop, suddenly you can start measuring the impact of your email campaigns in a much more efficient way, because realistically email campaigns don't have more than a single digit CTR, but the economic impact is bigger.


It’s still a reigning champion when it comes to the channel marketers turn to for the highest return on investment. In fact, 58% of marketers planned to increase their spend on email marketing this year.

But with that comes a pressure to increase the amount of emails sent in order to deliver on revenue, and the risk of sounding repetitive to customers who may receive upwards of one hundred plus emails a year. We found 19% of consumers receive upwards of 15+ emails a day from a bevy of different retailers!

So, how can a marketer balance the need to deliver high impact email campaigns with positive customer experiences? Once again, the answer lies in delivering the right content to the right user at just the right time.

Applying Familiar Technologies to Email Marketing

As consumers everywhere have grown tired of generic online experiences, technology has evolved to help marketers better match the needs of their customers through personalization.

The emergence of dynamic creative has allowed advertisers to produce more relevant experiences by leveraging data to serve specific ad creative to specific segments of audiences. And onsite optimization has made it possible to tailor highly targeted and engaging messages to visitors based on past behavioral data and preferences.

It should be no surprise then, that the technologies we now rely on to test the effectiveness of our ad serving and onsite experiences, can also be used within our email marketing strategies.

Connecting Data to Real-Time Creative

While creative and message are crucial to a successful email campaign, without the right data to support the variety of content you create, a marketer is really just taking a shot in the dark. 

Thankfully, because we have a customer’s email, we can connect them to our CRM, unlock valuable information about their purchase history, and build custom content for key segments.

But as consumers continue to interact with a brand over the course of campaign creation--across touchpoints, channels, and devices--how can we tap into the constant flow of customer data available to us in order to produce the most relevant, up-to-date experiences for them?

The nature of this real-time feat can be solved by yet another familiar technology, that of the trusty algorithm.

Let the Algorithm Decide

Let’s say a marketer wants to send a few content variations of a particular email...  

The decision-making process behind what content is shown to each individual user becomes largely more powerful when an algorithm is employed to apply real-time data at the point of open.

That way, if a customer interacts with a brand in a meaningful way after the point of the email’s initial creation, they will still be served the most relevant content based on the freshest data available about that individual.  

The same ideology can be applied to merchandising within emails.

It will be much more efficient for a merchandiser to connect CRM and purchase level data to their campaigns rather than show five of the same shirts to an entire customer list.

Compelling Offers Transcend the Customer Journey

While a recipient might open an email during their commute, it doesn’t always ensure a click or transaction in that present moment. This break in the customer journey has become a dreaded fear for most marketers. Though, if the content or products featured in the email are compelling enough, the likelihood that individual goes back to make a transaction via their desktop once at home increases dramatically.

"Remember, realistically, email campaigns don't have more than a single digit CTR, but the economic impact is bigger." - Liad Agmon

And suddenly, as you begin to measure attribution between email opens and desktop transactions, you can better understand the impact of your email campaigns in a much more efficient way.