The essentials of personalised marketing — SwiftERM

David Swift
7 min readAug 11, 2022


The essentials of personalised marketing. Personalisation has changed marketing from the bottom up, improving the customer experience, and, in turn, making businesses more profitable. Yet, many companies continue to fail at implementation. It is important to appreciate the benefits of personalisation to ecommerce. Less appreciative people settle for adding a first name to email subject lines, and believe that the personalisation box is ticked. Some are so confused they don’t even try. So here, we will try toclear up some questions surrounding personalisation, and what it takes to get right.

What is marketing personalisation?

Marketing personalisation or one-to-one marketing, is the practice of using data to deliver brand messages targeted to an individual prospect. This method differs from traditional marketing, which mostly relied on casting a wide net to earn a small number of customers. With billboards, cold calls, segmented emails, and more, traditional marketing emphasised quantity of messages over their relevance. Analytics has become much more sophisticated and data on individual prospects grown exponentially. Today, marketers take advantage of both to deliver prospects the most relevant message at the ideal time.

Why personalised marketing?

If you’re a traditional marketing mind, you may wonder why businesses are out with the old and in with the new. In plain terms, it started with consumers, who, after years of bombardment with irrelevant marketing emails, began tuning out.

They hung up on the telemarketer, they flipped the channel as meaningless ads permeated their lives: in cars, offices, even homes. Soon, they couldn’t escape the feeling that businesses didn’t really want to help solve their problems. Businesses wanted to make money, even if it meant interrupting a family dinner or the Super Bowl. That perception lingers today. Research shows that 63% of consumers are highly annoyed with the way brands continue to blast generic advertising messages repeatedly.

What customers want, instead, is marketing personalisation. According to an Epsilon survey of 1,000 consumers aged 18–64:

  • 80% say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalised experiences.
  • 90% claim they find personalisation appealing.

More than half of consumers even say they’re willing to hand over their personal information, so long as you use it to benefit them. So, how do you use it to benefit them?

Marketing personalisation strategies

It’s not easy to determine the benefits your customers are seeking at any moment. The reason, primarily, is that those specific benefits vary from situation to situation, business to business. However, there are three common strategies that every brand can build of off of to ensure they create a strong personalised marketing plan:

Your personalisation strategy should span every device and channel, and your CRM should reflect anything you’ve learned about your prospect along the way. Avoid scenarios like those above, and instead, aim to know exactly what your prospects have done, the kind of messaging they’ve responded to, the type of content they like, their communication preferences, and more.

If you know they read a lot of your content on social media marketing, send them more content about social media marketing. Send them blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, and tip sheets. If they’ve already bought your product, make them aware of newer versions, bug fixes, use cases that help them take advantage of its full potential. Successful personalisation in the funnel is like playing chess. You have to think several moves ahead.

Benefits of personalised marketing

The preceding are strategies, and when you start perfecting them, tweaking them with more data, your customers start to see the following benefits, which apply to all businesses:

On a broad scale, this could be blog posts optimised for popular keyword search terms throughout each stage of the marketing funnel. On a more granular level, it may look like a chat module that allows your business to respond to customer issues immediately. The sooner you make yourself available, the better, research has found. According to a study on lead response time, the chance of converting a lead is 100x greater if contacted within five minutes. The more data you gather, and the deeper you dig, the more you’ll discover what your leads are looking for when they make contact. And once you’ve done that, you can serve them what they need the moment they need it.

The tools for personalisation

The biggest challenge of personalisation is scaling it. Obviously, no matter how many people work in your marketing department, you can’t manually create an email for every customer. You can’t manually create an ad for every prospect. But, you have to maintain that appearance, and that requires the right tools. For starters, here’s what you’ll need:

That user data could be, for example, age, household income, browsing habits, purchasing behaviour, demographics, location, device, and more. Then, the DMP can analyze the performance of those segments and assist in the optimisation of future campaigns.

Consumers say they’re more likely to respond well to an email if it looks like it’s made for them. Dynamic content can accomplish this, as can segmenting, but twenty times less effectively as it is with triggered email solutions too. And it doesn’t even have to be that complicated. If a consumer receives an email that is unique to their own personal relationship with your site, you should appreciate the power this has over the very best alternative, showing them anything else.

Personalised marketing examples

“Personalisation” gets used a lot in blog posts, reports — too much, maybe. It’s become a buzzword with muddled meaning. Some hear it and think name in subject line. Others think it more to do with algorithms so powerful they identify expecting mothers from buying behaviour. Really, the best personalisation lands somewhere between the two. Simply unique to the individual to which your message is being addressed.

Consider this email from footwear retailer Eves and Gray from email personalisation software solution SwiftERM. Addressed to a named individual yes (to satisfy those mentioned earlier) but then less appreciated — at first glance, is that every product in the content is a ranking of highest buying propensity based on both previous buying history and navigation, clicks, lack of clicks, prior email content response etc. If they lookout at it last week and then got this today, it satisfies so many possibilities as to why that purchase didn’t;t go through, especially if this included the previous buying pattern into the consideration by the algorithm.

Digital advertising

When creating any form of internet advertising, personalisation is paramount. Internet users respond to relevance and trust. Anything outside of that won’t earn conversions.

To establish relevance and trust through personalisation, every campaign’s ad and post-click landing page must match. That means headline, imagery, logos, and brand colors. Together, these reinforce your brand identity and assure visitors that they’re in the right place while delivering what was promised in the advertisement.


Today, businesses can work marketing magic with email. Messages via this channel are non-invasive, they’re easily consumable, and they’re also highly customisable. Using dynamic content, email subscribers can receive offers uniquely tailored to their demographics, psychographics, firmographics and behaviour. Here’s a great example of dynamic content from Sephora, which has this particular campaign set to deliver one email if the recipient has spent more than $200, and another if they don’t.

Social media

While it was once one-way photo and text-blasting to followers, social media has become highly personalised. Likely, you’re familiar with Facebook’s “trending” bar, which is tailored to the behaviour of prospects. Its Meta Pixel is also one of the most powerful retargeting tools in marketing. Implanting it on the back-end of a web page allows marketers to target people on Facebook who didn’t convert.

Other examples of increasing personalisation are Snapchat’s geofilters and games, Twitter accounts dedicated to individualised customer support, and recently, Instagram’s newest emoji slider feature, which allows account holders to poll their followers. In that poll (pictured below), the emoji can be slid from left to right to indicate how strongly a user agrees or disagrees. That information can then be used for more personalized content in the future.

Start implementing your own personalised marketing

McKinsey research shows personalisation reduces acquisition costs as much as 50%, lifts revenues by 5–15%, and increases the efficiency of marketing spend by 10–30%. On the flipside:

Understand the motivation behind personalisation and take a trial with SwiftERM, the most robust post-click automation SaaS available for your platform. It can be used as either a stand-alone email facility for SMEs or used by Enterprise retailers to complement their existing ESP for massive amounts of otherwise lost opportunity.

Originally published at on August 11, 2022.



David Swift

Founder & CEO of SwiftERM the personalization SaaS. Microsoft partners.