Marketing Fail – Automated Personalization

shutterfly-failA benefit of big data is the ability to use pieces of information that is collected to personalize e-marketing or direct mail. Case studies have shown that people will respond better when the message is tailored to them rather than generic. It is especially effective when trying to make an emotional connection with the target.

However, it is very important not to rely on automated personalization straight from your data pull.

For example, social media platforms and vendors who allow uploading of photos often utilize them in their e-marketing offers. Think Facebook, JibJab, Shutterfly and other like vendors who have access to the pics you have uploaded.

Case in point: pictured here is an email from a major photo gift vendor. As a marketing message about making your story sparkle, the unfortunate pic from their automated system was a tombstone from one of my grandparents.  Ewww!  Having made a book for my aunt of our trip to the cemetery to show my daughter where her grandmother’s family rested, this gives a somber tone to a holiday card, right?

In the rush to use collected data and to automate the process, be sure that you do these three things:

  • Profile your perfect target for your marketing offer
  • Determine what additional data for personalization you can use to hit an emotional chord
  • Test the personalization to ensure that the data pulled fits the message for a positive emotional reaction

moneyperkssampleHere is a good example of using the Rewards Points from the data of a client to personalize an email offer to get the member excited to use their points. First, the profiles of members with different levels of rewards points were used to create a reminder of the value with redemption ideas. The second step was to make it more personal by pulling a first name and the points earned to date for each member. Finally, in a test run of the personalization from the data pulled, we found names of Trusts in the first name position which we were able to clean up using pivot tables in Excel.

The benefit of the three-step process helps to ensure your great marketing idea for reaching out to members is not undermined by unforeseen data misses.

For assistance in personalizing your marketing, contact LemmonTree to help you gain the most out of your marketing budget with on target solutions at

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