Marketing Personalization … 10 Examples to Study

We have written several articles on using great customer experience to create market differentiation and market branding. Today, we will explore the use of marketing personalization action to create WOW from your customers to create a stronger brand.

marketing personalization action
marketing personalization action

Observe carefully: Visual Content … 13 Remarkable Marketing Examples to Study


Have you ever used customer personalization to improve the experiences your customers receive from your business? If so, have you noticed its impact on your market branding? The process of personalization is amazingly powerful:


In a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers tested the effects that mints had a control group (where no mints were given) to measure their effectiveness in increasing tips (think of tips as a measure of great customer experience).


The results were surprising, to say the least:


  • The first group studied had waiters giving mints along with the check, making no mention of the mints themselves. This increased tips by around 3%against the control group.


  • The second group had waiters bring out twomints by hand (separate from the check), and they mentioned them to the table (i.e., “Would anyone like some mints before they leave?”). This saw tips increase by about 14% against the control group.


  • The last group had waiters bring out the check first along with a few mints. A short time afterward, the waiters came back with anotherset of mints and let customers know they had brought out more mints, in case they wanted another.


That last group is where waiters saw a 21% increase in tips… yet they still were bringing out only two mints.


The researchers found that it was the perceived personalization of bringing out the second set of mints and mentioning it to customers (“Hey, I thought I might see if all of you are satisfied or if someone could use an extra mint.”) that made the difference.


Our takeaway: It wasn’t the mints; it was the personalized experience that they created. It made it clear to customers that the waiter was thinking of them.

Be sure to incorporate this into your offering: How can you follow up with customers in a personalized manner with free support, training, or reward for trying out your product or service?


The power of personalization is not only important in helping you understand how to create repeat customers, but also how to keep your customers incredibly satisfied and supportive of your business market branding offering.


Check out these examples to learn more.


personalized marketing campaigns
Personalized marketing campaigns.

Marketing personalization … Taylor Swift


The fan named Ashley Silvers — who has seen Swift in concert eight times — tweeted on Saturday, along with photos of the flowers and a hand-written note by the singer.

The 27-year-old singer’s message was personally addressed, starting off, “Ashley, Hi love! I’m so sad that I can’t make it to your graduation party!



She applauded the graduate, continuing, “I’m so proud of you, your hard work and dedication, your excitement and ambition. I’m very lucky that a girl like you cares about me.”

The sweet card also included an illustration of the New York skyline with a stick figure labeled, “You!” The card concluded, “Sending you my love and hugs (and to your family!). Love, Taylor.”



Personalized marketing examples … JetBlue

Oh, JetBlue. You shouldn’t have. JetBlue, my favorite airline by far.


This anniversary email highlights a creative example of a brand using something as simple as a date to provide a standout experience. Much like a birthday shout out, JetBlue used my colleague’s account creation date to trigger a personalized email to celebrate the fact that they’ve been “emailing for 365 days now.”


If you’re a HubSpot customer, this is an easy email to replicate for your contacts through fixed date or property-based workflows. This approach allows you to base your workflow on a calendar date or contact property date so you can send anniversary emails, digital birthday cards, renewal reminders, etc. And if your business is sending a high volume of these emails, we also offer the Transactional Email Add-On.


Personalized marketing campaigns … Live Nation

I’ll admit, there are a few loose ends I haven’t gotten around to tying up since moving to Boston this year — my Live Nation account information being one of them.

So while this email reflects my Connecticut roots, it still serves as a great example of how to use location information to provide a customized email experience. Rather than highlighting any old shows, Live Nation pulled events from a venue in my hometown — a location that I’ve purchased tickets for many times in the past.


By making it easy for me to quickly visualize what’s headed to the area and when Live Nation can lower the barrier between me and the point of purchase.

This type of personalization could be extremely beneficial for a company looking to deliver more relevant messages to international leads or existing customers. (For more tips on reaching international audiences, check out this article from our VP of Localization Nataly Kelly.)



Here’s another great personalized email example that leverages a user’s interests to provide a relevant, value-packed message.

The copy of this email is particularly effective because it frames the personalization in a way that makes the recipient feel like they’re being rewarded for their usage. For example, phrases like “top listener” and “be the first to get access” lend themselves to a sense of exclusivity — making the user feel important.


The email also closes with a written call-to-action that encourages the recipient to listen to Charles Kelley’s new song on Spotify. Again, this push helps to ensure that the user is actively using the streaming service, and therefore continuously reminded of the value.


Customized marketing examples … Amazon 

This year, my team and I dressed up as the dancing pumpkin man from this viral video. Before opting to DIY our orange masks, my colleague, Lindsay, set out on an Amazon search to find us the real deal.

Within just a couple of days, she received this personalized email from Amazon featuring “products similar to ‘full face plastic pumpkin masks.'” (Some of them are quite scary, aren’t they?)

This email serves as a great example of how to use a contact’s search behavior to re-engage them with your company, and hopefully move them closer to a sale.



personalized marketing examples
Personalized marketing examples.

To keep my colleague pinning, Pinterest sent her this personalized email. Based on her past activity on the site, the social network provided some suggestions for other topics she may want to explore. (Butter, Lauren Conrad, and cheese … I like your style, Ginny.)


And given that she is currently in the process of planning a yellow-themed wedding, I’d say the results were pretty accurate.

What we love most about the email is its simplicity. It offers up just six topics, which is enough to interest the recipient without overwhelming them, and the copy is quick, friendly, and clear.



One of my colleagues received this email example from Dropbox a while back, but it still serves as a strong example of how to use behavioral triggers to improve the user experience.

After logging in on multiple devices, Dropbox sent this friendly email reminding her of a product feature she didn’t know existed. Without much effort, this made her experience using Dropbox infinitely better and more efficient.


By educating your visitors on how to use your product or service based on their behaviors properly, it helps to improve retention — and can even encourage potential upgrades. Think about it: The more she used Dropbox, the more storage she’d likely need, right?

Consider what makes your product or service sticky and set up workflows that remind leads and customers how to take advantage of those sticky features.



There are a few things we love about the personalization work in this email from ModCloth. If you’re an e-commerce marketer, you’ll want to pay close attention to the details of this email.

First, the language in this email is well tailored to the target persona. For instance, the subject line of this email was, “Eek — something you like is almost sold out!” You might even notice a smiley face emoticon further down in the message copy. Personalizing your tone and language in your email marketing is just as important as the apt use of dynamic tags and proper segmentation.

Second, the tactic they’re using to deploy this message — triggered by on-site behavior  — makes it easy for the recipient to understand how it specifically pertains to them. In this case, the email was sent to remind my colleague of a dress she’d added to her shopping bag that was almost out of stock. This approach could prove to be incredibly useful for e-commerce marketers around the holiday season to encourage shoppers to take action before key holiday shipping dates.

(Want all the important 2015 holiday marketing deadlines at your fingertips? Download this free calendar.)



Am I the only one that spends more time looking for a movie on Netflix than I do watching it?

Aware that its database can be overwhelming, Netflix regularly sends out these personalized emails that suggest movies for its users. (If you want to learn more about the science behind the Netflix algorithms, you can brush up on it here.)

By providing a custom recommendation, Netflix helps ensure that users actively see the value of their subscription. In other words, it keeps them watching, which ultimately keeps them paying.

This approach could be applied to some marketing materials — ebooks, webinars, blog articles, etc. For example, if you find that someone downloaded an ebook on social media tips, you may want to set up a workflow that triggers a follow-up email that suggests they check out your social media guide on SlideShare.

More to learn: Learning from 2 of the Best Marketing Strategy Case Studies



Birchbox is a company that’s fixated on personalization in all the right ways — and all it takes is one glance at the header of this email to see why it’s effective.

By transparently admitting that they took a peek at my sample and purchase history before crafting this email, I already get the sense that what comes next will likely be relevant to me … and it was.

Check out our article on Birchbox here.


The bottom line


To be effective in this new era, we as marketers need to see our jobs differently. No more just focusing on metrics like clicks, video views or social media shares. We must successfully integrate our function with other business functions to create entire brand experiences that serve the customer all the way through their experiences throughout the business.


We can do better. Much better. But first, we need to stop seeing ourselves as crafters of clever brand messages and become creators of positive brand experiences.



Need some help in building better customer trust from your customer engagement? Creative ideas to help grow your customer relationships?


Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job and pay for results.

Call Mike at 607-725-8240.


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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn.  


Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.


More reading on marketing  strategy from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

13 Extraordinary Marketing Lessons from Taylor Swift

7 Secrets to the Lego Blog Marketing Campaigns … Effective Marketing?

14 Jaw-Dropping Guerilla Marketing Lessons and Examples


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Marketing Personalization … 10 Examples to Study