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Guest Post: How to win customers and influence people through personalization


By now, personalization is kind of old news. So old, we knew about the benefits back in 2013 when the below graph was made:

We are at the dawn of an era where the average customer is savvy enough to recognize cheap marketing ploys. Just like banner blindness, simple personalization blindness is setting in. You will have noticed it in your open and click through rates and maybe even take-up rates. So how do you combat this I hear you ask as you sit eagerly at the edge of your seat? Let me show you in 5 easy, powerful and not so commonly used steps.

STEP 1: Forget rich HTML emails.

In my experience simple, two to three sentence emails like the one below from founders have 50% better engagement than rich HTML templates.

Note the following awesomeness in the below email template:

  1. Use of an image that links to the ‘about’ section of the site
  2. Thoughtful copy, respecting the user’s time
  3. One text hyperlink with desired call to action
  4. Very nice aesthetically pleasing spacing between sentences
  5. Asks a question – to elicit a response
  6. Has a phone number in the footer
  7. A headshot in the footer

For bonus points: I would have like to see a link in the signature for a service like or or to allow the user to schedule a time to chat. But a solid 9/10 for this – well done Jason!

STEP 2: Make landing pages relate to your ad / email


Love the consistent colors, fonts and reaffirmation of the free offer originally called out. Remember user expectations begin to be set from the outset, the less you confuse them or cause any anxiety about the process, the better.

Also, what a wonderfully simple form – designed to capture the essential info of a customer.

For bonus points: I would love to see the people from the original ad on the landing page, and a stronger call out of the free offer. Also, less text – as it is quite heavy and cumbersome to read (makes me think of onerous terms and conditions).


STEP 3: Devices matter – don’t just be responsive, be respectful


Users do not have the same intention when browsing on mobile to browsing on desktop or tablet. That much is beyond dispute. Think about it; if you’re on a train you may be on your mobile browsing a clothing site, but you will not have time/privacy/trust to get out your credit card and make the purchase online right there and then. Instead, what you will most likely do is save the things you are interested in and revisit the site from work or from home.

Knowing this, why do most retailers try and force their shoppers into that funnel on mobile?! The experience should be different i.e. it should not be a responsive version of your desktop site.

This is good: Offer a way for users to subscribe when they scroll to the bottom of pages (no exit intent detection here!)

This is good: shortlisting and “starring” ability is paramount on mobile. Make it easy to search and view quick summaries.


STEP 4:  Be Different: Personalized Images and ASCII

How cool is – you can make actual personalized images for your user base to thank them for signing up, clicking or ordering just by using an email merge field in the image URL.

Not only that, you get to track views of the image in your dash.


So you’ve thought about sending your customers some images of your product? Say a lounge chair like this?

Interesting, well this may or may not be shown to users if they haven’t got image rendering enabled in their browser. But, using – you can now send them this:


Cool right?! The ASCII will actually be text which will immediately render in emails and look very innovative.

STEP 5: Actually be personal – do some stalking

Alright, say you just had a “whale” of a customer come through and order $5,000 where your Average Order Value would typically be $100. Why not go onto twitter, find out that they are a fan of the Jets and send them a Jets jersey? I can’t claim this tip, it is actually Garry V’s – but still super relevant and personal!


Boris Gefter – Founder of STACK CRM

LinkedIn Profile

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