Personalization: How Email Marketers Will Win the Inbox in 2020

December 20, 2019

Personalization: How Email Marketers Will Win the Inbox in 2020

The year is almost over and we’re feeling reflective. What were the winning strategies for email marketers in 2019? And which email marketing strategies will shape the year to come?

“Personalization” is how Sailthru’s SVP of Marketing Jason Grunberg would answer both of those questions. That’s because personalization works. Last year, Boston Consulting Group predicted that companies fully invested in personalization would outsell their competitors by 30%. 

Speaking on Tinuiti’s 2020 Digital Performance Marketing webinar series, Jason said, “I liken it to where mobile was a few years ago. Mobile wasn’t necessarily making up the majority of traffic so many organizations would think about it after the fact. The top-performing organizations now think mobile-first. ‘Is this dark mode ready? Is this going to work for users who are coming to us from devices?'”


Jason believes email marketers can implement personalization in the earliest stages of the customer journey, something top performers in our annual Retail Personalization Index already do. Of the 250 retailers we evaluated, 47% use sign-up data to personalize their welcome emails; among the highest-ranking 25 brands, that number is 96%.

In the email category, just one brand outscore; The Vitamin Shoppe. Setting itself apart with dynamic personalization, The Vitamin Shoppe’s messages feature loyalty rewards banners, which update dynamically to ensure the customer sees his or her most up-to-date points balance at the time the email is opened. That’s a small but important detail; these loyalty banners ultimately drive 8.5% of The Vitamin Shoppe’s email clicks. Similarly, the nutritional supplement retailer brings dynamic personalization to customers’ online shopping carts, including whether that order qualifies for free shipping or includes items under a low inventory threshold.

“Since customers are responding in real time, the first name and birthdate doesn’t have the same impression on those customers anymore,” said Ryan Gudovitz, the brand’s Senior Manager of CRM and Retention. “Triggering communications that go out in real time, such as low inventory or even reorder, might catch them in that moment where they’re ready to shop and convert and engage with our brand.”

What else can email marketers learn from The Vitamin Shoppe and other brands excelling at email personalization?  Watch the recording of Tinuiti’s webinar here to learn more about:

  • How the savviest retailers connect their email personalization to other channels
  • Using customer data efficiently, compliantly and in real time
  • The importance of triggered messages as email marketers look toward the entire customer lifecycle
  • Audience segmentation and what that means for personalization
  • Tracking success as artificial intelligence reshapes testing and reporting