Gartner made a big prediction for personalization in 2020 — unfortunately, it’s not a good one. By 2025, Gartner estimates that 80% of marketers will have abandoned their personalization efforts. The thing is, personalization does deliver strong ROI. Many marketers just can’t capitalize in it, whether it’s because of a lack of strategy, poor customer data management, or simply believing misconceptions.

One misconception about personalization strategies in marketing is that it’s extremely resource-heavy to implement. However, RevZilla and Windsor Fashions dispel that notion, elevating their email programs with personalization and small, in-house teams.

Andrew Lim, Director of Retention Marketing at RevZilla, and Catherine Seaton, Senior Director of Marketing at Windsor Fashions, recently discussed how they do it during Food For Thought, the new webinar series we launched alongside our sister brand Liveclicker. Read on to learn more.

A Look at RevZilla’s Email Evolution

RevZilla has nearly 180 different flows for the traditional triggered messages like welcome and cart abandonment, in addition to interest-based triggers. Attributes like a customer’s riding style and preferred biker manufacturer help RevZilla highlight the most relevant products and content.

“We have explicit and implicit flows for this type of experience,” adds Andrew. “So whether a person is actually going to their profile and telling us that data point about themselves, or they’re doing things on our site that indicate that they’re that type of rider, we’re going to send them that series regardless.”

RevZilla’s email program wasn’t always so lifecycle-centric. In the past, the motorcycle retailer relied on batch-and-blast campaign sends, until the team noticed how much stronger triggered messages perform. In fact, despite being just 20% of RevZilla’s email marketing, behavior-based triggered messages were generating 84% more revenue per thousand emails sent. How was the team able to prove personalization’s value to get buy-in from the organization? It all started with testing.

“Find people that are interested in a certain product or brand, and hand code an email for them,” explains Andrew. “Send that to them and test it against the batch-and-blast email they would have otherwise gotten, and compare the results. I’d be willing to bet that the tailored version that you made is going to yield higher results, so that would sort of help to start make your business case.”

Dynamic Personalization as a Driver for Windsor Fashions

For Windsor Fashions, personalization is a big part of the brand’s omnichannel messaging strategy. Catherine realizes that people don’t necessarily open emails right away. Using dynamic personalization elements from Liveclicker, the retailer ensures everything is up to date at the time the customer opens the email.

For example, Windsor Fashions’ emails include maps displaying the nearest stores. These are an important part of the brand’s welcome series because many customers make their first purchase online, not even aware there are stores.

“The data that is pulled up is launched when the person opens the email,” explains Catherine. “So no matter where they are, when they open the email, the stores that they’re going to see are the three stores that are closest to them at that moment in time. And if they come back and open that email a week later, and they’re someplace else, that map is going to update to the locations that are near them at that time.”

This dynamic personalization has been especially important for Windsor Fashions over these past few months. The brand has 225 stores throughout North America, all of which have been subject to their own regional regulations throughout the coronavirus pandemic. “With the situation changing rapidly, we wanted to be able to update information for our customers as the status changed, as we closed stores, as we changed promotions on the site,” says Catherine. The same will be true as stores begin to reopen at their own pace.

To learn more about how RevZilla and Windsor Fashions power their email programs with personalization, click here for a full recording of the webinar.