Make it personal. Personalization in Email Marketing – The Basics

Make it personal. Personalization in Email Marketing – The Basics

If you are interested in using personalization in your campaigns but not sure how to get started, we’ll walk through some of the basics that are key in personalizing your campaigns in Eloqua.

In email marketing the mantra we hear (and say) continuously is “Right person. Right message. Right time.” Using data collected on your contacts to personalize messages and experiences better enables to you to do just that. As Modern Marketers we know that there is a need, even an obligation, to communicate with and engage our customers in a way that is unique to their needs, and the research shows that the outcome is worth the effort. So much time, energy, and money is spent on collecting data, why not use it to our advantage, to make our customers feel like their needs are understood?

When’s the right time to get personal?

Personalization in digital marketing can come in many different forms and it can be powerful. But knowing when to use it and how is important. In Oracle Eloqua, there are a few ways to store and capture contact data. Information curated through form submissions, 3rd party lists, and social media can all be brought into Eloqua and stored either in a Custom Data Object (CDO) or on the contact record. Both types of data can be used for personalizing email messaging, landing page content, and/or the timing of delivery in your campaigns.

There are two important items to consider before diving in:
the quality of your data and your use case.

The quality, or “cleanliness” of your data is vital to understand before using it to personalize your campaigns. One important way to collect contact data in Eloqua is through form submissions. As you know, most people do not enjoy filling out webforms and will generally leave any non-required fields blank. They may also populate required fields, such as First Name, with as little personal information as possible. It is important to verify that the data you have in Eloqua for the contacts in your campaign is clean. Sending an email with a subject line of “Thanks for attending our webinar, X.” to a contact whose real first name is Jason will not improve your conversion rates.

Use case is another area to consider before deciding how to personalize your campaign. If you are emailing a 3rd party list that you have purchased, those contacts likely do not know who you are. They have not engaged with you previously nor have they signed up to receive emails from you. In cases like this, using personal information such as name could be a deterrent and the message may be viewed as spam. Rather, consider using their location to help determine when to send the message so they receive it at 10am their time rather than 10am your time.

Getting personal in Eloqua

When you know the data is clean and safe to use in your campaign, there are three simple ways to incorporate the unique data:

  1. Segmentation
  2. Field Merges/Dynamic Content
  3. Campaign set up

Right person. Creating a segment that represents the right audience for your targeted content can be done through filter criteria that references contact fields, CDOs, form submissions, email clicks, and lead score. Combining the right set of attributes enables you to know that you’re sending the emails in your campaign to the right people.

Learn more about how to manage your email marketing lists.

Right message. Part of the benefit of using personalization in email marketing is being able to customize part or all of your message to a specific contact or group of contacts. Field merges and dynamic content allow you to insert dynamic copy and content into your emails and landing pages without having to replicate and build separate versions for multiple audiences.

Field merges can pull data from multiple areas of Eloqua, mostly from a contact record field or CDO. Using first name is a very popular and common use case for field merges but the options are much wider. You can use a field merge to populate a custom webinar registration link or the monthly earnings for each franchise location.

Dynamic Content gives you the ability to insert custom copy or content into your email or landing page by referencing rules that are built based on personal data. You can use dynamic content for larger projects like inserting related product information based on past purchases or for smaller ones like customized subject lines.

Learn more about using Dynamic Content for subject lines here.

Right time. Bringing all of these elements together into the right mix of personal and standard content will elevate your assets to the next level. Making sure that they hit your contacts’ inbox at the right time is the last piece of that puzzle. Optimizing delivery can be done simply by knowing the contacts’ locations and personalizing the deployment time to their time zone. This can be done on the campaign canvas through decision steps evaluating either the contact record or CDO or with the segment itself.

Remember – with Evergreen campaigns it’s important to make sure your campaign is set up to send emails at the right time no matter when the contact enters the canvas. 

With the right data and a few elements in Eloqua, you will be able to create personalized assets that can help to improve engagement and conversions. Like with anything in email marketing, remember to test and make adjustments as needed. As you try different options you’ll learn what resonates with your audience and how best to use personalization in your marketing campaigns. Need help? Contact Us. Happy Marketing!

By | 2019-10-17T16:16:20+00:00 October 21st, 2019|Customer Experience, Eloqua, Email Marketing|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jen is a Senior Marketing Cloud Consultant with over 7 years of digital marketing experience specializing in Integrated and Email Marketing on both the client and vendor sides and an MBA with a focus on Social Media Marketing. Born and raised on the Jersey Shore, she spends time traveling, exploring local shops and restaurants, and indulging in super hero movies.


Thank you for subscribing!
Subscribe to our Thought Leadership Today