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A successful email marketing campaign makes an impact by personalizing each message with the recipients name and other features. This can be done by merging the database with the email software. It take some extra effort but the results are well worth it – you get a greater open rate and a greater click-thru rate.

One company that does this successully is Pet Smart. We purchased some flea medicine for our dog Sandy, a golden retriever. Now we’re on Pet Smart’s mailing list. But it’s obvious that Pet Smart is Email Smart, too.

First, we are automatically notifed by email when it’s time to re-order. But they don’t just say, “It’s time to buy from us again.” They personalize the message to say, “It’s time to re-order more flea medicine for Sandy!” or something to that effect.

In the last message I got they even included a picture of a golden retriever! I can’t confirm if this was another effort at personalization or simply a coincidence, but it really works. It wouldn’t be too difficult for them (since they already have the information when you order) to personalize the picture with your particular breed of pet.

Bottom line for you: build your database with information on your customers, then use it to personalize your marketing messages. How do you get the information? Just ask for it. At the very least, get a first name along with the email address so you can say, “Dear Bill” instead of “Dear Customer.” Chances are they will pay more attention to your email, and you can more effectively deliver your marketing to the right people at the right place at the right time.


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