Browse by...
Home Resources GUIDES

Table of Contents


Personalization is the name of the game when it comes to email these days. 

This means if you’re a media company, magazine, news outlet, or any other type of publishing company, it’s important to start integrating personalized email campaigns into your marketing approach. Every day, inboxes are inundated with more and more emails, so differentiating yours from the rest is vital to establish a unique, personal, and long-standing relationship with your subscribers. 

The power in personalization is backed by facts too–targeted email personalization has been proven to increase customer engagement, according to 74% of marketers. By implementing those personalized experiences into campaigns marketers have seen an average increase of 20% in sales. RichRelevance actually found that emails using personalization generate revenue 5.7 times higher than those without

So why does it work so well? Why do subscribers respond to personalized email campaigns?

Because the information they’re receiving is relevant, timely, and personable. They’re more likely to want to receive it, and so they are more receptive to it. 

Chapter 1

Collecting customer data

There are countless ways to collect detailed subscriber data to segment your audience and send relevant and timely email. Here are a few to consider.

  1. Add additional fields to email subscribe forms. By adding details like birthday, location, and job status to the standard name and address, you can quickly gather information from your subscribers that allow you to target more personally. Campaign Monitor delves deeper into how publishers can create effective email sign up forms in this blog post.
  2. Use integrations. By integrating your email marketing tool with other sales platforms, you can benefit from data collected by multiple platforms, resulting in extra details about your subscribers’ habits. Two examples of platforms to integrate are Salesforce and Shopify, both of which Campaign Monitor works with seamlessly. 
  3. Use third-party apps. Some apps don’t have a pre-built integration, and that’s okay because that’s where Campaign Monitor’s API comes in, allowing you to integrate your email platform with the software that likely holds a lot of valuable subscriber data.
  4. Tracking website behavior. Knowing what your subscribers do on your site and how they interact with your products or your offerings is huge. By collecting this information, you have insight into what they are most interested in, which clues you into how to effectively personalize your interaction with them via email. Think cart abandonment reminders, product recommendations, and discounts on specific products. 

If you want more information on Campaign Monitor’s data collection capabilities, you can find details here on how they can help you run professional, personalized, and effective email campaigns. Take great care to be transparent with your data collection, and adhere to regulatory requirements and best practices when gathering and storing it.

Chapter 2

Proven methods for personalization

More tried and true methods for email campaign personalization

Developing relationships with subscribers is a key part of upping engagement and building trust. 

This requires a personalized approach, and what better way to do that than through your email marketing? To make this as straightforward as possible, we’ve split the email personalization tactics we recommend into basic, mid, and advanced levels. 

If you’re new to email personalization, start with the basic tactics, which still pack a mighty punch and build from there. It’s good to keep in mind that the most effective marketing will always result from authentic messaging. A slow, steady, and consistent approach to personalization campaigns is advised. 

Basic tactics

1. “From” name

68% of Americans say their decision to open an email is based on the “from” name. The name that you set can vary subscriber to subscriber, depending on their relationship with the company. For example, if there is an account manager with a particular client, you can have that client receive emails directly from that representative to add a personal touch.

2. Subject line

As already mentioned, we found that personalizing a subject line (with, for instance, the receiver’s first name) can increase open rates by a whopping 26%. Something else we’ve found is that character count matters. Keep it short. 

Mid-level tactics

1. Email content

To increase click-through rates, start adding more personal content into the email body. Use some extra details you may have collected from your subscribers when they signed up for emails.

2. Email copy

Adding personal details relevant to the subscriber into the copy in the email will likely encourage engagement. Sephora does this well, integrating the customer’s first name into the main body of the email.

3. Imagery

Change the image based on the subscriber’s location. We tested this ourselves by sending out a generic email and comparing it to those matched to the customer’s location, ultimately finding that the personalized images upped our email click-through rate by 29%.

4. Dynamic content

By segmenting your subscribers into groups based on the data you collect (gender, age, etc), you can more specifically target them with dynamic content. 

5. Re-engagement

By setting up automated emails after a certain period of time, you can ask customers who have already engaged with you to re-engage. This could include a special promotion, asking for feedback, encouraging donations, or asking inactive subscribers if they still want to receive your emails (like Morning Brew did).

Advanced tactics

1. Product recommendations

If you’ve been tracking your customers’ behavior on your site, this would be a good time to use it to engage with them by recommending a specific product they looked at but didn’t purchase. 

2. VIP loyalty

Creating a tiered loyalty program is another way to incentivize your subscribers to engage with you further. Sephora is a good example of this, as is Morning Brew. Tiered programs usually have automated emails that send out to subscribers once they reach certain levels, whether that be a spending level or, as in Morning Brew’s case, the number of email referrals they’ve racked up.

3. Purchase abandonment

Worldwide, only about 1 in 4 online shopping carts filled eventually result in a sale. This is another scenario where website tracking is helpful because if you know your subscriber left something in their cart, you can send them an immediate reminder email. 

4. Behavioral segmentation

If you can send your subscribers personalized emails that align with their behavior and their basic details, you’re doing it right. As an example of this, travel company Flight Centre uses behavioral segmentation to send highly personalized emails with special trip offers that line up exactly with their subscribers’ interests.

Chapter 6

Morning Brew: Elevating engagement with Campaign Monitor and CM Group

Let’s next look at Morning Brew, a media company delivering the latest business news via email newsletters to their over two million (and counting) subscribers. What sets them apart from other publishers is their unique and relatable voice, something that pairs quite well with personalized content.

Using Campaign Monitor, Morning Brew was able to grow their email list by building on what they are most known for, curation and connection. 

“Since moving to Campaign Monitor, I like to say that we have the most engaged subscribers in the world, and with metrics like that, it’s hard to argue.”

–Tyler Denk, Morning Brew Growth Engineer

Two main engagement methods Morning Brew employed through Campaign Monitor:

  1. Utilizing personalized content to make readers feel part of a community, and encouraging them to share Morning Brew’s content with others by providing direct links and by creating a tiered rewards program to thank subscribers for sharing.
  2. Using a personalized re-engagement campaign to remove inactive users (of which there were 100,000), increase open rates, and improve deliverability.

Morning Brew’s results

The results they saw after switching to Campaign Monitor don’t lie:

  • 125% open rate improvement
  • 99% deliverability rate
  • 200% increase in daily subscribers

By taking advantage of the easy-to-use email marketing tools provided by Campaign Manager and pairing them with their already massive subscriber base, Morning Brew was able to build on the personal connection they had previously established with their readers, elevate their engagement, remove those accounts that were no longer active, and add even more subscribers to their email list.

See Morning Brew’s full case study, including examples of the emails they sent via Campaign Monitor, here.

Chapter 7

Wrap up

Through the Morning Brew case study, we’ve seen how important advanced email personalization tactics can be in growing an email list. Not only that, but Morning Brew’s results also show that personalizing your campaigns can help increase engagement with your already subscribed customers, encouraging them to be more active in the way they interact with your messaging. Crafting emails takes a lot of time and energy, so make sure subscribers are reading the content you’re sending them by boosting your open rates.

The main takeaways for publishers interested in growing their email lists further with personalized email campaigns are as follows:

  • Be relevant, timely, and personable with your emails
  • Track your subscribers’ behavior and gather insights via integrated platforms 
  • Segment your subscribers based on those insights and information to more accurately market to them
  • Don’t forget about the power of the re-engagement campaign; make sure the subscribers you already have are opening up your emails.
Straight to your inbox

Get the best email and digital marketing content delivered.

Join 250,000 in-the-know marketers and get the latest marketing tips, tactics, and news right in your inbox.


Get started with Campaign Monitor today.

With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.

Try it for free
Contact Sales