The data supporting the effectiveness of personalization in modern marketing is conclusive. What’s less certain is marketers’ ability to take full advantage of these highly-targeted messaging opportunities.
According to data gathered by MarketingLand, “Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, but 70% of brands fail to use them.” Further, “Sixty percent of marketers struggle to personalize content in real time, yet 77% believe real-time personalization is crucial.”
Marketers’ inability to leverage proper personalization has a measurable impact on consumer satisfaction, as Hubspot reports that “Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests.”
If you’re eager to put personalization to work for your brand, the 45 campaign case studies below will give you the inspiration needed to craft the kinds of experiences your customers crave. Don’t stay in the ranks of the majority of companies that can’t successfully use personalization: pick one or more of the approaches described below and get started today.
Identity-based campaigns rely on customers to self-select into segments that can then be targeted with personalized messaging, or they draw on existing consumer data to serve up ads and promotions that are likely to appeal to individual groups.
1. Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke”
Back in 2014, Coca-Cola kicked off the current trend of personalization with an innovative new idea – one that is still having significant impacts on marketing best practices today.
Ogilvy’s “Share a Coke” campaign for Coca-Cola rolled out in Australia before going worldwide, but not before resulting in 12 million media impressions, a 7% increase in young adult consumption, and a 4% increase of category.
Image source: Oglivy
2. Paper Style’s Segmentation Email
Paper Style used a simple group segmentation question to sort its subscribers into two separate timelines that received more highly-targeted emails. Compared to its previous results, “Paper Style’s open rate increased by 244% and their click-through rate increased by 161%.”
Image source: Kissmetrics
3. Asos’s Social Connection Prompts
When new customers enroll, Asos prompts them to connect their social accounts, giving the company gender, location and other data points upon which to send more targeted messages.
4. BustedTee’s Time Zone Segmented Emails
BustedTee hyper-targeted the times at which it sent its email messages, resulting in an 8% lift in email revenue overnight from personalized send times, a 17% increase in total email response rate, an 11% higher click-through rate and a 7.6% increase in post-click site engagement.
5. OfficeMax’s Location-Based Emails
OfficeMax’s promotional messages often include location-specific information, making it easier for recipients to understand the steps to take next.
6. Spartan Race’s Location-Based Emails
Like OfficeMax, Spartan Races targets its email messages based on the recipients’ locations. The impact of adding this type of personalization was a 50% increase in website traffic, a 25% increase in new users, and a 13% increase in conversions.
Though some of the examples in the section above incorporate the use of email marketing, there’s so much more you can do with this particular channel, as the campaigns below demonstrate.
7. Hubspot’s Account Rep Personalized Triggered Emails
Hubspot tested email opt-in response messages sent from the company against those personalized with account reps’ information. The original messages led to a click-through rate of 0.73%. When they were sent from someone on HubSpot’s marketing team, the click-through rate increased to 0.96% and generated 292 more clicks.
8. Nuffield Health’s Paired Landing Pages and Emails
Working with House of Kaizen, Nuffield Health developed a series of segmented landing pages for different constituent groups and personalized the email messages that were triggered to those groups. In doing so, they were able to take Nuffield Health’s conversion rate from less than 1% to more than 8%.
Image source: House of Kaizen
9. DoggyLoot’s Segmented Email Opt-Ins
DoggyLoot segmented its subscribers by asking questions about the size of their dogs during the opt-in process.
Image source: DoggyLoot
10. Lateroom’s Gamification Email Opt-Ins
Lateroom uses gamification in its email opt-ins to gather more data about subscriber preferences, and to be able to deliver more targeted offers in the future.
11. Denamico’s Hyper-Personalized Newsletters
Agency Denamico used Hubspot’s Smart Content feature to create a newsletter that could be customized on-the-fly with different CTAs based on customer segment. In a test for Secured Retirement Financial, “Open rates experienced a 43% increase, and clickthrough rates improved by 89%.”
Image source: Denamico
Personalizations can be based not just on who your subscribers are, but on the actions they take as well. This could take the form of messages that appear in response to activity triggers or those that are based on customized reports of an individual’s past activities.
12. RescueTime’s Personal Productivity Reports
RescueTime engages subscribers with personalized reports of their activity on the site.
13. Grammarly’s Weekly Writing Updates
Grammarly takes a similar approach to RescueTime in order to keep program users engaged.
14. Facebook’s Behavior-Triggered Email
Facebook sends automated messages to users who haven’t logged in within a certain time frame (and who haven’t opted-out of such reminders). This powerful personalization strategy works because “Trigger emails have a 152% higher open rate compared with traditional emails.”Trigger emails have a 152% higher open rate compared with traditional emails. Click To Tweet
15. GlobalGiving’s Recommendation Engine Emails
GlobalGiving’s newsletter uses dynamic content blocks to suggest to subscribers projects related to those they’re already funding, resulting in a 10X lift in engagement, compared to its earlier, non-personalized newsletter.
16. Samsung’s Pop-up Modals
Samsung’s exit intent opt-in modal (pictured below) is triggered based on personalized action; in this case, the indication that a shopper is about to leave the site with abandoned items in the shopping cart.
Image source: Samsung
17. Boca Java’s Segmented Promotions
“Boca Java, a gourmet coffee retailer, segmented their lists based on how many bags of coffee customers ordered. They sent emails offering a 17% discount on a three-pack of coffee to three unique segments: customers who had previously purchased two bags, three bags, and four bags. They found that customers in the two-bag segment were most likely to take advantage of the discount. This gave them insight into which customers were more likely to respond to that specific offer, and in turn, they were able to upsell those customers.”
18. Rdio’s Personalized Radio Recommendations
Rdio’s suggestions – based on users’ past listening habits – don’t just encourage subscribers to re-engage with the brand, they create positive mental associations with the company through their offer of a valuable service.
Image source: Buffer
Thanks to new technology, video is as customizable these days as any other type of marketing message.M
19. Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit Invitation
Marketo’s personalized video places the name of potential attendees inside the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, making the invitation feel more meaningful than a stock video.
20. Reltio’s Content Campaign
Reltio’s personalized video functions in a similar way to Marketo’s.
21. Vidyard’s Holiday Greeting Videos
Vidyard uses personalized video to send holiday greetings to its past customers.
22. Nike +’s Personal Progress Videos
Though Nike +’s video isn’t personalized to individual users, it draws on user data to create a message that’s inclusive and engaging.
23. Facebook’s Friendship History Videos
Facebook leveraged its rich user history data to create highly-shareable videos based on past site interactions.
24. Cadbury’s Personal Taste Videos
Like Facebook’s friendship videos, Cadbury’s personalized films draw on a user’s Facebook data to create a customized capture. According to Mobile Marketer, “With the implementation of personalized video, this Cadbury campaign obtained a 65% click-through rate and a 33.6% conversion rate.”
25. Lenovo’s I Fixed It Anthem Videos
Lenovo’s anthem video celebrates all that IT workers do for us, while leveraging its own technological expertise to customize individual videos for prospects and customers (here, the company and employee name fields are personalized with “Terminus” and “Sangram”).
26. Switch Merge’s LinkedIn Video Integration
Hubspot’s Jami Oetting shares an example of a personalized video generated for her by Switch Merge’s founder, Andrew Angus. In the image below, Oetting receives an email invitation that draws on her LinkedIn history to create the personalized video pictured below that. Angus has used similar techniques in his own marketing to drive a 1,025% increase in CTR.
27. RiseSmart’s Outplacement Videos
Switch Merge is also behind RiseSmart’s personalized outreach marketing campaign, intended to sell other companies on the team’s services.
Image source: Hubspot
It isn’t just your outreach messages that can be personalized to your prospects’ or customers’ interests. Even the content on your website can be adapted, thanks to new tools and technologies.
28. Bills.com’s Debt Slider
Bills.com’s landing page slider allows the site to capture segmentation information and pass it along as part of the company’s lead capture process, facilitating more personalized communications in the future.
Image source: Bills.com
29. Trulia’s Home Valuation Tool
Trulia’s home valuation tool works in a similar way, but in this case, it provides new subscribers with valuable information in exchange for their personal information.
Image source: Trulia
30. Elation’s Footer CTA
“Most of us have some sort of CTA in our main navigation (commonly placed on the right-hand side) that stays across all of our pages to help entice visitors to click. Most of these, however, are usually set up as bottom-of-the-funnel offers (Request/Schedule a Demo/Consultation, etc.) that for most of our visitors may not be the right or appropriate time to be showing that type of offer. Some new visitors entering your website may be too early in the buying cycle and may need to learn more about you or still need to identify their problem or pain point.”
Image source: Hubspot
31. Hubspot’s Smart Content Landing Pages
As pictured above in Elation’s example, Hubspot’s Smart Content feature can be used throughout landing pages on its platform to create more personalized experiences.
Image source: Hubspot
32. The Guardian’s Toggle Switch
Following the birth of Prince George, the UK’s Guardian website implemented a cookie-based toggle switch, allowing visitors to turn off content on stories they didn’t care for and to avoid those subjects in the future.
33. DemandBase’s Dynamic Landing Page Content
Salesforce employee Shauna Ward noticed this example of dynamic content on the DemandBase website, which recognized her employer and customized her page text to match.
Image source: Demandbase
Opportunities abound for personalizing e-commerce experiences, from the email messages you send to shoppers to the content you display on your site to encourage sales.
34. Amazon’s Recommended Products
Master marketer Amazon generates product recommendations based on browsing and past purchase history to drive impulse buys.
Image source: Zembula
35. Amazon’s Segmentation Emails
Amazon gathers additional customer data for its personalization profiles with emails like the one below.
Image source: BigCommerce
36. ThinkGeek’s Dynamic Content Blocks
ThinkGeek’s website automatically loads different shopping information based on the location of the browser.
37. Mr. Porter’s Personalized Account Pages
E-commerce retailer Mr. Porter uses customer data to personalize its account pages, creating a more intimate experience.
Image source: Mr Porter
38. Outdoor Hipster’s Abandoned Cart Emails
Abandoned cart messages like Outdoor Hipster’s represent the ultimate in personalization. They’re personal appeals, customized specifically to the recipient, with clear CTAs built around actions the prospects have already demonstrated interest in.
It’s no surprise that, according to Econsultancy, “Nearly half (44.1%) of all cart abandonment emails are opened,” and “The average order value (AOV) of purchases from basket abandonment emails is 14.2% higher than typical purchases.”
Image source: BigCommerce
39. Net-A-Porter’s Complementary Product Suggestions
Net-a-Porter takes the idea of recommended products one step further by suggesting not just similar products, but by also including complementary items, potentially increasing average order value.
40. Tesco’s Alternate Format Suggestions
Similarly, Tesco’s alternate format suggestions, pictured below, are betting on the fact that if you enjoy a product in one format, you may be inclined to purchase it in similar formats as well.
41. TripAdvisor’s Dynamically-Generated Suggestions
TripAdvisor makes travel planning easy with suggestions and deals based on visitors’ search history.
Mobile marketing represents the next frontier in personalized promotions, as the examples below demonstrate.
42. Warby Parker’s Mobile Site
In addition to allowing users to upload their own pictures to test different pairs of glasses, the site remembers the details of past customers – in this case, storing the user’s past measurements to be displayed along with individual glasses designs.
43. Macy’s Mobile Interstitials
Mobile interstitials can be challenging to get right, especially given the risk of alienating users with annoying pop-ups. To combat this, Macy’s draws from browsers’ Twitter profiles to create ads that are more likely to be tailored to their wants and needs.
44. Starbucks’ Gamified App
Starbucks’ app represents the ultimate personalized experience, making use of data captured regarding customers’ previous purchases, physical location, time of day and regular go-to store.
45. Waze’s Geo-Specific Store Recommendations
Like Starbucks, Waze offers personalized value in the form of local recommendations. As pictured below, it can even incorporate specific coupons to make the user experience even better.
Certainly, some types of personalization are better suited to some companies than to others. Use the list above as a source of inspiration, but don’t stop there. Using customer experience as your guiding star, incorporate whatever elements of personalization you can into your marketing campaigns to improve both brand perception and bottom-line business results.Use customer experience as your guiding star when creating personalized marketing messages. Click To Tweet
Have another great example of personalized marketing to share? Leave us a note below with your suggestions.