Miss Terry Shopper Gets Personal

Offline or online, junk mail is what it is – a pain in the backside for most of us!  Loving retail therapy as I do, both my mail and inboxes are always full with messages about sales, discounts, special offers, new store openings, retail tips and so on.  I don’t have the time to read everything so how do I decide what’s worth a second look and what goes straight to the trash?

Let’s look at 4 emails I received from online retailers over the past week.

1. OZSALE.com.au

Dear Miss T Sale Notification”, followed by catalogue style images.

Although the world “sale” piques my interest, my name in a different colour puts me off. It reminds me that in reality, I’m just a name in a large mail merge database, or worse – that addressing me was an afterthought. “Dear [insert name – what is that name again?].”

I press delete.

2. Jeanswest

Hi Miss T, Your membership entitles you to….

Instantly, I wonder what it is I am entitled to, why I haven’t got it yet and what else I will miss out on if I don’t read on. With the language used (Your/you), I’m drawn in because this message is talking to me personally. I think they could definitely address my online retail needs…

I open this email.

3. Ticketek

Hi Miss Terry Shopper, Check out these events in Victoria/Tasmania.  Your list of events is personalised to your preferences.

My first thought is “How personalised can this be if I am being addressed by my full name?”  With this e-newsletter, I can almost hear the automated voice on the phone asking me to make my selection and then telling me it can’t decipher what I am saying.

I press delete.

4. American Apparel


…was all I could see in my inbox.  No images were visible to hint at what it was about, which meant this email ended up in my trash folder before I realised who sent it. The American Apparel logo/name does appear on the e-newsletter, but this is definitely overshadowed by the font style and size of the NEWSLETTER heading. The font style and uneven underlining also made it look amateur which only contributed to me thinking it was spam.

Deleted by accident.

The examples I’ve used demonstrate that the success of your e-marketing materials doesn’t come down to the act of personalisation alone, but rather how you personalise too.  If you want my attention, don’t completely disregard me yet don’t make it obvious that I am one of many names sitting in your database.  Yes, it’s a fine line but it is workable (see The Relevance of Personalising the Customer Experience). Engage me, pamper me, shower me with love –  make me feel like I’m your best friend and that I’m the one you turn to first to confide in about all of your fantastic sales, offers and launches! Like it or lump it, if you want your email blasts to get me to respond to or act on them,  you need to make me feel like I am your numero uno, because if you don’t, I’m only one click away from someone who will.

5 thoughts on “Miss Terry Shopper Gets Personal

  1. Getting personal with online retailers http://bit.ly/d7U4Wf Do you get personal with your customers? #powerretail

    • Power Retail
    • 23rd June

    RT @msterryshopper: Getting personal with online retailers http://bit.ly/d7U4Wf Do you get personal with your customers? #powerretail

  2. I take on #jeanswest, #ozsale, #americanapparel and #ticketek to see who takes getting personal to the best level http://bit.ly/d7U4Wf

  3. Online personalisation techniques – a tough one, but so important to nail http://bit.ly/d7U4Wf @jeanswest @americanapparel @ticketek @ozsale

    • Mot
    • 7th October

    It’s safe to assume that a customer signed up for a reason, yeah? And clearly the more succesful emails are those that establish the benifit of receiving that email early in the piece.

    Of course relevence and engagement are ‘key words’ that we have to remember… But what is clear in the outcome of the above article (and is evident in many other tests/results), is that the more successful emails are those that don’t just personalise, but also carry some kind of worth (and get that across the line with a subject line, graphic or at least body-text that will be read before all else).

    Re-occuring theme across all opt-in channels I suspect.


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