Three simple ways for a more effective email marketing campaign

As online marketers, we can still learn a thing or two from the offline world and apply them to the online world. In this blog post we are covering a few easy changes to your email marketing campaign that can have a huge impact.

When shopping in a local store, you are often approached by sales associates who suggests different products based on your gender, age range, and inferred budget. By mentally segmenting the customer, the sales associate can personalize recommendations to meet the customer’s needs and preferences. And it works. After all, if this wouldn’t increase sales and therefore their commission, they wouldn’t do it. Similarly, other marketing activities such as email campaign, can also benefit from segmentation to keeping content relevant to the recipients.

Studies show that marketers who segment their email marketing not only get a 2.5x higher click-through rate, but also generate 6x more sales from their campaigns.

Even with an abundance of segmentation information, email marketing campaigns still don’t seem as targeted as they should be. Often, emails show generic content that could be a hit or miss, depending on who opens them— this is especially common when the recipients are new users who haven’t “left a trail” yet (e.g. provided preferences, a history of which content they click on).

We want to share some critical but easy ways for a more effective email personalization, and how you can obtain customer information to enable the segmentation even when all you have is the customers’ email addresses.


Take a look that this newsletter I received from Fitbit:

While the content is relevant to Fitbit users, covering a broad range of topics on well-being and exercise, you might notice that all the lifestyle models are female. It would clearly resonate with female recipients, but not as much with male ones like myself.

Your emails have a very limited amount of time to capture the customer’s attention and to convince them of the call-to-action. Since most customers only scan the content, images are an extremely important tool to draw their attention.

As Jakob Nielsen stated in his research:

“…the average time allocated to a newsletter after opening it was only 51 seconds. “Reading” is not even the right word, since participants fully read only 19% of newsletters. The predominant user behavior was scanning. Often, users didn’t even scan the entire newsletter: 35% of the time, participants only skimmed a small part of the newsletter or glanced at the content.”

What Fitbit could have done is sending two separate emails, one featuring women for their female customers, and one featuring men for their male customers.

In fact, studies have shown that every important metric improved by simply showing male/female pictures to the respective gender. An example is Johnny Cupcakes which sent out two gender-specific emails with impressive results:

  • 42% increase in click-through rates
  • 123% increase in conversion rate
  • 141% increase in revenue per campaign


Similar to segmenting by gender, you can also customize the content based on the recipient’s location. Campaign Monitor tested a generic email, with a location agnostic image, against emails with localized images for people in the UK, USA and Australia and was able to increase email click-through rate by 29%.

Personalizing your emails to customers’ individual location also helps to optimize the open rate. Depending on who your target customers are, you should know (or do A/B testing to find out) when they are most interested in the content, or when they’ll likely see the email. For some, such as daily newsletters The Hustle or TheSkimm, it’s early morning when the readers are on their way to work or grabbing a coffee. For others, it could be lunch time or Friday afternoon. Knowing your optimal time and sending the emails based on the customers’ specific location can increase the engagement rate by 22 %. (Source: MailChimp)

Furthermore, you can customize the campaigns for local events such as Thanksgiving in the U.S., Golden Week in China, or Passover in Israel to keep the content as relevant as possible.


Back to the local store example. Your parent most likely will get different recommendations than you, based on age, lifestyle preferences, or willingness to spend. Therefore, you might want to send different email content or present different products based on the age group of your customers.

How to get this customer information easily?

To many marketers, segmentation is not new but the challenge is how to obtain the customer information without a list of questions during the sign-up process or the settings page.

If you are a UserGems client, the only information you need from your customer are “Name” and “Email address”. With the email addresses, UserGems will automatically provide you with comprehensive information about your customers, including gender, location, age range, professions and more. This enables you to personalize not only the email campaigns but also your websites, web content and displayed advertising, and further delight your customers.

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by Trinity Nguyen