So this morning I sat at my desk with a fresh cup of coffee and began flipping through my new issue of DM News. This month’s cover, with slices of pizza on it, got me instantly thinking about lunch, but that is a topic for another blog, another day.  Anyway, as I made my way through the magazine, I arrived on page 10, containing one of my favorite sections, “FASTFACTS.”  Then I saw it.  You know that feeling when you read something that makes you pause in disbelief and you read it over and over again to make sure it is accurate?  Well this is how my Monday started.  Hand on head shaking back and forth yelling out “OMG, are you kidding me????”

Well here is it folks, according to our friends at Experian, 70% of brands surveyed do NOT personalize their email messages.  Yes that is right, 70% do not leverage the data that they have collected to create a relevant connection. 

Are you as completely in shock by this stat as I am?  With all that we know (and can know from utilizing the data at our fingertips) about our customers and prospects, how can you not personalize an email, or any other marketing message for that matter?  I spend my day talking to marketers all over the country, across various industries, and the majority of marketers that I speak to (like 98%) do some level of personalization in their direct marketing, even if it is as simple as “Dear Craig!”  In an industry that has evolved into one of data driven relevance, how can 70 out of 100 not be personalizing their email messages?

So should you be reading this and not personalizing emails or any of your marketing communication, let me provide you with a few stats that I hope will persuade you to do so.

  1. 90 Trillion – This is the number of emails that are sent out each year.  There is severe competition in this channel and you need to use every trick in the book to not be sent to TRASH.
  2. 97% Spam – Only 3% of emails that are sent are relevant and considered legit by the recipient.  If you have a relationship with the recipient, leverage that in the messaging and offers.  Become relevant and join the 3% club!
  3. 11.2 Hours – This is the average amount of time people spend reading and answering emails.  If your customers and prospects are investing this much time in this channel, please make it worth their while!

So my point is quite simple and it goes back to something my parents told me when I was growing up and something I pass along to my boys today – “If you’re going to do something, do it right!”  This holds true in your email marketing as well.  If you have data - leverage it! Make sure that your marketing campaign is as impactful as possible.  Don’t suffer from mediocrity and don’t be a member of the 70% club!  Data is out there; trust me. Now it is up to you to use it.