The do’s and don’ts of personalisation

The do’s and don’ts of personalisation

Personalisation has long been a proven tactic for email marketers. One of the reasons why it’s so effective is because it engages readers on a (you guessed it) personal level!

If you’ve ever used mail merge in Word or Excel, then you’ll find this a doddle in your NewZapp account.

But first, here are a few do’s and don’ts for personalising your email marketing…


  • Do make your email campaigns personal. This should increase subscriber feedback, loyalty and hopefully extra sales revenue.
  • Do personalise an offer to each individual and/or to their company name, to make your recipients feel like it’s been tailored just for them. Adding a name can personalise an offer enough to prompt a decision.
  • Do review your data on a regular basis for errors and gaps accumulated along the way.
  • Do use this top tip if you want to personalise with one of the main data tags but don't know if your data is too 'gappy'..
  • Do make sure you have first name, last name and company name collected in new data wherever possible as the bare minimum.
  • Do think outside the box. You don’t have to stick to a “Dear John” style, you can add personalisation tags to any part of a message – in fact it can be more than one tag per email or one tag more than just once!
  • Do try adding personalisation to your subject line as well as, or instead of, in the content.


  • Don’t get caught out by the “Dear blank” syndrome. Check your database before sending your email. If you don’t have first names for everyone use “Hi” or “Hello” instead of “Dear” – anything to ensure that your message makes sense without data being added.
  • Don’t forget you can set a default backup in your NewZapp account should there be any gaps that go unspotted in your most commonly used data tags. Go to Settings via the Cog icon (top right of any screen) and then into the Personalisation tab. Once the default is saved then should there be any gaps in your data it will neatly slot in.
    e.g. the [firstname] tage could have a default back up of "there” for an informal approach, or “everyone” for a group style of communication. So "Hi [firstname]" then makes sense in all situations.
  • Don’t get addicted to personalising. If you wouldn’t use it normally in a communication of this type, then don’t use it today! Forced personalisation can look mechanical to the reader. This defeats the object of using it in the first place.
  • Don’t be put off if you have gaps in your data but you don’t want a default value either. Send two emails, one with personalisation to Subscribers who have this data stored, and one without for your gappy Subscribers that’s written in a slightly different tone (ideal A/B split test?) Getting to grips with Filters will help you divide and conquer.
  • Don’t assume that because you’ve personalised the email your contacts will read it all. You need to think about what your customers want to read. Always write for the reader rather than yourself.

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