Can You Have Too Much Personalisation?


Morag Cuddeford-Jones, Consultant Editor at marketingfinder discusses whether it is possible for your marketing to be too personalised with Joanne Cotterell, Online Content Producer at Scripps Network International, and Danielle Woolley, Customer Success Manager at Adestra.

This clip is from our webcast "Summer’s here! Let’s talk about Christmas: Festive email marketing success needs planning that starts now" in association with Adestra. Click here to watch the full on-demand webcast.

[Morag Cuddeford-Jones:] When you're talking about personalisation, can there be too much? When people sign up, they know they are giving away their preferences so things can be tailored them, but I think there's also a creeping suspicion that companies know a lot more about us than we perhaps want. Can there be too personalisation off the back of that that frankly creeps customers out?

[Joanne Cotterell:] I mean, I guess it could do, whether you personalise a name in a subject line or maybe if you went as far as sending a birthday email if you get their date of birth when they sign up. I guess it's always a little bit scary, but I would say the best way to test it out is by testing it - test personalisation in all areas, and if it doesn't work for you and your customers, you don't have to do it.

[Danielle Woolley:]

I think people kind of expect it these days, because you've got things like basket abandonment emails now, and often retailers would follow up on what you viewed on their website, so you might get an email a few days later if you've been looking at some dresses. It can be a bit creepy, but the technology is there to do that now, and we're seeing more and more of it, and I think it's important that people receive emails that are relevant to them.

[Morag Cuddeford-Jones:] That's a very important word you used there - relevancy - and I think when we're talking about personalisation, and I know we've been talking about personalisation and 1-to-1 marketing since the very birth of the digital age, it seems, but I wonder if it's moved on a little. When we say personalisation, do we mean the name and date of birth, or are we talking much more about, as you did earlier in your presentation, targeted, selected content? To me, things are personalised not by my name, but by what I want to see.

[Joanne Cotterell:] That's actually something we're really keen on doing at Food Network, so we introduced the baking newsletter with an opt in, obviously, to join the list, because we saw that people were engaging in more baking content, and then the same for family dinners. It's always a case of us looking at what the audience are really interacting with on the website, and then working out if that's something we could put into an email marketing campaign and then ask people to opt in to. If they have kids and they want relevant recipes that they can make quickly and easily for them after school when they get in from work, then is that an area where we have enough content to then start populating it, and start making it relevant to them in that way.

[Joanne Cotterell:] I think that's a really good point, I like to think about the customer first - look at your audience, and build your content around them.