December 28, 2006, 12:00 AM

E-mail personalization growing but needs work, survey finds

44% of marketers surveyed personalize some part of their e-mail campaigns, but achieving relevance requires personalizing more than one element, says e-mail services provider Responsys.

44% of marketers surveyed by e-mail services provider Responsys personalize some part of their e-mail campaigns, and 89% said they’ll increase their use of personalization in the future. But with almost 40% limiting their use of personalized elements to e-mail salutations, personalization has a way to go before it fully delivers on its promise, Responsys concludes.

“Research shows that relevant campaigns increase net profits 18 times more than broadcast mailings,” says chief marketing officer Scott Olrich. “Unfortunately, marketers can’t achieve relevance by personalizing just a single element of a campaign.” Driving campaign results requires the individualization of the entire marketing message based on customer profiles, preferences and behavior across channels, Olrich says.

The survey of nearly 300 marketing executives, conducted with the Direct Marketing Association, found that only 10% individualize all aspects of their e-mail campaigns, including salutation, images, timing and promotions. Those surveyed said lack of sufficient time and resources was the biggest obstacle to achieving that level of personalization in e-mail campaigns, cited by 64%. Others cited barriers including having limited information about customers and the lack of integrated data.

In other findings, 44% said they looked forward to implementing more highly automated campaigns, while 39% said they hoped to launch multi-channel marketing campaigns that span e-mail, print, the web, the call center and mobile devices.

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