When & Why to Personalize Content

Day in and day out, people are bombarded with information.

They get emails, texts, pop-up advertisements from websites they’ve visited, and sponsored posts and ads on the social media platforms they frequent.

Depending on the person’s age and interests, they may receive direct mail solicitations as well.


How do consumers and businesses decide which content to read, and which to delete or throw away? A key factor is whether or not it is personalized. Messages that are tailored to the recipients stand a much better chance of grabbing their attention and motivating them to act.

In fact, as James Tennant points out in a Content Marketing Institute blog, “Stop Thinking About Personalized Content as an Extra,” there are few, if any, arguments against content personalization.

Put Thought Into Personalizing Content

For personalization to be truly effective, you’ve got to have the right data and the ability to segment it to your specific audience.

One way to obtain it is to ask the right questions, says Emma O’Neill on the website of digital marketing guru Neil Patel. She suggests hitting up your audience about why they visit your website, ask to get your email updates, and/or sign up to receive your newsletter.

Yet another strategy to personalize content is to build personas – a snapshot of behaviors and demographics reflecting your ideal customers.

So now that you know why to personalize content and ways to segment data, let’s take examine three channels ideal for content personalization.


If all you have is a person’s email address and first and last name, you can program an email with “Hi, Sally.” Putting the subject’s name in the email subject line is a quick and easy way to personalize it.

But there are other, more sophisticated tactics.

For example, Campaign Monitor suggests customizing the content of the email to the recipient’s location, gender, or other knowledge you have about them.

It’s been proven time and again emails sent to members of your audience identifying them by name and directly addressing their needs and wants are far more likely to be read and acted upon, than messages lacking those important details.

Website Landing Page

A landing page is a webpage with a specific purpose – typically, to present an offer of some kind.

When you send a personalized email to a prospective customer, if there’s a landing page associated with it, the mail includes a clickable link to that webpage.

There, the visitor can download an item of value. It may be a white paper, an infographic, or survey results. Or they can receive a product brochure or request a no-cost consultation. It depends on what you want the person to do.

In exchange for this information, the visitor must fill out a form. You can ask them to provide their name and possibly other facts, such as the name and size of their company and their own job title. Your form may also inquire if they have the power to decide whether the organization can and will buy your product or service.

Discount Offer

Personalizing a discount offer makes the recipient feel like you know them and want to give them something unique and special.

A number of criteria can be used to create the offer – previous purchases, the cost of the product or service previously bought, and the buyer’s location. You can even incorporate the time of year.

In the B2B world, discounts are often a company’s major marketing investment, according to the Boston Consulting Group. It can reach 30% of list price sales or even more. But it’s critical to use discounts strategically. Otherwise, they can deflate the value of your products and services.

This is why offering discounts to customers across the board is rarely a good idea. Rather, BCG recommends value-based discounting, which ties discounts to the value provided by a particular customer.

Content Personalization Works

Now you know why personalizing content is important in the business world.

People and organizations must sort through a constant stream of information sent to them.

Whether content is personalized, and your messages tailored to the recipients, will often determine if you gain the recipient’s attention and spur them to take the action you want them to take.


Do you want to learn more about content personalization and how it can help grow your business? Click the button below!

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Wendy Bourland got her start as an active-duty military reporter for The European Stars & Stripes. After retiring from the Navy, Wendy shifted her focus from journalism to marketing and PR. When she isn't writing, Wendy enjoys boxing and spin classes; relaxing with her greyhound, Binx; and sipping fine wine.

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