How to Use Email Campaigns and Facebook Ads to Achieve Personalization in Marketing


Author Fan Bi is the CEO of Blank Label, an award-winning custom menswear brand. Since founding in 2010, Blank Label has shipped over 100,000 custom garments to customers all over the world, and has stores in Boston and Washington D.C.

When a new company attacks a market, they often take a niche approach. Call it thin edge of the wedge, or establishing a "beachhead," the point is that they try to speak to an audience that is currently underserved by existing players with a message or feature that resonates. The logic is that every group, down to the individual person, has slightly different preferences: that's why there are so many options for cereal at your grocery store.

With digital marketing, you're able to take this personalization to the extreme. In fact, according a recent Forrester survey, 63 percent of marketers rated personalization as "extremely important" to their long-term goals. What's more, an Adobe survey of marketers tapped personalization as the most important feature, above big data and social.

The two easiest ways to bring personalization into your marketing program are through email campaigns and Facebook ads. Here's how you can implement these tactics into your customer strategy.

Email Campaigns

If you do any kind of email marketing, you should almost certainly be using an ESP (email service provider) that integrates with your database of customers and allows you to sort based on different attributes. We use the ESP Klaviyo, though I've also heard good things about and Vero. When someone places an order with our company, Blank Label, we send basic purchase information to Klaviyo, including customer name, product, price and time of purchase. From there, we can create different lists, such as one for customers who have only purchased dress shirts, and another for people who haven't purchased in the last 12 months. The purpose of this list segmentation is to be able to send more tailored messages.

As an example, for our customers who've only purchased dress shirts, they'll be the first we email when we get new dress shirts. Plus, we can send them specific emails to cross-sell them into other products. For our customers who haven't purchased in 12 months, we can send something like "Hey Jim, we noticed you hadn't visited us in a while, we just wanted to send you a courtesy email to make sure your garments are treating you well."

These new personalized ESPs also can take website data, so that when the customers who haven't purchased in 12 months visit the site, log in and don't make a purchase on that visit, you can send them a personalized email, such as: "Jim, glad to see you back at Blank Label, we just wanted to make sure we could be helpful and if you had any questions about the new website changes."

Facebook Advertising

Now that you have different lists created in your ESP based on the different attributes you want to target and send personalized messages to, you can export the email addresses in these lists and upload them to Facebook's Ad Manager. If you navigate to the Audiences tab and create a new group, e.g. "Inactive 12-month customers," Facebook will match those emails with profiles it has in its user database. You won't be able to reach everyone on Facebook from your ESP list, but there should be a high percentage of coverage.

Using a similar message to your email campaigns, you can now send tailored messages using Facebook's banner ad format to these different groups. Some of our more successful Facebook campaigns using this tactic are targeting our highest spend customers and reminding them about our referral program, as well as notifying people geographically close to one of our stores about upcoming events or new store openings. If you have a segment list of a few thousand people, you'll be able to reach them once a week for as low as $10 a day.

When determining how to best distinguish your brand from the competition, consider using personalized email campaigns as well as Facebook banner ads to underscore your understanding of each customer -- at the individual level.