Tricky? Or Brilliant? Cvent Uses Personalization the Right Way by Jessica Best @emfluence

Tricky? Or Brilliant… Cvent Uses Personalization the Right Way by Jessica Best @emfluence

As a true nerd for email marketing, when I come across something that makes me act, I usually pause to think “Hmm, how’d they do that?”



I got this email from event marketing company, Cvent and didn’t even realize it wasn’t a personal request until after I opened it. “Will you send us a picture of emfluence’s last event?” As the marketing manager, I’m thinking “Of course! Who wants to feature our photos?!”

Talk about knowing your audience! Cvent got me. And it was with simple personalization! Insert the company name into a great subject line and voila: I opened the email.

Then I open it up and Cvent really does invite me to submit photos of my event. Admittedly, I didn’t. I was less excited about submitting for a contest than I was for an Association’s Facebook Page or a partner company’s website.  But the offer is pretty compelling: $10,000 if my pic is voted the greatest.

What do you think of this type of personalization? It’s not misleading – the subject line asks for exactly what the contest was about.
But I mis-read it anyway and it lead to an open, an impression.

Me? I loved this use of personalization. It caught my attention, surprised me and then the content inside intrigued me enough to be read.

The only bummer was that it didn’t incite me to actually submit a photo. In fairness, I don’t think would have made me submit the photo for this use, so perhaps that isn’t a detriment after all. At least they got my attention.

How can you use personalization to grab attention like this in your emails?

  1. How can you surprise the reader? (NOT mislead, just surprise.)
  2. What payoff can you then offer in the email that will incite your desired action, i.e. registration, photo submission, etc.?

Meet the author:

emfluence

emfluence

We’ve focused the emfluence Marketing Platform’s features around what’s really important: helping digital marketers like you accomplish your goals every day. Whether you're B2B, B2C, Agency, or a CRM Shop, our marketing automation platform makes building complex, one-to-one digital campaigns easy so you can concentrate on strategy, not technology.

Connect with: emfluence

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  • James H
    September 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Dont take this the wrong way but I almost expect a high level of personalisation on my emails these days

    • Chief eMail Officer
      September 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      Personalization in the subject lines is good for grabbing your attention, but when it comes to the actual message I prefer relevance. Adding personalization in the messages can come off as cliche. I would prefer a message that is totally relevant with out the Dear (insert name). After all…. Relevancy is still KING!!!

  • Jessica Best
    September 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Hi James – thanks for the feedback!

    I completely agree, actually. I expect my email to be tailored for me. I think the hesitation I had with this email was that Cvent took personalization to the Nth degree to make it seem actually *personal* — as if someone just freshly typed this up. It sounded like it would be something one of my colleagues would send.

    I think it’s a great email and surely was a successful campaign. But how much personalization is too much or \deceptive\ to the average non-email-marketer consumer?

    Thanks for reading,
    Jessica
    @bestofjess

  • Eric Eden
    September 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    We happen to love fellow email marketing nerds!

    Sorry we missed you in Cvent’s Great Event Photo Contest. We had over 1,400 entries to the contest. You can check out the Grand Prize Winner and the 10 Finalists here http://blog.cvent.com/blog/meeting-and-event-planning-solutions/and-the-winner-of-the-cvent-great-event-photo-contest-is.

    At Cvent we believe that highly targeted personalization in email is, in fact, “brilliant.” As you may know, Cvent offers event marketing solutions that make personalization in email invitations pretty easy. Cvent allows over 40 mail-merge fields, such as name, company, and event related fields that increase the relevance to recipients and in turn increase the positive response rate. Use of data tags for personalization is definitely a best practice for us and our event planning clients. We see good results from it.

    Happy emarketing,
    Eric

    • Jessica Best
      September 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

      Nice job spotting my post, Eric. Glad to hear this campaign and all your heavy personalization do rockin’ work for you guys at Cvent. As the title suggests: I thought this was a great example!

      Jessica
      @bestofjess

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