Your Name in Pictures: Personalization’s Wow Image

This is an email you must see. I could never describe its stunning effect in words.

An attractively designed Post-it Note immediately captures your attention, especially when you realize it’s personalized with your name.

Along the sidebar, you then see a photograph of Valentine candy hearts. One has your name “engraved” on it. Below that, an image displays your name “tattooed” on an orange. At the bottom of the sidebar, you can click on a link to change the message on the Valentine candy to anything you want — in real time.

What better way to sell a seminar demonstrating DreamTypeImage Personalization? The seminar was hosted by New York City’s DigitalNow and DreamType, the Brooklyn-based marketing and design technology firm.

DreamType created the email template and partnered with email service provider Bronto Software to serve the email to a list of TanaSeybert customers. DreamType filtered and cleaned the list, uploaded 1,376 records to Bronto, and created separate mailing lists for each TanaSeybert salesperson. (The salesperson’s name appears in handwriting at the bottom of each Post-It note and in the sender field.)

How did the image-personalized email do? As you’d expect, results are terrific:

  • Open rate. The campaign had a 47 percent open rate overall, 51 percent list average, slightly higher than the industry average of 40 percent. Here’s the wild thing: some customers reopened their email as many as 25 or 30 times!

  • Forward rate. The forward rate of all delivered email was 5 percent. When viewed as a portion of only opened email, the forward rate increased to 11 percent overall, indicating the approach’s novelty.
  • CTR (define). Sixteen percent of all delivered email was clicked through, usually to the DreamType demo page. This is 1.5 to 2 times higher than industry averages. When only opened mail was included, the CTR was 33 percent overall, nearly three times the industry average for opt-in email lists. The list CTR average was 40 percent. As with the open rates, a significant number of customers clicked through multiple times to view the demo application or learn more about DreamType.
  • Demo page results. The email, timed to coincide with Valentine’s Day (hence the candy heart images), sustained a daily average of 800 unique visitors beginning February 14, and tapering off by February 18. Though visitor counts dropped to about 40 per day shortly afterward, they’ve fluctuated between 20 and 60 since, with recurring visits nearly a month later.

According to Brian Gullette of DreamType, this technology’s beauty is you only pay for the personalized images in the email messages that are actually opened, as the personalization happens on the fly. DreamType templates, consisting of a background image and the text images that create the message, are easy to set up. And personalizing images requires only one additional step beyond what you’re doing now to include images in your email — linking to the DreamType system that instantly personalizes the image.

Also, Gullette says there’s no need to limit the personalization to just the recipient’s name. “The Bronto System is so database driven that any field of data can be used to modify the image, such as date of last contact.”

The possibilities are endless. Consider very visual products, such as cell phones where you can personalize the message on the screen. Even nonvisual products, such as conferences, could benefit by this approach with personalized nametags, for example.

Let your imagination run wild. Your next email could be the one that blasts through the clutter.

Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.

Karen is off this week. Today’s column ran earlier on ClickZ.

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