customer expectations

What Customers Expect From Email Marketers in 2023 and How Personalization Can Help Meet Them

As customers become savvier and have access to more information and options, their expectations for brands have evolved. They now expect a seamless, effortless, and personally relevant journey from discovery to purchase, and they expect brands to understand and meet their individual needs and preferences. Failing to meet customer expectations can lead to negative reviews, decreased sales, and a decline in brand reputation.

How do brands assess and foresee customer expectations, you ask? By looking at their buying behavior, making notes of their changing preferences and recommending products specific to that user. Personalization is the key to meeting these needs, which then sets off a chain reaction of goodwill. Tech giants like Amazon and Netflix use data for personalization, enhancing user experiences, and building customer loyalty. Amazon uses user interactions and purchase history to personalize product recommendations and target marketing. Netflix curates content based on user viewing habits and ratings, a powerful retention tool.

Personalization shows that a brand cares about each customer, which boosts brand loyalty. Personalization includes product recommendations, triggered communications, weather personalization, and customer loyalty programs. Brands already have a wealth of data available to them through customer interactions, purchase history, and other sources. Leveraging this data to drive personalization can help businesses improve customer engagement and drive growth.

A McKinsey report confirms that personalized product recommendations and personalized communications can help form a connection between brands and customers by generating up to 15% more revenue, as well as increasing marketing spending efficiency by 30%.

Let us take you through a customer’s journey with a brand to showcase how personalization can be used for different users at different life cycle stages in email marketing.

Begin your journey on the right foot

When done correctly, welcome emails can achieve impressive open rates of up to 60%. After someone has given you their information and expressed their consent for your communication with them, it is essential that you uphold this respect. It’s an enormous vote of approval from the consumer – they liked what they saw so much that they wanted more! A successful welcome email should propel your relationship into a trusting bond while providing distinct expectations right out of the gate.

*Showcased at the LA Ecomm summit 2023

When determining the best course of action, keep these factors in mind:

  • Gather valuable data during sign-up. Request information like their name, birthday, and what they enjoy and desire to be sent – all of which are helpful pieces of insight!
  • Don’t linger – send that welcome email instantly while they are still thinking of you! After 48 hours have passed, your brand won’t be the first thing on their mind anymore; this action might appear arbitrary.
  • Give your audience a warm, welcoming introduction with personalization. Leverage your collected data to make as much content personalized and tailored specifically for them. Incorporating their name is just one small detail – there are so many more ways to create meaningful connections!
  • Don’t overwhelm your subscribers with too much information, options, or decisions when you initially develop a relationship. Try to limit the number of CTAs to avoid bogging down their user experience.
  • Don’t be hesitant to request more information during the welcome phase, even if you don’t collect a lot when they register. Insert messages into your emails that invite them to identify what topics/products interest them; this “click” data can then be used for personalization in future campaigns.
  • Establish the parameters of this relationship from the very beginning, focusing on details such as frequency and content. Then make sure to stay true to these expectations.

Show your appreciation for your subscribers’ special occasions!

Sending a birthday email is a fantastic way to make your subscribers feel appreciated! No matter who they are, everyone loves being acknowledged on their birthdays. Take advantage of this annual golden opportunity by crafting something special for them — whether it’s an offer or a free gift  — to express your gratitude and show that you care. Not only will they remember how generous you have been, but the returns from such a gesture will be more than worth it!

*Showcased at the LA Ecomm summit 2023

No birthday data? Not to worry – anniversary celebrations are the way to go! Leverage what you have and commemorate each milestone, such as registration or initial purchase. Don’t miss out on these tiny moments – they serve only to strengthen your bond, never undermine it. Show them that their loyalty matters by honoring special occasions together with unique gifts and heartfelt wishes.

Celebrate the VIPs

Acknowledging VIP customers and expressing gratitude or offering a reward is an excellent strategy. Granting them early access to product launches or inviting them to exclusive events will make them feel special, and people always love feeling important! For example, give priority entry to upcoming Black Friday sales or discount codes to create custom discounts just for them.

*Showcased at the LA Ecomm summit 2023

Show your loyal customers their progress on the way to a well-deserved reward in the loyalty program, and they will be motivated to reach that goal faster. Customers love achieving rewards!

Listening to customers to promote relevant products and categories

Automating emails based on your customers’ actions is an effortless yet powerful way to demonstrate you’re paying attention. Trigger programs such as abandoned browse or cart emails are particularly successful! To increase the chances of conversion, this type of email could include a discount code to incentivize action, product recommendations that would add value for the customer, or even a friendly reminder about their unfinished purchase.

*Showcased at the LA Ecomm summit 2023

Strategically reaching out to your customers over email during different stages in your relationship ensures that they retain awareness of your brand as they go about their day and when it comes time for them to make a purchase. Therefore, keeping yourself at the forefront of their minds is essential!

Weather-based personalisation

Contextual personalization has a hyper-effective feature of customer engagement called weather targeting. This method is quickly becoming an essential part of many successful marketing strategies. It allows organizations to anticipate patterns in demand and opportunities to better understand the needs and intentions of their customers.

*Showcased at the LA Ecomm summit 2023

By utilizing weather targeting, you can provide your customers with customized messages personalized to their specific local temperature or weather conditions. This is achieved by connecting a real-time forecast data stream to your current personalization platform for maximum efficiency.

Weather fundamentally shapes how people behave; a single glance out the window can distinguish between what we purchase, when and where we purchase it from, and our readiness to go without. This information is incredibly significant for retail companies with huge seasonal product catalogs. Elevating suitable seasonal products to appropriate users is an assured way to gain a competitive edge and raise average order values (AOV).

Recovering lapsed customers

Customers are more likely to interact with a brand that listens and comprehends their needs. Thus, if you’ve let your customers slip away due to customer churn, the solution for bringing them back is by building a personalized 1:1 connection with them.

*Showcased at the LA Ecomm summit 2023

Unlocking the potential to win back former customers is simpler than you think! Although saying goodbye may seem permanent, taking a personalized approach can bring those who have gone astray back to your side. With the right 1:1 personalization strategies, you can get on customers’ good sides.

Establish a connection with your customers by using their names, highlighting products that fit their interests and needs, and offering them urgency or rewards to purchase. It’s really quite simple!

Consistent messaging across channels

Think of your brand as a person with unique traits and interests. You get to know them through their repeated mannerisms and interactions. Yet, if their behavior differs depending on who they’re around, it’s difficult for you to connect or trust them in any way. Similarly, customers won’t be inclined to commit when they receive inconsistent messages from a brand.

Establishing a unified and personal experience must be guaranteed across your channels- from physical stores to websites, social media to emails. Your language, brand promise, messaging, and services need to blend together seamlessly for customers’ expectations not just to be met but surpassed; this will help you stand out amongst competitors.


Today’s customers expect personalized experiences that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences. For any brand to be successful, customer experience email marketing is an absolute must. Rather than sending promotional emails with the sole purpose of increasing sales, it’s essential to build lasting relationships that will cultivate a loyal consumer base. Companies should take their time and aim high in creating long-term loyalty through thoughtful and daring approaches.

With RetainIQ, DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) brands have the opportunity to use data and personalization to drive increased revenue and sustained growth. DTC brands can access the same tools and technologies used by large companies to create personalized experiences that increase customer loyalty and drive revenue. By leveraging the already existing data, DTC brands can create personalized experiences that cater to their customers’ specific needs and preferences to foster brand loyalty and revenue growth.

At RetainIQ, we’ve revolutionized the way emails are personalized at scale to make personalization simpler than ever. Get in touch with us now to embark on your journey towards hyper-personalization and success!

Key Takeaways:

  • Personalization is an essential tool to bridge the gap between customer expectation and reality – especially when it comes to product recommendations and triggered communications. Email is an excellent platform for brands to acquire and retain customers, as consumers desire tailored content that will lead to increased clicks, conversions, and, ultimately, more revenue.
  • Welcome emails should be sent as soon as possible after sign-up and should include personalization, limited CTAs, and a clear explanation of the relationship expectations. Weather personalization can help anticipate consumer needs before they even become aware of them.
  • Reactivate lapsed customers with personalized messages that offer rewards or discounts while also creating an element of urgency. Brands should also ensure that their messages remain consistent across all channels to gain valuable insights into customer behavior.
  • Utilize customer data in exchange for rewards, purposeful communication and product recommendations tailored to each individual’s interests, needs and local weather conditions. Loyalty programs are a great way to incentivize repeat purchases and build relationships with customers.