In 2019, the primacy of digital marketing for businesses across all sizes and industries seems irrefutable. Connecting with customers via online web pages, email funnels and social media are mediums that continue to swell year after year. But there is a problem.

According to data from Return Path, the rates of emails landing in spam or promotional folders is continuing to rise steadily. More and more marketers are fighting for customer attention using newsletters, sales funnels and automations. As these messages become more automated and high frequency, they become less resonant with their target audiences, and inbox filters subjugate them to low priority folders. So in this modern digital age, how do you do things differently? How do you cut through the noise?

The answer is segmentation and personalization.


Start by gathering as much information as you can upfront on your customers interests. A pervasive myth has spread that asking for more than a name and an email will cause you to lose tons of opt-ins. The reality is asking a few additional questions is immensely valuable for both you and the client, and the people unwilling to contribute any additional information are often lower value prospects anyways. Once you have this information you can right away start tailoring the messaging to be more relevant. Think about the example of a clothing store like Macys. Just knowing the gender and general clothes interests of a prospective shopper will make your messages to them immensely more valuable than if you are linking them to the general website. So start here. Next, look at how the customer is engaging with your messaging, are they opening emails? If so which offers are they clicking on? Do they like your blog? Use this information to further cater to their needs and send them targeted content. 

Here is an example funnel for a marketing agency:

First we check to see how they filled out the form. In this case a customer can express that they are interested in SEO, PPC or Website design, depending on what they select, we will mark them to that interest and send them more information on it. Next based on if they are opening or engaging with that content, we will segment them further. 



If you are looking to cut through the noise of marketing that clouds inboxes in our day and age, you want to try and get personal. Segmentation is a great start, but adding a “human” element to your approach is also a great idea. Some ideas to achieve this are sending your prospect/customer a personalized video message, sending them a hand written letter or sending them a gift card to a store you think they might like (and is related to your brand’s niche). Get creative but remember that personalization is about building authentic relationships so keep it helpful and keep it non-salesy. 

Here is an example for a software company:

Many companies struggle with getting people to stick around and use their product or to stay engaged. One idea to address this is trying to send a video welcoming each new user personally, highlighting something specific about their business, and suggesting some next steps. The video and accompanying call-to-action (CTA) could drive the customer to claim a 1-1 strategy and set up call, using the CTA: “Book a Call” or lead them to a landing page with all of the most essential tips and tricks for mastering the product, using the CTA:“Get Started”

Overall, remember that if you want to stand out, you need to focus your marketing on building relationships and solving pain points for your prospects. Put yourself in the shoes of the client and genuinely ask, “what kind of emails do I get that I actually interact with?”. I know this seems trivial but if more people used that question to guide their own marketing, the automated email landscape would look a lot different.