Ever wonder how many brands really send out personalized emails or personalized content? Sure, it can boost opens and conversions, but how many brands take the time to make effective personalized email campaigns?

As you might expect, the answer is complicated. According to a recent L2 report (commissioned by Monetate), sportswear brands deliver the most personalized emails, followed by apparel and accessories companies.

How’d they do it? They acted like the online equivalent of “mystery shoppers:”

L2 created three consumer personas to attempt to monitor the use of email segmentation campaigns by brands. At a surface level, the three personas paint a picture of how frequently brands are employing email segmentation in day-to-day messaging. Although these personas hardly come close to representing the full spectrum of customer profiles across all brands, they can be thought of as a heuristic for establishing how brands are segmenting messages based on gender, location, past behaviors, and product preferences.

Here’s a snapshot of one of the personas they created:

Personalization persona

Over the course of a month (the study period), L2 researchers received over 2,500 unique emails. The majority of the emails were sent to only one of the three personas, indicating a high level of personalization.

Here’s how L2 explained it:

Effective email segmentation and personalization relies on the backbone of a robust data infrastructure, one that provides a single view of a customer across channels to inform all segments of the business. Nearly a third of organizations now use a CRM system as the system of record for their customer master data (31%).
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is the current system for 19% of brands, while still other brands are relying on e-commerce systems and traditional POS systems to meet this need (14% and 11%, respectively). A worrisome 11% have no single system, curtailing their ability to provide a unified commerce experience and robust guided selling. [Source]

For more from the report about email personalization, download this 4-page excerpt.

Then check out the full report for a 360º look at ecommerce personalization. It includes insights, best practices, and examples from industry leaders—broken down by medium and tactic.

L2 Personalization Report