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Marketing response rates rise when communication is personalized. That's what the stats tell us. But, what's the point in doing it if you do it BADLY?

Continental Airlines sent me a promotional e-mail today. Here's the subject line: Specials - Not that exciting.
At the top, underneath the menu bar, here's the personalized touch: Specials for Elaine Fogel
Since I have to book a flight for an upcoming speaking engagement, I click on the specials link to see the departures from my home airport. Guess what? None there.
OK, so they got my name right. After all, I am a OnePass (loyalty) member. But, that's where the personalization ended. Why send me a teaser for travel specials if they don't have any from my city? That's a waste of my time. What are the odds that I, or others in the same situation, will open the next e-mail promotion? I'd have to guess that open rates will decline considerably.
Lesson not yet learned by Continental...
Use personalized communication if the message is relevant to the recipient.

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image of Elaine Fogel

Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, and a marketing and branding thought leader, speaker, writer, and MarketingProfs contributor. She is the author of the Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success.

LinkedIn: Elaine Fogel

Twitter: @Elaine_Fogel