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Data-Driven Ways to Personalize Product and Marketing Emails

Data-Driven Ways to Personalize Product and Marketing Emails

  • Data Management
    Messaging and Automation

Data-driven marketing can be sophisticated, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complex.

Email is a medium that tends to get overcomplicated. It’s understandable – most marketers are managing more than one email tool, dozens of lists of thousands of users. But there is some good news about email personalization – it’s more straightforward than you think. In fact, there are really only three ways to personalize an email. I’ll go over each, with a few examples and more detail in this post.

Personalize with Content

This is the first and most obvious way to personalize an email. Your goal is to get as close to 1-to-1 messaging as possible. There are a few ways to achieve this.

I’m going to gloss over the finer details since we just wrote about this last week.

Basic segmentation

This applies mostly to newsletters. By making it very clear who the email is for, you are essentially segmenting the list. iOS Dev Weekly is a good example – there’s no way the wrong people end up on this list, so the content is at least broadly personalized.

Merge Tags

These placeholders are replaced by names, usernames, birthdays and other basic user data at send time.

Basically, Hey {{user.name}}! becomes “Hey Jimmy!”

You can also use Liquid templates to get more sophisticated. For example, you can use Liquid to pull any user data from Vero into an email.

External Attributes

This is the bread and butter of the world’s best email marketers. External attributes is a Vero feature that pulls data from an external API into your emails. If you want to suggest products, send contextual retention emails or capture abandoned carts, this is how it’s done.

Read more on content personalization.

Personalize with Timing

Depending on the type of email, there are two ways to optimize the time an email arrives.


Assuming you’ve already segmented by user interest, the next step is identifying the optimal time to send your message. This is done by testing days of the week and time of day. This is common practice but there’s a forgotten variable that most marketers overlook: time zones.

Prioritizing your most popular time zone is a mistake. What about the people in other time zones? If a segment responds well to a newsletter at 10am on Tuesday, you can ensure everyone receives it then with our timezone management feature.

vero time zone management

Read more on time zone management.

Lifecycle/Behavioral Emails

Emails that are sent as part of campaign rely on timing as well. While time of the day/week is important, the user’s place in the customer lifecycle is more important.

You wouldn’t send an email asking a customer to write a review until they’ve had a chance to use your product. Amazon, for example, triggers an event when you finish a Kindle book. They use that to send the email that asks you to review it. It’s a perfect example of sending an email at the right moment.

vero dynamic segment example

Event tracking and segmentation is the best way to achieve this. By pushing customer data into Vero, you can ensure users only the receive emails that are contextual and relevant to their

Learn how to use events to trigger timely emails.

Personalize with Segments Once you say goodbye to lists, personalization gets so much easier.

Segments are sets of users grouped by condition. For example:

  • Customers that are tagged with VIP
  • Customers that haven’t tried feature X
  • Blog subscribers that have read at least two articles
  • Users who played Level 1 but not Level 2
  • Customers who signed in with Facebook

The list goes on and on. Here’s what the segment builder looks like in Vero:

vero segments

It’s flexible and powerful. Segments are the core of our email tool because it’s by far the best way to group users. Plus, they update in real-time. SO if a user no longer meets the conditions, they are removed.

Read more on using segments to send better emails.

The Perfect Email

Once you stop thinking about “blasting” your users and start thinking about getting as close to 1-to-1 personalization as possible, email becomes much more powerful. The companies that treat email like an extension of their product and not a marketing channel excel at email. And their users reward them for it.


You don’t have to send a lot of emails to be successful, but you do have to treat them with care. Vero is built to facilitate personalization. Give it a try for free and see how the best marketers are approaching email.

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