Reflektion, an e-commerce personalization vendor, is releasing a new product for email called Right Time Messaging. The solution allows marketers to personalize emails to individual recipients up until the moment an email is opened.

Our own preliminary research indicates that email is the biggest channel for personalization, but is often limited to simple implementations based on static data — like addressing an email to a customer by name, but changing little else.

digital channels personalization

Most commerce email tactics center on sending a single promotion or broad product suggestions, such as a holiday sale, or showing new or most popular items. These approaches, based on static and often limited data, enable limited personalization. It basically amounts to batch-and-blast emails that still look nearly identical.

Compared with email, website and e-commerce personalization is generally more advanced.

For one, web and e-commerce personalization use a variety of dynamic data, like real-time browsing data in addition to transaction history, to deliver more relevant content. They also has to be done in real time — in the time it takes to load a page, which is typically less than 20 milliseconds. And the visitor constantly sees new pages and products as she continues to browse because her profile is updated in real time.

The typical disparity between web and email personalization presents an opportunity for vendors like Reflektion to provide better personalization capabilities to email marketers.

What does the difference look like in practice?

Rather than starting with static email content, Reflektion injects personalized content into triggered and promotional emails, using the most relevant products and promotional messages for each individual.

The primary value proposition is accelerating repeat purchases.

Not only does the solution aim to increase return visits by increasing clickthrough rates, but it also means that customers see consistent messages, rather than different ones from email to web. Other vendors with web and e-commerce personalization capabilities are also making the move to email, including Salesforce’s Predictive Decisions. Avari is another company providing a similar service, although they mostly partner with email service providers (ESPs) to integrate their personalization capabilities.

Disney and O’Neill Clothing are among the customers already using the new service. Reflektion is backed by investors including Intel Capital and Nike.