SEMA News—April 2023


Hyper-Personalizing Newsletters With All-Seeing Databases

By Joe Dysart


Marketers are using “all-seeing” databases to help ensure their marketing newsletters are hyper-personalized.

Marketers looking to hyper-personalize their newsletters to customers are using new technology—enhanced Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)—to ensure the personalized details they have on each customer is maxed-out.

The solutions are here.

Says Chris Jones, chief product officer, Amperity—a provider of an enhanced CDP: “As a brand, you need to capture the memory of your customers as data—and then make that data available to everyone at the company.

“Your CDP should be the data infrastructure that not only touches every customer-facing system in your company, but delivers unified data that brings all the systems to life.”

Unlike traditional customer databases, enhanced CDPs work overtime, drawing in details about each customer from multiple databases that are scattered throughout an organization—databases that used to exist as single-use, limited access silos.

A best-of-breed, all-seeing CDP, for example, can automatically import personal details about customers as they interact with a business by email, chat, text, phone, social media, clicks in newsletters, clicks on websites, in person—and virtually every form of customer interaction that is either digital, or can be digitized.

Prior to the advent of the CDP, amalgamating all that insightful data was extremely tough—if not impossible—given that so much data was locked in siloed databases.

Meanwhile, aggressive users of CDPs are also continually experimenting with ever more novel ways to record ever more insights about customers.

Those include tasking trusted chat and phone reps to add their own insights about customers and how they interact with them, for example, or encouraging customers to fill out detailed profiles about themselves in exchange for a chance to win a gift card.

The result? CDPs brimming with insights about each customer, can be continually analyzed by AI to identify lucrative opportunities for marketing and sales, such as:

  • Which customers are responding most favorably to my hyper-personalized newsletters?
  • Which customers have made purchases after viewing videos embedded in my newsletters?
  • Which customers have made purchases after they read a detailed, long-form article on my product or service?

And those insights are just for starters. Essentially, once marketers amass a hyper-detailed, continually evolving, all-seeing view of each customer, they can use AI analytics to ask as many questions as they’d like about that data from virtually every perspective.

In a phrase, marketers armed with AI-powered CDPs have a perpetual-motion marketing machine—collecting ever more data on each customer, using that data to create an ever more personalized marketing newsletter for each customer, studying customer interaction with that ever more personalized newsletter, implementing refinements to create an even more personalized newsletter, studying the results of that even more personalized newsletter—and so on.

Take Accenture’s Consumer 360 Platform, for example.

Using Accenture’s CDP, a manufacturer was able to stream data from 35 different databases scattered across its organization into a single master database.

That capability enabled marketers there to simultaneously analyze what videos a customer viewed on their products, what that customer said about the company’s products on social media to their friends and acquaintances, what retailers the customer visited online to learn more about the product and how that same customer interacted with marketing for those products on the company’s website.

Consequently, based on those insights, the manufacturer was able to use the Consumer 360 Platform to predict when that customer would make a purchase, along with the specific product they would most likely buy.

That’s valuable information if you’re looking to hyper-personalize a newsletter promoting a service or product you think will most likely result in a purchase.

And those insights are also extremely handy if you’re looking to personalize a newsletter with text, images, audio and video of related services or products that customer may also decide to purchase.

For the company that used the Consumer 360 Platform in this way, customer engagement with company marketing materials jumped 25% and average revenue earned per visit shot up 10%, according to Accenture.

Need another example? Consider Amperity, another CDP vendor, which reports similar results with Alaska Airlines, after it worked with the business to stream data from databases in various departments at the company into one master database.

After all that information—from bookings, reservations, customer interactions on the airline’s smartphone app and customer interactions with the airline’s loyalty program—was centralized, it was simply a matter of unleashing analytics on the master database to come up with insights.

Alaska Airlines’ specific analytical goal was to use data insights from Amperity to send customers personalized marketing messages to upsell them before their flights. For instance, marketers tapped Amperity’s insights on their customers to send those customers upgrade offers, such as invitations to join the airline’s loyalty program, cabin upgrades and similar upgrade opportunities.

The result: The business saw a 198% jump in sign-ups for its loyalty program and a 61% jump in message open rates, according to Elliot Pesut, director of marketing, Alaska Airlines.

Fortunately, if you’re looking to explore the idea of CDP platforms further, market research analyst Forrester released an in-depth report earlier this year that offers a complete rundown on who’s who in CDP, entitled “Now Tech: Customer Data Platforms, Q1 2022.”

In the report, you’ll find Forrester’s take on 34 CDP providers, including providers that specialize in centralized databases that are specifically designed to use insights for newsletter personalization and similar message personalization.

Meanwhile Adobe—another provider of enhanced CDPs—has a handy checklist you can use when shopping for the ultimate CDP solution (

While Adobe’s CDP product excels at all the features considered critical on its list (surprise, surprise), the list will nevertheless be useful as a conversation starter with any CDP vendor you’re considering.

The following are Adobe’s take on the top features to look for in any CDP:

Real-Time Data Streaming and Data Ingestion: For maximum efficacy, ensure that the database consolidation you use offers real-time updates from all data streams you’re sourcing.

Purpose-Built as a CDP by a Trusted Organization: Many CDPs in the marketplace are cobbled together from disparate technologies. Make sure you choose a solution from a reliable company that built the CDP from the ground up.

Complete, Unified User Profiles: One of the principal benefits of a CDP is personalization on an individual basis. Make sure this is standard with any system you’re considering.

Robust, Native Data Governance Tools: Your CDP should make your data governance simpler, not more complex.

Real-Time Data Activation: Ensure that any data you use for newsletter personalization or other tasks is always the latest available.

Easy for Marketers to Use: CDPs democratize data. An ideal CDP will be built for marketers, with an interface, tools, and workflows structured to work seamlessly with marketing departments.

Scalable, Flexible and Extensible: Your CDP should integrate seamlessly with your existing marketing and advertising technology stack—without putting extra strain on IT.

Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan


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