Common Problems Faced when Scaling Personalization – Part 1

Personalization Pitfall #1: Outdated Messages

In this series, we cover the common pitfalls all marketers face at some point when scaling personalization in their triggered marketing. From emails to mobile push notifications to SMS to display retargeting, the common platforms used today to market across channels begin to lose efficacy when organizations try to personalize their communications to an ever more complex and growing customer base. The problems stem from generic/ out-of-the-box triggers, poor segmentation, outdated information, lack of real-time processing, and disconnected channels, to name a few.

If these pitfalls aren’t addressed in your marketing strategy, you risk pushing customers away, often to your competition. By building a better personalized customer experience across all channels, you build more loyal returning customers. Customers today demand 1:1 communication and a high degree of relevancy in any marketing message.

Personalization Pitfall #1: Outdated messages

According to Forrester Research, “Trigger based email marketing campaigns can generate 4x more revenue and 18x greater profits”. Triggered messages are known to be 5 times more responsive than batch and blast campaigns, which makes triggered marketing communication very attractive to marketers. As simple as it is to send out triggered messages, it is also that much easier to get them wrong. Triggered messages are personalized based on a user’s engagement with your website or mobile app. The timing and content has to be precise because any delay in the data or message can lead to outdated messages being sent to your customers who then in-turn will unsubscribe because they feel spammed, and will often take to social media to voice their opinions:






One of the most common pitfalls we hear about from marketers using triggers is their customers getting outdated messages through retargeting. It’s very common for customers to receive a display ad or email about a product they have already bought; or a recommendation for a product that has nothing to do with their purchase history or recent interaction with the brand. “54% of consumers would consider ending their relationship with a retailer if they are not given tailor-made, relevant content and offers.” Retailers can no longer afford to run outdated triggered marketing through their legacy systems. It pushes customers away and shows a lack of respect for your customer’s buying habits.


Most retargeting campaigns are based on customer actions, browsed products and abandoned cart being some very common triggers. But if the systems of record (CRM) and systems of action (ESP, DSP, Facebook retargeting, etc) are not synced in real-time when a customer makes a purchase, this faulty cycle will keep repeating itself. Unless customer data is updated in real-time, there will always be outdated information being presented in display ads or emails going out to customers.


Blueshift has worked with several marketing leaders that have scaled their personalized marketing programs to deliver engaging personalized user experiences. Here are our top tips to get the most out of your personalization efforts:

  • Don’t settle for Near Real-Time: For the best customer experience, use systems that enable you to personalize with true real-time information.
  • Remain goal oriented: Understand your key performance indicators and how they affect the entire campaign, not a single send.
  • Personalize across channels: Use multiple marketing channels to scale your marketing program, instead of limiting it to email.