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  • Writer's pictureLeila

4 typical SFMC personalizations mistakes (and how to be better!)

Nowadays, personalisation is everything. You must customize each and every content block.

Otherwise, you will suffer in the marketers' hell

But there are several flaws in this impulse to personalize. some blatant. Some are avoidable. We'll go over some of the most typical errors in this topic, along with prevention tips.


Lesson 1: Product Suggestion That Isn't Relevant

Most of the time, you're promoting a product based on past browsing or buying habits, using implicit personalization to increase conversion.

SFMC.Essentials, what can go wrong?

  • Nothing!

  • So, So, SOOOOO MUCH!



Don't waste an email! First validate recently purchased items (and filter them out of recommendations). Consumers lose respect for a company when it repeatedly advertises a product they have already purchased to them. Especially when having bought the product recently!


The relevancy of the offering to your customer is another factor to take into account. Every human has desires and preferences. A browse might not always match the profile.


Practice patience, my fantastic SFMC marketer, its Essential!


Worst case, you might advise a consumer to buy a product that is out of stock or unavailable to them. Before sending, double-check the product's availability and eligibility requirements


Lesson 2: "Greetings, %%First Name%%".

"%%First Name%%, lorem ipsum" belongs in the same category as the subject line.


Yes. First name customization, per a study, boosts click-through rates by 41% and unique opens by 29%. Although SFMC.Essentials could not locate a study demonstrating the detrimental effects of a missing, incorrect, or misspelled first name. Confident that they are significant.


Why does this frequently fail?


Brands often only gather email addresses. Some private information is also absent. What occurs when missing that first name?


What results is:

" Greetings ,"

And what an awful space there is before the comma... What a terrible way to start an email...


How can you prevent this?

Use a dynamic content block or an AmpScript function to add text if you want to start your email this way. You will have access to fallback text.


Final remarks on this personalization: This is an example of what we can refer to as "Lazy personalization," even though I know we all demonstrate it during training and demos. It's too overt and blatant, and you run the risk of doing more harm than good in 2023 and beyond.


Lesson 3. What device?

Mobile, Tablet, Laptop, Desktop, Phablets, Smartwatch. So. Many. Options!

Are you using Email studio to preview a desktop and mobile version of the AWESOMENESS you just created?


The typical error here is to ONLY check if your freshly created message displays correctly. C'mon, your SFMC.Essentials gutfeel know better than this...


Humans interact and engage in different ways with your awesome SFMC content, depending on device the human is consuming your content on. Mobile device? Shortening, Shorter, Short your copy. Skipping visual abundance and flashy and thumb-unfriendly carrousel.


Personalize your SFMC.Essentials content to the device being consumed on


Lesson 4: Too much intrusion

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (formerly known as Interaction Studio) available to you? Lucky SFMC.Essentials duck, you are!



  • Don't rush. Anything.

  • You are aware of the human that is browsing around.

  • You are aware of the human' previous purchases.

  • You are aware of the human' tastes.

  • You already know what the human most likely to buy, today.

  • Human hasn't signed in yet, though.

Act wisely.


Personalize the push without being arrogant: There is no first or last name, no "you may also like" phrase, or similar explicit message.




You now have the SFMC.Essentials guidance to be awesome, happy fixing! Need an extra pair of hands?

SFMC.Essential events to inspire and share SFMC knowledge, want to join?

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