The most effective email marketing tactic of 2017

by Matt Lincoln - October 18, 2017
The most effective email marketing tactic of 2017

A survey of 260 marketers by Ascend2 suggests that message personalisation is the most effective email marketing tactic.


But where should we start with message personalisation? Marketing Automation tools such as Pardot offer multiple levels of message personalisation which can make your content much more relevant to each prospect:

1. Dynamic sender optionsOn its most basic level, Pardot offers the ability to use dynamic senders – this means that the email can be sent from either the Assigned User of the prospect in Pardot, or the Account Owner of the prospect in Salesforce. These options enable prospects to receive emails from known contacts rather than from generic emails such as marketing@… or info@… and are effective at increasing open rates.

2. Variable tags

Variable tags are a simple way to insert personalised information about your prospects into emails. The most common variable tag used in email marketing is to insert a prospect’s name at the start of an email as a personalised greeting. But Pardot can create much more advanced personalisation by inserting information from prospect fields, prospect account fields and even assigned user fields. Just remember to test the variable tags before sending by navigating to Building > Preview > Prospect Preview, and also don’t forget to set up a default merge field value in the Administrator > Configure Fields menu.

3. Dynamic contentA more advanced personalisation tactic than variable tags, dynamic content enables personalised HTML content to be inserted into emails, landing pages, forms or your own website. Dynamic content is based on rules which display a defined piece of HTML content depending on which rule a prospect matches against. For example, a content block could be created on an email which offers a different industry-specific whitepaper to be downloaded depending on the value of the Industry field on the prospect record. When using Dynamic Content, default content must be specified for prospects not matching any of the defined rules.


Marketers rank message personalization and the creation of meaningful calls to action as the two most effective email tactics, according to recent research from Ascend2.

The report was based on data from a survey of 260 marketers (48% work for firms that are primarily B2B-focused, 34% for firms that are primarily B2C focused, and 18% for hybrid B2B/B2C firms).

Some 50% of respondents say message personalization is among the most effective email marketing tactics; 38% say creating meaningful calls-to-action is among the most effective tactics.

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