Personalization or individualization, in other words the adaptation of communication to customers’ personal data, is closely related to marketing automation. But what happens when the required data is not available? Many marketers forget to set up a fallback for this case.

Personal data can be used …

  • …as a trigger, for example the date of birth to send a birthday email.
  • …as a filter for various branches of a marketing automation, for example in a loyalty campaign where filtering is done according to customer status.
  • …to personalize mail content, for example for cross-sells, matching a recently purchased product or local offers matching residence/location.

But what if the data required for this is missing for individual customers? If you don’t take precautions for this case, it can lead to customers getting “stuck” in a marketing automation campaign, running into the wrong branch, or receiving incorrect, duplicate, or even no content at all.

Set up fallbacks

It is imperative that you set up fallbacks for such cases. There must always be a variant that is chosen if the required date is not available. 

Topshop sends birthday emails. If the date of birth of a customer is not known, an email asks for this information specifically.

If there is no practical fallback, then simply block “customers without matching dates” completely for the campaign.