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Ramp T-Shirts is winning over hearts and minds with cold emails. For marketers that still use cold emails as a way to reach new prospective clients, we know that this is no small feat. This (now-exploding) startup t-shirt printer recently designed a personalized email campaign that would pull in a company’s information and logo to personalize their cold email experience. The campaign continues to perform well-above industry benchmarks, netting 10’s of thousands of dollars in revenue with a consistent open rate above 50% and a CTR above 25% in some segments.

Personalizing emails can be very simple with the right email service provider. Personalizing images within emails – and then automating the system – well, that’s a bit more complicated.

What Is “Personalization”?

Most of us understand the concept of personalization in content marketing: a tactic by which data and technology are used to deliver individualized messages and product offerings to current or prospective customers. Improvements in data collection methods and analytics have made it possible to create real-time personalized experiences.

Applying this tactic to a marketing strategy and executing it can be difficult without the right goals and tools. Just because you can personalize something, doesn’t mean you should.

For many email marketers, though, personalization is a must-have. Across industries, segmentation and personalization are remarkably effective in email. By adding the first name of a recipient to an email, or by tailoring the type of content you offer them and even tailoring the regularity with which you send them content, you’re able to increase the effectiveness of your emails.

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How Can Emails Be Personalized?

CRM tools and marketing automation platforms make personalizing emails easy. Platforms like MailChimp and Drip can help marketers and small business owners connect a signup form on their website to a data collection system, and then help them create templated email campaigns that are easy to build an deploy. The platform uses your database of customer and prospective customer email addresses and information like first names, job title, or last email opened to help marketers personalize emails by segment.

How Did Ramp T-Shirts Automate Personalized Images In Emails?

Ramp T-Shirts went a step further with their email personalization when they automated a data collection and image generation process that would pull in a company’s information and logo to personalize the email experience. The title of the email would read, “I’m wearing a [YOUR COMPANY] t-shirt!” and the email body contained an image of the CEO of Ramp wearing a t-shirt with the recipient’s company logo on it.

The image itself is of the CEO, Neil Cocker, wearing a t-shirt that the company logo is placed on. According to Neil, this wasn’t an easy decision to make. “To be honest, I wasn't keen on putting my face into thousands of people's inboxes, but we felt that it would be more human and "real" to have a photo of me, rather than an obvious model-type as the star image. It makes it more trustworthy, too. It's very literally the opposite of a faceless sales email.”

Savvy marketers know that, without the right tools, this sort of automated system is impossible to scale. Ramp has worked over the last year to perfect this system, incorporating tools and like Hunter, Clearbit, and Placeit to find email addresses associated with a company, find their company logo, and then place the company logo on an image.

“It was an iterative process. It *is* possible for anyone [to accomplish something like this], even without access to great tech resources,” Neil told Enterprise Marketer, over email. “We tried it first without engaging the tech team to see if it worked. It took some time, but the free services online meant that non-tech people could "build" the prototype. Then, when it worked, we got the tech team involved because we knew that it would bring us a return on our investment.”

Neil Cocker, CEO of RampTShirts.com, was the star of the email. This t-shirt was personalized to fit the recipient's company logo.

Personalized Email Images Are Cool, But Not For Everyone

This system was hand-built by Ramp and might not be something that the average marketer could pull off. The company admits that it’s still working out the kinks, even accidentally sending Playstation employees emails with t-shirt previews for Sony t-shirts (Playstation is owned by Sony), but it’s adroit, very successful in this use case, and impressively scalable, making it our latest Tactic of the Moment.

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