In the News | February 3, 2021

3 Content Personalization Pitfalls and How to Overcome Them

It’s 2021. There’s no excuse for “Hey {First_Name}” emails to be floating through your inbox, or for brands to serve customers ads for products they’ve already purchased. Those content personalization pitfalls can be easily avoided.

With multiple touchpoints to choose from and a wealth of first-party data to tap into, publishers and brands should be able to build a comprehensive view of each user — including their interests and behaviors across the web — and deliver personalized content that actually works. As SmarterHQ reported, 72% of consumers only engage with personalized messaging.

Check out what our CEO, Jeff Kupietzky, has to say about why content personalization is so important:

Start delivering highly personalized content to your audience, today. Request a demo to learn how.

Still, mistakes happen. And many businesses still rely on old-school tracking methods like third-party cookies to segment their audiences and customize their campaigns. According to Gartner, 74% of marketing leaders are having trouble scaling their personalization efforts, and companies with poor personalization risk losing 38% of their business.

As a result, we get treated to public displays of failed personalization — like, ads that attempt to create a personalized connection with users but, in reality, miss the mark due to low-quality data, poor targeting, and inaccurate segmenting.

To show you just what we’re talking about, let’s look at three content personalization pitfalls and how to overcome them.

1. Creepy ads

Facebook has been continuously criticized for launching “creepy” ads that are too eerily specific or based on information users haven’t knowingly provided. According to Pew Research Center, 74% of Facebook users didn’t know the social network tracks their interests and behaviors for ad targeting, and more than half are uncomfortable with it.

It turns out, people have to go to their ad preferences to manually adjust or opt-out of this data collection:

manage data

How to overcome it: Be transparent. Invite users to opt in to data collection by providing the information they need to know at the point of collection, like when they share their email address or sign up for a newsletter.

2. Bad retargeting

Bad retargeting comes in many forms — launching ads for a product someone has already purchased, trying to upsell a customer who had a bad experience, and being so pushy that you frustrate a once-happy buyer. Those are some popular ones. And they’re just a waste of time and money.

In the example, below, you can see an aggressive amount of retargeting emails for someone who only downloaded a paper once, months ago:

retargeting emails

How to overcome it: Sync data across channels. Break down those silos and make sure you have a comprehensive view of how your customer operates at each touchpoint, so you can deliver the most helpful and relevant content. All you need to do is find a unique identifier that can track user behavior and preferences across channels, like a person’s email address. 

3. Not-real-time marketing

Some ads don’t match up with the brand’s inventory. So they reach the customer with the right messaging, but can’t actually follow through on their promise. This email, for example, advertises a rug that might be of interest, but is actually sold out on the website.

email ad

How to overcome it: Place ads programmatically in real time. Make sure your data is synced with your advertising platform so you can reach customers with real-time offers and personalized ads that actually deliver.

Win at content personalization across channels

Content personalization isn’t just a strategy to use for one special ad, campaign, or channel. It should be baked into your content operation so you can reach audiences wherever they are with just the right content.

That’s why Jeeng helps publishers and brands take control of their owned, first-party data to deliver customized campaigns across channels like email, push notifications, websites, and news reader apps. So they can avoid a spot in the pitfall hall of fame and be sure to drive the most engagement with each ad they create.


Want to learn more? Contact us today to start personalizing.

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