Personalization Beyond Messaging
Robert O'Dowd
Robert O'Dowd

Personalization Beyond Messaging

Robert O'Dowd, Growth Manager

With the wealth of user data available, brands are more empowered than ever to offer truly valuable experiences to their customers. While many brands view personalization as adding a user’s first name to an email, it’s possible— and a really good idea— to develop a full personalization strategy. This means utilizing tools that connect customers to the content they’re most likely to enjoy— which ultimately leads to deeper, more meaningful relationships with your brand.

If you’re interested in getting beyond a first name basis with your users, there are a range of helpful tools to get you there. Liquid, for example, is an open source template language created by Shopify and works to load dynamic content to online pages. It acts as a bridge between your templates and your data, and allows your templates to be content-agnostic and reusable in a variety of scenarios. On Prolific Growth projects, we’ll often pair Liquid with a tool like Braze to maximize personalized user data.

When it comes to personalizing content, it’s important to think about:

  • What is unique to each user?
  • What are their individual traits?
  • How do they interact with my product?
  • What technology/device do they use?

By collecting data like:

  • Basic user information (e.g.: first_name, last_name)
  • Custom attributes (e.g.: favorite music genre)
  • Custom event properties (e.g.: clicked special offer)
  • Device information (e.g.: most recently seen)
  • Target device information

After you’ve asked these questions and collected some valuable data, the question becomes: How do you build a bridge between valuable data and customized user experience? Here are two companies that have taken content personalization and run with it:


As many of us are reeling from that Game of Thrones finale (!), HBO provides a great example of catering to users’ preferences with personalization. When HBO sees that a fan has dropped off in a series or movie, they invite them to pick up where they left off. The messaging contains content that speaks to specific plot points and content that a fan would care about, rather than a generic message about HBO’s larger offerings. They know the user’s interests and habits, and provide specific content they’re most likely to be interested in.

This obviously provides users with more valuable content and a better brand experience, but the ability to do this at scale is where automated personalization really begins to pay off. Think about how many custom campaigns would be required to roll out this strategy for all of HBO’s titles. Daunting, right? But automated personalization lets you control the delivery of this content dynamically and accurately.


For SoulCycle, the customer’s relationship with instructors is paramount— and often a deciding factor in what classes a user will attend. Not only does SoulCycle do a terrific job of recognizing this bond throughout their product offering, but they also champion their instructors in their messaging.

Knowing which instructors cyclers follow most— and at which locations— gives SoulCycle the ability to provide users with the most valuable information and updates. The brand even recommends similar instructors and advice on studio times and availability. This is a great example of understanding what matters most to your customers and utilizing this in automated personalization in your marketing. These efforts provide users with content that has real value and translates into meaningful experiences.

Now more than ever, users expect a personalized experience from the companies they interact with. And thanks to the wealth of data collection and personalization tools available, brands are empowered to meet and exceed this expectation.

If you’re interested in developing a personalization strategy and building strong, lasting relationships with your users, let’s talk.

Digging Deeper into Personalization

Want to learn more about how you can use personalization to enhance your mobile retention and engagement strategies? Stay tuned for the next two articles in our ‘Personalization Series’: