What questions to ask consumers to tailor email communications?

While I was mucking around on the IKEA Obama Inauguration site (see blog post), I clicked through to the IKEA website and subscribed for ongoing email communications. When going through the registration process, they asked a few questions about my interests (see details below).

Fingers crossed IKEA will actually use these details and send me personalised communications.

IKEA Customisation - Tailoring questions

IKEA Customisation - Tailoring questions

IKEA Personalisation - Tailoring question

IKEA Personalisation - Tailoring question


From these questions, IKEA can use the information to send information about the following:

  • IKEA experience – if you haven’t been to IKEA, there might be an introduction to the store, what to expect or special offer to get you to the store. If you have been there, there might be an offer to get you back.
  • Interior design interest – if you are interested in interior design, then communications about design services or special trade offers to use IKEA’s services
  • Number of people in the house – updates and information about storage or other products that might be useful in a shared house or in a house dependent on your answer
  • Children in the house – updates and information about children’s products or special offers, children services over the holiday period (free child minding)
  • Business based information – business furniture specials and new products, tax time specials
  • Location based information – specials or offers only available at the local store, opening hours over holidays or special trading periods, unique products available at the local store


While having this much data about consumers is great, if you don’t use it you can annoy them. Based on the above six questions, there are so many different combinations of the information you can receive. If you are a client, you need to make sure you have a email deployment engine that can personalise content on the fly.

How do you do this?

  • Template – create an email template that can be used for all emails
  • Content – create all content combinations
  • Technology – ensure that your content can be sucked seamlessly into the email template
  • Test – create a generic newsletter (no personalisation) and test this against the personalised messages
  • Measurement – set up benchmarks over three months.



  • What would you consider the optimum level of personalisation?
  • Would you use as your base level of personalisation?
  • What is over the top?
  • Who is doing it well?



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2 Responses to What questions to ask consumers to tailor email communications?

  1. Daisy says:

    People don’t even know what real life is anymore, they are so obsessed with these sites like twitter and the rest.

  2. Couldn’t agree more Clarissa.

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