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3 Unique Ways to Personalize Emails & Create Brand Loyalty

Most people you’re reaching out to are dying to be delighted and entertained.

They’re also real people, just like you and me.

This is why we’ve advocated for things like avoiding calling someone by their roll call name and sprinkling in interactions on more intimate mediums like text messages or social media…

Personalize Emails

The thirst for amusement represents an opportunity to inject delight into your interactions with current and prospective customers. If you can be the person whose communication consistently elicits a smile or breath of fresh air, you’ll be poised to succeed.

In this post, we wanted to highlight some tools and practices we use internally at Troops to make it as easy as possible to inject delight into every interaction.

The Gif Bank

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a visual person, but I have a hard time buying that a 5 letter word will ever be able to induce the same emotions that dynamic imagery will.

Compare these two ways to acknowledge and thank someone:



Personalize Emails

a Statham hat tip…are you kidding me?!?!

There are countless instances where you can personalize emails and communicate the exact same message to someone in a more refreshing way using imagery like gifs.

I have an entire folder on my computer just for gifs where I’ve named each one in a way that makes it easy to identify the context I can use them in.  

I call it my Gif Bank 💰💰

Personalize Emails

People love when they receive these over your standard static responses…and selfishly, I love sending them!

Having my Gif Bank handy reduces friction to using them which means I end up sending them more often. If you’re not already doing this, I  recommend starting your own and building a repository of your favorite ones you’d like to use over and over.

Want my favorite Gifs to send to customers?

Click Here To Get The GIF Bank’s Top 10 Images

Emojis Personalize Emails

If Gifs had a best friend in the 7 kingdoms of email personality realm, they’d be emojis…and yes, that is a John Snow emoji.

Unlike our phones, it’s not as easy to insert emojis seamlessly into conversation from your desktop.

That is until this great Chrome widget Command came along. Similar to how you can bring Salesforce into Slack (using Troops) with a simple / key, the command plugin brings emojis to many places in your browser including gmail.

Personalize Emails

I really like using emojis in:

  • Email subject lines 🚀
  • Calibrated email dialogues 💁
  • Tweets 👻

Similar to the Gif Bank, Command makes it so easy to add emojis that I use to personalize emails that I otherwise wouldn’t have.

Personalize Emails

Custom, Hilarious Content

This is more of a product marketing thing, but I’m so fired up about it I’m sharing it in this post.

Custom Emojis

You can get just about anything done on Fiverr.

One thing we’ve done is have someone create custom emojis for our company that we’re starting to incorporate into marketing materials as well as within personalized emails here and there.

Thumbs up response:

Personalize Emails

That was hilarious response:

Personalize Emails

Let’s party like it’s 1999 or something…response:

Personalize Emails

People go bananas when I personalize emails with Troops’ emojis and I believe small touches like these can create an emotional connection to your brand.

Product should not be the only way your company is creating an emotional connection with your customers. People distributing the product should be as well! [Click to tweet!]

Being able to engender an emotional connection can be a huge advantage for an early stage company because you’re often reliant upon early champions and evangelists to drive product and distribution.

Photoshopped Images

Personalize Emails

I got this call/demo request from Ed at JournoRequests themed after the zombie movie 28 Days Later that made me laugh so hard I almost sprayed Kombucha all over my monitor.

I almost got on the phone with Ed just because of the effort.

Inserting yourself into a Gif

My friend Mark has an app he created called GifJif where you can insert your head into a gif.

Personalize Emails

It’s hilarious.

He sends a great email newsletter out every week with new music which always features a new GifJif which I look forward to seeing each week.

Personalize Emails

I find the GifJifs pretty funny and end up opening these emails to see them even when I’m not ready to listen to the tracks.

In many ways, he’s used this piece of email personality to train me to open the email.

Another example of this you can experiment and have some fun with is the live filtering application MSQRD. You can create hilarious photos and videos using many of their pre-built themes.

Again, most people are dying to be delighted and entertained. Tapping into this can accelerate rapport building, develop brand loyalty, and even coax desired behavior as demonstrated in the GifJif example immediately above. Along with adding entertaining content to your emails, there are many other strategies you can use to increase open rates and increase customer retention.

Recommended Reading: 5 Email Marketing Data Point Everyone Should Know


The small practices and applications above are a few things we do at Troops to personalize emails, but we’re constantly  looking for new ideas and ways to improve. What are some clever ways you insert personality into your outward communication?

Whoever has the best comment, Troops will hook up with a shirt, access to our Fiverr designer, and entire Gif library…


  • these are great tips; thanks for sharing. also, looks like i might be the first (and only) comment. can i get access to that gif lib?

  • David Fischer

    Scott, thanks so much for posting. One of the few different/original posts. My company, Rockstar Coders, has the same mindset about personality. We used to be called Dream Staffing (boring) and switched to Rockstar Coders as a tongue in cheek statement about all the job posts asking for Rockstar Coders or Ninja Developers!

    I love the idea of livening up emails – keep those ideas coming!


    ps – would be amazing to get that gif lib/fiverr designer, I want to make some Rockin’ Gifs. 🙂

    • That’s awesome David! I’d be curious if people always know you’re kidding around w/ the name or do some take it at face value? Shoot me an email at scott at troops.ai and can send you the fiver designer!

      • David Fischer

        Hmmm…good question, I’m not sure! I figured the rock related imagery would be a clue but maybe we’re being too subtle? What do you think?


  • Teofil Shikov

    Very millennial approaches there. As millennial myself, I truly enjoy receiving personalise email like that. I have a question here: based on your experience, was there a time when this approaches backfired? E.g. prospects thought this seems immature, unprofessional, not serious, etc.?

    • Honesty it’s hard to tell because often a backlash is a no-response. With all of this there is a certain level of calibration which is why this works best in a targeted account based selling model, where you’re really doing the research before reaching out to someone

  • Allen Bradley

    @Scott I’m with Teofil on this one – for me I’d crack up at most of them; but in all honesty although everyone likes laughing I don’t see this approach working with an older clientele. Our brand is fun and relaxed, but there’s definitely a line.

    Any feedback on the types of clients you use these on? i.e. Professionals, high-end clients, age groupings? Like most things some context from your experience would be super helpful!

    • Definitely always need to calibrate with your audience. This is for sure more geared towards a millenial audience. I’d say this might be perceived as strange by folks over 40 who are less tech saavy or just an a less tech centric industry

      • Allen Bradley

        That’s what I figured, too. What stinks (in my opinion) is that I want our company to have a fun and funky feel, but honestly not sure since it is a more premium product being sold to an older audience if they would view it as immature or untrustworthy OR just the opposite that “Wow! This is the cutting edge cool young stuff I’ve been hearing about – they must know what they’re doing”.

        Hope that makes sense.

        Any opinions on that one?