• Sarah Macpherson

Cut through the noise of holiday offers with personality-driven marketing

We’ve all received some bad email marketing in our lives — email so poorly targeted it’s made us laugh out loud and ponder its journey from the marketer’s workbench to our inbox. I have received plenty of mismatched emails: from discounts on Cape Cod style decorative fish nets and life rings, to animated GIFs of bobbing crowds for a massive holiday pop show (for context, I fancy myself a bit of a minimalist when it comes to both decor and crowds). The list of ridiculous and unappealing gift ideas and purchase opportunities is endless.

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, email marketing hits a fever pitch as every marketer grapples for the American audience’s attention and, more importantly, their wallet.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming, this problem of misplaced targeting will expand exponentially. Soon, inboxes everywhere will be awash with marketing emails of gift lists, deal count-downs, BOGO, December daily deals, holiday sales, and every other play in the book. Consumers may bravely traipse through the mess in their inbox searching for that perfect offer, but, more likely, the sheer volume will overwhelm them, and they’ll fumble for the faucet shut off.

The path to a customer’s attention amid this marketing morass is genuine personalization. Let’s be honest, slapping a first name on an email with a personalization token is hardly compelling these days. You need marketing copy and creative that goes well beyond a name, but rather has been crafted for their very personality. Of course, every marketer dreams of having the insight of a one-on-one conversation with each of their customers, a real understanding of what motivates and excites them, but personality insights haven’t been much more than daydream— until now.

Pinpoint Predictive can help.

Shopper Personality is a free app that we have made available via Shopify to give merchants previously unavailable psychological insights about their best customers. Instead of spending months surveying customers and sifting through focus groups, now you can get the same results in a day. Learn your customers’ most defining personality traits across 35 dimensions, as well as actionable insights into the words, colors, and images that will best appeal to them. Together these details can give your marketing executions the level of personalization that really resonates.

If you haven’t yet tried Shopper Personality, please do...again, it’s free! Below are just a few suggestions for specific personality traits you may uncover in the analysis of your store.

Achievement Striving

Strong trait: Perhaps your customers are achievement oriented, and excellence matters to them. Use phrases like ‘win the holidays this year…”, or “make your holiday party a success…” in your marketing to effectively appeal to their drive for accomplishment. Goal-oriented language is the key.

Weak trait: On the flip side, maybe that data shows that your customers aren’t so achievement oriented. That’s ok! If they may want to get through the holidays as easily, and painlessly, as possible, it would be good to remind them you are their holiday one-stop-shop with quick shipping and gift wrapping. The language of convenience is the key.

Excitement Seeking

Strong trait: If your customers are generally looking for thrills, cue the bright colors, animations, and exclamation marks!!! Excitement seeking individuals respond to high stimulation and will be moved by high energy marketing.

Weak trait: On the opposite end of the spectrum are individuals looking for calm. For these folks, you will want to forgo anything bright, loud, or flashing. Rather, position your pitch as a soothing cup of chamomile tea for their inbox.


Strong trait: If your customers are high on cheerfulness, you will want to use words like “joy,” “happiness,” “smile,” and “blessed” in your copy. Also, emphasize themes of enthusiasm, optimism, and bliss in your creative. The holidays easily lend themselves to this sort of high-spirited revelry, so don’t hold back!

Weak trait: There are just as many grinches out there though (after-all, each trait is scored on a bell curve!). For this less-than-enthusiastic crew, trim down the excitement and perhaps find a slightly snarky approach to addressing the trials of the gift-giving season.


Strong trait: Those customers high in altruism find helping those in need to be very rewarding. Frame the conversation around helping others and tie into the giving spirit of the season. Highlight your store’s efforts to give back, partnerships with the community, or ways in which their purchase will help others.

Weak trait: For those low in this trait, focus your language on addressing their personal needs of saving time, earning rewards, or simply completing their shopping to do list.

By tailoring your Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing efforts to the individual’s personality, you’ll be able to stand out in the onslaught of deals and discounts flooding their inboxes.

Bring these insights, creative recommendations, and more to your customer communications through our Shopper Personality app on Shopify.