Sony has a personalized 2019 PlayStation Wrap-Up for you – Blog – 10 minute

A look back: Year’s-in-review are always more fun when they are about you. So Sony has put out a 2019 Wrap-Up report showing the games you played and other facts about your gaming habits in 2019. If you’re curious about just how much money your PS Plus subscription saved you in sales, that and more is summed up in the report.
It’s that time of year when everyone is looking back and remembering the previous year. Spotify put out its 2019 Wrapped recap. Likewise, YouTube did another Rewind, and Apple joined the crowd with its Replay look back.
Not wanting to be left out, PlayStation launched its own personalized 2019 Wrap-Up report. After signing into their PSN account, the web app will show users all sorts of interesting trivia about their gameplay habits in 2019.

It displays players’ top three titles they played and how long they spent in each. It also shows how many different games and the total number of hours played in 2019, as well as which day of the week users preferred to play.
The Wrap-Up site will show you what your top genre was and how many games you played in that category, as well as the number of trophies earned and hours played. There are other stats, too, like the number of downloads made and how much money was saved on PlayStation Plus offers in the store.
It sums it all up by giving players a rank based on what they played most — mine was Marksman because I spent 193 hours playing first-person shooters. As an added bonus, users can redeem a voucher for an exclusive dynamic theme and avatars based on the various ranks.

Ranks include:

Action Hero — for the gamer who lives for the epic moments in action-adventure games
Legendary Warrior — for the gamer who steps up to the challenge in fighting games
Master Explorer — for the gamer who has continually aced that platformer game
Master Strategist — for the gamer who loves solving puzzles in a good strategy game
Speed Demon — for the gamer who leaves their fellow drivers in the dust in a fast-paced driving/racing game
Sports Phenom — for the gamer with a competitive edge and a love for sports games
Marksman — for the gamer who hits their mark in a shooter game

Note: Voucher code includes all seven avatars and the theme, so you are not just stuck with the avatar associated with the rank the wrap-up gave you.

via Gfycat
Although PlayStation did not mention it, I believe this is the first time it has done a recap like this, but I could be mistaken. I have been a PS Plus member for a long time and cannot recall the company doing a year-end wrap-up in the past.
Regardless, it is a fun look back at what you played that is worth a peek. The app will only be up until February 14, so check it out before they put it away for a year.

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Target’s personalized loyalty program launches nationwide next month – gpgmail


Target today announced its new, data-driven loyalty program, Target Circle, will launch nationwide on October, 6th, following a year and a half of beta testing in select markets. The program combines a variety of features including 1% back on purchases, birthday rewards, and personalized offers and savings designed to make the program more attractive to consumers.

It also includes a way for customers to vote on Target’s community giving initiatives, which helps directs Target’s giving to around 800 nonprofits in the U.S.

The new program is designed to lure in customers who have yet to adopt Target’s store card, REDcard. While REDcard penetration today is around 23%, that number has remained fairly consistent over time — in fact, it’s down about one percentage point from a year ago.

With Target Circle, however, the retailer has another means of generating loyalty and establishing a connection with its customers on a more individualized basis.

A big part of that is the personalized aspect of the Target Circle program. In addition to the “birthday perks” (an easy way to grab some demographic data), customers will also get special discounts on the categories they “shop most often” — meaning, Target will be tapping into its treasure trove of customer purchase history to make recommendations from both in-store and online purchases along with other signals.

“As guests shop, Target leverages information about their shopping behaviors and purchases to share relevant offers that create an even more personalized, seamless shopping experience,” a company spokesperson explained, when asked for details about the data being used. “For example, a guest who frequently shops Target for baby products may receive a special offer on their next purchase of baby items.”

TargetCircle NonBeta 19 Brand RGB Logo Red

According to a recent retail study from Avionos, 78% of consumers are more likely to purchase from retailers that better personalize their experiences and 63% are more open to sharing personal information if retailers can better anticipate needs.

And as some may recall, Target is already scary good at personalization.

In one notable case, the retailer figured out a teen girl was pregnant before her father did, and sent her coupons for baby items. The dad, understandably, was angry — until he found out that Target was right.

That story was a high-profile example of the data collection and analysis big retailers are doing all the time, though. Target Circle simply formalizes this into an opt-in program instead of an opt-out experience.

As part of the changes, Target’s Cartwheel savings are rolling into Target Circle where they’ll be rebranded as Target Circle offers. 

TargetCircle inApp

Circle members will also get early access to special sales throughout the year — that is, the events people line up for, like they did for the Lilly Pulitzer fashion line or more recently, the quickly sold out Vineyard Vines collection.

Target says, in time, it will come up with “even more personalized, relevant ways” to make shopping easier for its customers.

The new program is meant to complement the REDcard, which will increase the cashback to 5% when used. But REDcard holders can still join Circle to take advantage of the other perks.

WalletRedeeming

“Our guests are at the center of everything we do, and we’re always looking for ways to create even easier, more rewarding shopping experiences that give them another reason to choose Target,” said Rick Gomez, Target executive vice president, and chief marketing and digital officer, in a statement. “We worked directly with guests to develop Target Circle, and the program includes the benefits and perks they told us were most important to them, from earning on every trip to having the opportunity to help Target make a positive impact in their local communities,” he said.

The loyalty program had been in testing in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Charlotte, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Phoenix over the past 18 months.

Though not having Amazon’s scale, Target has done well at quickly innovating to keep up with today’s pace of e-commerce. In short order, it has made over its stores to make more room for order pickups and online grocery, and has launched and expanded new services like Target Restock (next-day), Shipt (same day delivery) and Drive Up (same day pickup). The changes have been paying off with Target beating on its latest earnings with $18.42 billion in revenue and profits of $938 million.

 


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Spirable refuels with $7.4M to serve more personalized video ads in the US – gpgmail


London based adtech startup Spirable has closed a £6M Series A. The round was led by Smedvig Capital, with existing backers Frontline Ventures, Downing Ventures and 24 Haymarket also participating.

The startup is one of several playing in the customized video ads space — offering a platform that simplifies and scales video ad creation by enabling brands and advertisers to combine video templates with creative and data sources to automate the creation and delivery of scores of personalized marketing messages.

Spirable says its platform, which launched in 2014, is now used by more than 50 customers. Campaigns have run across 75+ countries, with more than 100M personalised videos distributed since launch.

Its most successful industries to date are CPG (consumer packaged goods), travel and telco, according to co-founders Dave and Ger O’Meara.

On the travel front, they give the example of a Deutsche Bahn ‘No Need to Fly’ campaign that used dynamic video to show a location-sensitive side by side comparison of flight costs juxtaposed with cheaper train trips to local beauty spots — which Spirable claims achieved a 397% increase in click throughs; a 849% performance increase; and 59% reduction in cost per click vs the control.

Another example they cite is a Vodafone campaign to promote two own brand smartphone models which integrates multiple data feeds (such as contextual weather and date data) with creative assets in order to dynamically spotlight different features of the devices. The personalized marketing messages were served across Facebook, YouTube and Display channels via APIs baked into the platform.

From five video templates the tech automated the creation of more than five and a half thousand “unique” videos, tweaked to be more relevant to the targeted viewers.

On that particular campaign, Spirable says Vodafone saw sales of its own-brand devices increase by 100%. While ad performance increased by up to 50%.

“We can use all the targeting available in Facebook and layer this with contextual live data like the weather, live sports scores etc. So if we know someone is in London (via geo-targeting via Facebook), we can pull the local weather for that location and tailor the video to people in that audience and also update the video when a goal is scored in a match by a team that the audience supports,” they explain. “Once set up the whole process if fully automated. When the weather, sports data etc change the videos update and change.”

As well as automating serving up personalized ads, the platform provides performance reports on the backend, and uses machine learning technology to optimize ad creative to boost engagement.

The startup notes it’s been a Facebook Marketing Partner for more than two years.

The privacy implications of such highly targeted ads are — or should be — plain.

Among the laundry list of data sources that Spirable’s platform lets advertisers plug in to automate “personalized” ads are “CRM data” which it says includes personal data, purchase data, website browsing, service usage data and preferences; “social audience data”, including behavioral data, audience persona, interests, preferences and intents; and “contextual” signals such as store locations, weather (including pollen and UV levels), markets and stock levels live spots, trending events, pricing, time & date, live travel data, Google traffic data and supermarket wi-fi data.

So, for example, a parent who recently logged into a supermarket’s wi-fi network to check their Facebook account and was tracked lingering near shelves of diapers might find themselves being served video ads for a discount on girlie pink baby products at a nearby store.

The sheer volume of data integrations Spirable offers is one of the areas it claims sets its platform apart from competitors — name-checking Clinch and Idomoo as its main rivals in personalized video ads.

“Spirable has an unparalleled amount of data integrations to uniquely personalise video ads in real-time,” it says, further claiming Idomoo “doesn’t talk about live data and pre-render ads and upload to Facebook — so there is a lack of data-driven pipelines”.

Other areas where it reckons its approach stands out vs the competition is because it’s offering a ‘self-serve’ platform — meaning advertisers and brands can use it to “create, scale and optimise personalised video in-house”, without the need for specialist teams or agencies trained in video effects software (such as After Effects) to make use of the platform.

The video ad building process is also “modular” and “100% customisable” — vs the two named rivals not supporting layer level manipulation, meaning it’s less easy for their users to make changes on the fly to optimize ads.

Another claimed differentiator is that Spirable’s platform is cross-channel — with support for “all major social, email, messenger and display channels”.

It says the Series A funding will go on expanding the business in the US, with a plan to ramp up spending there on sales, customer support and marketing. Product development will also get investment.

“We have an exciting product roadmap of new features that will enable us to reach our vision of making video ads as engaging and useful as any other content a person sees on digital. This requires investment to scale up our engineering and product teams,” the co-founders tell gpgmail.

Commenting on the funding in a statement, Joe Knowles, principal at Smedvig Capital, added: “Spirable is a critical enabler of personalised video advertising, one of the major trends in video advertising today. Every marketer wants to use video in a more personalised way. But so far, slow and expensive content creation has been a barrier to mass adoption. Spirable’s Software as a Service removes this barrier and makes real time, automated video personalisation at scale a reality.

“Having tracked the business for over a year, we are excited to work with Ger, Dave and the high-quality team they are building at Spirable.”


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‘Mental fitness’ startup Elevate Labs launches a personalized meditation app called Balance – gpgmail


While investors are already writing big checks for meditation startups, Elevate Labs founder and CEO Jesse Pickard said that none of the existing meditation apps can replace the experience of working with a human coach.

“This experience where you have somebody that meets with you is wildly better than any digital product that’s out there,” Pickard said. “The problem is, it’s not affordable to 99% of the planet.”

So Elevate Labs is launching a new mobile app today called Balance, which is designed to replicate the experience of working with a live meditation coach.

“Even with meditation increasingly getting into the mainstream, it’s a fairly difficult practice to adhere to,” Pickard said. “We take away a lot of that indecision and present you with a path that is unique to you … People live all sorts of different lives: Some people care about stress, some people care about sleep, some people care about focus. But when you and I go into any of the other major apps, we’re getting the exact same recording.”

With Balance, on the other hand, you’re not just browsing through a library of prerecorded content. Instead, the app starts out by asking you about your goals, your meditation experience and more. You’ll then get a set of introductory meditations that may look familiar, but Pickard said that each meditation is actually “a combination of dozens and dozens of clips woven together that’s personalized to you.”

For example, I told the app that I already had experience with meditation, and that my top goal was to stay focused. As a result, my first meditation skipped most of the introductory explanations, and the main exercise was designed to help me focus on the sound of my breath.

Pickard said the app will continue to ask you questions about your experience over time, which in turn will lead to more personalization. The meditations are narrated by coach Leah Santa Cruz, who’s also involved in writing the content, and there are other meditation experts on the Balance team.

The app’s initial 10-day course is free. After that, to get access to additional meditations, you’ll need to pay $11.99 per month, $49.99 per year or $199.99 for a lifetime subscription. In addition to the meditations, Balance also includes a guided activity designed to help people sleep.

On top of launching a new app, Elevate Labs is also announcing that it has raised a $7.1 million Series B led by Keesing Media Group, with participation from Oakhouse Partners.

Under its old name MindSnacks, the company built language-learning games before shifting focus to Elevate, a “brain training” app that has supposedly been downloaded 25 million times and won Apple’s App of the Year Award in 2014. Pickard (who, thanks to the magic of Craigslist, was my roommate for about a year when I was first starting at gpgmail) said that unlike most of the other apps that are marketed as improving your mind, Elevate focuses on trainable skills like reading, writing and math — rather than, say, improving your memory.

“We’ve been extremely careful about [not] venturing into untrainable skills — things like improving your attention span, those activities are not as provenly teachable,” he said.

It’s been a while since the company has raised outside funding — seven years since MindSnacks announced a Series A from Sequoia. Pickard said the company actually raised another bridge round in 2015, then “buckled down for a number of years and really just had to build a business that actually was sustainable.”

Apparently that’s paid off — he said Elevate Labs was cash-flow positive last year. With a total of $17.1 million in funding, the plan now is to continue supporting and growing Elevate while also launching Balance and building a whole line of related apps.

“We think there’s a really huge brand to be built around mental fitness,” Pickard said.


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10 Brilliant Ideas for Personalized Email Marketing


Personalized email marketing refers to any form of alteration of the email copy or design tailored specifically to meet one or more characteristics of the recipient. Personalized email marketing is not always easy to achieve and requires a bit more effort than simply sending a generic email to your whole list of subscribers. However, personalized email marketing in most cases leads to higher conversion rates, which is practically the goal of every marketer, isn’t it?

Increased chances of conversion are certainly worth all the extra efforts. If you are lacking ideas of how to personalize the emails you are sending, well, we have good news for you. In today’s post, we’ve gathered some brilliant ideas for personalized email marketing that worked for other brands and maybe you should give them a shot, too. Let’s begin!

 

1. Name

Using the recipient’s name is probably the first thing to come to mind when someone thinks of personalized email marketing.

“Hello, Mike” undeniably sounds more personalized than “Hey there” but how exactly to use the name is an issue bringing a few more questions to the table. Should you use it in your email subject line or in the copy perhaps? Should you use the recipient’s first name or should you call them by their last name? Experimenting with A/B testing will surely give you the answers.

2. Conversational tone and utterance

Usually, the level of formality of your brand determines the conversational tone when sending emails to leads and clients. However, different generations often speak “different” languages, as well as people of different professional ranks would require you to adjust the level of formality of your utterance.

3. Gender

Personalizing emails by gender is exceptionally useful when you are selling men’s and women’s products, such as clothing and cosmetics. Instead of creating one email campaign that would cover both men’s and women’s products, segment your subscribers’ list by gender and create two different campaigns – one that’s targetting women and therefore offering women’s products, and the other – targetting men and offering men’s products.

4. Location and time

Depending on your business, you can segment your audience based on location, as well. This is a great way to advertise local shops, events or contests happening nearby, etc.

In regards to timing, have in mind that if you are sending internationally, it’s better to adjust to the recipient’s time zone. Depending on the ESP you are using, you may even be able to let the ESP choose the best time at which the recipients are most likely to open the email.

5. Account creation date

When you have the account creation date for each subscriber, it’s easy to craft a happy birthday email that will automatically get triggered when this day comes. Such practice provides an extremely personalized experience for the recipient.

6. Frequency of purchase

Based on how the customers behave on your website, you can create a few different customer personas to whom to send personalized email offers. For example, based on the frequency of purchase your subscribers could fall into 3 different groups:

  • subscribers who have never purchased from you – strive to send enticing offers which prompt these users to make their first order;
  • subscribers who haven’t purchased from you in a while – send reactivation campaigns;
  • regular customers – customer appreciation and loyalty programs.

7. Spending habits

Of course, you can segment your database of subscribers based on different behavior, e.g. the average amount they spend in one order. Such information can help you craft and send personalized email marketing offers to people who are willing to spend this kind of money. Here is an example of segmentation based on spending habits:

  • people who spend less than $50
  • people who spend between $50 and $250
  • people who spend over $250

Personalized Email Marketing Spending Habits

8. Personalized product recommendations

Be it upselling or cross-selling, recommendations based on previously purchased products, products saved as favorites, search history or browsing history on website, sending personalized email marketing offers including products people actually care about is quite promising. Not only do the chances of conversion increase, but the value of the order has also pretty high chances of increase, too.

9. Send the email from a real person

If the customers have ever interacted with someone on your team, sending emails on behalf of this person can really help you convey the feeling of one-to-one communication, especially if you also use the recipient’s name in the beginning of the email.

10. Personalize the landing page

Personalized email marketing undoubtedly requires personalized experience beyond the email. Don’t let your efforts for personalization go in vain once the person clicks through. Personalized landing pages are a must. They work like a natural sequence of your email. Think in terms of design- and copy-consistency.

 

How to get more ideas for personalized email marketing?

Easy. The more information you gather about your subscribers, the easier it will be for you to personalize your email marketing.

Asking the right questions right from the beginning will ensure you a database full of useful information. For example, if you are a retailer, you can ask if the subscriber is male or female when they subscribe. The same goes for gathering other demographical data or customer interests that will help you segment your list of subscribers later.

Don’t underestimate the power of behavior-triggered emails. Cart abandonment, inactivity for a given period of time, adding products to favorites – these actions and more can all be triggers for personalized email marketing campaigns based on the specific behavior of your prospects and clients.

 

To sum up,

There are indeed many ways to personalize your emails. The key is asking the right question to gather the right information, so you can send the right content to the right users. We believe these ideas will help you achieve more personalized email marketing. If you’d like to share your thoughts, feel free to do so in the comments below.