Happy New Year! I hope your new year is off to a great start. Keeping with tradition, many of us look back on the prior year to determine what went well, what we resolve to do better, and how to make the new year a success. This is also happening in the email world and I have noticed the rise of the “recap email” over the past few years and received a handful of them in my own inbox this year. These recap emails typically fall into two buckets. They are either 1) a personal overview of how I used the app or website that they serve me with, or they are 2) a summary of their own company stats. I can’t emphasize enough that personalization is key to creating that customized connection with your customers. I prefer the emails that are created just for me and it also encourages me to continue using their service in new ways and get excited for what is to come. Let’s review a few winning examples from the past year: Fandango With two young daughters, I am the first to admit I don’t go to the movie theatre nearly as much as I once did. However, it was fun to see the movies that I did see, or at least the ones I bought tickets for through Fandango. This email is a great example of showing the movies I saw, the time spent watching the movies, and where I prefer to see movies. Movies are sentimental for me and each movie reminds of the experience I had watching them. Then Fandango offers a great call-to-action (CTA) of checking out what is now currently playing in a theater near me. Vimeo While this email is not custom to me, it does do an excellent job highlighting all the things that happened at Vimeo throughout the year. With captivating graphics, it shows how customer requests were met and new features like professional quality live streaming, 360 video, and a new customer toolbox were launched to help me engage with Vimeo. Furthermore, this email gives me confidence that there are more great things to come at Vimeo in 2018. Uber Uber has a very clever subject line “2017 in the rear-view” and does a great job by both providing me with custom stats like how many days since I joined, how many days I traveled, and what my rating is, etc. But the email also includes key highlights of the year from their perspective and their entire customer base too. The recap email, which doesn’ fit into the image above, also introduces me more to Uber Eats and encourages me to use their app for New Year’s Eve with a message from Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD (although I never left my house for the new year’s celebration!). Spotify I can’t remember when I highlighted examples of companies that just get it, when I didn’t include Spotify. They always get it right and their recap email wins again. Their email simply gives you the minutes you listened to Spotify throughout the year but by clicking into your Year Wrapped, you are taken into a customized quiz where you guess your top albums, songs, and artists. Better yet, not only does it get me back into their app and listening to their music, but it shows me new ways to interact by creating custom playlists of my top music throughout the year and “the ones that got away” playlist of music I may have missed, but would enjoy. Bravo Spotify! Strava I’m not going to lie, I stole this email from my colleague Kelsey. While I love to exercise, most of my workouts consist of cardio or yoga classes inside of the gym rather than outside running or biking. Wow, Kelsey logged 192 activities with Strava. She is an avid mountain biker, and Strava certainly created a look back over her year that she can feel proud of. Not only does the email feature her activities, but a very special and unique one minute video highlights her miles traveled, workout partners, biggest fans, longest workout, and even the routes she took! It’s hard to imagine any company getting it better than Strava has done. They’ve taken the data they have that Kelsey has provided by interacting with their app and made something incredible to keep her motivated and working out more in 2018! Takeaways As you head into 2018, remember to use the data you have to customize all your marketing materials, and especially your email, to make you subscribers understand that you know them, that you are looking out for them, and you want to provide the products and services that will give them exactly what they want and need in the new year. For more email marketing best practices and ways to optimize your email program this year, check out SendGrid’s 2018 A-Z Email Marketing Best Practice Guide.