We live in a world today that allows companies to talk to each customer individually, and tailor messages related to their individual needs.
More importantly, today's customer now expects this type of relationship more and more. It's what I call the "me economy" or "meconomy." Programmatic or transaction emails are fine as long as they are not emails but memails. Customers want the relationship to feel like it is a one-on-one interaction yet know they are part of a larger tribe too.
It takes energy, effort, and even thinking differently but companies need to understand the meconomy is here, and it is here to stay.