Over the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard one word constantly repeated when it comes to marketing strategies - personalization. Marketing experts are constantly telling the world that advertising cannot succeed without personalization. However, there’s a fine balance between personalizing and down right creepy.
How do you personalize in the right way? Why do you want to personalize in the first place? You have questions and we have the answers!
All customers know how frustrating it is receiving generic emails, letters, and other content from companies. All sorts of companies are trying to get our attention (and money!) from window cleaners to banks. For the most part, we give the content a brief glance and then throw the leaflet in the trash or delete the email moments later.
From a marketing perspective, this is bad news. We don’t mind deleting the emails of businesses as customers, but it’s a problem when the content is our own. With personalization, the idea is to engage the audience by appealing to customers in a way that feels human - just as you would in a physical store or an industry event.
Personalization allows you to create content that addresses consumers as individuals whether it’s by simply using their name or including their interests and preferences in the campaign.
Why should you consider marketing personalization? Here are just some of the most compelling reasons:
Using some form of personalization allows you to overcome the issue we’ve just discussed. By using the name of the individual, you are able to instantly grab their attention. Imagine yourself as a customer and how you endlessly delete emails and throw marketing material in the trash. Now imagine that you open the email, and it has your name at the top; instantly, you’re hooked because you think the content might actually have value.
As you read more of the email, you realize that the suggested products are based on your interests. Amazon is a good example of personalization, because they send emails with product suggestions based on the user’s search history. If you’ve been looking at golf equipment, they will then send you an email including fantastic accessories and clubs.
With personalization, you’re telling the customer that you value them and want to serve their needs. The previous message of ‘we want money from you’ is removed and you become a service for the people. Rather than selling products and making money, you’re resolving the problems of customers.
Everything we’ve just discussed leads to deeper connections with customers. With personalization, customers know that you’re interested in helping rather than just taking their money. Some businesses even send a birthday email to customers, which makes them feel valued and like a human, rather than just another number.
Another step in personalization is targeting. You can target specific audiences to create content that really resonates. If you send generic content, you really can’t expect to succeed when competitors are sending highly personalized content. While you talk about products that have no relation to the customers’ needs, competitors are sending emails with tailored product suggestions and birthday well-wishes.
We’ve mentioned improved product recommendations a couple of times because it is likely to lead to more sales (and more profit!). This is great for business because you’re encouraging consumers to click through to a product that they need rather than relying on people to click through to your whole website. Clicking to look at a product in more detail is less of a leap than hoping for a general click. You’re accommodating the click and giving people a reason to explore your brand some more.
At the moment, it’s probably hard to overcome the disappointment that comes with poor conversion rates after spending many hours conjuring up an amazing email marketing campaign. With a small amount of personalization, you really will generate the desired success.
Finally, loyalty is an important quality in customers these days. Especially during uncertain times, you want customers that you can rely on to return time and time again. With personalization, you encourage customers to keep buying from you. You're sending happy birthday emails, using their name in content, and sending product recommendations that pique their interest. You’re going above and beyond to keep them happy - this doesn’t go unnoticed.
If you’re sitting with your eyes wide and your heart full of excitement, this is a great first step, but how do you get started with marketing personalization? In truth, every approach is different, and you can decide how you wish to implement personalization. How will your audience appreciate personalization the most? Here are some top tips!
If you have an email list, this is great news because you can access warm leads with a simple message. However, the wrong email will get people clicking the ‘Unsubscribe’ button faster than you can say ‘please buy from us’. For best results with email marketing, we recommend segmenting your mailing list so that you can produce unique content for each segment.
Although different studies will produce different numbers, it’s generally accepted that open rates increase by around 30% and click-through rates by 40% when you segment a mailing list and personalize emails. Use the data in your CRM and segment based on interests, demographics, and behaviors.
How do you segment your mailing list? How do you personalize at all? Ultimately, it all comes down to data. You probably already have all the required data in the business without even realizing it. Use buyer personas, analyze ad campaigns and customer data, look into the interests of customers, and think about creating a survey for the purpose of personalization.
With this last tip, don’t send a huge 100-question survey because people will take one look and then click away. Instead, spread the questions out through regular emails and even social media posts. Over time, you’ll glean valuable nuggets of information that will help with the process.
If you’re nervous to get started with data, take advantage of one of the many great online tools that are available these days.
When it comes to personalization, you can’t always be on the hunt for sales and money (at least you can’t always make it obvious). Be willing to give something away from time to time - this includes a birthday message and a special offer or discount for loyal customers. Some generosity encourages more sales in the long-term (as well as happy customers and positive word of mouth in the short-term!).
Furthermore, personalization ensures that you send tailored offers rather than generic ones in which consumers have little interest. Not only do customers appreciate tailored offers, but they also expect them. In one survey, between 55% and 60% of customers were happy to give away some personal information if it meant receiving a discount in return. Likewise, over six in ten expect personalized discounts from companies.
After adding a product to the cart and then abandoning it, a short discount email might just persuade them to see the order through.
While there are many benefits to personalized marketing strategies, it counts for nothing if you don’t corroborate the personalized strategies with the sales funnel. Just because you’re using some personalization, doesn’t mean that you’ll encourage people to spend money when they’re only just discovering the problem.
At the top of the funnel, you should offer personalized content and ads while offering an active social media presence. In the middle it’s all about nurturing, which you can do through tailored buying guides and emails. Lastly, the bottom of the funnel requires free trials, demos, and tailored product offers and suggestions.
This may sound obvious, but we want to finish in an area where many businesses actually falter. Instead of personalizing a single aspect of marketing, try to adopt the approach across the whole strategy. You could even tailor the content that people see on your website based on previous behavior and actions.
Finally, nothing in marketing works without an assessment of previous investments. If you aren’t checking performance, how can you possibly learn what does and doesn’t work in the long-term? Review the ROI to see how many people are converting and clicking through compared to previous campaigns, and discuss the effect of personalization with customers. Have they noticed a difference? Are you getting positive reviews online thanks to personalization?
Why should you personalize marketing strategies? You’ll build deeper connections with customers, generate more sales, create content that resonates, target precise audiences, and boost the whole customer experience!