Much is made about the importance of personalization in marketing today. With so much information at our fingertips, and so many messages coming at us at a mile a minute, the ability to hone in on what’s relevant to the individual is key for organizations who want to stand out and compel customer action.
But, on a practical scale, how can you effectively do that? A recent video from Marketing Sherpa explores this very topic. In the video, Jon Powell, Senior Manager of Executive Research and Development at MECLABS discusses three key marketing personalization tactics they found in a recent study to be the most effective.
In today’s post, we’ll share those three marketing personalization tactics along with some thoughts on how you can put them to work.
Three Things You Can Do to Achieve Personalization Success
According to Powell, using these personalization tactics—especially in combination with one another—can double or even triple marketing ROI:
1. Acknowledge the CURRENT RELATIONSHIP
Go beyond simply addressing the customer by name by referencing the current status of the organization-individual relationship. Is this a potential customer? New customer? Old customer who hasn’t come around in a while?
Powell noted that successful campaigns didn’t pretend to know the customer well if they didn’t, or (vice versa) pretend not to know the customer even though they’ve been coming around for years. The key is providing an accurate, realistic take on the relationship.
You could do this, for example, by saying: “We know you’re fairly new to the family, but we really want you to like us…” Or “It’s been a while since you’ve donated. We need you on board. That’s why we want to tell you about…”
Be straightforward and honest in acknowledging the relationship upfront. It shows you’re paying attention and feels less like a template message.
2. Acknowledge a RECENT INTEREST
If you can capture your customers’ interests, that information is as good as gold—at least if you put it to work. Knowing interests enables you to make recommendations. It also increases the immediate relevance to the customer, which greatly increases the likelihood they will respond.
In the video, Powell mentions the specific case of a company that required visitors to their pet-related website to provide two pieces of information right up front: (1) their email and, more importantly, (2) the size of their pet.
Based on that simple piece of info, the company was able to provide more personalized offers and deals. They immediately were able to segment their list in a way that enabled them to better speak to the needs of their customers.
Think about that for a minute: What one single piece of information could you collect from your customers or donors that would instantly enable you to better meet their needs?
3. Acknowledge a RECENT ACTION
This is somewhat common in marketing. If you have a customer on your website who abandons their cart, or a donor who starts making a donation but doesn’t finish, and you send them an email right after, you’re going to get their attention—especially the sooner that you send it.
But the idea is applicable to more situations. The action could be when someone searches your site for something; or accesses a specific blog post; or downloads a resource; or looks at a specific page on your website; or opens an email; or checks out an e-newsletter article.
All these things are actions that can tell you something. And by acknowledging that action, you can increase the likelihood of a customer response—especially if it comes with a valuable offer attached that directly relates to that action.
Additional Tips on Making Marketing Personalization Work for You
Here are a few actions you can take to make your personalization efforts more effective:
1. Collect Information
When you’re building your list, the tendency is to ask for as little as possible to get people to sign up. But there is definitely a personalization benefit to getting more information about customer interests—either upfront or down the road—but only if you’re going to put that information to use immediately.
2. Do Some Testing
Remember people have privacy concerns and it’s important not to come off creepy with your personalization. That’s why you need to test first. It’s definitely worth testing out the different personalization acknowledgements noted above with a small segment of your list to see what type of response you get before you go all in.
3. Focus on Benefits
Generally customers are open to personalization when it (1) benefits them; and (2) makes them feel like you know them and are paying attention to what they want. Make sure you’re not just using personalization for the heck of it. Use it to give customers something that they want—a specific deal, a limited opportunity, more information, or whatever that may be.