This is a guest post by Jordan Wellin of Zaius.
When was the last time you saw your first name in an email subject line and thought, “Wow, this company really knows me?”
We can’t be certain, but chances are you’ve never thought that. When compared to all the dazzling new marketing trends and technologies out there today, something as simple as first-name personalization doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Although this tactic might result in higher open rates for your emails, you still need a better way to personalize your marketing so you stand out on multiple channels.
Before we get into what some of those advanced personalization strategies might look like, let’s start with two basic questions: what do customers expect from personalization, and how will that impact your marketing messaging?
What personalization looks like to modern audiences
It should come as no surprise that personalization is an excellent way to nurture and retain customers. After all, just as it feels great to get special attention from your boss, friends, or significant other, shoppers love when brands take that extra time to cater directly to them. And for marketers, that type of personalization isn’t just a nice extra for your customers: it should be a given.
An overwhelming majority of consumers (75 percent, in fact) are more likely to buy from brands that address them by name, recommend products based on their previous purchases, or provide a holistic view of their purchase history.
But on the flip side, most customers are disappointed by the weak attempts at personalization brands often throw at them. That could mean anything from offering too many options in an attempt to upsell them, or highlighting product recommendations that are completely irrelevant to their purchase history. Even worse, brands could inadvertently target customers with paid ads or upselling emails for products they’ve already bought.
Thankfully, there’s so much more you can do to personalize your marketing! It all starts with a proper understanding of what type of personalization your customers want and how you can deliver it to them.
True personalization takes into account the interactions customers have had with your brand before they made their first purchase, whether that was an email notifying them of a sale or an abandoned cart message via chat. With the help of the proper platforms, along with dynamic segmentation and more strategic targeting, you can create marketing campaigns that make your customers feel like you actually know them.
The right message, the right channel, the right time
You have a wealth of marketing platforms at your fingertips, from chat to email to social. But even if you’re taking advantage of all of these channels, your outreach to prospects and customers won’t be nearly as effective if it’s not done in a careful, unified manner.
Luckily, you also have an abundance of first-party data that can clue you into what products your site visitors have bought, when they bought them, what pages they’ve browsed on your site, and more. This data helps you personalize the customer experience by giving you a better understanding of which customer behaviors resulted in additional revenue, enabling you to recalibrate your marketing strategy based on new insights.
Part of knowing your customers means understanding how and where they’re interacting with your brand. Based on that data, you’ll know how to communicate with them across multiple channels, whether that’s via chat, email, or multiple platforms. When you diversify your the platforms on which you message customers, you ensure you’re reaching people in the places that matter most to them.
You can use marketing automation to send out triggered campaigns that take into account your customers’ actions in real-time, then deliver hyper-personalized messages based on those behaviors. Remember that when you’re tracking every customer interaction as it happens, you’re that much better equipped to send personalized messages that motivate your customers to make a purchase.
Personalize every step of the customer journey
How and where you choose to reach your online customers should also hinge on what stage of the customer lifecycle they’re in. They might be discovering your site for the first time, or they might already be a loyal customer. Regardless of where they are in their journey, you can switch up your channels and messaging to help your brand stay top-of-mind—and convince them to move to the next stage of the funnel.
When customers visit your site, they aren’t just telling you what kinds of products they’re interested in. They’re also giving you insights into which channels they prefer to engage on. And that’s where utilizing your first-party data really comes into play.
For instance, you could use Facebook Messenger to send a personalized cart abandonment message to a shopper, delicately urging them to finish checking out. From there, after they’ve made a purchase, you could send a shipment confirmation via chat, then use email as a nurturing tool so you can upsell them in the future. Whatever your cadence looks like, always make sure it’s aligned with your customers’ preferences and how they’ve chosen to receive communication from you.
One last thing…
As always in marketing, your mantra as you personalize should be test, test, test. Since you never know what type of messaging will work for each stage of the customer journey, it’s a good idea to try a mix of email, push notifications, ads, chat, and more to test for what works best and where. From there, you can tweak your communication based on what your data is telling you so you can ensure it’s fully optimized.
By combining personalized messages with the power of marketing automation and first-party data, you’re providing your brand with the best chance to resonate with your audience across every channel—and ultimately convincing people to buy.