In our recent webinar, Kath Pay, founder of Holistic Email Marketing, joined us to teach our viewers how to embraces personalization in marketing automation. For those of you who couldn’t attend the webinar, we offer this recap.
Personalization is one of the key ways to creating a great customer experience. At the end of the day, whether you’re B2B or B2C, there’s always a human at the end other end. They want to have a pleasant experience.
It’s what consumers want. A Yahoo study found that consumers are aware of online personalization, and that they find it relevant: 78% of the people surveyed expressed the desire to have some kind of personalization in content. There is a direct link between customer loyalty and personalized content. Including recommendations in marketing messages can lift conversion rate as high as 60%.
But what is personalization?
In email marketing, there’s confusion about personalization. It’s much more than simply including someone’s name in an email. According to Christian Ricci of Chia Monkey, “Web personalization is a strategy, a marketing tool, and an art. It brings focus to your message and delivers an experience that is customer-oriented and relevant.” It has four necessary ingredients:
It’s important to remember that you always have to lead with strategy, not technology. Only humans can handle the strategy.
How to personalize?
There are many ways to personalize messaging. It can be as simple as using first names. Segmentation and personas are other ways. And, of course, the method using marketing automation.
Marketing automation personalization depends on three types of data:
- Informed (data collected at subscription/registration that customer has provided to you)
- Behavioral (based on user behavior on your marketing materials)
- Transactional (what users have been purchasing, or otherwise converting)
The best data to use is the behavioral and transactional data – it’s more current and more relevant to any given customer. You want to capture your users’ digital body language. Use it to drive intelligent personalization.
Achieving Personalization Through Automation
Watch your customer’s touchpoints – purchases, subscriptions, abandons, etc. – and use these to build your database for advanced personalization. All of these are unique to individuals and can be used to build content unique to an individual at a given point in time.
Be Customer Service Focused
Every email you send should provide your customer a service, in some form. If you can help your subscribers achieve their goals, and do it in a customer-service manner, they will buy from you. Dress up your marketing messages as customer service messages. Customers like messages that help them, so leverage that in your marketing.
Leverage data, touch points, and marketing automation to deliver a personalized experience for your customers.
Q: How do you decide what to personalize and what not?
A: You need to know your audience, and start with the easy wins, as well as the big ones. I think the best place to start is to start using marketing automation, and start personalizing with the touch points. It delivers the personal experience customers want.
Q: Should you personalize every single message?
A: It really depends on the return on investment, the system you use and how easy it is to create dynamic content. Ideally, yes, you’d personalize every message, but in the real world, it’s not always logistically possible to do so yet.
Q: What are the touchpoints?
A: Touchpoints will vary by sector. For example in B2B, if you do content marketing, and you use m.a. to deliver the content, you’ll have a whole heap of different touchpoints. A touchpoint would be someone entering their details in a pop-up. Then you send the new subscriber an email, and that person clicks (or doesn’t click) the link in that email – that’s a touchpoint. You need to understand your audience, the paths they take to conversion, and the fact that not everyone will take the same path.
Q: What would you personalize on a website?
A: You can personalize a website based on products a past user has been looking at. You could have the product category placed more prominently on the home page for easy access. Calls to action (CTA) are an easy and fantastic way to personalize a website. For new visitors to a B2B site, for example, you’d have a “learn more” CTA. But an existing user who’s downloaded several pieces of content, you’d figure they were getting ready to convert and would deliver them a harder, more sales-oriented CTA.
Watch the Webinar Recording Now
This webinar was full of examples that couldn’t begin to be captured in a brief recap. No spoilers! Take some time to watch it, and tell us what you thought in the comments below.