You may ask yourself sometimes whether personalization is really that necessary or effective. Let’s be honest, it’s tempting to cut corners, isn’t it? It’s easy to question the necessity of going that little bit further.
But in times of harsh competition, cutting corners is the last thing you should be doing. And yes, personalization really is that important.
We’ve preached this one before, but two facts remain. Brands who use email personalization alone see 17% more revenue generated through their campaigns than the average marketer. And yet only a mere 22% of shoppers are satisfied with the level of personalization they currently receive. As marketers, we can do more with personalization, and clearly we will feel the impact of doing so. So, we’re going to keep preaching until this isn’t just the gold standard, but bog standard.
What do we mean by personalization?
First let’s start by defining exactly what we mean by personalization. Because frankly, a lot of brands think just a first name at the start of an email has their bases covered. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a good place to start. Pulling in information specific to your customer such as their name or leveraging something such as their birthday will get you on the right track. But customers are already starting to expect this. In fact, their bar for personalization is already quite high. For instance, Salesforce found 62% of consumers expect companies to send personalized offers or discounts based on items they’ve already purchased. This doesn’t mean you should do away with using basic information such as first name, birthday, gender, or any others in your existing playbook. Just that there’s further to go. And more ground to gain.
1. Using dynamic content in your campaigns
If you’re not familiar with dynamic content, it’s a great tool that marketers leverage to create complex personalization in their campaigns but from a single send. Dynamic content blocks can show different text, imagery, calls to action and more, to different recipients based on the information you have on them. That includes their location, whether they are a premium subscriber, whether they’re a prospect or a customer – really any custom data field of your choosing. We love seeing when brands leverage their customer’s location to send offers unique to the area using the dynamic content block. It increases engagement and creates a great end-user experience.
2. Custom product recommendations
If you’re an ecommerce business or even a brick-and-mortar retailer with the ability to deliver or click and collect, product recommendations are a great way to personalize your email campaigns. You can showcase products to customers based on their previous buying and browsing behavior, or what you know about the customer. For instance, you could personalize which running shoes you display based on the kind of distances or terrain a customer runs on. Maybe base them on their gender, their color preferences, or also, the ones they have been previous looking at online or tempted with by adding to their cart. With dotdigital Engagement Cloud, you can even leverage machine learning to offer next-best products, and more.
3. Using segmentation to achieve personalization
Sometimes a dynamic content block isn’t enough, and you want to personalize the whole message. Segmentation is a great way to achieve this. You can segment on almost everything of course. Age brackets, new customers, leads who have just become red hot, and customers who like the color pink. But did you know you can segment based on customer behavior too, such as their recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) score? Create segments from each customer group, whether they are loyal, or need nurturing, for campaigns driven by behavior. You can even create segments with dotdigital Engagement Cloud for customers who have recently graduated or decayed from one group to another which may inspire action on your part.
Reward brand champions with exclusive offers to keep them happy and buying, and see if you can win back your inactive customer base. On the other hand, you may also want to consider excluding them from your sends completely. Personalization is all about choosing to do or not do something based on the customer. If this group isn’t engaging with your campaigns, maybe stop bothering them with your newsletters and instead reserve sends for them for big showcase events like Black Friday. This way, you’ll see more engagement per pound or dollar for your campaigns as a whole, and offer a better customer experience all round.
4. Create personalized journeys with custom automation paths
Another option available to you for driving personalized experiences is to create more branches in your automation programs. Based on customers’ actions like whether or not they engage with your messaging, you can create a customer messaging journey which encourages customers to choose their own adventure through your automation program. Every action they take, or even don’t take, will determine the next message they receive, making every journey unique.
Using personalization in creative ways
The great thing about the topic of personalization is that there’s so many ways to use it. We see every day just how creative marketers get with the use of our tools. Sometimes, it’s more tweaks that make the biggest splashes. For instance, did you know that personalizing calls to action (CTAs) can convert 202% better than non-personalized versions? Yes, it could be as simple as moving that first name personalization further down your email to the CTA. But what really gets us excited about this stat is: imagine you were the first marketer to figure this one out? Just think how far ahead you can get with a bit of experimentation with personalization of your own.
New ways to personalize your customers’ experiences are coming to dotdigital Engagement Cloud on Wednesday 6th May. Sign up below to receive a platform release email to learn more.