Personalization is a marketing concept aimed to give each customer a unique experience tailored to their interests, character, and habits. Today, personalization stretches across many marketing channels, and marketers are constantly making things even more personal and specific for each customer’s experience. This is an important part of a successful digital marketing campaign because it’s the best way to connect with your customer in the digital world.
Furthermore, personalization comes in many forms that can range from handwritten letter service to providing personalized product recommendations.
When businesses think of personalization, the question isn’t should they use it, but how to prioritize it and use it most effectively to conquer new markets first.
A simple reason behind why personalization works is that it builds and deepens relationships with the customers that build trust. The other reason is that when you commit to getting to know your customers better, you can offer them what they want — a perfect solution for their problems.
To make full use of personalization in leveling up your business, you’ll need to have a scalable and effective personalization strategy that is among the top of your business priorities.
Let’s delve into what personalization strategy is and how to use it to get more clients.
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What is a personalization strategy?
Personalization strategy means employing personalization across your marketing channels to offer unique, tailored customer journeys, acquire and use various insights, and ultimately increase ROI. It can include:
- Personalized ads featuring ideas, products, and services that might appeal to the target audience
- Personalized email campaigns
- Sales copy unique to the recipient
- Personalized retargeting ads featuring products or services viewed by the target
- Tailored content and product recommendations
- Customer support personalization
A successful personalization strategy uses specific data from your clients to effectively segment them and as a result, make a unique experience for each person. It aims to cover the whole customer’s journey and the intent is to create a personalized, “business to (each individual) customer” approach as closely as possible.
When considering implementing a personalization strategy across your marketing channels, it is important to consider:
- Do you have enough data about your clients?
- Do you have enough resources (dedicated team, tools, etc) to back up your personalization efforts?
- Do you have a model to help you validate the data you gathered about your clients?
A personalization strategy essentially focuses on providing more relevance for your clients. Therefore, by using a data-driven approach to acquire insights about them you can create relevant content, products, or services that fit their exact needs and expectations.
When taking personalization efforts, it is important to keep experimenting, validating, and iterating to successfully come to valuable and tested insights that reflect your actual audience.
With personalization you can:
- Improve customer loyalty and trust
- Increase ROI
- Create highly-effective CTAs (Call to Action)
- Boost engagement
- Get more conversions
- Build stronger relationships
Let’s continue with how to generate ideas for a successful personalization strategy, followed by some examples on how to use it to attract more clients.
Generating personalization ideas
The first step to make an effective personalization strategy is to generate ideas based on the specifics of your business and audience.
The goal is to establish a solid framework to grow your personalization ideas upon.
After taking a deeper look at customer behavior, your competitors, UX research practices, you can start making assumptions about the best ways to approach your customers using personalization. That accounts for identifying their needs based on what your business can provide them and the specifics of the surrounding environment in their region.
You can also use inductive research to observe and extract patterns from your internal data and marketing practices. That way, you can hypothesize upon those patterns to develop theories that closely explain them. In plain terms, you will be analyzing the behavioral data (patterns) of your clients and try to get an understanding (form theory) of why they occur.
Finally, with self-segmentation, you can give your clients the means to segment themselves, when they provide the information that activates personalized experience.
Example: You have a digital marketing agency that specializes in providing services for clients from the professional service industry. You want to offer them a more personalized experience from the moment they visit your website.
To do that, you can make clickable buttons like “I am a lawyer ” or “I am a broker agent” that opens a pop-up window when clicked. The content in this pop-up should match the description in the clickable buttons — brokerage content with relevant services for the broker, etc.
That way, clients visiting your website will immediately be able to select their profession and get tailored content accordingly. This saves their time and makes it easier to get to the content they need.
How to use personalization to attract clients
Now that we’ve covered the basic concepts of personalization, let’s see how you can apply them to win over more clients. Since many variables can affect a personalization strategy, it is hard to always maintain focus on making a customer’s journey unique and personal.
That’s why personalization is a never-ending experiment and it is important to constantly analyze your efforts across multiple channels, to make them more effective and tailored to the clients.
Email or letter marketing and retargeting
You can use email personalization to help segment email communication and create personalized emails that correspond to your target audience. You’ll need to go data-driven and use data from your existing customers, CRM, and other tools you integrated with your business.
This will allow you to bucketize your clients depending on their preferences, desires, and interests.
What’s more, by sending personalized handwritten cards with your clients’ names and their interests attached, you can spark relationship building that converts.
Example: After you have segmented your clients per professions, industry, location, or interests you can send them highly personalized handwritten notes introducing your company and your products and services, along with their benefits for that specific client.
For example, you categorized your clients per industry and their professional interests and you want to invite them to sign up for a webinar. This group of clients is labeled as IT professionals with keen interests in advancements in RPA (Robotic Process Automation).
Therefore, you should send them a handwritten note that is personalized to fit their field (IT industry), coupled with their common interest (RPA). The card could feature a robot image along with a personalized invitation to attend the webinar. At the bottom of the note, you could include a signup code to provide a discount to attend or a special gift if they attend.
In addition, you must include the name of each client in the message to make correspondence even more unique. Citing useful RPA statistics related to your webinar’s topics could also help. You can import this information into your marketing tool to automate the process.
The beginning of your personalized email would look something like this :
We are organizing a webinar for all IT professionals in Wisconsin regarding next-gen RPA solutions…”
One more way to use personalization is for retargeting campaigns (whether via print or email) for a plethora of objectives. With personalized retargeting you can:
- Generate more leads
- Engage prospects that visited your website but didn’t take any action
- Nurture relationships with clients
- Drive conversion and loyalty
Retargeting can be executed automatically when predefined values are reached (for example the amount of time the client was inactive). It is also paired with the personal data of your clients to uniquely reach them or to create tailored ads with exclusive offers just for them.
So, if clients visited your site and didn’t sign up for any service you provide, you can send them personalized retargeted emails. These emails should remind them what they were searching for and attaching a special discount offer or another useful benefit may result in a conversion.
Not only can you use personalization to create retargeting campaigns that stick, but you can also do on-site retargeting by tracking your clients’ behavior. In cases when they want to leave your site, you can offer them a special discount or if they are casually browsing from time to time, send them an email to subscribe.
Retargeting is a powerful tool when coupled with personalization and automation.
Combine personalization with video content
Video content is a new marketing trend that is here to stay. With video, you can share information more vividly and effectively, with high levels of engagement. That makes it ideal to pair with personalization and provide a personalized experience that transmits a powerful message through video.
You can make a video that refers to specific pain points of your segmented clients group and highlight the benefits of solutions specifically designed for them. You can go the extra mile and make even more personalized videos with their names, professions, or other relevant info about them.
It shows that you are determined to provide top-notch customer service by getting to know your clients and offering relevant solutions for their problems.
This can deeply improve relationships with them, which makes them more susceptible to purchasing, signing up for your services, or starting a partnership with you.
Personalized product recommendations
A great example of this is Netflix, which states that 80% of watched content comes from personalized recommendations.
Personalized product recommendations account for showing unique products that are specific for each visitor, depending on their behavior and demographic. This is done through AI-powered, machine learning algorithms designed to carefully analyze user preferences, purchase or activity history, and many more.
You can use a multitude of parameters to get to the gist of what your clients want and make super-tailored recommendations. For that, you need data like:
- Customers purchase history — Collecting and analyzing data about the previous purchase history of each visitor to recommend similar products for them. This is especially effective for the retail industry and Amazon and Netflix are good examples of how beneficial effective personalization strategy can be.
- Location and demographics — Using your clients’ location, age, gender, profession, and even cultural specifics, weather conditions, and global events to recommend products or services. For example, a multinational IT company can use publicly available data about the COVID-19’s impact in different countries to recommend specific services.
For clients from highly-impacted countries (that are forced to work remotely), this company can offer remote collaboration or communication solutions aimed to fit their current work environment.
- Your clients’ preferences — Analyzing and understanding clients’ behavioral patterns to suggest solutions that similar clients used. For example, companies that create business apps can match a new client’s profile with similar profiles of existing clients to recommend relevant apps.
In particular, a client that has an accounting firm and likes to invest can get a specific recommendation of apps that other clients specializing in brokerage use.
Using personalization to dig deeper into your customers’ needs and having a scalable personalization strategy to do so will help your business get an edge. By providing your clients’ personalized experiences, you will differentiate your brand from the competition, build lasting relationships based on relevance and trust. In turn, you will have more satisfied clients and crucial insights to further scale your business and conquer new markets.
With new technological advancements happening exponentially every day, the horizons of personalization will surely start to expand massively. These advancements will allow for collecting more and more data of higher quality about the customers easier than ever.
AI will be able to crack through the consumer’s emotions and comprehensively interpret auditory, visual, and behavioral data to provide an ultra-personalized experience for each customer individually.