Businesses try their best to connect to their customers. It’s important to develop a relationship with your customers because it is one of the best ways to increase their loyalty to your brand. However, one thing that many business owners struggle with is curating a marketing strategy that doesn’t come off as inauthentic. This is especially difficult when you are sending out the exact same emails and communications to every one of your customers. They may wonder, “What makes me so special? I’m just another sale to them.” One way to avoid this issue and help build a meaningful relationship between your brand and your customers is marketing personalization.
What is Personalization?
Marketing personalization, also known as one-to-one marketing, is when a business implements a strategy that delivers individualized content to its users. This is essentially done by collecting customer data, developing insights from that data, and then developing an appropriate marketing strategy. The true objective of this type of strategy is to convert your regular customers into loyalcustomers.
Every large business collects information about their customer’s shopping habits. This can include things like how frequently a customer buys from them, the type of products/styles a customer usually purchases, and whether they shop in-store or online. Additionally, non-shopping related data such as the customer’s geographical location, age, and birthday are also recorded and can be extremely valuable.
This data can come from a variety of sources. A great place to start is by looking at viewer insights on your business’s social channels, tracking data from your website, and the contact information from those who subscribe to your email list.
Why is Personalization So Important?
The true goal of any business is to build brand loyalty. Personalized marketing is meant to make customers feel more emotionally connected to your brand and thus increase their loyalty to your brand. Converting an average customer into a true loyal customer is extremely valuable for many reasons.
One relatively obvious reason is that loyal customers will spend more money buying your products. They are more likely to shop at your store than any other store in that industry. For example, a loyal Trader Joe’s customer is likely to not only shop for groceries there every week but is also far less likely to go to another grocery like Publix or Walgreens when they need a grocery product. Studies show that repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers. This means that most of a company’s profits come from loyal customers.
Another reason that loyal customers are so valuable is because a true fan of a business is more likely to recommend that business to their friends and family. This is referred to as word-of-mouth marketing and is by far the most effective form of marketing.
How is it Used?
Businesses use the data they collect to recommend products and personalize the messages that they send to customers. This information can also be used to decide what types of special offers to send to customers and when exactly to send them. Here are some common examples of marketing personalization that you may have already experienced:
It is not uncommon to receive an email from a store that starts with “Hey (Your Name), we’ve got the perfect shoes just for you!” One of the simplest and most common personalization tactics is using a customer’s name in a mass email. This can make the communication seem more personal which makes it much more likely that your customer will read it. A slightly more advanced personalization strategy is sending differently designed emails to customers based on their age bracket or gender. Companies often have the same email laid out in a different color pattern or with different messages depending on customer demographics. This can be done by simply segmenting your contacts based on whatever demographic parameters best suit your business.
When you browse through a shopping site, it is usually keeping track of the products you click on. It will then recommend other products based on the products you’ve already viewed. Some sites, like Amazon, even go a step further and suggest products that go well with what you are currently looking at. Companies may also send you emails about products you left in your cart or viewed without purchasing. This is meant to entice you to go back and finish the purchase.
Many CRM management sites, like MailChimp, have an option that allows you to connect your online store to their site. This pushes purchasing data to your business email account every time someone on your email contact list clicks a link or makes a purchase. This data is then used to create product recommendations which you can add to your automated sequences or regular emails.
When signing up for a business’s loyalty/points program, customers are usually asked about their birthday. Most brands will send their customers a birthday discount either on their birthday or very close to it. This is a great way to engage with consumers and usually makes the customer very happy.
This is another simple automation that can be performed on almost any CRM managing site. As simple as it may be, it can go a long way in building a relationship with your customer base. In addition to birthday offers, some brands even send an anniversary discount celebrating the first time a customer bought something from them or the day they joined their loyalty program. Psychologically, this can make your customers reflect on their own loyalty to the brand as they may not have realized they’ve been buying from your business for a full year!
Catherine is the head of Operations at Soar.sh, a marketing services agency for growing startups. Soar helps digital companies grow faster with...