Modern consumers want to feel seen and appreciated by the companies they love — especially on social media. They’ve also come to expect customized product recommendations and special offers that are tailored to their specific interests, rather than generic ads and emails. This is where personalized marketing comes in— it’s an excellent strategy for increasing sales and earning the loyalty of your audience.
Let’s explore seven actionable tips that you can integrate into your marketing strategy.
What Is Personalized Marketing?
Personalized marketing is a data-driven, targeted marketing technique that helps to build relationships with your consumers on an individual level. This technique can be used in email campaigns, social media campaigns, retargeting ads, and even direct mail activities. This form of marketing is in direct contrast to mass marketing like print billboards and magazine ads that primarily aim to create brand awareness by getting in front of as many viewers as possible with general brand advertisements.
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How is Data Gathered and Used in Personalized Marketing?
When done well, each interaction between a company and a potential or current customer is an opportunity to gather data on an individual level. The gathering process is often invisible, using cookies and web beacons that track each person's browsing behavior on the company website. There are also overt means of data-gathering, including sign-up forms and customer feedback surveys. Social media platforms also enable targeting based on demographics, behavior, and interests, and make it easy to view user engagement.
All of this data — shopping history, likes and dislikes, buying behavior, preferred channels, etc.— is analyzed to determine how best to convert the consumer. Luckily, we live in an age where analytics capabilities are often built into marketers' favorite software. This technology helps marketing teams to quickly visualize patterns, refine marketing strategies, and target ads to specific audience segments to attract and retain customers.
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Why Should You Be Focusing On Personalization?
A 2020 marketing report points out that "message personalization is the #1 tactic used by email marketers to increase engagement rates." Here are a few benefits that your company could enjoy:
- Shorter sales cycles and an increase in customer lifetime value (CLV) result from the ability to build meaningful relationships with potential customers quickly.
- Conversion rates grow as a result of customers feeling more connected to your brand. When consumers trust a company, they’re more likely to purchase from it.
- Gather more and better data by engaging customers and collecting ongoing feedback. When you personalize your marketing efforts, customers feel like they’re part of your brand family and become more eager to help.
- Lower bounce rates and increase ROI by making better use of content and targeting customers' specific interests.
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7 Tips for Implementing Personalized Marketing
Personalization is possible because of rich data sources and intelligent analysis tools. Take every opportunity that you can to learn from your target audience and existing customers. By gathering information about consumers through website visits, social media engagement, email interactions, and the like, you can gain deep insights into your audience. The better you can understand who they are, what they want, and how they prefer to communicate, the easier it’ll be to connect with them in ways that make them excited to interact with your brand.
Identify your ideal customer and use segmentation
Once you understand who you are marketing to, it's critical to segment your audience into groups based on shared characteristics. This may include demographic information, like age, gender, income level, or location. Or, you may gain greater benefit from separating people into similar interests, browsing behavior, and past purchases.
Consider how you’ll use the data to determine how best to divide your audience. For example, if you want to run a sale on women's winter coats, you can target female audiences who have previously searched for these items on your website, and anyone who abandoned their cart with a coat in it.
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Plan your content library – consider each stage of the journey
Be methodical and develop a road map for your content. Think about the entire funnel — top, middle, and bottom — when you create and assign your content library. Though the majority of marketing content centers around new customer conversions, don't forget about existing customers to encourage repeat business and increase upselling opportunities. Brand personas can be valuable during this step to guide your content writing and better understand the variety of consumer experiences with your brand.
Explore the different types of content:
Create highly personalized content and offers
The personalized marketing mentality should guide everything you do, from conducting the appropriate SEO research to ensuring that content is specifically targeted to the individual recipient. This approach is most likely to boost engagement rates and, eventually, sales.
Special offers can also be personalized. Many customer loyalty programs enable companies to track their customers closely. To earn points, discounts, or money, customers happily use their loyalty cards, making it simple to observe their purchasing patterns. Personalized coupons and other offers can help to entice customers to increase their frequency of visits or purchases and can help to upsell.
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Humanize your interactions – it's about more than a name
Customers appreciate and respond to brands that add a personal, human touch when interacting with them. But, that means much more than simply using a customer's first name in emails. Create a warmer, friendlier experience by adding the name and picture of the person they’re communicating with. This puts a real, living face on your company, which can make customers feel more comfortable and connected. They may also be more likely to share their information with you. If you can use a dedicated representative, do it. There’s nothing like real customer service from a person that your consumer can count on to build strong ongoing relationships.
Adding emotion and transparency to your communications and branding is another excellent way of feeling less like a detached company and more like a friend. For example, during the coronavirus outbreak, many companies would send emails to check in with their audiences. Breweries made free hand sanitizer, restaurants donated food, and fitness brands provided free workouts via Instagram Live to help keep people healthy while cooped up at home.
On how to emotionally connect with your customers:
Create targeted landing pages
Landing pages provide an excellent opportunity to put personalized marketing to work. You can customize the messaging on each page with the kind of language and content that best suits the audience. Here, they can learn more about your brand, and you can entice them with special offers in exchange for more information about them.
For landing page best practices:
Automate – put the power of technology to use
According to a 2019 Omnisend Marketing report, customized email workflows saw higher click-through-rates and conversion rates when compared to generalized workflows. The great news is that there is an abundance of marketing automation tools to choose from. Many offer their basic features for free, requiring payment only when you sign up for their premium service.