If you're a Netflix user or have ever purchased something from Amazon, you've experienced the awesome effects of a personalized experience. No need to browse page after page of movie titles; Netflix has a list of suggestions based on your movie preferences and viewing history. Recently watched and enjoyed The Breakfast Club? Then maybe you'd also enjoy St. Elmo's Fire, another Brat Pack classic. And if you've ever purchased a book from Amazon, you were likely greeted with a follow-up email offering other book suggestions based on the subject matter of your recent purchase. And did you return for more? Likely, you did. BRILLIANT!
So why did you click on the links within your Amazon email, and why do you continue to value Netflix's movie suggestions? Because they're personalized to suit your specific interests, wants, and needs, and in addition, it's easy. There's a good reason 1/3 of marketers believe personalized marketing campaigns are effective (EPiServer). It's because they are. The next wave of inbound marketing genius is personalization, and it's not just applicable to B2C-centric companies like Amazon and Netflix. A more personalized experience for your prospects and customers that caters to their individual problems, interests, needs, and wants is a sure-fire way to keep people coming back for more. And what does this translate to? More visits = more leads, and more leads = more (happier) customers.
Feeling the urge to get personal? Implement the following 10 marketing personalization tactics in your marketing strategy now to ride the personalization wave of more effective marketing.
10 Brilliant Marketing Personalization Tactics to Implement Immediately
1. Send email messages from a human, not a company.
This is probably the easiest way to start creating a more personal experience for your email recipients. Instead of having the sender/from name be Company X, make it the name of a living, breathing member of your marketing team. In addition, consider adding their photo and email signature to the body of the email to show that an actual human took the time and effort to craft the message and will field any responses.
2. Use recipients' real names in email messages.
"Dear friend," "To [FirstName]," and "Hi Customer" are all unacceptable greetings for your email communications. A prospect or lead's name is one of the easiest pieces of lead intelligence to gather. If they filled out a form, at the very least, you got their name and email address, right? Otherwise, you probably shouldn't be emailing them. Most email service providers will enable you to customize your email messages with the recipient's first name, so take advantage of it!
3. Segment your email database and personalize messaging.
According to EPiServer's data, 14% of marketers indicated that personalized campaigns generate a better response rate than mass-market campaigns. Want to generate a better response rate for your email campaigns? Segment your email list. You can go about this in a number of ways using the information you've collected from prospects and leads. In the simplest way, you should at least segment by marketing persona. If you have identified, say, three separate marketing personas that make up your ideal customers, segment your list into three different chunks. Then personalize the messaging in your separate email sends to each chunk using the language that particular persona uses and responds to.
4. Target content to speak to the specific needs of various marketing personas.
Similarly, create new content or modify existing content to address the specific needs, problems, and language of your various marketing personas. Consider the fact that one persona might have problems the other persona doesn't. If you were prepping for a non-personalized campaign, that would mean you'd have to create one-size-fits-all content that avoids addressing that particular problem. But with a personalized approach that's targeted at a specific group of prospects, you can address that problem and create a more personalized and valuable content experience for those potential customers.
5. Create targeted landing pages geared toward different marketing personas. If you don't have the bandwidth to create content targeted at each of your business' customer personas, you should at least create targeted landing pages for your various offers. Customize the language and messaging on your landing pages to address the specific needs of that particular segment, and do this for each segment.
6. Use marketing automation tools to trigger lead nurturing campaigns based on content interest. While you may address different industry issues and topics within your content, that doesn't mean that all prospects are interested in all topics. If a lead downloads an ebook focused on Topic X, for example, use marketing automation tools to automatically enter them into a lead nurturing campaign that delivers content relevant to that initial topic and personalizes email messages based on knowledge of that original content download.
7. Create targeted LinkedIn Company Product Page variations. LinkedIn Company Pages offer an awesome targeting tool that enables you to personalize the products/services a LinkedIn page visitor sees when they visit your company product page on LinkedIn. You can target based on demographic information such as industry, job function, and geographic location. You can use this not only to target different products at different users, but you can also add some of your content and other offers as 'products' and target different content offers accordingly.
8. Experiment with Google+ topic Circles to target content. Another way you can use social networks to provide more personalized content distribution is via Google+. Using Circles, you can create a few different topic Circles depending on the various interests of your target audience. Then poll your page followers, ask which Circles they'd like to be added to, and distribute relevant content targeted at just those Circles. This creates an element of exclusivity and personalization. (Note: Users must first be following your Google+ Page in order for you to add them to a Circle.)
9. Respond to prospects and customers in social media. Consumers are increasingly taking to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to conduct research to inform their purchasing decisions. Don't over-automate your marketing messages or neglect to monitor social media activity on a daily basis. Be sure a real human is tracking and responding to questions and comment in social media and are at the ready to provide the best and most appropriate content to addresses fans and followers' specific needs.
10. Use lead intelligence to personalize sales follow up. Lead intelligence, or data you gather about your leads--demographic information, behavior on your site, etc.--can be extremely helpful as you define segments of your business' customer personas, but it can also serve as a powerful lever to help your sales team personalize their sales pitches. What industry does the lead work in? Which lead nurturing campaign was he a part of? Which channel led him to his first conversion? Which types of content did he download and read along the way? This intelligence can provide vital information that your sales team can use to personalize their pitch and understand the needs of that particular lead before they even pick up the phone. And a better prepared sales person can lead to a much quicker close.
68% of marketers plan to use more personalization in their marketing communications. Are you one of them?
Image Credit: Daniel Flower