Dr. Seuss once said, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you.”
Each of us is our own person. We like to buy different things, communicate differently, and consume content in different ways. So how could we possibly ignore personalization in our marketing and sales strategies?
Personalization shouldn't occur only in marketing but in every stage of the inbound methodology. And as your customers' experiences with your company grows, their needs and interests change.
We know personalization is important. But how can we create these personalized messages using the growth stack?
What Is Personalization?
Remember the last time you visited a page or received an email and experienced the subtle yet pleasant feeling of being greeted by your name? That's a perfect example of personalization, and it might look something like this.
Personalization — in marketing and sales automation — is the practice of implementing tokens within your content (emails, landing pages, or website pages) to better engage with your audience and provide a personalized experience to a known contact.
And why do we focus on personalization? Well, it's because as humans, we crave personalized experiences.
In fact, a psychology study from the University of Texas attributes our preference for personalized experiences to two key factors: an innate desire for control, and the need to limit information overload in our increasingly hectic lives.
So if we crave personalization in our everyday lives, it makes sense that we also crave it when being marketed or sold to.
Where does personalization live inside of the growth stack, and why is it important that each part of the growth stack is personalized to our contacts?
Personalization in Marketing
Personalization is one of my personal favorite subjects (see what I did there?). It reminds us that the people we're marketing to, selling to, and connecting with are humans. They have names, maybe families, and their own story that they're telling.
This is why personalized marketing is a big part of the growth stack. Without starting your relationship with personalzied marketing, it wouldn't feel natural to the lead or customer to experience it in the rest of the growth stack or their other interaction with your company.
Imagine having your marketing be neutral, and then all of a sudden getting an email from a sales rep with all your information. That would be pretty jarring.
Because personalization is a big part of the growth stack and the story of our contacts in the growth stack, we need to take a step back first and talk about how to do personalization.
Before you can use personalization with your content, you need to first ensure you've set up the contact properties in your HubSpot account. Once you have the properties set up in HubSpot, then you start being highly personal.
Below is one example of how you can use the contact properties to personalize your content inside of an email.
This is just one way you can add personalization to your marketing. The next step is to bring contextual marketing into all of your content — across your website, blog, emails, and even your messenger interactions. In a world of content fatigue, offering your contacts a completely personalized experience is where inbound, marketing, and content is headed. Learn all about it in the Contextual Marketing Certification.
If you want to see other examples of personalization in marketing, check out this blog post where we look at seven brands that take personalization to the next level.
Personalization in Sales
The next part of our personalization story inside the growth stack is what happens when your leads move into the sales process.
Here's where personalization can start to provide your future customer with the voice of your company.
If personalization ended after marketing or only started in sales, you're not providing a consistent experience for your leads and customers across all their interactions with you.
One way you can implement personalization into your sales process is with HubSpot Sales templates that use the same tokens we looked at on the marketing side. The personalization tokens can be dropped into your templates to provide that personalized experience we all crave.
Take a look at what these templates will look like below.
Imagine receiving this from a sales rep, with your first name in both the body and the subject line. This sales professional keeps notes about your company, your role, projects you're working on, and topics you're interested in learning about. This can lead to more meaningful conversations.
This email is adding value to your day because it will be targeted to your business needs and educating you on their product and service. Much better than an email that starts with:
“To whom it may concern, you and your company that do something should buy this thing. Sincerely, a sales team.”
It's unlikely an email like that would leave any recipient wanting to work with that company.
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Personalization: A Growth Stack Story
Learning about how to best align your marketing and sales around different tasks (and use the HubSpot Growth Stack to accomplish this) is a core part of a successful inbound business.
To effectively personalize you need to have the database in place to be able to build off it.