Personalization is a common practice these days in sales, marketing and customer service. It feels good when a store you frequent remembers you, whether it’s in person or online. That extra effort makes you want to shop there because you feel special and important—you feel valued as a customer. It brings a sense of trust and care into your customer experience.
But what exactly is personalization?
Ever notice how more and more businesses, online or in person, seem to know what you like/dislike and what other interests you may have? This all part of their personalization efforts. Information like this is becoming more commonly used to increase sales and produce returning customers. Tracking customers’ preferences and purchasing patterns improves their customer experience, leading them to return to the store, website or service. It can be customer service based, something as simple as remembering your name, or statistic based, knowing what you purchased in the past and recommending similar options. Either way, personalization has been found to help companies of all different kinds retain their customer base.
Businesses can use various technological platforms and algorithms to track personalization statistics online. This strategy is called machine-based personalization, and one in three marketers are currently relying on these techniques. According to Forbes magazine, 32% of marketers that are not already using machine-based personalization are planning on turning to it in the next year. The power driving this trend is the ability for companies to track people’s habits by producing statistics on the success of marketing campaigns and what customers bought or didn’t buy. Once a company has the data on its customers’ buying habits and interests, it is easy and beneficial to separate these folks into different groups dependent on these likes and dislikes. This is called rules-based personalization. For example, if you use a service like Constant Contact, you can direct certain offers or newsletters to those who have shown more of an interest in certain items rather than others. Dividing your contact list into different groups like this helps because it makes your campaign more focused. By sending groups interest-specific newsletters, emails or offers, you can ensure that customers won’t feel bogged down with messages that do not interest them, which could lead them not to open your next message. Instead, they will be excited to see your message because you have shown that you “know” them enough to send them relevant content.
Why do it?
The Forbes article linked above also discusses a recent study titled “Trends In Personalization.” In this study, 96% of marketers agreed that personalization took their customer relationships to a higher level, while 88% of these marketers also found that using personalization techniques improved their business as a whole.
According to Syed Balkhi, writing for Constant Contact, there are six reasons personalization makes your marketing better:
Personalization effectively targets specific audiences. Relating to each customer by focusing on his or her interests makes it more likely that they turn to you for their needs.
You will create better content. Once you know your audience’s interests, it will help you spearhead a campaign that will keep them in mind specifically, which in turn will increase business.
It will build deeper relationships with customers. Personalization helps your customer feel like you really know them, which makes it feel good to head to your site or go to your shop. Even a simple “welcome back” message can go a long way.
Personalization gives a face to your business. Adding faces to the names of your team, or even just adding a first name at the end of a message, can make customers feel like they know YOU even better, which helps them feel a connection to you and your company.
You can make better recommendations to your customers. Just like Netflix offers recommendations based on what you have watched in the past, your company can do the same. Knowing customers’ preferences through personalization strategies can help you offer similar suggestions to add more value to their experience, as well as increase your own business.
Increased sales and more conversions. Giving your customer something that may help their business out or give them an advantage can help both of you. When your customers find success through your service, you too find success.
Creating a successful marketing strategy by using personalization is key for many businesses today. Collecting data on your customers’ buying patterns and interests enables you to direct a marketing campaign that will not only deepen your relationship with your customers but can also increase your business. Gaining and using this data appropriately helps you keep your message to your customers not only relevant but also valuable to them, which can make it valuable to you in the end as well.
Looking to begin personalization for your business? Jennasis & Associates can help you create an effective plan to help build your customer relationships and your business. Contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcia Hudgel has been writing stories and poems since she was very young, and has honed the ability to write in a variety of styles, which she has done for a number of websites over the past few years. When not writing, she enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, mindfulness and meditation, especially to women in addiction recovery.