Time to Get Personal

by | Oct 30, 2018 | Content | Social Media | Email, Blog

Everyone wants to feel special. When you walk into a coffee shop and you’re greeted by name you feel welcome. When a waitress remembers that you like your eggs over easy before you order you feel at home. So the next time you want a cup of coffee or eggs over easy, you are more likely to go back for the personal touch that makes you feel special.

Marketing personalization in an impersonal world

With so much business conducted remotely and online, sometimes it feels as if we have lost that “personal touch.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Companies willing to invest in getting to know a little bit more about customers and prospects can build a competitive advantage through the use of marketing personalization.

Start with a name

Dale Carnegie, who built a career on his understanding of people, recognized the importance of personalization when he said: “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

If you want customers and prospects to feel special, use their name to transform impersonal marketing into personalized marketing. For example when you send an email to your entire database add the person’s name or a relevant fact about them to the email to increase response rates.

No, I am not suggesting you send an individual email to each of the hundreds or thousands of people on your list. Instead, take advantage of the personalization tags available from email tools like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp.

Add the person’s first name to the subject line of the email. If there are 10 or 15 emails in my inbox, I am going to naturally see my name first. It is human nature. Once I see my name I am more likely to actually open that email. This little bit of marketing personalization will dramatically increase the engagement rate with your email.

Of course, you have to have the first name in your database to make this work. That means you may need to rethink some of your landing page forms. You don’t need to add fields for address, phone, and the name of their pet, but a field to collect first names is  helpful.

This same field can be included in the body of an email so you can add a friendly greeting once they open the email too. Instead of an impersonal “greeting” they will see Hi Lorraine!

Use what you know

This second level of marketing personalization requires you know a bit more about your audience. This strategy is not for the generic newsletter, but a more focused communication like an annual reminder to renew a service contract. Which of these do you think will be more effective?

“Hi, Your service contract will expire soon.”  Or  “Hi Mary, Your furnace service contract will expire on 12/30/2020.”

Obviously, the one with more specific information seems more legitimate. It feels as if you looked up my record and took the time to send me a personal note. As a result, I am more likely to take action.

To make this work you need to have specific data like the type of contract and the renewal date loaded into your contact list. But once you do, it is easy to send reminders at just the right time.

Let your customer tell you what they want

If your business is like many companies, you have more than one product or service. Some of your customers may care about everything you offer, and others may only care about one product. Instead of treating all of your contacts the same, let people choose what they want to know, and when they want to know it.

Allow them to decide which emails they receive by encouraging them to update their profiles, or use click segmentation to drop them into segmented lists based on what they have clicked on in your previous emails.

Track personal details

Beyond email, you can make phone calls and in-person meetings by recording little details in your CRM. After every conversation, make a quick note about some of the small talk, names of kids, where they went on vacation. Then, the next time you chat, even if it is a few months later, you can pick up where the conversation left off.

It is the little things

When a waitress remembers you like two creams for your coffee not one, you feel special. Marketing personalization tactics help you make every customer feel that way.

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