In a marketplace in which generic messaging overload can make buyers feel neglected, getting more personal with your content makes a big difference. Many marketers are recognizing this, with 62 percent of businesses investing in some form of personalization in their emails and websites, according to a recent Forrester Research report.
But are you taking advantage of the latest technology to serve up customized content in these emails and on your website that moves beyond the basics and closer to uniquely relevant interactions with every buyer? And in a world in which customers and prospects frequently interact with you across so many different channels, are you also serving up personalized experiences via mobile and social?
With a recent Endeca report citing cross-channel inconsistency as the No. 1 complaint among modern-day customers, the time is now to take advantage of all the available tools to deliver a personal customer experience on every channel. Here are a few ideas to get you started, zeroing in on six key communication channels.
Instead of treating Web visitors the same whether they’re new prospects, recent first-time buyers or repeat purchases, try building “smart content” logic into your platform that matches Web content to where Web visitors are in the customer lifecycle. Examples might include:
- “Thanks for registering Vanessa – as a valued member you now have access to (LINK)”
- “Bob, looks like you haven't updated to the new version – click here for information on the release!”
- “A.J, as a 'Premium' member with 400 rewards points, we think you'll like our new Plus program.”
2) Mobile App
Go multichannel and reflect previous actions across platforms when users open your mobile app. For example, if you have a loyalty rewards app, you don’t have to limit the user experience within the app. With the right technology in place, behaviors taken outside the app – a question answered on your website or a visit to your store, for example, can be captured in your database and reflected – in real time – the next time that person opens your mobile app.
Ninety percent of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery, so take advantage of this opportunity by using cross-channel behaviors to personalize text messages in exciting ways. For example, the next time a customer crosses a geofence, triggering a text message, reflect purchase history, loyalty points, online shopping cart and/or frequency of store visits in your SMS.
Sometimes little details can make a big difference. So while you don’t have a lot of control over personalizing Facebook pages, concentrate on what you can do. When you embed a Web form on your Facebook page, for example, have it populate with what you already know about the customer. Another option: personalize the design based on the visitor’s interests/behaviors. A sports memorabilia website might have the background on its Facebook form populate with logos from the customer’s favorite team if it’s captured that data in the past.
If you’re sending automated Tweets as part of your social messaging mix, why not use what you know about the person to customize your content? For example, you might respond to retweets with Tweets customized to where that person is in the buying cycle. Let’s say a prospect and existing customer each retweet your new white paper. The prospect might get a “Thanks for sharing our white paper! Contact us for a free 30-day trial” message, while the existing customer might get a Tweet that reads, “Appreciate you spreading the word about our new white paper. Check out (link) for more great resources on the topic.”
You’ve probably incorporated some sort of personalization in your emails, such as using dynamic content to address recipients by first name. But what other data might you harness to make your messages more fun, helpful and engaging? Ideas to make your emails more personal include:
- Moving from demographic-driven dynamic content to behavior-driven dynamic content
- Varying price, discount or offer by score
- Altering content based on cross-channel actions such as social activity, whether a person has visited a store and mobile behaviors (downloaded a mobile app, opted in to an SMS program, etc.)
- Moving from one dynamic content aspect in an email to two or three
Admittedly, having all these cool ways to individualize content can be a little overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to start with modest goals. Before you know it, small incremental changes can start adding up to big personal connections between your brand and your customer — on every channel. And with studies showing that multichannel customers are often worth five to six times more than single-channel customers, that engagement can translate to revenue in a hurry.
Got any questions about the tips above, the technology involved or other tactics to make your content more personal? Post your query below or send me a Tweet @getvision.
1) White Paper: “20 Ways to Personalize Content and Enhance the Customer Experience”
2) Video: “Personalizing the Web Experience for Every Customer Through a CMS Integration”
3) Blog: “Universal Behaviors: What It Means for Marketers and the Customer Experience”