Why you need to use personalized marketing
The digital world is changing fast. Having a website, creating a few social media profiles, and sending out generic emails to prospects and customers is no longer enough. You need to get personal! The more personalized marketing you incorporate into your business strategy, the higher the response rate you'll get.
However, personalized marketing is more than just sending a message with someone's name or including their first name in an email subject line. It encompasses everything from product recommendations for an individual customer to dynamic content on your website that changes depending on what's happening with them (like their location or browsing history).
The leading personalized marketing benefits organizations can take advantage of include the following:
Increased engagement and loyalty
Enhanced brand perception, recommendations, and reviews
More efficient investment returns when marketing to defined segments
Closer customer relationships and interactions
More opportunities for cross-selling and upselling
The stats speak for themselves. Here are three that demonstrate the value of personalized marketing.
91% are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember and provide relevant offers and recommendations (Accenture)
75% of what consumers watch on Netflix and 35% of what they buy on Amazon comes from personalized product recommendation algorithms (McKinsey)
77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid for a brand offering personalized experiences (Forrester)
Some examples of personalized marketing include:
Timely communications tied to critical moments – for example an insurance company reminding customers in a given region how to make a claim the day before a storm is due to hit
Optimizing email signatures for targeted messaging, promotions, and calls to action
Including the recipient’s name in the email subject line
Bonus discounts or thank you gifts tied to purchase milestones
Helpful content sent out that’s relevant to the individual’s stage in the customer journey
Sharing reviews and product recommendations relevant to the consumer and their recent activity
Using every channel you own to create personalized experiences
When mapping out your personalized marketing strategy, you need to consider mapping out your customer journey in detail. This is where you create a visual map of the customer journey, specifically the process gates and interaction touch points where each customer derives ‘experience’.
What’s great about this approach is understanding how to build and maximize an omnichannel approach to customer engagement and – ultimately – satisfaction. In other words, a means of actively instigating a fully immersive personal experience that leverages every media, communications channel, and human interaction that the customer encounters.
Why omnichannel is key to personalized marketing experiences
The principle of omnichannel communications is to surround the customer or audience with a seamless experience, regardless of the communications channel they opt to use. Omnichannel is distinct from ‘multichannel’, which merely recognizes that each communication channel (e.g., email, phone, website/chat, app, social, in-store) exists and is equally weighted. Omnichannel sees channels working together.
Omnichannel is vital because of the way consumers interact with brands in the digital world. A customer doesn’t decide one day that the IKEA sofa they want will be purchased online. It’s more plausible that their journey could switch multiple times between visiting the e-commerce store to look at different colors and fabrics, going along to the physical store to sit down on the sofa, using the mobile app to browse finance options, and exchanging messages with a knowledge expert about a specific query.
An omnichannel strategy doesn’t just facilitate all those channels – it ensures the customer can move between channels without restarting their journey. It feels like one seamless experience, even though there’s a lot of technology behind the scenes ensuring that data is exchanged and presented appropriately.
The brand experience must be consistent
Whether you can achieve an actual omnichannel strategy right now or are still building up your multichannel capabilities, brand consistency across all your communications channels is critical.
This relates to the idea of brand experience – the total, cumulative effect upon a person's experience of interacting with a brand. Brand consistency is vital to brand experience.
Make this happen by first ensuring your brand is in all the places it should be, specifically those customer touchpoints. If a customer receives a communication from you, it needs to be branded. This should be simple for email, chat, web, and app interactions, but you can even do this face-to-face – it's why store employees wear uniforms!
Back this up by identifying brand experience best practices in your organization and bringing all your other communications channels and touchpoints to the same feel and standard. That way, as customers switch from one channel to another, the experience feels continuous and tailored to them – personalized marketing at its best!
The use of business email for personalized marketing experiences
Often overlooked in the arsenal of personalized marketing communications channels is one of the most common and trusted – business email.
There is another distinction here – between what we’re calling business emails (emails between individuals) and marketing emails (promotional emails). It’s the latter that’s always a primary consideration in consistent brand experience and omnichannel/multichannel strategy. But why not the former too?
Many factors explain this, not least the power of email marketing to achieve massive scale for minimal investment and resources. It is fast, easy, and inexpensive to send a marketing email to thousands of contacts at once. By contrast, a single ‘send’ of a business email could take equally long but only go to a single person. The biggest issue, however, is that the subject of that business email won’t have anything to do with marketing.
Branding and marketing are the same but different
According to MailChimp, the average open rate in email campaigns is 21%. We know that click rates are far lower, at just 2.5%, so the amount of emails being physically read probably sits somewhere between those figures. Now consider business email; perhaps someone at a company replying to an emailed customer inquiry. The chances of that email being opened are close to 100%; the chances of it being read must surely be around the same level.
The lesson is that business email is significantly more trusted as a personalized marketing communications medium. So it stands to reason that marketers should make business email a more significant part of their brand experience efforts.
Many marketers are actively redressing this imbalance by considering the immense opportunity presented by enveloping business email into customers’ personal experiences. They are doing this by harnessing the email signatures of company employees and associates to ensure a continuation of customer brand experience for individuals. Specifically:
Ensuring that email signatures carry consistent branding and brand messaging across the organization. No employees should be permitted to use old versions of logos or ones that are mis-sized, misshapen, or do not render correctly on all available customer email clients and platforms.
Utilizing the ‘real estate’ of the email signature space (or email footer) to communicate pertinent marketing banner promotions and calls to action.
Harnessing underlying segmentation data to allow different signature campaigns to be included in email signatures according to who is sending the business emails and receiving them.
Embedding other functionality into email signatures such as customer feedback survey questions and response icons, to collect the maximum volume of fresh, relevant, and trusted customer insights data.
Making it easy to use business email in your marketing mix
Focusing on the experience of customers will improve personalized marketing efforts and how your business creates long-lasting relationships. By harnessing business email as part of the mix, organizations can differentiate themselves in their market, using every channel available to develop consistent, responsive, and personalized customer experiences.
Turn business email into an actionable, personalized marketing channel with Exclaimer's centralized email signature management solution. Track the effectiveness of your email signatures with an analytics dashboard. Review important metrics such as impressions and clicks. See how much value you are getting from email signature marketing.