Get personal! Tips for getting personalisation just right in your business
Personalising your engagement with customers isn’t a new concept. Lots of businesses have dabbled in it in some way, such as hotels offering returning guests their favourite room, all because of stored data.
What is new though, is brands taking personalisation further especially with techniques like individualised email marketing based on Google search history.
This shows there is plenty of data available to your business to better understand your customers. But how well are you using this when it comes to personalisation?
Here are 5 tips to make personalisation more effective for your brand.
Recognise the many opportunities for personalisation
Personalisation can come in many forms. A company can personalise:
- Their website. A chatbot can take a customer’s name and respond directly to a query, offering one on one customer service
- Emails and mobile apps (for example, welcome *insert first name*)
- Paid advertising
- Discounts, sales alerts and product or service recommendations (based on purchase or search history)
- Transactional communications like named thank you for purchasing notes, receipts and shipping notifications
Create a buyer persona
Depending on your audience, there will be different opportunities for personalisation. Think about the:
- Communication channel
- Device used
- Best time of day to engage with that consumer
If your target audience is a Baby Boomer executive coming towards the end of their career, targeting them via social media in the middle of their workday might not be the most successful approach. But this approach may be best suited to someone younger. Generation Y are highly likely to engage with social media via their mobile during lunch time.
Your business must have a clear understanding of the personas within your target audiences. To do this, collect as much data as possible on your customer base. This will help create appropriate content and allow you to market it via the right channel.
Rather than send a lengthy questionnaire to your customers, ask a few questions over a period of time. Then collate it via a central profile. Similarly, allow your customers to maintain their own data by giving them access to update their address or phone number.
Be clear about what you are using the data for
It’s ok to say “we are collecting your data to personalise your shopping experience.” In fact, customers will appreciate the honesty and extra effort you are going to, to make their engagement with your brand more unique.
When requesting customer information, explain in clear language what data you are asking for and why. Share how you are going to use the information. Have a clear plan of how the information will be stored. Let your customers know their information is safe and will not be sold on to third parties.
Use digital media to your advantage
Social media users share a lot of personal information online including likes and dislikes, places they visit, how and where they shop and even the technological devices they use. Since the information is out there, this is a great way to build your customer persona without being creepy. Compare and contrast demographics to see the types of people who will best fit your identified personas.
Email marketing is an easy way to get personal too. Once you have identified what your customer wants, personalised email marketing is a great way to offer it to them. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies online and your customer has added a steel mixing bowl to their cart, but not finalised the transaction, send them a personalised reminder email offering other mixing bowls they could buy, like glass or aluminium. Don’t offer general kitchen items, instead focus on what they were specifically looking for and suggest realistic options.
No personalisation is better than poor personalisation
Nothing is more insulting than a company attempting to personalise and getting it wrong. Imagine how you feel when you receive an email that begins, “Dear %%FIRST_NAME%%.” While it could be an accident or computer glitch, generally this type of message is an email blast disguised as a personal message.
Good personalisation is about being aware of individual customer interests and needs. Consumers don’t like the idea of being tracked online. To keep your personalisation from being creepy, the key is to offer the consumer what they are looking for, when they want it. This is being helpful.
Using the mixing bowl example, if you are still offering mixing bowl options or discounts 5 months after the initial search, that is creepy, and pushy. If you are offering it 24-48 hours later, this should be perceived better.
Personalisation is about targeted marketing initiatives, based on customer data. The ultimate goal is to optimise your ROI. If you would like assistance to offer personalised marketing campaigns to your customers, contact Green Door Co today.