In this high-paced, content-heavy world, there’s something to be said for personal connection. Sure, we have our social media and our many news outlets, but it’s easy to get lost in the mix. People want to be acknowledged as individuals, and this desire extends to the places they shop and media they consume.
Showing your clients and customers that they are people, and you see them as such, has proven extremely effective. Personalizing content, whether through subject lines, addressed emails, segmented markets or personal follow-ups, simply works.
Personalized content comes in many forms, and each one of them has proven to be extremely effective, especially when they address the customer by name. Personalized emails have a six times higher transaction rate, according to Experian, and personalized subject lines generate dramatically higher open rates. Not only do these personalized messages get better interaction, they also elicit emotions from the customers themselves. A study performed by Dynamic Yield Research established that personalized messages from retailers made customers feel “happy” and “excited.”
So, now that we know personalized messaging works, how do you put a strategy in action?
Before you can delve into how to personalize content for your customers, you’re first going to want to learn a thing or two about who they are and what they are looking for. One of the first ways to start your content marketing strategy is by developing buyer personas. These fictional descriptions of some of your customers, developed via thorough research, will guide how you build content. When you understand the desires, habits and needs of your clients, you can address their questions directly through tailored content and personalized connection.
Using cookies is a common method that marketers use to track the buying habits of customers. By following your customers’ online sessions, you’ll understand what sites they’re visiting, what they’re shopping for and what items actually make them click the purchase button. By tracking cookies, you’ll have many opportunities to reconnect with your potential clients down the line.
Another way to learn about your customers is to ask them. Social media and online surveys are a great way to obtain information about your clients straight from their own mouths.
Once you’ve learned about your customers’ unique habits, needs and questions, you’ll want to start appealing to them directly. Use your data to separate your customers into groups. Maybe they’re buying similar products or services, maybe they’re not ready to buy yet, or maybe they live in similar areas. Think of metrics like needs, volume, geography and buying habits when applying data. Once you’ve grouped them based on a chosen metric, you can then personalize a message to each segment to appeal directly to their individual needs. Each audience will respond differently to content, so be thoughtful in determining how to communicate with them.
Your customers are smart. They don’t want to be suggested items that aren’t in line with their shopping habits. That’s why it’s important to track your customers’ purchase history. Not only can you recommend that they re-up their past purchases, you’ll also have a better idea of what they are interested in so you can suggest different items that may be to their taste.
This same type of tailoring can be displayed through email marketing by following up with items they may be interested in.
Sometimes a potential customer will visit your website and then leave without connecting with your services or completing a sale. This doesn’t have to be a missed opportunity. Using remarketing, you can reconnect and turn them into customers.
Sometimes potential customers get distracted during the buying process, maybe they have second thoughts. There’s no reason to simply let go of these clients. Instead, give them an incentive to revisit your website. With triggered content, if someone abandons their cart or leaves before making a purchase, you can send them an automated email with a discount.
It’s important to remember that your customers are individuals and want to connect with brands and businesses more than ever. Forget the one-size-fits-all canned messages — instead, personalize all of your communication to reach your target audience.