Today, consumers expect a bespoke experience. Here’s how to adapt
Today, personalized marketing reigns supreme, from email newsletters tailored to each individual recipient, to instant, one-on-one customer support via platforms like Twitter.
Is it any surprise? We live in a world where you can advertise specifically to 24-year-old cat lovers in Queens (see: Facebook targeting). Where you can get bespoke clothing delivered to your front door in days (see: Stitch Fix). And where you can have a box of custom toys — for your dog — sent to your home regularly (see: Bark Box).
Whether you’re a real estate company, a healthcare provider, or a trendy restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, you should be connecting with your customers using customized content and the latest tools. Because a boilerplate message to your entire email list, or an outdated help desk equipped with only a landline, just won’t cut it anymore.
Indeed, reams of data show just how effective personalized marketing is. Companies see about a 20% boost in sales when they deploy personalized experiences, Campaign Monitor, an email marketing service, recently reported. And personalized emails can increase transactions by sixfold, according to Monetate, a marketing tool.
Here are three tips to ensure your marketing is personalized:
Email segmentation. Email is one of the primary ways businesses stay in touch with their customers. But it’s not as simple as sending a mass note every week. The most successful email marketing today relies on “segmentation” — sorting your customers into categories, and speaking to each category differently. “Segmentation is used as a personalization tactic to deliver more relevant email marketing to subscribers based on their geographic location, interests, purchase history, and much more,” explains Campaign Monitor.
If you’re a fashion boutique, you might send one email to men and another to women. Or, one email to first-time shoppers (“Check out our fall collection”) and another to long-time customers (“Thanks for shopping — here’s a coupon!”).
Social media support. If a customer has a question or comment, how can they get in touch with you? If your answer starts with 1-800 — or entails a lengthy FAQ webpage — you’re long overdue for a change. “Why Millennials Don’t Like to Make Phone Calls,” reads a recent Inc. Magazine article. “Making a call is a bit like sending a telegram or jumping on the train to take a vacation,” the author writes. And a recent Guardian article dubs current teenagers “Generation Mute.”
You need to meet your audience where they are — online. Twitter is a fantastic tool for quick engagement: You can answer most questions in just a sentence or two. Looking for inspiration? Companies like Venmo and Delta Air Lines have admirable Twitter support handles.
Facebook advertising. If you’re a pet store, why pay for non-pet owners to see your ad? If you’re a dating app, why pay for married folks to see your ad? Social media platforms — most notably Facebook — allow you to personalize advertisements based on traits like location, interests, age, gender, job titles, and more. Indeed, Facebook’s mammoth growth over the years has been fueled by its bespoke advertising capabilities. “If you aren’t already advertising on Facebook, you’d be crazy not to. Especially if you want to grow like crazy,” reads a recent Medium piece, which lists nine reasons to use Facebook advertising. You can learn more about Facebook advertising here.
These are just three pathways to more personalized marketing. And while crafting different messages for different customers may seem daunting, or providing customer support on Twitter may seem time-consuming, it’s not the case. Today’s marketing tools have evolved to make personalization simple — and effective.