Personalized content is one of those things that we all understand is beneficial, but it can be challenging to get right. And for many, it’s not a measure of doing it well; it’s about doing it at all.
According to Direct Marketing News, 59% of marketers don’t personalize their content because they don’t have the technology, bandwidth, or resources. That means a majority of the content being delivered is like the proverbial “shot in the dark” — it may be good material, but sending it without focus or attention to personalization significantly lowers the chances of connecting with a solid prospect.
It doesn’t take a marketing guru to know this method is a little mad, but it’s also hard to overcome the hurdles and make individualization a reality. Or is it? Personalization doesn’t have to be as specific or as time-consuming as many marketers think. Today, it’s less about being on a first-name basis with your customers as it is about enhancing their experience and allowing them to shop on their terms.
Here are three easy-to-incorporate ways to personalize your buyers’ experiences:
- Make sure you’re sending to the right list. The first step in personalization is to talk to the people who are interested in what you have to say. By marketing to a focused group of prospects who will benefit from your product and service offerings, you’ll ultimately shave off a step in the sales process. These engaged and aware customers are out there; you just have to do the market research to find them. A dependable, vetted list of recipients that’s populated with the right demographics is key. Long-term list maintenance is valuable too: Once you have a dependable list, continuously work to identify the good buyers and cut the inactive ones.
- Reach out to return buyers. When someone keeps coming back, show them you’re aware of their loyalty by sending thanks, rewards, and incentives. Although there are impressive systems available to incorporate rewards into your sales process, it doesn’t have to be complicated or highly technical — a simple coupon, word of appreciation, or “freebie” tucked into your catalog or packages can work wonders. Just make sure you’re doing something, as this is one of the best and most basic ways to get personal and encourage repeat purchases.
- Interact across different channels. Communication builds relationships, so why not offer myriad ways for customers to connect with your brand? Connect with mobile customers through an app; participate in social media; inspire your print catalog readers with QR codes and Augmented Reality; and embrace the digital catalog. Expanding your reach in these ways can make it feel as though you’re tailoring your communication channels to your customers’ individual tastes and shopping methods.
Personalization doesn’t always mean customization; your main goal should be to make interacting with your brand feel like a natural part of your customer’s day. If you can do this, then you’ll both benefit.