Knowing Me, Knowing You: Why It Pays to Personalize for Leads

By Harris Fellman |

Dec 20

At Traffic for Me – we’re all about the digital revolution. I mean, without it we wouldn’t have much of a job to do, would we?

Still, there’s one big problem with the digital world today – and that’s the fact that it can leave customers and companies somewhat isolated from one another. Seems contradictory when you think about things like Facebook, email, and a million other interaction tools?

Well, look at it this way. When you visited a company in the past – before the day of digital downloads and straight-to-door drone deliveries – the chances are that you had to actually go somewhere, and interact with people. Scary thought – I know.

While that interaction might have been a pain for you as a customer, it was great for businesses because it allowed them the chance to leverage those face-to-face interactions and body-language conversations that create true, loyal relationships.

Those relationships are what kept people going back to the same butcher, baker, and candlestick maker every day, week, or month. It didn’t matter how cheap a different company was selling the same items for – what mattered was the interaction.

What Does this Have to Do With Digital Marketing?

Good question.

We’re approaching a time when we can personalize our interactions with customers all over again from the pages that they see on our website to the emails that they get from us week in, week out. Yet only a handful of companies are bothering to use this solution properly.

While around 85% of the companies in a recent Evergage study were implementing methods of personalization, most was only very basic, like customary “Hey (first name)” titles.

While you might not grade yourself often on your personalization initiatives, the chances are that you’re doing a C- job – if you’re passing at all. The reason for this is that businesses are more worried about making simple mistakes than they are about actually making the most of their email campaign.

Unfortunately, if you’re failing to personalize your email and digital marketing solutions – then you’re missing out on a bunch of different solutions that could be making you a more effective (and profitable brand). That’s why we’re going to address a few reasons why you need to customize each and every stage of your customer experience – from the moment you meet – to those after-sales emails.

Those batch and blast emails you’ve been sending out without focus or planning – ditch ’em. We mean it – get rid of them right now. We’re here to get you some traffic, and that always works better with a little personal interaction.

1.    Personalization Makes Communication More Personal

Alright we know this is an obvious one – but hear us out.

The nuance of how much “being personal” with your customer can be worth is often lost on companies that seem to be constantly pursuing higher conversion rates and bigger traffic results. Personalization is all about making sure that you’re giving a very specific form of value to your customer – it’s about more than a first-name contact.

While knowing what to call your prospect is great, something that’s way better is understanding what drives their decision-making process, figuring out where they are in the purchasing cycle, and placing your interaction in the context of the specific challenges your audience members face.

Personalization should be far more than saying “Hey Suzie” at the start of an email. It should be about addressing the different challenges of different segments – solving problems and making things work for each customer.

Remember, every interaction you have with a customer has the potential for personalization:

  1.       The first visit – Figure out where your customer is coming from (it might be useful later). Who referred them to your site, did they find you through Facebook or PPC? How can you use that knowledge to your advantage?
  1.       Purchasing – Knowing what your customer bought during their first purchase with you means that you know what you can suggest to them for future purchases. How about a keyboard to go with that computer monitor, or a vase to go with those flowers?

After sales – If you’re tracking customers even after they’ve purchased – you can see how their frequent, or infrequent purchases are defined by specific emails, discount codes, or offers. This could help you to tailor bigger sales opportunities to your more valuable clients.

2. Personalization Increases Conversion

If you’re one of those companies who take their email-marketing campaign semi-seriously yet hopes that a personalized greeting at the top of an email is enough to boost a conversion rate through the roof, then we have bad news.

Clichéd personalization that could be done by anyone with an email automation program isn’t going to get you great results. In fact, it’s more likely to show your audience that you don’t care much about their online experience. After all, if you’re only willing to do the bare minimum to engage them, then why should they spend their money with you?

While personalization can definitely produce higher retention and conversion rates, these results only work when you make a real effort with your personalization solutions. In other words, useful personalized solutions have a real impact.

For instance, your email might outline specific products that would go well with the items your customers have already bought, or you might send them discount codes for items they’ve shown interest in.

This deeper level of personalization makes a real difference, for instance:

  • Hubspot found that personalized CTAs lead to a 42% improvement on conversion.
  • Marketingsherpa found that personalized Zumba videos lead to increased click-through rates at a rise of 5.4% to 21%.
  • Panaya found that content consumption increased by 113% when they targeted different content based on whether the site was from a company that used Oracle.

The cases we’ve outlined above all have something in common – and it’s that thing that ensured they worked. These cases allowed companies to target more relevant information to their customers. In other words, it allowed them to give their customers more value. We all know that in the world of digital marketing, – or any marketing for that matter – value means everything.

3. Personalization Makes you More Competitive

Finally, let’s address a very important truth. Competition is everywhere. Set up a niche business within your industry and the chances are that there are at least ten other companies doing the same thing as you, regardless of whether you’re a content marketer or a stylist knitting hats for llamas.

In other words, you’re going to need to find a way to make yourself stand out amongst the crowd – otherwise you might as well just give up. A personalized site, with personalized emails, and a personalized intimate touch is always going to have the advantage over a boring site that looks as though it fell straight off an assembly line.

Imagine you walk into your favorite local store, and the sales clerk walks up to you saying “Hey Mike, great to see you again, come and check out this set of spanners we’ve just got in – they’d be awesome for your handyman business.”

Now compare that experience with some bored teenager asking “Can I help you?” as he fiddles with his smartphone.

Chances are the first option will engage you much more than the second, and online shopping is very similar. It’s always nice to feel as though you have a connection with the business you’re planning on giving your hard-earned money to.

If you’re still not entirely sure where to get started with your personalization – don’t worry. You’re not alone. Many businesses today are struggling to find the human side of their business, and ensure that their customers can interact with them on a deeper – more emotional level. At Traffic 4 Me, we encounter businesses every day that have practically no clue when it comes to their email marketing work.

That’s okay – we’re here to help. Usually, a great campaign, full of personal touches, will start by taking the traffic we deliver to you and segmenting it. Not the scary segmentation from the history books – the segmentation that gets you awesome profits.

Why Start with Segmentation?

Simply put, you won’t have the time, or the manpower, to send a personal email to every client you ever work with, especially if you’re a successful business generating significant revenue. What you can do, however, is segment your hundreds of customers into smaller groups that can be sent content based on relevancy and personalized topics.

Segment your audience however you like – but make sure that you do it thoughtfully. Some options might include:

  • Breaking up your market according to their geographic location so you can send specific deals to people close to your physical stores
  • Segmenting people by gender so that you can send specific emails written in a male, or female-oriented voice.
  • Segmenting by cultural orientation – different cultures do react to things differently, that’s just human nature.
  • Segmenting by who purchases more in your business, and those who have already made purchases in the past.

There are almost no limits to personalization so long as you have the data available. By looking at every option for personalization, you not only increase conversion rates – but you’re enhancing customer experience too!

Everyone likes to feel special – and your customers are no different.


About the Author

Harris Fellman has been involved in online sales & marketing since before the web existed. He began his online sales journey at pioneers Galacticomm, iBill, and MSN in the 1990's. He then went on to own a successful multi-million dollar Email Marketing company from 1999 to 2005 before embarking on creating numerous products and services that teach and help other online entrepreneurs to succeed. Harris has a passion for comedy, travel, and inspiring others to live life to the fullest. Harris, along with his wife, Andrea, and two children currently live in beautiful Barcelona. (Andrea is a powerhouse social media maven in her own right, by the way.) Harris Fellman's life mission is to "Make You Richer" - not only in income, but also in life.

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