3 Easy Tactics to Get Personal with Your Audience


By: Renata Bell

Posted: May 31, 2016 | Targeting and Personalization

Yesterday, I received an email from a retailer suggesting that I purchase a product I already bought last month. Don’t they know me by now?! It’s amazing how we’ve gone from the transactional nature of shopping on the web to demanding a personalized experience. Small wonder, a recent Edelman report reveals that 87% percent of buyers demand meaningful, contextual, relevant experiences.

Consider the department stores where the characters of Mad Men shopped. Their shopping experience was extremely personalized—they would go directly to a salesperson that knew them and their purchase history, and therefore could recommend other relevant products to them. But that experience doesn’t scale…or does it?

When you think about where we are in digital marketing today, there’s no excuse to not offer your buyers personalized recommendations and conversations. A complete marketing automation solution allows you to do this with trigger workflows that listen to activity across different channels and send personalized, automated responses based on actions that they take (or don’t take). And finding the right solution that allows you to do this is well worth it. In fact, 40% of consumers shop more at brands that personalize for them, according to MyBuys. But the right solution is just the start.

Here are 3 easy ways that you can get personal with your buyers:

1. Listen to What They Do, Not Just What They Say

To understand what your buyers want, go beyond just listening to what they say they prefer and “listen” to their behavior across your channels. Everyone is one in a million, so consider each and every buyer you interact with as an individual. When you figure that all 18-24 year old females should like X product and send them promotional emails based on that assumption, you’ll likely be marked as spam when your communications don’t resonate. Instead, take a look at each buyer’s unique journey with your brand.

Take for example their activity on your website or their interactions on your mobile app. What pages do they visit? What links do they click on? What push notifications do they tap on…or not tap on? What keyword searches brought them to the site or app? And sometimes more importantly, what are they NOT interacting with? Are there content types or product pages they never click on? Use this valuable information to inform and optimize your campaigns.

2. Go Beyond Names

Yes, putting a recipient’s name in an email increases open rates and engagement, but you can do so much more! Consider using tokens and dynamic content that will update for every single email. Say you’re an owner of a pet store. You can thank your customers for buying the last product they purchased, build rapport by referencing the animal type they have, and promote offers for their preferred pet food brand. But wait, there’s more. Why not change the image in the email to match their animal as well? You know those dog lovers can’t resist a cute puppy picture!

Pet Shop Example

Some options for personalization include:

  • Name
  • Last product purchased (text or picture)
  • Subscription end date
  • Product interest category (text or picture)
  • Industry (text or picture)
  • Location
  • Sales rep name
  • Preferred store location
  • Birthday

3. Nurture for Interests

You may have already set up a nurture campaign to welcome new customers, but it doesn’t need to be a generic one. People engage with content they care about and they will identify with your brand more when you offer them content that’s relevant. Consider setting up separate nurture streams by product interest (ex. cars, trucks, minivans) or purchase behavior (never purchased, purchased once, repeat customer).

Nurture Campaign
Think of different categories of customers that are easy to identify, such as status or product interest, but also not too niche (red convertible lovers in Utah) so that the content is easier to create. Consider measuring the effectiveness and engagement with each stream to understand how to improve them down the line.

In a world of information abundance, buyers are more empowered than ever before. And armed with this info, they are forming opinions and drawing conclusions well before they choose to interact with your brand. It’s now up to marketing, more than any other business function, to become the steward of the customer journey. So, get personal!

What are some other easy-wins to get personal with your audience? Share your tips in the comments below!