Practical marketing personalization tools and techniques to bring in more business
We’ve known for years that personalized content performs better than generic marketing. Almost every email is personalized, and website widgets with titles like Recommended For You or You Might Also Like… are familiar.
As consumers, we’re surrounded by personalization in digital marketing. But take a second look, and you might be surprised to discover just how pervasive personalized marketing has become.
- 91% of customers were more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations (Accenture)
- 65% of US and UK internet users at least occasionally shopped using product recommendations (Statista)
- 70% of consumers said one-to-one was the ideal level of website personalization (CMO by Adobe)
- 62% of shoppers said recommendations were important when deciding which brand to buy from (Google)
- 90% of leading marketers said marketing personalization significantly contributed to profitability (Google)
These marketing personalization statistics only lead to one conclusion. Personalization is essential. Customers (B2C and B2B) expect a personalized experience and are willing to pay for it.
And here’s the good news: it’s easier to personalize digital marketing than you might think. You need good-quality data, a robust MarTech stack, and a personalization strategy that prioritizes the customer experience.
What is personalization?
Before we explore methods and marketing tools, let’s look at a few examples of personalized marketing in the real world.
- First name in subject line
- First name in email body
- Behavior-based journeys
- Personalized CTA
- Changing content based on device type
- Content blocks based on browsing/purchase history
- Changing delivery time based on time zone
Personalizing email content can increase open rates to 18.8% and click rates to 2.2%. However, contrary to what you might think, personalizing the content, not the subject line, yields the best results.
- Recommended content
- Product recommendations
- Welcoming first-time visitors
- Remembering repeat visitors
- Quick-fill forms
- Changing content based on location or language
- Customer portal with service, product and support information
- Automatically applying discounts
More than 50% of consumers are interested in personalized recommendations when they shop online. They’re happy to exchange personal data for a tailored experience if they save time, get a discount, or find the right product.
- Mobile-first website
- Notifications related to purchase history
- Service alerts
- Text message reminders
- App linked to online store
- Easily accessible loyalty program
- Personalized app layout or features
According to Google and Ipsos, 58% of smartphone users responded well to companies whose apps or mobile sites remembered them. More than half (51%) were likely to use an app that offered reward points.
It pays to link apps and websites. We’ll talk more about personalizing digital marketing for mobile users shortly.
- Abandoned cart emails
- Tailored product recommendations
- After-sales support emails
- “Customers also liked” recommendations
- Automated loyalty programs
- Wish lists
- Follow-up emails with relevant content only
Personalization is arguably most visible in eCommerce. Retailers who offer tailored experiences win big, receiving 20% higher NPS scores and encouraging 40% of shoppers to spend more than planned.
- 53% of customers wanted loyalty programs to activate at the checkout automatically
- 49% wanted recommendations based on their purchase history
- 44% wanted a wish list to save items for later
Customers are vocal about their preferences. And yet, on average, retailers only invest 0.7% of their revenue in personalization.
The cost of poor personalized marketing
There’s a big difference between personalized marketing and the right personalized marketing.
The email statistics above are a prime example. Personalized subject lines performed worse than personalized content – and addressing the reader in both places was significantly worse than not using their name at all.
With the range of personalized marketing tools available today, it’s easier than ever to track online audiences.
But they might not want that.
Audiences respond well when their needs are understood and anticipated, not when they feel stalked. For B2C and B2B marketers alike, getting the balance right requires an authentically customer-centric personalization strategy.
Marketing personalization tools you can add to your toolkit
Tailoring the audience experience builds trust and removes barriers, which 90% of marketers say contributes to higher profits. So, where do you start? And how do you ensure you’re offering the right experience rather than creeping out your audience?
Go back to the drawing board and create a customer-centric personalization strategy. Send out surveys, ask your audience, and analyze available data to determine what they find valuable. Use that information to direct your next campaign.
Customer-centric personalization in digital marketing means organizing around your audience, not trying to herd them into an inflexible funnel. Tailoring experiences to the customer results in higher conversions, greater brand loyalty and more word-of-mouth referrals.
Data is a marketer’s most valuable asset. It quantifies anecdotal feedback and surfaces insights about behavior that might be unconscious to customers.
As we transition to a world without third-party cookies, focus on collecting and using first-party data:
- Purchase history
- Preferences and filters
- Form data
- Website interactions (browsing history)
- Cross-channel user journeys
- Social media interactions
- Email opens and clicks
- CRM data
Augmenting first-party data with third-party data enables you to segment audiences more accurately and offer personalization at scale. In other words, use what you know to get closer to your audience.
The first step to data-driven intelligence is bringing all your digital marketing together in a centralized hub like Mediatool.
Listen to your audience
Personalized digital marketing is not set-and-forget. Monitor the results closely to figure out which tactics are working and which need refinement.
For example, A/B test personalized content in emails to see whether your audience prefers to see their name in the body or subject line. Or, if you sell a product or service that requires follow-ups (many B2B offerings), test reminder tactics and cadences to understand how, where and when customers expect to hear from you.
Mediatool gives marketers real-time access to data from virtually every marketing channel. Teams can create reports in a few clicks, track progress toward targets, and filter marketing data to see which tactics are delivering results.