Personalisation is one of the most important ways to use your data to provide brilliant CX – and it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are 6 quick ways you can personalise your campaigns.
Personalisation is one of the latest and greatest trends in marketing. With access to large data sets and artificial intelligence software, businesses can now offer tailored recommendations based on an individual’s name, location, device, keyword searches, site interactions, and much more.
It’s no wonder then, that consumers have come to expect a high level of personalisation. Salesforce’s Fourth Annual State of Marketing Report found that 52% of customers and 65% of business buyers are likely to switch brands if the organisation doesn’t personalise communications.
Thanks to the rapid growth of technology and the Internet of Things, customers now have the power to control the way they experience brand interactions. However, this greater level of connectedness has also given companies more opportunities to interact with consumers than ever.
While it might sound counterintuitive, many companies have gained an edge by embracing this power transfer and giving consumers more rein through convenient, self-serve solutions.
But as consumer power continues to increase, how can businesses make sure that consumers keep coming to them? The answer is personalisation:
75% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a retailer that recognises them by name, makes recommendations based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.
81% of consumers want brands to get to know them and understand when to approach them and when not to.
83% of marketers say creating personalised content is their biggest challenge.
By 2020, businesses using smart personalisation engines that recognise customer intent could increase their profits by up to 15%.
Using AI, insights from large data sources, and a peer-to-peer approach, marketers can not only personalise recommendations for existing customers, but also reach new people more quickly and easily.
Here are some other ways you can improve personalisation in your communications and create a better customer experience.
When users visit a website, their computer collects cookies – small bits of information that help the website maintain a session. This allows the user to flick between pages on your site or go to a completely new website, and return to find items still in their shopping cart.
Cookies also contain information about the user’s preferences and browsing history, and can later be used to make personalised recommendations to the customer – thus leading to higher customer engagement and increased return visits.
Amazon is particularly good at personalisation. When users log in, they see book recommendations based on past purchases and browsing history, and when checking out they see a “Get yourself a little something” CTA, populated with selections from the user’s wish list.
The latter conveys a feeling of both intimacy, because Amazon knows what users want, and a well-deserved treat, so customers feel justified in purchasing the extra item.
Immediately showing content and product recommendations entices consumers and encourages them to take action. In addition to increased time on site, which is an important engagement metric, users will be more likely to visit additional pages as recommendations are shown to them.
Pardot reports that email and landing page campaigns perform better when they are crafted around customers’ time zones and locations, based on IP addresses, as well as past behaviour. Optimal times may vary by industry so testing is definitely necessary, but a good place to start with that testing is early morning or afternoon, as people tend to check their email with less pressing demands when they wake up and during afternoon lulls.
IP addresses can also be used to personalise web content, not just email send time. Sites such as Yelp, Groupon, and others automatically display listings and reviews based on the location of the user. This can create a more seamless experience, as the majority of users are looking for information about their current city.
Users’ search behaviour can help marketers further take the guesswork out of what consumers want the most. While Groupon and Yelp suppose that the user is looking for information about businesses immediately nearby, how they access the website can help sites serve more precise information and calls to action.
Mobile internet traffic started surpassing desktop traffic in 2015, which means marketers need to optimise for mobile first. This is especially true because Google is also rolling out a mobile-first search index in 2017 and 2018.
Ideally, this means responsive websites that automatically resize and reformat based on the user device rank higher than those that aren’t optimised for the mobile experience. Completely separate mobile subdomains are still technically okay, but a responsive website usually has a lot fewer bugs and runs on a central domain.
In a mobile-first approach, using CTAs that require only a single tap or entry field to complete will translate much better than long, complicated forms. Try using ‘Call now’, an email signup form, or a link to the user’s default map app with the business address to give directions.
Email providers are making it easier for marketers to create different journeys, lists, and email paths based on a user’s actions or past purchasing history. This allows you to show users different content based on where they are in their purchasing journey — awareness, interest, consideration, conversion — and prime them to buy or become more invested in your brand.
By offering informative content at the beginning of their journey, and content with more specific information on their purchase towards the end, marketers can guide users and nurture them towards the product or service they need. Along the same lines, you should create different buying journeys for each persona.
For instance, if an apparel ecommerce website has different journeys for men’s and women’s socks, they’re more likely to make a sale because the journeys are specifically targeted to different customers. A funnel that includes all customers is better than nothing, but likely won’t help you achieve higher conversion and click through rates.
Narrow down the information a user sees on your landing pages based on their device and specific searches of each user, as well as on how they make their way to your website.
For instance, visitors coming from social media may have a different expectation than visitors who clicked on a paid search ad. The messaging used for each digital platform, including ads, blogs, websites, and social media platforms, is going to vary, and the on-site experience should as well.
Use segmentation and create separate landing pages for each channel. In addition to being able to adapt your content to these segmented audiences, you can also track conversions and behavioural metrics while A/B testing different elements and copy for each channel, which should help increase your conversions.
Social listening is an incredibly powerful tool – allowing you to see the who, what, where, when, why and how of your business and industry through the lens of the consumer:
Who is interacting with you?
What are they talking about/interested in?
Where are they talking about you?
When are they talking about you?
Why have they chosen your products, or why haven’t they?
How are they engaging with you?
Here, finding the ‘what’ – related, common interests shared by your audience – and including them in your ad campaign can help expand your targeting opportunities.
For example, if you’ve found that most of your bait and tackle store customers have a boat or enjoy camping, you could try running ads alongside or creating boating and camping content to see if you can pull in more traffic and conversions.
Similarly, a marketer for a makeup retailer may find that people who use hair dye are interested in makeup. They could run ads targeting people who dye their hair, even if they don’t offer hair dye, because the ad is about a related interest (makeup). Hopefully, it should pique these customers’ interest, causing them to click through and make a purchase.
Giving users a personalised online experience is more than just using their name in marketing materials. By adjusting your website based on their interests and history of interactions, providing them with exclusive emails or information based on their needs, and offering the right CTAs based on how they access your website, you give users a better way to browse and buy.
Learn more about how technology is reshaping customer experiences in our Fourth Annual State of Marketing Report.