When you walk into your local store and the person behind the counter knows your name, what you need and why you need it that makes you feel special. It makes that business suddenly feel like not just another place, but like a part of your social circle.
Personalization can do the same thing. It can create a personal connection between you and your customers. And it doesn’t even just have to be the handful that come in regularly. It can be nearly anybody that’s visited your store before. You can greet them by name, make them feel welcome and give them exactly what they’re looking for – like offers on the products that they are interested in. In this way you can create a personal connection and in the process turn occasional visitors into loyal customers.
But be careful
The thing is, you do have to make sure that your attempts to market are actually successful, because – like is always the case when you know private information about your customers – it can get creepy pretty quickly if dealt with incorrectly. For example, when you know things about people before their closest family does, that can provoke some pretty angry reactions.
So let’s look at some of the things to look out for when you’re personalizing your message.
Garbage In Garbage Out
The above phrase is well known to all statisticians and data scientists, but often not considered carefully enough by those not familiar with the field. GIGO means that data science is not magic. Instead, the quality of your conclusions can only ever be as good as the data that you put in.
If you put in incorrect data, then you’re going to get the incorrect answer. So, when personalizing make sure that you focus here first. Otherwise, you might end up sending a message offering entirely the wrong services to a customer, or even worse, calling one of you customers a slut. That really does not show that people are managing their data very well, does it?
Focus on the right customers
Modern businesses are obsessed with new clients. I honestly can’t understand why, as return customers are far more valuable than new one – with them on average spending SEO more on follow up visits. Also, you already know a great deal about them (and they’re fine with you knowing that).
Then there’s the fact that as they’ve already visited your site once, the chance that they’ll come back for even more consequent visits is much higher – thereby creating a loyal customer, rather than one that will buy your product once and who you’ll thereafter never see again.
Even better, loyal customers can give you some of the most valuable marketing you can possible have. And that is word-of-mouth advertising. After all, these people have already demonstrated that they like you brand. What more do you need to do to get them to actually advocate it?
So, as the saying goes, focus on the customers you already have and they’ll take care of the new ones. This is particularly true in the case of personalization. Also, remember to offer them plenty of discounts. After all, it can be incredibly upsetting to long-term customers to realize that other people are being offered better deals than they are.
Another thing that personalization allows you to do is trigger marketing. This is where you set up certain marketing campaigns not for certain times of the month, but for certain actions. For example, if somebody demonstrates an interest in a certain product, then you can hit them with vouchers for more of that product, or loyalty cards.
Alternatively, if certain shoppers show up regularly on your site and then you notice a drop off, then you can send them offers and deals that entice them to come back.
The great thing about trigger marketing is that if done correctly, you don’t end up cannibalizing existing sales, as you provoke sales that otherwise might not have happened. In this way, you get to have your cake and eat it too.