In today’s extensive landscape of marketing, one principle significantly comes above all else – personalization. It’s the secret ingredient that converts your marketing efforts into a wanted result, or in other words, it turns casual website viewers into new customers.
But is personalized marketing automation really that effective? Actually, yes, it is. Marketing automation and personalization are the power behind the accurate product recommendations that you see when you’re browsing your favorite online stores. Moreover, that same power is behind personalized messages, automated messages, and overall marketing campaigns.
To embrace marketing automation and personalization efforts equals an impeccable customer experience, which is an excellent example of running a successful business and ensuring its scalable growth. It is very important to give your customers a personalized experience where you anticipate their desires, preferences, and needs before they even know them.
In fact, the competition in today’s digital marketing era is mainly on a customer experience basis, which means the right message in the right channel at the right time. Even if this sounds overwhelming, with today’s automated technology, email marketing automation has never been more straightforward. And the best thing about a marketing automation platform is that it saves you a great deal of time while increasing your revenue. I suppose that’s the power of well-analyzed customer data within an automation platform!
In this article, I’ll unlock some strategies and important tools that will help you master personalization and captivate potential customers. But first, let’s get a little more profound understanding of how solid customer personalization work can reshape your business!
What is the Need for Personalization?
Personalization has become a strategic foundation for businesses to build relationships with their customers that are strong and meaningful. Considering the fact that today’s customers are in a constant stream of information, holding their attention can be challenging.
In fact, 97% of website visitors leave without emptying the shopping cart. This is why you need to aim for marketing automation that is personalized in order to connect with them in a more impactful way.
For example, notice the personalized content i.e. product recommendations Amazon targets its customers with, or Spotify with its playlists and discovery. They address customer needs by offering relevant content to their customer’s interests.
This means consumers are getting used more and more to relevant messages and content individually costumed to one’s needs and preferences. Moreover, it’s important to note that marketing efforts regarding a personalized marketing campaign are not about short-term gains – on the contrary, they’re for building longer and stronger relationships with your consumers. By showing your customers that you deeply understand their needs and interests, your business gets a step closer to loyalty and user trust, which is vital in this competitive market.
Using a marketing automation platform, you can make accurate customer profiles based on deeply analyzed customer data. Therefore, you can use those insights to make informed decisions, change strategies, and drive more successful marketing campaigns. So, having all this in mind, I can say that in this current marketing era, personalization is not an option but rather a requirement.
How to Achieve Marketing Automation Personalization?
Combining marketing automation and personalization into one creates a powerful workflow that will definitely affect your conversion rates. However, there are some key aspects you need to understand first before implementing email marketing automation into your workflow.
The ability to just send automated emails that don’t align with your customer’s needs will do more harm to your brand than actually help it. So, let me walk you through the 3 key pillars that will help you deliver a highly personalized experience.
The most important thing to understand about personalization is the audience – the people or businesses that interact with your brand. So, in order to achieve personalization through marketing automation, you need to go through a process that will help you better understand your audience that includes several steps.
First, you need to segment your audience. To do so, you will need to divide your customer base into different segments based on interests, purchase history, and demographics. Therefore, based on these segments, you have the foundation for personalized messages.
Another thing you must do is gather data. You can do this by using data collection tools, which will provide you with the exact information you need about your target audience. These data sets often include email interactions, social media engagement, and, most importantly, the behavior your visitors have on your website. So logically, the more data you have, the better you’ll be able to understand your consumers’ preferences, interests, and buying habits.
After you gather all the data, you will need to create buyer personas or customer profiles that represent the different segments of the audience. By doing this, you will address the unique needs and pain points of each group.
And finally, you will need to implement dynamic content based on the customer’s behavior. Using automation platforms, you’ll be able to adapt the customized content efficiently and targeted messaging in real-time, making sure it’s relevant at all times.
Content and Channel
As you’ve probably realized by now, there’s more to achieving personalization than just knowing your audience. As I said in the introduction – it’s about delivering the right and relevant content through the right channel.
To do so, you will need personalized content that is relevant to each segment of your audience. This includes custom product recommendations, email campaigns, and dynamic website content.
To successfully deliver your content, you will need to plan a multi-channel approach, which will mean multiple personalized messages through social media, email, website, SMS, and other channels you’re using for user engagement.
In addition, you need to track the performance of your campaigns, analyze it, and adjust it based on the insights. You can do this by implementing A/B testing combined with an automation platform, which will assist you in tracking, analytics, and optimization.
Furthermore, if you’re using pre-built automation workflows, make sure the marketing automation platform of your choice can integrate with them. This way, you will have a unified view of everything that’s happening across your channel.
Timing is very important when it comes to personalized messaging, whether it’s with existing customers or potential ones. Achieving personalization in timing is mainly based on four things.
The first one is behavioral triggers. A marketing automation platform allows you to set behavioral triggers. This means that your customers will receive messages at (predefined) specific moments of their customer journey. Just a quick example of this would be a follow-up email when a customer leaves your website without making a purchase of a selected product.
How To Integrate Personalized Marketing Automation Platform
It’s no secret that e-commerce is probably one of the most competitive industries on the Internet. So, to get ahead of your competition, you need to act on a more personal level, and you need to act timely. One way to go about this is through email marketing automation.
However, for example, many businesses have concerns regarding the relationship between email marketing automation and personalization. And I can see how it can come across as confusing, how can you automate something and have it remain unique and personal?
Well, for starters, let’s look at the beginning of the customer’s journey. Offer your new customers to submit their email because, who knows, some might be interested in receiving newsletters, discounts, tips, and guides regarding your products and services. This is why it matters to have great landing pages, they can develop an interest and give your customers a choice to select what they’d want to receive from your brand.
But let’s get back to how to integrate marketing automation and personalization and what are the most important tools required to do so. To give you a better understanding, I’ll lead you through the process by using a practical example, which will simplify things instead of me just generally explaining the steps.
So, let’s say you own an online athletic gear store; here’s everything you need to do to achieve automation and personalization.
Determine Your Ideal Level of Personalization
Let’s start with context. Imagine you’re operating a small business e-commerce shop for athletic gear that is suitable for all fitness enthusiasts. To make sure that each customer of yours experiences a unique and personalized shopping journey, you need to know what level of personalization will best suit your brand.
To determine this, you need to consider the products you’re offering and the needs of your target audience. In the current case, you should aim to give your customers product recommendations that directly align with their fitness needs and purchase history.
Segment Your Target Audience
Since your shop caters to all fitness enthusiasts, your fitness catalog is broad, meaning your customer base contains various preferences and behaviors. In order to answer all of your customer needs, you’ll need to do sophisticated segmentation.
Using a marketing automation platform, you can segment your audience based on critical factors like:
- Demographics – Location, age, and gender.
- Preferences – Preferred sports/activities, fitness interests, and training goals.
- Behavior – Purchased products and browsing history.
At the end of segmentation, you should have an outcome that includes the following segments: “Runners,” “Sports,” “Yoga and Pilates,” etc.
Automate the Campaign and Personalize Your Message
Personalization is best when it comes to delivering messages and email automation to each and every customer. So, for context, an opportunity for a personalized marketing campaign can be runner enthusiasts.
So, what you need to do is set up an email marketing campaign that specific actions of your customers will trigger. Let’s say your customer is looking for running related products on your website. This can be a perfect trigger opportunity for a personalized message that will be sent from your email marketing automation platform containing running shoes, t-shirts, shorts, etc.
This action will result in the “Runners” segment receiving personalized email marketing recommendations with their precise preferences and needs. Customers feel very valued when you read into their behavior.
Optimize the Campaign Frequency
Optimizing the email marketing campaign frequency is very important because you must respect your customer’s preferences for communication. For example, everyday emails containing running shoe content can be overkill, and this is why you need to continuously analyze your campaigns and use the data to optimize the frequency.
When dealing with customers who highly engage with your website and often buy athletic gear, you should consider delivering weekly personalized recommendations. For those with moderate engagement, the best approach would be twice a month, while for those with low engagement, once a month is totally enough, or maybe a different strategy.
It’s important to ensure that your customers receive emails at a frequency that maximizes engagement without seeming spammy. This way, your chances of interaction are looking far better.
Gather More Data Through Automation for Increased Personalization
As you probably know, data is key to automation and personalization. The more data you hold, the better the chances of making informed decisions and succeeding. You must be aware of every action taken regarding your website, email, and social media. So, when collecting data, you need to look out for the following touchpoints:
- Email – Lookout for open rates and click-through rates.
- Website – Monitor page views, clicks, and search queries.
- Social Media – Do analytics on customer interactions that are likes, comments, and shares.
By doing this, you will gather a lot of valuable customer data, allowing you to have even more accurate personalization on your present and future campaigns.
Automate Technology That Mimics Marketing Personalization
You can easily take your personalization efforts to the next level by using advanced (AI) technology that is capable of automatically suggesting products relevant to past purchases of each customer. So, integrating AI into your workflow will seamlessly do this, which will significantly increase personalized product recommendations as well as your sales.
What is automated personalization in marketing?
Automated personalization in marketing refers to the use of (advanced) technology and data-driven algorithms to craft marketing content, messages, and experiences for specific audience segments or individual customers.
What are the 4 R’s of personalization?
The four R’s of personalization are the right person, the right message, the right time, and the right channel.
Is personalization a marketing strategy?
In today’s world of e-commerce, personalization is the most important ingredient in a marketing strategy.
What is the process of personalization?
The process of personalization includes data collection, segmentation, content customization, delivery, monitoring and optimization, and ongoing improvement.