Grabbing your customer’s attention in the overcrowded digital landscape is war-like. Hundreds of products and services fight for a few seconds of attention in one’s inbox, social media feeds, search results, and even phone calls.
Such a situation increases the cognitive load on individuals. Hence, they only go for information that feels personal to them. For a business, it leads to excessive competition.
Consequently, businesses need to be well-equipped to deal with this issue. Personalization is one such powerful tactic to help you stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, customers are increasingly expecting personalized experiences.
A personalization strategy aims to provide tailored experiences through targeted communication based on your audience’s unique needs and wants.
Personalization creates a win-win situation for both your customers and your business. On the one hand, your audience feels heard and cared for. On the other hand, your business reaps the benefits of increased engagement, positive customer experience, and high ROI.
According to a study by McKinsey, personalization leads to a 10-15% increase in sales and a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction.
- Understanding Your Audience is Key to Personalization
- 1. Use the second-person point of view
- 2. Tailor your website’s content to your audience’s needs
- 3. Address your customers by their first names
- 4. Send personalized emails
- 5. Validate your customers’ actions
- 6. Show you remember your customer
- 7. Give your customers options to customize
- 8. Recommend personalized content
- 9. Customize CTA to the buying stage of a customer
- 10. Use engaging visuals
- 11. Offer real-time support
- 12. Seek customer’s opinion from time to time
- 13. Give customized guidance
- 14. Drive user-generated content campaigns
- 15. Build an exclusive community for your customers
Understanding Your Audience is Key to Personalization
The essence of the personalization strategy lies in offering a relatable experience to the end-user. It is not possible unless you know who they are, what they need, and what they expect from you.
The most crucial thing you need to understand for your audience is data (demographics and psychographics) followed by the insights you draw from this data.
Your website analytics, customer feedback, competitor studies, and customer research can help you get to know your audience better.
Furthermore, another important aspect of understanding your audience is to have a grip on the buyer’s journey with your product or service. Here, you need to identify the crucial touchpoints and the gaps that impact your customer’s experience.
The purpose of the above exercise is to:
- Learn who your target customer is and effectively segment them.
- Find what resonates with your audience and tailor your communication accordingly.
- Identify opportunities for personalization across your customer touchpoints such as website, email, customer service, social media, and so on.
- Discover the gaps that you must fill to get better results from your personalization strategy.
- The resources you require to execute your personalization strategy. For example, CRM software store, segregate and act on your customer’s data.
Once you have figured all of the above out, you can plan your course of action, run campaigns, monitor the outcomes, and change course if needed.
A powerful personalization strategy helps your customers find a personal connection with your brand every step of the way.
Here are some top personalization strategies that you should adopt to get noticed and build fruitful relationships with your potential and existing customers.
1. Use the second-person point of view
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to establish an instant connection with your customers is to use “you” to address them.
You, yours, and yourself are the pronouns that indicate a second-person point of view. Using these brings your audience to center stage. This helps to draw them closer to your story as they become the character.
By addressing the audience in the second person (whether in writing, video, or audio), you essentially imply that the information concerns them. Moreover, it helps to make the information conversational.
So, make sure to use “you” in your website content, emails, video scripts, or chats to draw your audience closer to your story.
2. Tailor your website’s content to your audience’s needs
Your website is usually the primary touchpoint between your business and your audience. The information present on your website is a vital decision-making factor for them.
Needless to say, the website has to feel personal to the visitors so that eventually they become your customers.
Capturing the needs and pain points of your audience in your website content is not only essential but also an effective way to personalize for large audience sizes. However, this strategy may backfire if you haven’t understood your target customer segment well.
Not to mention, if you have more than one target customer segment, make sure the content is relevant to each. You can either base the content on common ground or have distinct spaces on your website to cater to the different target customers.
The whole idea is to make the information super relevant to your potential customers. Take an example of the Gumroad website. They have well illustrated the pain points and needs of creators in their content.
3. Address your customers by their first names
Our names are imperative to our identities. The words we are called help to distinguish us from others. Hearing or seeing our name immediately grabs our attention.
Moreover, our first names hold special emotional significance as people usually refer to each other by their first names in personal settings. It also gives us a sense of familiarity.
Hence, using your customers’ first names adds an essential personal touch. You can use first names at various touchpoints such as email (in the subject line, salutation, or the body), signed-in states on your website or app, or phone conversations.
See how Feedly’s welcome email addresses me by my first name in the email body.
The crucial point to note is to always get consent to store your customer’s personal information.
4. Send personalized emails
Email is an extremely powerful medium for personalized communication. It is highly targeted regarding the destination (the inbox) and offers a wide opportunity to build meaningful, one-on-one interaction with the recipient.
The scope of personalization in an email is not limited to using your customers’ first names. You can go beyond and send emails based on events specific to an individual. For example, birthday emails, cart abandonment emails, reminder emails, newsletters, and much more.
Email marketing tools such as Drip, Aweber, Mailchimp, and Convertkit can help you easily execute your email personalization strategy with their useful features to segment, template, and design the emails.
Pinterest Business sends an email to remind you to complete the profile to reap the benefits of the platform.
5. Validate your customers’ actions
Validation refers to the act of recognizing and accepting another’s thoughts, feelings, or behavior as understandable.
In the context of personalization, recognizing the actions customers take with your business can be an impactful way to make them feel heard and understood. Moreover, it can help you cement trust with your customers.
Validation can be for any action, whether it is favorable to your business or not. For instance, a simple “Thank You” message for visiting your store or an email confirming receipt of a customer’s complaint.
Furthermore, validation can be extended to trigger-based notifications such as welcoming a returning customer, order confirmation, coupon wins, and so on.
When you can’t log in to your account, HubSpot lets you know they are looking into the matter and will come up with a solution.
6. Show you remember your customer
When someone remembers specific things about you, don’t you feel special?
Your customers feel good, too, when you remember the details of their activities with your business. Besides evoking a feeling of special treatment, it also gives them a sense of recognition.
Also, it can also offer a chance to reduce the customer’s efforts in acting at your site. For example, if you’re an e-commerce apparel site, remembering dress size can not only make them feel attended but also save them the hassle of choosing the size.
Pre-filled forms are another useful way of showing that you remember your users and are committed to easing their journey with your business.
7. Give your customers options to customize
The human desire to distinguish oneself from others by expressing their individuality offers another great opportunity for personalization.
For physical products such as garments or accessories, there can be options to customize by choosing colors or specifying a design to the customer’s liking. For digital products like a chat app, it can be an option to customize the background.
Besides giving a chance to express individuality, offering choices can also help you tailor the experience to your customer’s individual pain points. For example, the meditation app Calm suggests relevant meditation based on the goal a user chooses.
8. Recommend personalized content
Content is the backbone of the digital world. Whether you are reading this article, watching a video, or browsing products on an e-commerce site, you are essentially consuming content.
Among the endless content pieces, offering relevance becomes critical. This is where recommendations can be incredibly useful for providing a personalized experience to your customers.
If you have a blog, you can recommend readings based on topics related to a topic the user usually reads. If you are selling a product online, you can suggest items based on the user’s activities.
To be able to recommend, you’ll require to set up a recommendation engine on your website. Plugins like AI-Powered Personalization Engine for WooCommerce, Reverb for publishers, or Context for post recommendations can be helpful.
Moreover, you can also send relevant recommendations of events, workshops, or courses directly to your customer’s inbox.
Here’s an example of an extensive recommendation by Medium. You get recommendations for articles, topics, and people based on your activities.
9. Customize CTA to the buying stage of a customer
A CTA or Call to Action is crucial to a customer’s journey online. A call to action plays an important role in moving customers from one stage of buying to the other. Hence, the CTA should not only be effective but also feel personal to enable a beneficial action.
What this means is that you need to pay attention to the frame of mind your potential customer is in to be able to present an effective CTA.
For instance, if you have an SaaS product, at the awareness stage, you would rather push a user for a demo session than ask them to purchase instantly.
Customizing CTA can help you win the confidence of your customers by providing relevance at each stage.
Readable’s primary CTA is to get visitors to try their product.
10. Use engaging visuals
A picture can convey a thousand words in an instance. Visuals evoke strong emotional responses. Also, our brain tends to retain what we see significantly higher than what we read or hear.
Given the impact of visual communication, it can prove to be highly effective in providing personalized experiences to your customers.
By using powerful visuals on your website for ad campaigns, you can attract your customers’ attention and persuade them to buy from you.
Elementor uses powerful visuals to help users visualize how easily they can build appealing websites.
11. Offer real-time support
Providing instantaneous customer support with respect to your business is a highly impactful method of personalization. When customers can instantly reach out to you with their problems and you attend to them adequately, a great deal of trust is established.
Nowadays, offering real-time support has become much simpler with live chat software. Also, customers now expect a live chat feature on websites.
Some customers may prefer voice calls over chat. Your customer support system should also include an option for telephonic contact.
Saleschat.co lets you know that they are available 24/7 to help you with your queries.
12. Seek customer’s opinion from time to time
Your customers are a major stakeholder in your business. Obviously, their opinions matter.
Not only is their opinion crucial for improving your business, but it is also a useful method of personalization. Asking your customers for their feedback and suggestions helps them realize their value for your brand.
More importantly, you need to show that you needed them by delivering what they expected. If you’ve enhanced your product or service, make sure to let them know of the role they played in the same.
Take inspiration from LinkedIn’s email requesting feedback on their new features.
13. Give customized guidance
Every customer is looking for a business to help them solve their problems. Hence, offering customized guidance relevant to your business is a great opportunity for personalization.
This tactic is highly useful for B2B products or services. Let’s say you are a design agency. You can offer a free audit to help them discover the gaps in their website’s design.
You can also use this personalization tactic to engage with your existing customers. For example, if someone brought a dress from your brand, you can email them a video demonstrating the styling possibilities of the same dress.
Contently is a live example of a business offering free guidance (a content consultation) to its potential customers.
14. Drive user-generated content campaigns
Social media offers a huge scope of brand advocacy by your customers. You can leverage this aspect and turn it into an effective personalization strategy.
Creating a social media campaign that encourages users to share their personal stories can help you establish a meaningful connection with your customers. Moreover, you can reward them for their efforts.
If you sell healthy snacks, you can ask your customers to share tips on developing healthy eating habits with your branded hashtag.
TheSmartLocal, a Singapore-based publishing website, invites followers to use their hashtags to get featured on the company’s Instagram page.
15. Build an exclusive community for your customers
Human beings value things that are scarce. We also feel gratified when we have something others don’t have. Plus, we want to feel a sense of belonging with people who have similar experiences.
These human tendencies are a breeding ground for yet another impactful personalization approach, i.e., exclusivity. You can leverage the exclusivity approach in your business in multiple ways.
Some of the ways are offering access to closed communities to selected customers, building loyalty programs, and highlighting achievements through a hall of fame.
Grubhub, a food delivery service, offers an exclusive membership program to its customers that entails a lot of benefits.
And that’s the end of the article. Are ideas running wild inside your mind?
You might also like to read our guide on the best website personalization tools.
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