Personalized marketing is the new norm, increasingly picking up steam over the past few years. Just because it’s a trend doesn’t mean it’s going to fizzle out anytime soon. In fact, one of the best digital marketing tips we can give you is to make sure you personalize all client-facing communication – but there’s one catch. You need to use personalization strategically and thoughtfully. Here’s how to do exactly that. 


Go Beyond Merge Fields

If you use a marketing automation platform like HubSpot, SharpSpring, Infusionsoft by Keap, Marketo or even a more basic provider like MailChimp, you’re likely familiar with merge fields. “Dear {contact_first_name}” is usually how these appear, and they trigger the software to pull the contact’s first name from their contact record and insert it where you place that field. This was all the rage for a while, and it’s still a good idea. But, it’s not enough anymore and when not done strategically can look canned, or worse, not pull in the data and seem insincere and unprofessional.

Now is the time to consider how to personalize the entire experience customers have with your brand, rather than simply using more merge fields. You can personalize the ads you use, your product recommendations, discount offers, website and more – and you should. Whenever possible, send less communication but make it more personal. And think about your personas and the customer journey. Where can you add in personalized touches that show you’re listening, and understand them and their needs? 


Don’t Get Creepy

There is a dark side to personalization – it can get a little weird sometimes. Sure, you want to research your latest prospect and maybe mention to them that you share ASU as your alma mater in your next email (Go Devils!). But you don’t want to also tell them you found them on Facebook, think the children are adorable, love the new car and coincidentally took your family to Olive Garden for some breadsticks and pasta, too. That crosses the line from being personal to being, well, invasive. 

When you think of how much is too much when it comes to personalization, remember this goal:
Be relevant and add value. It’s really that simple. 

Show that you understand the pain they go through in their daily life, and that your solutions will not only make their lives better but also save them time, energy, and money. Be mindful of their goals, and also mindful of their timing. If a prospect is tweeting about how busy they are at a trade show, this isn’t the right time to ask them to meet you for coffee or send them a detailed ebook. 

Wait until they get back home and tweet about how they can’t stand the latest issue they’re experiencing with their online training provider, for example. Offer them help, and resources. And then yes, at the right time, mention why they might experience fewer headaches with what you have to offer. If you aim for relevance and value, you’ll win every time. 

Need more help understanding personalized marketing and how to create the ultimate customer experience? Give us a call!