Personalizing Your Messages

Message personalization has been around for a long time. In its most basic form, it’s saying “Dear Firstname in the opening line of your email. Even this small step goes a long way toward making the recipient feel more valued, as if the message was made for her. As people get more familiar with technology, marketers are expected to take personalization further.
Your marketing staff must be familiar with technology, marketing strategy, and your customers so they can develop a personalization strategy. Gather the data you need to be able to identify recipients and send them the message they want to receive.

Embedding placeholders in your message

The technology that describes the personalization of messages is sometimes referred to as mail merge, a term that goes back to the days of printed mailers. If the mailer was able to include information about the recipient, it had a significant effect on how people responded.

Beyond just replacing the recipient’s name, the next step in personalization is to look at other data fields. You can customize an unlimited number of pieces of information with a custom data field. One example is if you want to include personal interests. You could use a placeholder to say, “We see you are interested in baseball, hockey, and basketball.” The actual sport a recipient is interested in can be pulled from your CRM. This personalization adds another level to your message that sets it apart from the rest and can help improve your conversion rate.

Using dynamic content

The next level of personalization is rules-based mail merge, also known as dynamic message content. You set up mail merge rules to build each message on the fly. Dynamic message content gives your marketing team the tools to personalize messages based on high-level strategies.

For example, if you had a different message for people who lived in California or Nevada or elsewhere, you would create a merge rule with three cases. People in California receive California-related information, people in Nevada receive Nevada-related information, and everyone else receives a generic article that is not geographically targeted.

Triggering Email from Actions

Everyone gets too much email every day. Your emails have to be timely and relevant. Sending an email newsletter once a month to your contacts is a start, but you can do better. Enter the concept of user-triggered communication. Sending timely and relevant messages can increase engagement by two to four times. Your CRM workflows should include the ability to send emails to people after they take an action. Those emails should be personalized and their content should be relevant.

As you design your buyer journeys, be sure to think through the kind of messaging you send to your leads and clients. Always put yourself in the mindset of the recipient and “what’s in it for me.” If you see an opportunity to help a lead become a client or up-sell an existing client through an automated email, think about how to best nurture the lead to do that.

For example, if someone watches a video for more than 60 seconds, she’s interested in the content of that video. Trigger a workflow that sends an email to that interested lead with more information and a link to purchase the product with a special discount code.

As another example, if people share your content on LinkedIn, that could indicate they’re brand advocates for you, and that may be worthy of a workflow. That workflow could schedule a follow-up CRM activity for a marketing manager to engage further with the contacts on social media.

Educating and marketing with drip campaigns

Drip campaigns are automated sequences of emails or workflows. A specific action or date can trigger a campaign, such as when someone fills out a form, or someone pays for a membership. Because drip campaigns are generally linear in behavior, they tend to not have as much logic built into them, like a journey does. A great use for drip campaigns is client onboarding. Ensure a new client receives a sequence of emails that shows her how to use your product. A drip campaign can send that information in smaller, easier-to-absorb emails.  Tracking of drip campaigns over time can also illuminate how people engage with your messages. If you notice that certain stages in your drip campaign perform exceptionally well or badly, dive deeper to find out why.