Automation and personalization are not opposing concepts. As a matter of fact, a bit of boilerplate can actually help to speed along the connection between customer and company.
You’re doing your audience a favor by automating the acquisition stages of the sales funnel. The modern consumer appreciates and prefers customer service bots to real people in the beginning. Email automation allows you to vet more prospects than you ever could before, segmenting them more accurately for a bigger long-term payoff down the road.
So what strategies allow you to marry automation and personalization, creating closer connections between customer and company at scale? Here we take a look at some of the most well-received.
Using Dynamic Content
Using dynamic content allows you to create a boilerplate email that changes its content depending on how you organize that customer. You can still use your drag-and-drop email to build the email’s infrastructure, placing a dynamic visual, block of text or banner that will change according to the segmentation of the individual.
For instance, if one of your segments has already expressed interest in your products, the dynamic portion of your email might contain an upsell to a core product rather than an advertisement for the product itself, which would go to prospects who have not yet converted.
As long as you make sure the boilerplate content is relevant to everyone, you can point that content in the direction of different segments with small changes. An example of how minuscule changes can affect the entire meaning of a communication:
Compare “Let’s eat, grandma!” with “Let’s eat grandma!”
See the difference a small change can make to the same general wording?
Also known as split testing or A/B testing, this is a personalization strategy that allows you to create one piece of content, changing it only slightly to create a second piece. These variations are then sent out to different subsets of your consumer base and compare the metrics that come back. Once you determine which of your variations work better, you send it out more and scrap the other.
Multivariate testing is one of the most effective ways to get the details of your marketing right on a budget. Testing on a small fraction of your audience saves you the embarrassment of misplaced phrasing, and you also save the costs of sending multiple emails to your entire consumer base.
The most common features that benefit from A/B testing include calls to action (CTAs), above the fold copy and subject lines. You also need to determine the most relevant metrics so that you can ensure that you are measuring the things that most directly affect your bottom line.
Designing your content upfront to deploy based on triggers that you set can be the holy grail of your personalization campaign. Why? Personalization is all about having the right message at the right time. Research your triggers correctly, and you will catch your most highly valued customers precisely at the point they are ready to buy.
What can your trigger be? With today’s technology, almost anything. You can send an email that is based on location or previous behavior. You can connect with your customer based on your customer’s preferred schedule. You can even promote to your customer’s social circle with discounts and offers that are made to attract groups.
Keep in mind that you need the proper permissions to enact some of these triggers, especially if you are doing business in the EU (read up on GDPR compliance). Government regulation aside, look to be transparent with your customers and provide convenience, and you should be in a space where most of your target market will accept your communications.
The right technology is your stepping stone to scaled personalization. Properly managed, your martech stack feeds right into your ability to connect company to customer without the need to hire an outsized number of new salesmen. Use the best practices above to automate your personalization strategy and set yourself up well for the future.