These days in the business world, it’s really not enough to simply reach customers with your marketing message, because more often than not, your message will bounce off the customer just like raindrops on a freshly waxed sports car – or something like that.
It’s far better to try to engage customers via marketing that’s personalized for them, and therefore has much more meaning and relevance to something which actually interests them.
This approach to marketing and merchandising is nearly 20% more effective than the traditional approach which blanketed all potential customers with the same message. That may not sound like a huge number, but a 20% increase in sales might make the difference between success and failure for an enterprise these days. Here are some ways that personalized marketing can accomplish this kind of increase:
1. Personalize email subject lines using demographics
You can make subject lines more personal than just using a recipient’s first name. You can use demographic info to find out if an email recipient is a member of your loyalty club, and if so, send emails with the subject “Exclusive Offer for Loyalty Members.” If your recipient lives in Los Angeles, you can send an email about the best hiking trails in the LA area.
Whichever way you choose to use demographics to personalize your email subject lines, know that you can also use this information and apply it to dynamic content blocks within your emails or website.
2. Individualize all communications from your business
“One good idea is to connect with customers after they book a package,” says Anthony Trapani, CEO of Phoenix Scottsdale Golf. For instance, sending confirmation emails with individualized message that includes imagery of the resort they’ll be staying at, shots of local cultural events and places to eat, weather updates, and even a picture of a staff member at either the resort or the golf course. This information is shareable with friends and family on Facebook or Twitter.
3. Prompt customers to use your app
According to Localytics, 26% of apps that are downloaded are never used. Prompt customers to use your app again by using date-driven content in emails or on your website to get “app abandoners” to re-engage. For customers that haven’t used your app in a month, you could display content telling them what’s new or link to a resource providing tips for getting the most out of your app.
According to Richard Wang, CEO of Passfeed a social network app, “Getting a customer who has used your app in the past to re-engage is much easier, smarter and more profitable than trying to capture new leads to download the app. So it makes sense to focus more on the former. They downloaded it in the first place because it means something to them. This is pretty obvious, right? And even though Passfeed is becoming increasingly popular among college students based on its dramatically growing user base within the last year, re-engaging our users is still our key marketing method. Far too many businesses invest time, money and strategies trying to capture new leads instead of engaging and serving their existing app user base.”
4. Offer content based on whether a customer is “social”
“Knowing whether a customer is active on social media can be a big boon to your personalization strategy,” says Marrissa Hernandez, Director of Operations for online travel site, Puerto-Penasco.com.
“By making use of modern technology, you can actually know if a customer is active on social media by asking a few questions: did they sign in on your site using their Facebook profile, do they share your content a lot or did they comment on your blog post?” she said.
She says marketers should then use this info to serve up unique content like offering these customers an opportunity to review a sneak peek of a Facebook promo their running or prompting a blog commenter to visit their Twitter feed for more thought-provoking content.
5. Experiment with Google+ topic Circles to target content
You can also use social networks to provide more personalized content.Using Circles in Google+, you can form some different topic circles according to what is important to your target audience. You can then ask your page followers which Circles they’d like to be added to, and distribute pertinent content targeted at just those Circles. This creates an element of singularity- that it was made to order specifically for the customer.
This post originally appeared on Forbes