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Why Personalization Matters

March 16, 2021 Trends

Marketers have discovered the benefits of using personalized promotions. A whopping 96% of surveyed marketers noted that when personalization was implemented during sales campaigns, customer spending increased. The trick is to recommend only the most relevant products and services to your customers. These recommendations must be based on the most valuable customer data available--each customer's personal browsing and buying histories.

Why Personalization Matters

Marketers have discovered the benefits of using personalized promotions. A whopping 96% of surveyed marketers noted that when personalization was implemented during sales campaigns, customer spending increased. The trick is to recommend only the most relevant products and services to your customers. These recommendations must be based on the most valuable customer data available--each customer's personal browsing and buying histories.

If you don't currently have methods in place to collect this kind of valuable customer data, then now is the time to invest in technologies that are capable of recording and tracking who your customers are and how they shop. Machine learning, artificial intelligence (A.I.), data collection, and predictive analytics are crucial technologies that can dramatically transform your marketing efforts. In 2021, retailers, eCommerce merchants, and other businesses can find software solutions for everyday systems that include this kind of technology.

Does your Point-of-Sale system, website HTTP cookies, and customer loyalty rewards program use A.I. to intelligently compile customer data that can be leveraged into personalized promotional campaigns? These software solutions are available and affordable, so it's time to jump on the bandwagon and invest in an upgrade if you want to stay competitive in your industry.

In order to understand why personalization matters when it comes to engaging your customers and promoting sales, you must first understand what personalization is, which we will go over in this article. Then we will look at strategies you can use to amplify personalization with every promotional campaign you run.

WHAT IS MARKETING PERSONALIZATION?

Personalizing your promotional campaigns to customers is not as simple as using their first name in the email newsletters you send and recommending that they buy the same products today that they bought last month. In plain terms, marketing personalization leverages each customer's personal preferences to suggest additional products and services he or she would likely be interested in buying

For example, Molly consistently buys racerback competition swimsuits from a swimwear retailer. She is not likely to be interested in that retailer's upcoming bikini sale, however she would be interested in discounts and deals on new clearance rack swim caps and goggles. Molly's shopping history shows evidence that she's on a swim team. If the swimwear retailer bombards her with promotional emails for every sale they run, including those for beach towels, tanning oils, and other sunbathing products, i.e. products that have nothing to do with swimming competitions, then she is going to become annoyed and unsubscribe. She might even take her business elsewhere. On the other hand, if the swimwear retailer had dynamic, machine learning A.I. integrated into their POS, eCommerce site, and customer loyalty rewards program, the technology would exclude Molly from irrelevant sales and only contact her for promotions and sales that offer products that fit her preferences. In short, customers appreciate when retailers get to know who they are as individuals and make individualized recommendations to them, like a close friend or family member would.

As machine learning A.I. develops, its ability to discern has also improved, which matters a lot when it comes to using A.I. in marketing personalization. The more personalized the marketing promotion, the more likely your customers will act on the sales offer, but only if the personalized product recommendations have accurately discerned who each customer is, what they want from your brand, and what they need from your store.

Read on to learn the top three marketing personalization strategies that you can implement today into your A.I. supported customer loyalty rewards program.       

COLLECT KEY DATA (PERSONALIZATION STRATEGY #1)

If you have a POS system at your retail store, the POS is collecting customer data. If your eCommerce site prompts visitors to create user profiles as part of the checkout process, your site is collecting customer data. And if you have a loyalty rewards program in place, then the program is collecting customer data. But have you been analyzing and leveraging your customers' data to send out personalized marketing campaigns? You must be able to understand the data you've been collecting, and you must be able to use it to your benefit.

Almost ⅓ of all consumers wish their shopping experience was more personalized.

You will need to structure, organize, and analyze your customer data in order to drive successful marketing strategies. There are three steps you can take today to get started.

  • Simplify and Streamline Your Customer Data--This is accomplished by sorting your customer data into multiple segments that logically group customers according to matching preferences. Taking Molly as our example again, you would group Molly with all of the other customers that have a history of buying swim competition products. Another group of customers would be those that purchase beachwear and accessories. In both of these groups, you can separate your male customers from the female customers. As detailed as you can get with each group, do so.
  • Align Goals with Data, Sales, and Marketing--You can build a quality sales pipeline by first defining your goals and then executing marketing campaigns that are in alignment. Ultimately, your goal will be to increase revenue, but in order to boost sales, you must identify practical, action-based goals. For instance, if you have stagnant items that haven't been moving, your practical, action-based goal could be to market these items in order to sell them as quickly as possible. Price adjustments may be necessary, but most importantly you must identify which customer segment or group will be most likely to buy.
  • Optimize Your Customers' Experience--By monitoring your personalized campaigns that have implemented the prior two bullet points, you can see which targeted campaigns are successful versus which aren't. You will also gain insights in terms of which customers are engaged and why. Customer data-driven marketing empowers you to eliminate campaigns that aren't yielding engagement while emulating other campaigns that are generating sales.    

SEND PERSONALIZED EMAILS (PERSONALIZATION STRATEGY #2)

Did you know that the number of email users worldwide who engage with promotional offers is expected to reach 4.3 billion by 2022? This figure has increased by nearly one billion since 2017. If the growth rate is any indication, it tells us that email marketing isn't dwindling. In fact, it's increasing, and yielding customer engagement and sales. Using personalization with every email marketing campaign will make the difference between sales that increase or plateau.

Only 22% of shoppers are satisfied with the degree of personalization they currently experience.

Let's look at the top three methods of personalizing your email marketing newsletters. These three have been proven the most successful among marketers.

  • Personalize by Using Segmentation--Earlier, we introduced the importance of organizing your customers into segments and groups based on their data, and email marketing is where this strategy really comes into play. Your customers have varied tastes, preferences, and interests, which have been recorded in their data. By grouping customers into segments based on their demographics, interests, and shopping history, you will be able to send them more relevant offers and recommendations.
  • Personalize by Using Dynamic Content--For better or worse, consumers really do judge books by their covers. Emailing your segmented customers about special sales won't lead to sales, no matter how relevant the product recommendations are, if the email content isn't presenting beautiful, high-quality photos and graphics of the products you're suggesting. A great way to personalize your emails is by using dynamic content that comes across to the recipients in a visually stimulating manner. Using dynamic content can also save you time and effort. Just draft a single email then customize portions of it based on the customer segment by employing automation with A.I.
  • Personalize with Product Recommendations & Special Offers--Building upon the last two bullet points, the dynamic content you present in your email marketing campaigns should include personalized product recommendations, especially when products that are relevant to a customer's preferences go on sale. This strategy is where machine learning A.I. really comes into play. If a customer browsed an item last week, but never bought it from your website, for example, your email to that shopper can now contain that very item in the list of recommended products.

NURTURE LEADS WITH OPT-IN FORMS (PERSONALIZATION STRATEGY #3)

Customers that have already enrolled in your loyalty rewards program provided their email addresses when they signed up and set up their loyalty account. Likewise, your POS system has been collecting email addresses from shoppers. But what about your website or eCommerce site? Do you have opt-in forms in place to nurture leads and convert website visitors into tangible customers that you can market to in the future even if they don't buy anything from you today?

More than ⅓ of customers are interested in buying personalized products based on appropriate promotional recommendations, and 48% of those customers are willing to wait longer to receive personalized products.

Opt-in forms are an important lead nurturing tool for any email marketing strategy, and depending on how you set up your opt-in forms, you can collect the right customer data to properly personalize your future campaigns. Let's take a look at the opt-in forms you should implement.

  • Newsletter Subscription Opt-In--Promoting an email newsletter opt-in on your website is a fast way to grow your email marketing list. You ultimately need to find out who your new subscribers are, did they provide their primary email address or one they never check, and do they really want to hear from you? That might seem like a lot of ground to cover, but you can actually keep things simple by using a double opt-in process that includes an additional step where the new subscriber clicks a confirmation email. This provides two opportunities for you to collect information about the new subscriber, which will benefit your marketing personalization efforts in the long run.
  • Customer Loyalty Rewards Program Opt-In--Presenting your website visitors with this opt-in form is ideal, because the form itself doesn't need to collect more information than the enrollee's name and email address. Once the enrollee is in the program, the machine-learning A.I. of the loyalty program will collect all critical data as the enrollee earns and redeems points by shopping. 
  • One-Day Discount Code Opt-In--Offering a discount for those who sign up for your newsletter and / or your loyalty rewards program can greatly increase the likelihood of your website visitors actually following through with the checkout process the same day. One-day discount codes are the perfect option if you want to kill two birds with one stone, i.e. generate instant revenue and convert website visitors into loyalty members. 

Implementing marketing personalization in your customer loyalty reward program can boost program engagement and lead to increased revenue, which is why tailoring personalized promotional campaigns should matter to you as a business owner.

When you launch personalized marketing campaigns through your loyalty program, the results are mutually beneficial for both your business and your customers. Personalization has the power to amplify the customer's experience whenever he or she engages with your brand, which leads to increased spending. The more your loyal customers shop, the more they'll save. As your customers begin to notice how much money they're saving, they will value your brand and the loyalty program because they appreciate being appreciated.

According to The Harvard Business Review, "Personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and lift sales by 10% or more."

In summary, providing your loyalty members a seamless shopping experience thanks to personalized promotional campaigns marketed just for them can benefit your business in the following ways:

  • Increases Lead Generation
  • Builds Better Relationships
  • Improves Customer Retention
  • Incentivizes Program Engagement

Want to learn more about leveraging your customer data to offer your loyalty members personalized promotions? Find out what Loyal~n~Save can do for your unique business. Our fully customizable loyalty rewards program comes with the latest machine learning, A.I. technologies. Our platform serves retailers of all industries, and consumers love the interface of our sleek, user-friendly mobile app, because it enables them to browse rewards incentives, shop the best deals, and redeem their earned points in your swag shop 24/7. That's right, Loyal~n~Save provides consumers with the ability to spend money at your store even when you're closed! Contact us to speak with a loyalty strategist today. 

This article was written by Loyal~n~Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.
Mira Gibson
Mira Gibson

Mira Gibson is a Loyalty Strategist at Loyal~n~Save where she develops innovative marketing strategies for small businesses. She is a content machine and advocates that marketing consistency and frequency is tantamount to success. She’s a passionate writer, avid reader, and she also manages a political blog in her spare time.