Our recent survey found marketers believe personalization leads to success, but about half say their approach is only somewhat successful. The reason: not turning the data into actions. Our websites are capturing all kinds of data, more than we expect or know what to do with sometimes. It can be overwhelming to look at column after column of your customer engagement data and the abilities of your marketing tools. Making changes usually requires more than one team member to strategize, sign off, implement, monitor and analyze reporting to glean new insights and achieve success.
However, the expectation for personalization is only increasing as we enter a new decade. I expect to see my first name in email body copy and subject lines, I expect to receive age-relevant ads or gender leaning emails - those are the checkboxes I told the company about myself. Yet, those were questions they asked so they could segment me. That isn’t engagement based personalization. None of those tags really explain how I, as a customer or prospect, have engaged with a company’s product. Sure a company can do its best to guess and guide me along, but actually acting upon the data collected is how brands need to shift customer experiences.
The survey found that the most important types of marketing data are website activity, transaction activity and campaign activity. The idea of activity is important here - not just understanding customers’ or prospects' activities, but turning the data about those activities into marketing activities. One of my favorite examples of using engagement based communications has actually been around a long time - the abandoned cart message. Anyone who has “window-shopped” on sites like Staples or Amazon and added items to their checkout cart has likely received those “you have items in your cart” email messages. This is the exact logic that should be utilized when sending your customers through a journey.
What have they done? Browsed.
What do we want them to do? Come back and buy our product.
How do we get them back? Incentivize them with their selected items in an email message and make it easy to access the cart page.
How do we get them to click purchase? Have a welcome back message using website pop-ups and create a seamless checkout process.
Even if a customer doesn’t come back to purchase those items, that is information captured. You now have their preferences. If you categorize or use tags to help segment engagement data, you have ways of creating a message in the future (think when it goes on sale) or showing a customer similar products. This makes it so not every record needs your personal attention, but you can segment based on different categories. You also have the ability to see email engagement in this scenario. Did they open the email? If not, restructure your subject lines or the time of day when you send those abandoned cart messages.