The personalization requires starting simple and testing, and then iterating and building on your program’s complexity. Matthew Vernhout, VP of Deliverability for Netcore Cloud, says part of building a robust personalized experience for users is determining what you want to accomplish with personalization and the data required to make that a reality. For example, adding the local weather to your messages requires knowing where the consumer is, just like sending a birthday message needs for you to know the date.
Here’s a 5-step plan to get you started:
» STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR GOAL AND PURPOSE:
Ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish?” Is it to start a customer journey through an acquisition campaign? Perhaps it is increasing loyalty and revenues through a series of retention communications. Or are you focusing on winning back lapsed customers? Each has different purposes that eventually, tie into one another. Take the time to clearly define your efforts.
» STEP 2: DO YOU HAVE THE DATA?:
You definitely have the data, or you can easily add to it. The depth and breadth of data that marketers have access to (1st/ 3rd party) is vast. From a 1st party data perspective, you are capturing spend, product purchases and even NCOA move data. These are all key drivers in the “who”, “what”, “where” and “why” questions asked in stage 1.
3rd party data such as data enhancements and outside list purchases are effective as well. Engage in a data provider if you haven’t already – most can help you make sense of your data using analytic solutions such as profiling, segmentation and even model building.
Lastly, don’t forget to count your additional assets such as creative and video too among your data types.
» STEP 3: CREATE PERSONALIZED MESSAGING:
Personalization is more than a name on a printed communication or email. It is the way you show your audience that “you know them”.
Consider building and marketing to personas. Personas are defined audiences with specific attributes that allow for more targeting messaging. For example, consider generational marketing. Generations are receptive to uniquely different communications. Some are more engaged with direct mail. A particular audience prefers clear and concise messaging, while others prefer to want to know what you are doing socially or environmentally.
Creating and marketing to personas is a great way to build your personalized messaging foundation. Click here to download more information on marketing to different generations.
» STEP 4: MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE:
“How are we doing and are we accomplishing our goals”? Knowing the answer to this is where measurement comes in. The obvious measurement metrics in direct mail are responses and conversions. However, depending on your goals, the measurement criteria may expand or even change. Consider measuring as many of your personalized data points (calls-to-action, website visits, images, offers, etc.) as possible.
Remember, if it is personalized, it is a data point and it can be measured.
» STEP 5: TEST AND TEST AGAIN:
This is where it all comes together, however it can be, and should be, an exercise in patience. We don’t always get it right the first time around, in fact, we rarely do. Set yourself up for success by committing to a testing strategy. Establish a baseline, be prepared to pivot, and test again.
Having this information on how your personalization efforts performed will be the key driver in your decision to “roll-out” or “roll-up”.
Your audience expects you to know who they are, what they like and that you are producing communications that are relevant to them. Providing a personalized experience is your key to doing just that.