Catering to the needs of potential and existing customers through personalisation is nothing new. Plenty of companies have seen the potential of this, but according to Econsultancy, there’s a Catch 22 issue to deal with first. Over 90% of internet users worry about online privacy, yet 73% prefer to buy from companies who use their personal data to deliver personalised shopping experiences.
But does the Catch 22 problem really exist? If a customer wants a business to make use of their data then they’re not worried about keeping it private – as long as it’s done right.
Collecting data the right way is the first step
Collecting data the right way is the first step. Before you get started with personalising the user experience, you need to learn about the user. Collecting data without consent and using 3rd party data techniques might be the quickest way, but it’ll all be for nothing if the customer believes that their aforementioned privacy is violated. Rather than making the site useful for them and encouraging them to come back you could see them navigate away permanently.
Your methods for collecting data should be based on consent and clarity. The customer should know how you’re collecting data and why. Make it easy for them see the benefits and reassure them any information you have won’t be passed on to other parties or used nefariously.
One of the best options for accessing data is to consider using social logins, as you can access their social graph for more detailed information. Tracking their movement and purchases on the site is important too, especially as it is data a customer expects you to collect.
Finally, give your customers access to this data so they can see what you have and edit it themselves. Not only is this good for shoring up trust with your customer, it can also solve problems down the line. 74% of people become frustrated when site shows them content, ads or offers that are irrelevant to them.
Personalising your marketing
Personalisation offers a way to seek out new potential clients, warm cold leads or generate repeat business from existing customers, without having to compromise on offerings to any segment.
Customising your email marketing is one place to start. Crunch, an online accountancy service, market their services to a disparate group of people. From creative freelancers doing the odd job in their bedroom to small business owners, a one-size-fits-all approach to their email marketing just wasn’t going to work. Their web editor, Jon Norris, was involved in finding a solution.
He pointed out that “Sending untargeted emails really wasn't an option as it would guarantee certain segments of our subscribers would get something that was totally useless to them.” Their solution was to split their customers into separate groups and to send them relevant content, but they also went further than that.
Jon explained that they “also set up rules that move subscribers between groups depending on their behaviour, so they can keep receiving relevant content even if their circumstances change.” This meant that if someone went from freelancing on the side to doing it full-time, Crunch could target them with appropriate content.
While it’s still early in their campaign, the results have been good so far. With a 4.5% increase in email open rate and “better interaction across the board”, Crunch have shown that personalised marketing will enable you to engage potential customers much more effectively and increase your chance of getting new or repeat business.
Personalising your website
For many companies the website is essentially their shop front. It’s where customers are enticed in and spend their money. But as previously mentioned, if targeted customers all have different interests and needs, without personalisation it is going to fail short for certain potential customers.
One of the most common tactics is to showcase items that you know the customer would want based on pre-existing data. The idea behind this is to suggest items to a person before they even know they want it. The better you are at doing this the more likely the customer is to return to the site.
If you sell services rather than products, you can offer information and content tailored to the user’s position in the marketing funnel. If they’re a new customer, calls to action could be focused on channelling them to resources that help them understand your services and the surrounding landscape. As customers progress through the funnel call to actions can become increasingly sales-oriented as they approach conversion.
The main takeaway
The main takeaway here is that not all tactics will work for the same business, so learn about your current customers and the journey they made to you. At the same time give equal thought to the lost leads and clients and understand why they slipped through your fingers. This should be the foundation of your personalisation strategy.
User experience personalisation is a broad concept, but what’s for sure is that it works. A study by Monetate and Econsultancy showed that sales increase by 19% when personalisation is implemented. That’s a fact no business should ignore.