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The benefits of personalization in your online marketing is clear.  A recent CMO Council study showed 56% of respondents said “higher response & engagements rate” are the results of personalized content.  Another 47% said “more timely and relevant interactions were the result of personalization.

What Is Personalization

Most people, when they think personalization think of a first name in the subject line or in the salutation of an email message.  These are personalization tactics, for sure, and they can be very easily implemented.  But, you’re not going to see the dramatic results that you’re hoping for, by just adding someone’s first name to an email.

Personalization = Experience

Personalization is all about your prospect or customers experience when they are touched by your brand.  That touch could be a Google ad or listing, a display ad, a blog post, a social post, or even your website.

Think about online personalization like an interaction you would have with a person offline.  There are things that we do in our interactions with other people that increase their “experience” with us.  We use their name in our conversation, we talk about things that they are interested in, and we share relevant stories with them. When we interact with other people in this way they are much more responsive and better engaged in the conversation.

Do The Same

Online personalization is about doing the same thing online, to engage people as you do offline.  Use their name but don’t stop there.  Remember, it’s about the entire experience!

Create a relevant environment by using images that your prospects and customers can relate with.  If you have different types of customers, develop content for each of those segments.

Make sure that what you are talking about is a topic that they are interested in.  Don’t send a person a coupon for 15% off of running shoes when they are a hiker.  Just like a face-to-face conversation, if you’re talking about how you just selected the plants and flowers for your garden with someone who has no interest in plants and flowers, it won’t take them long to drift away from you.

Possibly the best strategy for online personalization is to communicate with your prospects and your customers based on where they are in their buying cycle.  This will give them the best experience because you will be answering their questions as they seek out more detailed information.

Technology Is Ready

Going back to the CMO study, they also found that the technology is ready for online personalization. In fact, only 6% of respondents said that technology isn’t advanced enough for them to begin a personalization strategy.

The hurdle with personalization seem to be in three areas.  Either there is a lack of perceived value to begin a personalization strategy, or there is a lack of the needed data, or there is a lack of resources to carry out a personalization strategy.

The good news is that all of these hurdles can easily be overcome so that you company can start realizing the full potential of your online marketing efforts.

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