Personalize the Fulfillment Process to Hold On to Leads
In the olden days of direct marketing, personalization began and ended with putting a recipient’s name at the top of the letter and sprinkling it throughout. While that’s still a good starting point today, it’s hardly a difference maker. Today’s personalization must go much further, taking into consideration consumer behaviors and interests.
“You see a lot of … personalization for personalization’s sake: ‘Dear [First Name]' sort of personalization,” says Steve Woods, chief technology officer of marketing automation provider Eloqua. “As an audience member and as a potential customer, that doesn’t make the content any more relevant to me. We’ve all gone long past the point where we actually think that somebody is sending that e-mail to me directly.”
Woods says the real key to personalization today is understanding your audience and providing it with offers at the fulfillment level that are of interest to it.
“In a fulfillment action—whether it’s an e-commerce transaction or somebody has requested to register for an event or they’ve downloaded a white paper—the ability to use that fulfillment interaction to tease out the next level of interest has proven really powerful,” says Woods. Consumers are looking for relevant information at every turn, and a truly personalized message contains relevant content for each individual recipient. Woods says effective personalization takes into account a recipient’s past interaction behaviors—whether that be pages browsed on a Web site, white papers downloaded, items purchased, etc.—and predicting the next steps the recipient might take to offer tailored messages around that.
“No. 1, leverage what a person’s online [and past] behavior tells you, first and foremost,” stresses Woods. Figure out what the individual is interested in; is it case studies, technical specifications, or something else? Also determine the level of interest. "Use that insight to guide the content of your fulfillment interaction and make it much more relevant," he adds.