Creating A Customized Digital Experience
It's common practice to create custom landing pages based on how your users get to your Web site -- but why stop there? Today, it’s well within any marketer's power to deliver completely personalized experiences that begin when prospective users first arrive on your site and continue with that same customer for months and even years afterwards.
Brands should think of points along the customer lifecycle as opportunities to personalize. Here are some ideas that will make you more relevant to your customers:
Don't be afraid to ask for information
The key is to be specific about what the information will be used for. Ask only for information that you will use. For example, if you ask for their birthday, explain that they will receive a birthday discount. If your customers understand that your goal is to make the experience better for them, and you deliver on your promise, they will trust you, like you and ultimately buy from you.
Let your customers choose the day(s) of the week they want to receive emails
Some people pick Fridays as their shopping day, and some pick Wednesdays for a midweek "snack." Others save their shopping until the weekend. Why are you sending your emails on the days they're not buying? You can also ask what time works best for them.
Instead of guessing what they want, check in
Many sites assume what customers want based on their past clicks and purchase behavior. But you know the old saying about "assume." Send them a "here's what we think we know about you" email, such as: “Based on your clicks we think you are interested in dog toys, business books, etc..." Then let your customers edit it. Do this periodically, and if you word it correctly, people will respond positively.
Sweat the little stuff
Even small elements of customization can make a difference. Don't treat all your customers exactly the same way. For instance, if you know the gender of your subscribers, simply create a different header for your site, which can give a more personalized feeling.
Take “recommendations” to the next level
Consider the popular product spotlights. Many companies make these promotions one size to fit all. A better strategy is to choose products tailored to types of users. If you're a traditional retailer, instead of showcasing the same shoe in every single person's email, consider what you know about them (age, gender, past purchases, etc.) and even if you are smartly choosing between three different shoes to highlight instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, this will make the emails more relevant.
Make it easy for them to visit
Once a customer has registered or purchased from you, pre-populate their forms for them upon their return, so you don’t have to ask them again for their ZIP code and other information. Make sure that your customers can edit the information, too. They will appreciate the convenience.
Personalization is the key
Customers want to engage with brands that make the effort to show that they are interested in them -- and uniquely them. Personalization -- from the beginning of the customer journey throughout the entire process -- is one of the best ways to accomplish that goal.