Why is personalization in marketing so important?
Why is personalization in marketing so important?
I was sitting at my computer, wondering why personalization in marketing is so important.
I did some research and found out that 86% of consumers are saying that personalization directly impacts their purchase decisions. Consumers expect personalization. So, if I want to meet and exceed customer expectations, you should be personalizing market material. Let’s look into what that means and what you can do about it.
Why does marketing material need personalization?
You make plans to meet a prospective customer at a specific restaurant at 6 PM next Friday. Think about what would happen if you went to the wrong restaurant? What would happen if you showed up two hours late at the correct restaurant? What would be the outcome if you showed up on Saturday instead of Friday?
I think we all know the answers to these questions. Our customers have certain expectations of us. If we do not meet those expectations, we will likely lose the customer to someone who meets their expectations.
For thousands of years, most, if not all, transactions were in person. Face to face was the way people bought and sold things. People went to stores; they likely interacted with a salesperson they looked over the merchandise and decided whether to purchase. Peddlers would travel door to door selling all sorts of wares. The examples are numerous. Today a great deal of business is being conducted over the internet. Consumers, however, still want one on one communication. They want to get individual attention
How to personalize marketing material
The key to personalizing marketing material is in the data you collect. Sending out an email to everyone you know advertising a real estate open house may be standard fare for real estate agents. But by using data correctly, that same agent could be sending invitations to an open house that are more personalized.
A survey by Yes Lifestyle Marketing has shown that most retailers know their customers’ full names, addresses, phone number(s), emails, and purchase history. Real estate agents that use an effective CRM know at least this kind of information about their customers and often a great deal more. Using that data from your CRM to segment your contacts in your CRM will make it easier to personalize your marketing.
Suppose you have a listing to sell a two-bedroom condominium in an urban environment. Naturally, you want to get the word out to as many people as possible. Send the same templated email to all your contacts is not the best way to go about marketing that condo. Using segmentation, you could send a more personalized announcement to different groups.
Those in the market to buy a home would be more interested in this property than those looking to sell their home. For those in your home buyers segment, you would want to break down that segment further. Looking for preferences in the number of bedrooms, location, price, and other relevant factors would assist you in this segmentation. Think about it for a moment. If you have a customer with three teenagers, a boy, and two girls, a two-bedroom condo will probably not meet their needs. If you were to send them the same invitation you send to everyone else, how would they feel? Would they think that you have listened to them and care about their needs?
Those customers whose needs and wish list would align with the home’s features and benefits for sale would get a personalized invitation to the open house. Those customers that are not a good match for the home, past customers, or home sellers would receive different invitations. For example, you could send an email to sellers just telling them about the property, perhaps inviting them to come by to see how you market an open house, and asking them to share this information with anyone they know that might be interested in this home.
Did you know that 73% of consumers would rather do business with brands that use personal data to make their purchasing experience more appropriate? Think about that for a moment. That is almost three out of every four of your current, past, and future customers that want you to use the data you have in your CRM to make their experience with you more relevant. If you are not doing this then, someone else may and probably will.
What marketing content to personalize
All of it is the simple answer. Let’s start with some basic categories.
Your website is, or should be, your primary marketing tool and should be personalized. To what extent is up to you and the audience you are trying to reach. Look at your website as a consumer would. Ask yourself this question from their perspective, “What’s in it for me?” 79% of consumers expect personalization from a website. Is yours personalized for the audience you are trying to reach?
Do not try to be all things to all people. If you specialize in home sellers as opposed to home buyers, your website should reflect that. If you specialize in luxury homes, make your website about that and leave out the homes that are not luxury ones or do not highlight them. Suppose you specialize in one community or neighborhood emphasis that one, NOT others. Yes, there will be exceptions to these rules, but these are the rules, and you should master them before deciding which to break and the ones not to dismiss.
Please take a look at this website http://jackcottonrealtor.com/ everything about it is about luxury. The car he is driving, the waterfront view of homes, the scenic views of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and the yachts’ at the marina all scream luxury. You don’t see vacation rentals or anything else that might distract you from the luxury homes he is selling.
Your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap Chat, or other platforms should be personalized to attract your target audience. Below is a Facebook page from a realtor I once worked with, John Leonard. He sells homes and rents a few apartments, but what else do you know about him or his business from his posts? Is this enough to get you to know, like, or trust him? Is anything personalized for any given segment?
Now compare it with the Facebook page for one of our ZipperAgent clients, Ellen Dudley. Look at Ellen’s introductory video and read some of her posts. Do you think this woman knows about real estate? Is this page personalized for the consumers she is trying to reach? Is she trying to attract people who want to buy a home in Greater Boston’s suburbs instead of the city? If you ever meet Ellen in person, you will learn just how personable she is in real life. There is an authentic character to her website and social media posts. What do you think? Is this a woman you could get to know, like, and trust enough to handle a real estate transaction?
Some people lump YouTube in with social media, but did you know that YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. People use it more to search for information than they do on social media like Twitter and others. Try to think like the customers you are trying to reach.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you are a realtor in Bismarck, ND, and that you specialize in relocations to that city. A keyword phrase you would probably want to rank for in Google and YouTube is, “Moving to Bismarck, ND.” That is a personalized phrase. It is not about selling a home in Bismarck. It is not about Minot, Fargo, Wall, or any other place in North Dakota.
Google that phrase, and you will see how difficult and probably costly it would be to rank on the first page of results. I went past page after page of moving company search results. Now do the same search on YouTube, and the first video from a real estate agent is about the 12th position down. That tells me that by putting a quick video on YouTube for free, I may get a good ranking and higher potential to reach the consumers in my target market.
I’ve already mentioned emails briefly but ask yourself, “What better place to personalize content than in email?” I looked for the first email in my inbox from a real estate agent regarding an open house. The subject line was, “Join us at our Open house!” It had one picture of the condo with no information about features or benefits to living there, his contact information, and several images of other featured properties.
There is nothing terrible about this email, but it is far from personalized. There was only one reason I had to open it, which was to use it as an example. This listing is 4 hours away from where I currently reside, and I have no desire at this stage in my life to live in a condo. It seems that this was just a templated email sent to almost everyone in their CRM.
Contrast the subject line of the above email with some other subject lines from emails I have from last week:
Ray, did you forget?
Raymond, your December account statement is available.
Raymond, Time is Running Out—$5,000 Could be Yours!
RAYMOND, start the week with $5 off!
Your feedback, please Ray – 25 seconds
I think you will agree that the four subject lines above show at least some degree of personalization. My research says that including the name of a recipient in an email subject can increase open rates by 40% or more. It is only common sense. People are trained to respond to their names. Use it in personalizing your marketing emails.
I have already mentioned recording videos when talking about YouTube. There are other places to put marketing videos such as Facebook, Instagram Stories, Snap Chat, your website., and other platforms.
Look at this website Sell Mom’s House, designed for David Dowd, a client of ZipperAgent. David’s website name states what his business is about; it is emphasized right on his home page, “Services to simplify downsizing, buying, or selling a home.” He is not marketing to first-time home buyers. He is not marketing to people upsizing or relocating, but he is explicitly marketing to people that are downsizing. He has videos on his home page that support that and talks not just about selling a specific house, but resources that people, specifically seniors and their families.
Video in Email
I have talked a little about video on a website, but what about using a video in an email? Not long ago, I read that a pet peeve of Facebook users is the Happy B-Day messages they received. To quote one user, “WTF, is it too hard to spell out Birthday or to add my name to the greeting?” I suppose the same could is true about work anniversaries on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. The person I quoted was looking for a little personalization.
Now put yourself in the shoes of the person I quoted. What would be your response if, instead of getting Happy Birthday Sally (or whatever) on Facebook, you received an email with a Happy Birthday Sally Video in it. Would you like it more? The real question is, would your customer, past, present, or future, like it more? Of course, they would. You took the time to make a video for them. Now only did you remember their birthday, but you mentioned them by name, not in some preformatted template sent to everyone. Remember that 86% of consumers are saying that personalization directly impacts their purchase decisions.
What about a couple that is looking to buy a home? If you preview a property, record, and save a video, you could add a short intro to it with a little bit of editing, so it appears to be personalized for them. For example, you could record an introductory video using the script that follows.:
“Jill and Joe. I previewed a home for you at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and it meets all the criteria we discussed, including several powder rooms. Please, let me know your thoughts?”
. Then you could record another intro to the video preview such as:
“Pete and Chasten. I previewed a home for you at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and it meets all the criteria we discussed, including not just a nearby tennis court but one right on the property. When would you like to schedule a showing?”
You could do the same repeatedly by adding a different intro to the preview video for each client. Each client would receive a personalized video preview of the home. Each client or couple would think that you did all of this just for them. This diagram may help.
Intro video 1 + Preview Video = video for Jill and Joe
Intro video 2 + Preview Video = video for Pete and Chasten
Intro video 3 + Preview Video = video for client 3
In the words of the late actor Jackie Gleason, “How sweet it is.”
What’s in it for you?
Almost 4 out of 5 customers expect the information you present them to be personalized for them. 86% of customers say it impacts their marketing decisions. That alone should be enough but wait; there is more. If you add personalization to your email drip campaigns, your sales should sore. According to a report I read from Digital Marketing Depot, personalizing drip campaigns can increase your transaction rates by 600%. You may get 41% higher unique click rate, and the result on your income can be significant. Compared to generic mass-mailed email, it will potentially produce 18 times more revenue.
Of course, no one can guarantee this kind of result, but I know that one sure way not to achieve them is the failure to try. If you are willing to try, zipperHQ, as of this writing, offers a free trial of their video marketing. Using zipperHQ, you can create video email marketing campaigns like a pro with their easy-to-use features. 3 simple clicks is all it takes. Check out how ZipperHQ works!
If you have any ideas you would like to share, or if this blog post has helped you, please leave a comment below or on our Googe business page.