The Keys to Successful Marketing Personalization
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Marketing personalization is increasingly easier and popular. Indeed, your prospects and clients expect relevant and personalized content. Apart from being an expectation, personalization is a necessity in order to stand out.
Below I outline what marketing personalization is and how advisors can use it in this digital age.
What Is marketing personalization?
Personalized marketing is one-to-one communication. The idea is to deliver content that is targeted to a specific individual. It can be anything from as small as writing a person’s name in an email subject line to actually sending an entirely customized email to a prospect or client. Personalization makes your prospects and clients feel like they are unique and that you know their needs.
Personalization increases customer satisfaction and brand loyalty and drives revenue.
How advisors can use marketing personalization
One size does not fit all. When it comes to email personalization, it’s all about adding a personal touch. You should use known information about a customer to send them a customized email that caters to their unique needs, wants and interests. When a customer or prospect reads your email, they should believe that it was specifically meant for them. Email personalization is highly effective, and 74% of marketers say that targeted personalization increases customer engagement.
Not sure how to tackle email personalization? Here are three easy ways to get started:
1. From one person to another
A key element of email personalization is sending an email from you rather than your business. Moreover, you should address the receiver's name in the opening line of your email. Saying “Hi Sarah” instead of just “Hi” - this can go a long way in terms of how customers react to your email. Another great personalization tactic is writing the receiver's name in the subject line of the email. The subject line is one of the first things people see, so in order to stand out, say “Hi Sarah, check our latest guide on portfolio management.” By making this small tweak in your emails sends you can increase your open rates by 26%.
2. Include relevant content
Your email definitely won’t be personal if you send information that the receiver doesn’t care about. For example, if your advisory business targets millennials, you don’t want to send your millennial subscribers an article about the top 10 ways to earn income in retirement.
In order to be relevant, you’ll want to segment your lists. Email list segmentation is when you divide your email list into smaller “segments” so that you can create a more targeted and personalized email. Instead of sending large email blasts, you send different targeted emails to each segment. It is often effective for financial advisors to segment their client base by business professionals, pre-retirees, retirees, those going through a life transition (i.e. divorced, widowed), etc. You are able to filter and group subscribers based on any criteria that you choose, but the goal is to target each segment and provide them with the most relevant content possible. However, the smaller your segment, the more likely it is to be effective.
Personalized social media engagement
When it comes to social media, an effective way to add personalization is to engage in noteworthy human-to-human interactions. It’s important for your social media followers to feel like a real person is managing your accounts, whether it's you or someone else, and that you curate thoughtful, rather than automatic sounding responses.
Social media is a great way to connect with both prospects and clients. For example, if your compliance team allows it and someone has taken the time to comment on a post of yours, it’s very important that you respond timely and in a personalized way.
Let’s say you post a video to Facebook where you share top tips to prepare for a comfortable retirement. A current client of yours replies and says that they really liked the video and with your help, they’ve been able to implement the same strategies and have seen success. Don’t respond with just a simple “thank you.” To the client, and to other potential clients who see the post, this could indicate that you are too busy and not interested in helping. Instead, use this opportunity to share even more of your thought leadership and give others a true sense of what it’s like to collaborate with you.
Another great way you can use marketing personalization is through interactive content. This can include things like polls, surveys, games, quizzes, etc. and provides a way for your clients and prospects to engage with you in a meaningful manner. You can gain stronger insights and build stronger connections from interactive content compared to static content like blog posts and emails.
In fact, a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), found that 81% of respondents found interactive content more effective than static content in capturing consumers’ attention. Furthermore, consider where in the buyer’s journey your prospects are at the moment in order to serve them the right kind of interactive content. Below are some of the most common interactive pieces of content I see financial advisors use in their marketing and how effective each is based on the buyer’s journey stage.
Personalized landing pages
Rather than having one broad landing page for all visitors to your site, identify who your visitors are, what actions they are taking on your website, what led them to your landing page, etc. If you track this data, you will be able to create landing pages that are specifically tailored to the prospects’ needs, increasing the chances of them becoming a more qualified lead for your business. Use your landing page to speak to your customer and address their concerns.
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One final note
While there are numerous benefits to adopting a personalized marketing approach, such as improved customer experiences, consistency across channels and an increase in revenue, it is impossible to be successful without the right tools.
I once heard someone correctly say, “Personalization is only ever as good as the data that is being collected.” There are tools for advisors like Lead Pilot to aid in personalization efforts. When doing your research, consider whether you’ll be able to upload historical data and whether those tools can report in real-time and prove their ROI.
Samantha Russell is the chief marketing and business development officer at Twenty Over Ten (a digital marketing and website development company for financial advisors). Samantha helps financial advisors create digital marketing strategies that produce explosive growth through website development, content marketing, SEO, social media and video.