Think Personalization in Marketing Doesn’t Work? Think Again!
“There’s no sweeter sound to any person’s ear than the sound of their own name…” ~ Dale Carnegie
Carnegie had many one-liners and bits of wisdom, but this is one of his best. Your name is one of the first words you’ll ever hear. You’ll have it spoken to you softly as your mom cradles you in her arms, yelled to you when you’re in trouble and used to personalize some of life’s finest moments.
This one word - your customer’s name - matters more than any other in marketing. Why? Because it stops making the transaction feel like, well, a transaction. Instead, it makes the experience personal. Personalization in marketing is one of the best ways to really connect with your audience.
Personalization in Marketing Works
Consider this: Most people don’t buy what they need directly from the business owner. When a sale happens online, it’s rare for a person to engage with a sales representative. But, people buy from people.
The more your company can make the transaction feel personalized to the person making the purchase, the more wins you’ll have. Here are a few case studies of companies who mastered personalization in marketing and dominated their sales as a result.
Fashion was never an industry that had my name written on it. Although I love to feel good in the clothes I wear, shopping for the perfect styles for my specific body shape and style has always been a challenge. When I discovered Stitch Fix, I was hooked.
Stitch Fix asks customers to pay a $20 styling fee. Then, customers are paired up with a stylist who gets to know more about what they like to wear and what they would never wear. Every time a box is ordered it comes with a personalized note from the stylist to the customer. Right now I’m 8 months pregnant and in my last box of maternity clothes, the stylist congratulated me on our upcoming bundle of joy. That’s personalization!
The entire transaction takes place digitally, except for the act of trying on clothes. This happens in-home without anyone from Stitch Fix persuading the consumer to buy. Still, they make the transaction feel personal in a few ways:
- They make the buying process simple by only sending five garments at a time;
- They curate clothes based on customer surveys, Pinterest boards, weather patterns and personal notes that the customer leaves for their stylist;
- They take surveys on why the clothes didn’t work for a specific customer so they can better plan for the next shipment.
Although Stitch Fix has grown from a small company into a massive retailer, it hasn’t lost its roots of personalizing every box shipped. It’s this mass customization that has helped them dominate the subscription fashion box market.
Rivet & Sway
Another style-centric business is Rivet & Sway. Although they’re not yet a household name, they’re quickly growing in popularity because of their personalized marketing.
The company matches shoppers with a personal stylist to help select the right eyeglass frames for their face, hair and personality. From there, buyers receive a set of try-on kits. They can email pictures of themselves to stylists to get their feedback and find the perfect fit for them.
The magic is in the personal follow-ups the company makes. They will email or call each client to follow up on every purchase. This has translated into 40 percent of sales coming from word-of-mouth referrals because of their personalized service, according to CEO John Lusk.
Photos are inherently personal. They give a glimpse into the person’s world.
The website, ScanMyPhotos.com knows this, which is why they use personalized marketing to reach their target market.
Each time a person uses their scanning service, they’re met with a personalized email as a follow-up. This email not only calls the person by name but also asks about the experience they had with their photos. For example, if a customer says the photos made a fantastic birthday present, they will follow up after the transaction is finalized to see how the birthday went.
There are no canned responses here. The company works hard to tailor every message to their customers as a way of saying thank you and earning the repeat business.
How Personal is Your Marketing?
How personal do you make your marketing? Do you call your customers by name? Do you get involved in personal aspects of their life?
Going above and beyond the standard exchange of money for a product or service can work wonders for your sales and bottom line. What are examples of other personalized marketing campaigns that have resonated with you?