Personalization has become an important part of any email marketing campaign. What started with something as simple as addressing the email recipients by their first names has blown into epic proportions.
People now demand personalization and in fact, 80% of consumers are more prone to make a purchase based on the personalized experiences offered by brands (Source: Epsilon). On the flip side, personalized email marketing campaigns demand a huge amount of customer data, and 78% of brands say they struggle with not having enough customer data ready to be used in a personalized email campaign (Source: Experian).
Thankfully, Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) has all the capabilities of creating as well as suggesting personalization tactics in different aspects of an email marketing campaign and this article shall list out the different Personalization techniques possible in SFMC.
1. Collect the right information…always
Signup forms are a great way to gather more information about your subscribers. It is the stepping stone to building a relationship with your customers. The difference between good user experience and a good personalized user experience lies in the questions you ask in the signup forms. Even though two different people visiting your landing page may have the same purpose i.e. signing up, the purpose of signing up may be different. One wants to remain updated with the latest news in the industry while the other might subscribe to get the enrollment incentive.
Gauging the context of your landing page, use Smart Capture Forms to ask the right set of questions that will provide you with information that is vital for segmentation. The signup form can be defined as an entry data source in Journey Builder and Based on the entries collected, individual customer journeys can be created for the different choices in different form fields. Those interested in getting information can be directly sent nurturing newsletter emails while those looking for the enrollment incentive can be sent promotional offers.
2. Personalize Based on Customer Behavior
Depending on your license type, you may have access to the email recommendation (Available in Pro, Corporate, Enterprise) and Web Recommendation (Available in Corporate & Enterprise). Personalization builder is a recommendation engine powered by Einstein that delivers the next best product, content, or offers to every individual. Personalization Builder combines user behavior with algorithms and your unique business rules to build a user profile of affinities.
So, with every click, download, view, and purchase, customers are giving data about their preferences that are collected, processed, simplified, and returned in the form of a product or content recommendations.
3. Anticipate the Next Step with Journey Builder
You may be able to track the progress of an individual prospect but Marketing Cloud has tools that can help you. Journey Builder is an easy to use drag and drop tool, where you create a personalized, engagement-based customer journey that can be changed at every customer interaction. Since this is unique for every customer, the scope of personalization is great here. You have more control over the different strategies to be implemented as the monitoring is real-time.
Using the journey builder, your communication with your prospects is not restricted to emails but you can communicate across email, SMS, push notifications, ads, web landing pages, and apps. Since you also get in-built goal reporting with Journey builder, you can monitor the effectiveness of your campaign and make necessary corrections on the go.
4. Create Advanced Automation Segments
Triggered emails are the lifeline of e-commerce email marketing. An ideal e-commerce email workflow should take into consideration all the different choices a customer can make and have respective pre-built journey email templates ready to be sent at triggering a specific user behavior. Automation studio allows you to create advanced automated segmentation, by leveraging data filters and queries. For those with knowledge about SQL, you can use it to create custom SQL queries that retrieve data extension or data view information and store it as a data extension.
This data extension can be greatly helpful in sending dynamic content emails where the contents of specific content blocks are dynamically fetched, based on the segmentation variable, from the server when the subscriber opens the email. This way, you just need to create a single email template and the content can be updated for some of the common segmentation variables such as:
1. Demographics (Age, Gender, Location,…)
2. Purchase History
3. Activity level (Loyal, semi-active, dormant,…)
4. Customer Lifetime Value
Automation studio is a great tool for sending personalized emails to a batch of users with a common interest and following a predetermined customer journey.
5. Re-engagement using Advertising Studio
An average email list decays at a rate of 22% yearly. This means your most engaged customer might become dormant after a while. You can send them re-engagement emails and try to reel them back into your email journey.
Using the advertising studio tool in your Marketing Cloud, you can also create custom display ads based on your last interaction with a dormant subscriber and have them engage with it on their preferred channel. Moreover, you can also scale this as per your customer database.
Technology has enabled the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to address the pain points of the audience and serve them unique solutions. Unless you understand the capabilities, you may find it difficult to harness the true power of it. The methods mentioned above are some of the personalization techniques possible in SFMC. Our Salesforce experts might help you understand the platform and the possibilities better.