Why personalization is key and your average newsletter isn’t enough in a data-driven world

Why personalization is key and your average newsletter isn’t enough in a data-driven world

From newsletters to data-driven campaigns

In the past, email marketing was easier. A simple welcome letter and regular newsletter would have sufficed. These were relatively easy from a data perspective. 

All you needed was a list of customers (or “data extension” in SFMC terms), provided by some form of CRM or a subscribe button on the website. That was it.

Not anymore.

These approaches jeopardized open rates, unsubscribes, and other not-so-successful metrics. Not to mention it left the opportunity for relevant messaging untapped.

Today, marketers know how to segment commercial, behavioral, and transactional data to increase ROI with more targeted campaigns. 

Customers value experiences (and personalization is the key)

Many businesses underestimate how much impact customer experience has on purchasing behavior. Salesforce research found out that 84% of customers believe customer experience is as crucial as the company’s products and services

Customer Experience is important

Never before have customer experiences had such a large impact. But, to do it right, you’ll need good marketing creativity and data to serve your content in a timely, targeted, and personalized way.

What are good ways to personalize?

Go beyond “Dear John.” You’ll want the address and delivery info for an ecommerce business or dealer information for an automotive company.

But that’s not all the demographic information you’ll need. Behavioral data tells the most. For example, a software vendor dropped the “Dear John” and relied solely on personalized content based on website visitor behavior. 

Based on clicks and form submits, users would enter journeys peppered with already high-scoring content.

How do I get started developing better customer experiences?

We suggest the following:

  1. Set up Customer Experience or RevOps departments to map and optimize the complete customer journey.
  2. Map out the customer journey and its subparts. Use this map as a starting point for optimization projects.
  3. Don’t confuse the “customer journey” (or lifecycle) with “a journey” in SFMC. The latter will be a part of the former.

Marketing tools and databases have multiplied

The martech space has exploded, creating more data-driven campaigns. Most readers are familiar with this image depicting the martech expansion:

The martech landscape. Between 2011 and 2020, it exploded 50x in size.

The martech landscape. Between 2011 and 2020, it exploded 50x in size.

The number of data management tools that a marketer uses today has grown, as has the number of databases. To an extent, this explains the success of DESelect Segment. Yet, this doesn’t mean the data is integrated and readily available in SFMC.

Marketers must have this data readily available in SFMC. It is so vital that Gartner wrote in its Market Guide for Email Marketing (June 2021): “Assess your ability to deliver more targeted, personalized messaging. Then investigate how additional customer data management capabilities (…) could drive additional value.”

What if I’m only sending newsletters (or basic journeys)?

For starters, don’t underestimate the power of an optimized newsletter. Cleaner layouts, better copy, or a more pointed call to action (CTA) is effective. 

That said, look beyond simple newsletters (or basic journeys) to drive the marketing maturity of your organization.

What other kinds of campaigns can I launch?

Here are just a few ideas: 

  • Cross-sell campaigns
  • Upsell campaigns
  • Product or service launches or updates
  • Birthday journeys
  • Seasonal campaigns
  • Retention and churn avoidance campaigns
  • Referral campaigns
  • Win-back campaigns
  • Demographic-driven campaigns
  • Behavior-driven campaigns (e.g., RFM in retail)

What if I don’t have that many data sources?

Even still, you want to integrate them for marketers when possible. Not to mention, data sources will increase over time.

What if I have plenty of data sources available in SFMC and am still figuring out how to optimize them?

SFMC’s flexible data model does come at a price. Managing data still relies on SQL and takes time to figure out. Sound familiar? Check out DESelect Segment.

Watch this video to find out more about the importance of personalization in your marketing campaigns

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