Study after study has shown the positive impact personalization and customization have on everything from email open rates to time spent on a web page. It makes sense: One surefire way to get a person’s attention is to call them by name, and that’s what personalized content does. While technology doesn’t yet let you personalize everything your content creators write and record for each member of your audience, it allots more of your prospects’ attention to your content when it is specific enough to feel as though it’s addressed expressly to them.
Know Your Audience
You can’t be relevant to the people viewing your content unless you know who’s looking. Understanding your visitors is the essential first step to customizing your content for them. Data scientists do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to market segmentation and analytics, but it’s your creative team that takes that information from theory to practice. For example, if your audience profile reveals more than half of your visitors share a similar professional background, that’s your cue to invest in content that applies more specifically to their industry. If the numbers suggest your how-to posts outperform everything else on your blog, it’s time to tell your content creation team to step up production on them.
Writing Targeted Copy for a General Audience
Some content managers shy away from publishing specific content for a broad audience. They may feel a targeted article could distance other readers or that a video aimed at one segment of a total market might garner fewer views. What they’re missing is that quality – high engagement, great relevance, and soaring response rates – matters more than quantity. If you know you’re reaching small businesses, it doesn’t make sense to address them as if they were Fortune 500 firms. You’re better off publishing half a dozen specific blog posts, each of which addresses a different market segment and commands that segment’s full attention, than giving readers one or two articles full of generalities.
Personalizing Email Content
It isn’t enough to address your readers by name in the subject line of an email; a hundred other mailers are already doing the same thing, and many of them are spammers. Personalization goes deeper and addresses who that reader is – not just his or her name. This is where data science comes in. Your mailing list should contain more than email addresses and names, especially for B2B marketing. What title does your recipient have at work? What are his or her responsibilities at the office? Does your reader have decision-making capabilities, or is this person an end user of your products? You might not know your clients’ hobbies, kids’ names or pets, but by knowing more about them than the bare minimum, you can connect with them when sending email. Instead of sending out one blast email to everyone, you can tailor your communications and make them more relevant to each market segment or even to individual readers.
Variable Data Printing
When you’re sending content to clients via direct mail, modern technology lets you personalize your message to an unparalleled extent through variable data printing. VDP takes a template image and inserts your recipient’s name, company logo or other details into it for a customized mailing that ensures readers to take notice. If you were marketing a Caribbean resort, for example, you might feature your client’s name written in the sand at your tropical paradise. By showing your perspectives a custom-fit image, you guide them to identify with that image. The technology is becoming less expensive and more sophisticated every week, so let your content creation team add this new dimension to your direct mail.
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