We’re firmly living in a digital era. So personalization is no longer a question, it’s a requirement. No matter your industry. From the website experience to the emails you send, personalization is now a must.
Because connecting with your customer on a personal level and creating a memorable experience ensures people keep coming back. In fact, personalization drives up your return on investment for client acquisition and retention for most brands.
However, like many things, personalization is a journey. Based on our client’s work, here’s a standard Personalization Maturity Model (PMM) for email automation. A blueprint for determining where your team sits on the personalization maturity curve.
Let’s break this down further.
The six stages of the Personalization Maturity Model
One to one
Most of us, when we begin, start with no personalization efforts. You’ll most likely be doing all of the work manually and use no automation platform to help. And doing it manually is hard work. Because this is time-consuming, the same email will be copied, pasted, and sent to everyone—prospects, trial users, and loyal customers alike. So apart from sending a message that lacks a personal touch, you’ll also be missing out on performance metrics and be left in the dark as to how people respond to your emails.
One to all
The one to all stage follows this first phase. To save time and hassle, an email automation platform will have been implemented by this point. However, apart from including a user’s first name in the greeting line, the same text will be used in every message.
One to many
With an email automation platform in place, things get a bit livelier. When a company enters the one to many stage, they’ll typically start segmenting users based on specific guidelines and use A/B testing to optimize engagement rates.
One to some
Quickly, many companies will start to segment based on a user’s interest and preferences. However, content is still being pushed to these audiences rather than delivered at the opportune moment.
One to few
During the one to few stage, there’s an opportunity to increase your ROI by using automated content that’s distributed based on a user’s interests and interactions. This requires various channel integrations to manage preferences and distribute content.
One to one at scale personalization
The ultimate personalization maturity goal is the “Conversational” or one to one stage, which means you’re delivering content across different channels at the right time for each user. For this, marketing and sales teams need to work in alignment. But omnichannel communication pays off by solidifying the relationship between firms and their clients.
How to reach peak personalization maturity
To get to the final two stages of the Personalization Maturity Model, some fundamental technology and processes need to be in place.
To segment audience members by their interests, you need a central place where sales can manage their customer’s preferences.
Many financial services marketers set communication options based on region, investor type, and product. However, this is a categorical selection rather than personalized to the individual receiving the communication.
A more sophisticated manner of personalization utilizes content preferences that can be gathered either explicitly (the user selected an option on a form) or implicitly (based on content engagement). We have taken both approaches for various clients and found a mix of implicit and explicit criteria ideal.
Email personalization involves more than simply greeting a customer by name. And the right marketing automation tool should give you more personalization options. A good tool will allow you to implement dynamic content, A/B test different options in addition to name personalization. An even better tool will allow you to personalize the sender and the content shown within each email. Lastly, an excellent tool will enable you to automate those processes.
Behavior workflows are an automated way of sending emails and following up depending on who interacts or opens your emails. This is the most commonly used method when basing communication on content engagement (implicit preferences).
For example, one client sent emails that referenced whether or not a user had read the previous email. If they hadn’t, the current mail would include a brief summary of the previous message’s takeaway. To keep engagement rates high, a trigger was built in which enabled a user to receive a more disruptive email if they hadn’t opened the previous three.
Automated fund document distribution
Our analysis has shown that fund documentation emails are not appealing to receive because they are not user-friendly or personalized. There was also a delay between when documents were available and being sent to customers.
The solution was using StoneShot’s automation tools and real-time CRM integration to enable emails to be sent in real-time, the instant documents were made available. Client data was stored in the CRM, and lists are dynamically generated when emails are ready to be sent.
Your website sends a message and is one of the biggest ways you communicate with prospects and customers alike. So tailoring the web experience to the user is one of the biggest ways of ensuring your brand is remembered, and your message resonates.
Using StoneShot’s API, you can pull contact data from your CRM to personalize your microsite or web experience and determine which information is shown to each user. So based on a user’s interest or if they are already a customer, you can change which services, blogs, or information is pushed forward.
Declutter your event landing pages by only showing events relevant to clients with our StoneShot Marketing Platform API. Pair this element with an easy registration form that is prefilled with your client’s data to create an outstanding client experience. You can also build in a one-click de-register button.
If your visitor isn’t a client, you can hide client-only events and use demographic data like location to improve the user experience. Ensuring that only relevant events and pages are shown to prospects.
Elevate your personalization efforts
Personalization doesn’t have to be difficult. But your emails should include more than just the first name of a customer. To reach peak personalization maturity it’s important to have a few elements in place such as a central place to store client data.
StoneShot can help you elevate your personalization maturity. Get in touch to see how we can personally help you.