Email and SMS messages are indispensable tools for marketers. They allow companies to communicate key messages, support customer loyalty, and in some cases, drive sales. But at what point does communicating with your customers become too much?
Where many marketers miss the mark in customer communication is drawing the line between pleasantly persistent and being spammy and interruptive. In fact, nearly 45% of consumers admit that the communication they receive from a brand feels like a spam message.
Batch-and-blast digital communication—in which marketing teams repeatedly send the same message to an entire Listserv—is plaguing marketers worldwide. Many marketers fall into the trap of constantly blasting out impersonal messages, and valuing quantity over quality. But in reality, the data shows batch-and-blast emails only generate on average $0.04 in revenue per spend, whereas one-to-one messages can generate up to $0.95 in revenue per spend. Meaning, it literally pays off to personalize and customize messages fit for a specific consumer or group of customers.
In this era of endless noise that besets inboxes, companies have a duty to do right by their customers and help them find the necessary information to meet a specific goal, whether that’s finding the right service or product that fills their needs. It’s time for marketers to end batch-and-blast tactics and focus on creating a one-to-one marketing experience for their consumers.
What Is One-to-One Marketing?
One-to-one marketing isn’t a new concept. In fact, this term was first coined in the 1994 book “The One-to-One Future.” Essentially, one-to-one marketing is a tactic marketers can use to build customer relationships by emphasizing personalized, customized interactions with a consumer. This strategy allows brands to nurture customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value. Ultimately, it means getting to know who your customers are, what their specific needs are and how your brand can serve them best.
A one-to-one marketing strategy can take one of three forms: personalization, segmentation and customization. Which strategy you should use is dependent on the goals you’re trying to achieve and the channels you’re using to attain them.
Personalization involves sending the right information to the right customer in real time. It involves understanding a customer’s behavior as they interact with your website and your product or service. This could look like sending appropriate triggered messages based on a customer’s online interaction, retargeting customers who browse your website with ads or providing recommendations of similar products and articles based on what they’ve already expressed interest in.
Taking personalization one step further is segmentation. Segmentation is when marketers create different groups a brand interacts with and develops messages for them specifically and differently. Your loyal customers and new prospects shouldn’t be receiving the same message; rather, they should get messages that are tailored to their level of knowledge and trust with the brand. For example, promoting a sale should have different messaging for those who have bought the product before versus those who haven’t.
Customization is about empowering customers. Build trust with customers by allowing them to select their preference on how they want to be communicated with. Marketers don’t have to overcomplicate customization. It can be as simple as developing an opt-in process or a subscription page that lets customers pick their preferred cadence of text and email communication. The logistics can be tedious, but allowing your customers to get the level of communication they want exactly strengthens their loyalty and perception of your brand.
To make one-to-one marketing a reality for your business, you will need to incorporate all three of these tactics into your marketing strategy. In order to start implementing these methods, marketers will need to establish comprehensive customer databases, customer profiles, and reevaluate the customer journey and smooth out any snafus.
The easier you make the experience, the more likely they are going to convert and become lifetime customers.
How to Deploy One-to-One Marketing in Different Channels
One-to-one marketing can be adopted in many ways across a variety of channels. The medium that is most ideal will depend on the messaging you want to use as well as the goal of your campaign. The two most prominent channels where one-to-one marketing are most effective are email and SMS messaging.
Email is one of the highest-performing channels for marketers. But nowadays with email, personalization isn’t just important, it’s expected. Today’s consumers are accustomed to receiving messages that are relevant to their geolocation, birthday, gender, etc. The foundation of any personalized communication is data. Data on your customers’ behavior will help create a tailored and enjoyable experience for them.
For example, triggered abandoned cart emails are a personalized way to create an engaging interaction with your customer. Abandoned cart emails are automatic emails that are sent after an e-commerce customer browses a website, adds items to their cart but then exits — without completing a purchase. This personalized method allows brands to re-engage the customer, as it’s an email that not only nudges the customer about products they were specifically interested in, but serves as a unique touchpoint to promote other content they might be interested in.
The best personalized emails are relevant and helpful. So while abandoned cart emails are a great touchpoint to drive conversions, personalized emails should also include non-revenue generating content. For instance, an email that asks customers what they’re interested in or shows them helpful articles based on their recent purchase will go a long way.
Smartphones are an integral part of how many live and interact with society, but they are also a highly personal tool consumers use. Meaning, customers are less tolerant of receiving too frequent, unwanted messages from brands through text messages. It’s also one of the hardest tools to fully understand due to its relevant newness and the lack of knowledge around SMS compliance in the U.S.
But SMS is a powerful retention tool, as it literally puts your brand at your customers’ fingertips. It’s a great channel to quickly inform your audiences about upcoming promotions, updates, reminders and relevant brand alerts.
With SMS, in order to balance being too pushy and too lackadaisical, brands need to send only hyper-relevant messages. For instance, if there is a sale on winter coats and your customer has bought winter gear from your brand, this would be a relevant text for them to receive.
As with many mediums, SMS interactions need to be personalized. An example of this is sending an SMS message to update a shopper on shipping for their recent order. This quickly keeps the customer informed and engaged with your brand. To go one step further, you could further establish loyalty with the customer by offering them a unique discount code via text to entice them to revisit your site and purchase.
It’s time to end the era of batch-and-blast marketing. Today’s marketers have the tools, resources available and obligation to create a highly personalized experience through their communication efforts. One-to-one marketing will help brands increase coveted lifetime customers by tailoring to their needs and wants.
Photo by Nivenn Lanos on Unsplash.