Customers have come to expect a high level of personalization in every communication. They're handing over their data so that you can communicate with them as if you know them — because you do.
Personalization has the ability to revolutionize your entire customer journey, and when you use a powerful customer data platform like Ortto, you will be able to create a hyper-personalized experience end-to-end.
Before getting started with personalization, ensure you have set yourself up for success by knowing how to segment your audience. Then build out your core audiences within your Ortto account (not sure where to start? Check out our customer journeys audience blog). Now you’re ready to get personal.
Join us as we explore 9 ways personalization can boost your email marketing and how you can achieve this by using Ortto.
9 great things you can do with email personalization
Don’t get us wrong, including your customers first name into a subject header does have its place. However, personalization can provide so much more and with a platform like Ortto, advanced email personalization tactics are easy to execute. Your customers will benefit from a seamless experience, while your business unlocks new growth opportunities.
1. Turn browsers into buyers
Personalization can turn those window shoppers into actual customers. It’s so simple too. Your website's tracking code (connected when you first signed up to Ortto) is used to track the pages and products customers browse throughout your website.
Customer A may click on a few items that interest them, scroll through your latest ‘winter collection’ then get distracted and leave your website without adding anything to their cart.
Customer A’s experience can trigger a customer journey personalized to their actions.
Following the customer journey above, the browser enters the journey once the action of leaving the website (without purchasing) occurs. To remain top of mind to the customer, you will want to contact them quickly.
Personalization comes into play when constructing the email. If your ecommerce tool (for example Shopify or BigCommerce) is synced to your Ortto account, you can use content widgets in your email to pull relevant information from the CDP and display the exact items your customer browsed in the email. This can match with messaging prompting them to come back to the site for example “you left this behind” or “come back there’s only 4 left”. You can also include content fields to recommend products similar to the browsed item and previously purchased items.
The customer journey example above can grow further when you continue to add ‘shapes’ to further nudge the browser to conversion. For example, if the customer still has not purchased, the next email being sent can include an exclusive discount on the product or free shipping to encourage the conversion.
2. Add unique URLs to pre-fill form details for existing customers
This tactic may be a different take on personalization, however it will save your customers time, reduce website friction and provide an overall better experience for customers.
You already have access to your customers' information, so why not make their lives easier by filling in their details for them? It’s a small, incredibly easy way to reduce friction for your customers. But don’t take it from us, here's SaaS company and Ortto client, Mosaic who have tried and tested this with very positive results.
Mosaic personalizes their form content using liquid syntax within their Ortto account. By using dynamic URLs in their emails it eliminates the need for people who are already in their database to fill out an entire form.
“If someone’s already in our database and we want them to book a meeting, we can just push their information from Salesforce into the URL that the person is clicking so their information will be automatically completed. They can then just select the time to book the meeting, they just click a button and it sends all of the meeting information,” Goldstein shared.
Even though it may seem like a minor change, the impact has been felt by the company. “This has definitely been responsible for a lot of conversions.”
3. Celebrate achievements and milestones
Hands up who looks forward to seeing their Spotify “most listened to” list at the end of the year. This summary of customers' favorite songs, artists, or podcasts is a terrific surprise and delight for the customer that also results in a large amount of ‘free’ promotion as it is created as shareable content.
The best thing about this example is that Spotify already had access to all this data, so they simply had to pull out the most exciting points from their data and place it into an email template.
Recreate your own version of this tactic using Ortto. The data stored in the CDP can be used to create personalized customer wrap ups.
For this example, let's say you are a SaaS product and your customer has reached their one year anniversary with you. To celebrate, send them an email outlining the milestones reached or client achievements this can include things like MRR gained, new customers onboarded, time-saved by using your platform, or any other value offering achievements.
By serving this content in an on-brand, sharable way, your customer can choose to reshare this to social channels, internal or external emails and even send this to their c-suite to further cement your platform's value to the company.
4. Speak to your customers at the right time
Sending emails to your customers at the right time is a must in every campaign. Not only will it ensure content relevancy to the customer, but it can help elicit an emotional response for lead generation.
By collecting your customers' geolocation data (through data enrichment or simple first-party collection) you are able to personalize their experience in a variety of ways. From ensuring your customers are receiving their email or SMS at the optimal time to finessing language differentiations to fit the country to speaking to customers at the right time of their customer journey and everything in between.
For example, if your company covers the US, UK and Australia market - when setting up your emails in Ortto, you can ensure that all your emails are being sent at the best time regardless of where they are in the world. There is no excuse for international customers receiving emails or SMS at strange hours.
Another example is sending your customer a bit of love on their birthday. Using the customers data to trigger a birthday email sent on their special day. The personalization can go even deeper depending on the customer's loyalty status or purchase history.
For example, use the recommended products widget in an email, match it with copy like “Hey it's your birthday, we think you'll love these gifts-to-self”. The product suggestions are added into the email based on what they’ve purchased in the past and then simply add a discount code.
5. Upsell with recommended products
The ability to leverage a customer's website browsing history and previous purchases will help you personalize their experience with your brand and better yet, increase purchase frequency as you already know what they like or are looking for.
When building emails on Ortto, use the dynamic content widget to gain the upsell advantage by offering products similar to what your customers have already viewed or clicked on. This can all be done at scale, so no email is the same, and you’re speaking to each customer as a unique individual.
Since you are going to the effort of recommending products, it’s important to ensure your call-to-action is prominent.
6. Create behavioral triggered messages
You now have access to data that tracks the movements and actions taken by your customers. This, synced with a CDP like Ortto, can take all the touchpoints visited by your customer and unify them into a central location for your company to gain better customer insights.
Take the travel company Flight Center, as an example, they compile data from their email, social media accounts and backend systems. From this they are able to segment their audience based on expressed interests, website behaviors and general preferences to build customer journeys with personalized holiday promotions and specials.
For example if a customer has shown interest in visiting Europe from any of the touchpoints above, they then receive a personalized offering of a range of different places in Europe, with personalized imagery and lead in content plus as it syncs with your customer data it also adds in flight packages leaving from their location, for example flying out of Sydney.
7. Re-engage customers (and donors)
Is it time to encourage previous customers to come back? Yes. The answer is always yes. Creating a personalized and automated re-engagement email will help convert previous customers back into active customers.
A personalized engagement strategy can be used across any industry, whether it's ecommerce, SaaS, B2B and even nonprofit.
Entice previous donors to come back and give again by sending them tailored emails. For example, using Ortto you can set up custom merge tags that populate your email with personalized details of that donor, what they have donated previously and where that money was used.
This example above can be built within Ortto using the appropriate merge tags, so it could look something similar to this.
When you use merge tags, data will be pulled automatically from the CDP and help provide an extra level of personalization to help prompt the donor to give again. This can be taken to another level when a customer journey is set up, and your engagement strategy can essentially run itself.
For example, once a customer donates more than twice and they then lag (fail to donate after 3 months) they are added to a re-engagement customer journey which will prompt them with emails similar to above to donate money.
8. Provide relevant dynamic content
Create a unique and personalized message to your customers by generating dynamic content. This style of content works great when a real-time problem is offered then your company provides the relevant solution.
WIthin Ortto, there are three main options of dynamic content that can be easily dragged into your ecommerce email - recommended products, best-selling products, and latest products. These are pulled based on the actions of your customer, either individually (recommended products) or as a collective (for example best selling products).
If you’re wanting to create a different product set to include in your email, then simply choose the ‘collection’ widget block. Here you can create the product collections to focus on that may be solving a real-time problem.
For example, La Niña is all over the news and the weather forecast is showing rain for the next two weeks. You can build a collection of wet weather gear from your online store, based on a ‘female winter collection’ and a ‘male winter collection’. Then use liquid syntax in your email to limit who sees the different sections. Your email will be built with a “mens winter” section and a “female winter” section, however only one section will show based on the subscriber’s data.
Dynamic content varies in complexities, but even simpler executions are incredibly powerful.
9. Reward VIP loyalty
This is a powerful use of personalization to show appreciation to those customers who have shown customer loyalty.
Create a tiered discount code system corresponding to the status of the customer’s loyalty - new, lapsed or VIP. The status could be triggered by reaching a spending threshold, or referring a set number of customers, or countless other options.
From the same email, the discount code can be personalized to match their customer loyalty status. For example, it’s a special Halloween sale. The email remains the same across your audience selection, but a unique free shipping discount code is only sent to individuals who have reached VIP status.
The mindset around this reward of loyalty can also be used as a lead gen tactic to encourage leads to submit their details to receive an exclusive offer. Mobile storage provider, TAXIBOX did just this.
They offered a unique code that was automatically generated using Ortto’s webhook, saving the company time each week, plus ensuring every customer submitting a form receives their unique code.
This tactic saw their first email in the playbook series achieve a 16.2% conversion rate. An amazing result considering only 10-15% of leads turn in sales.
This is only the beginning for personalization. The tactics and techniques outlined are a strong starting point for any marketer looking at taking their campaigns to the next level — and you’ll soon find new ways to personalize communications in ways that make sense for your business.
Start playing around with these today and experience the full functionality of Ortto as a CDP and marketing automation platform. Sign up to Ortto today for free.