Text or Email? How to Personalize Lifecycle Marketing to Help Your Brand Thrive
Ashley Scorpio, Hawke Media
It's 2022, and email blasts to your entire subscriber base don’t work well anymore. Today's marketing revolves around segmentation and personalization. Whether you want to reach out to customers and potential buyers via email or text, choosing to personalize lifecycle marketing materials is the key to revolutionizing how you do business.
What Does It Mean to Personalize Lifecycle Marketing?
Bombarding prospective customers with generic lifecycle marketing messages is over because it just doesn't work. Today's marketers know that it takes time and finesse to convert a potential buyer into a customer. This is why it is so effective to personalize lifecycle marketing messaging. Lifecycle marketing allows the business to meet the consumer where they are, at each stage of their customer journey in getting to know their brand.
Lifecycle marketing is different from the traditional conversion or funnel marketing in that it takes a wider view of the relationship between the consumer and the brand. Rather than simply convert to a sale, lifecycle marketing seeks to create a deeper relationship with the customer, before, during and after a sale and build long term loyalty.
The key to being able to market effectively on lifecycle channels is segmentation. This means grouping consumers into different buckets to allow you to better meet their individual needs.
And personalization is more important than ever. A report from McKinsey found that the pandemic had radically changed people's buying habits and led to 75% of consumers switching to a new store, product, or buying method over the pandemic, while meanwhile, companies that are growing fastest are generating 40% more of their revenue via personalization in their marketing. An article from Forbes reported that personalization has come to be expected by many consumers, with 74% of customers reporting feeling frustrated when a website is not tailored to them personally.
Let's take a look at some of the specific ways that personalized lifecycle marketing can help your brand:
Make Each Email Count
70% of millennials report feeling frustrated when brands send irrelevant emails. Personalize email marketing to meet your prospective customer based both on where and who they are. What services or products specifically might they be interested in purchasing, and what do they need before they make that purchase?
In crafting personalized emails there are a few steps you should be taking now:
- Craft customer personas: Getting to know your customers means knowing the different profiles of people who use your business
- Ask questions: A simple survey or quiz can be one of the simplest ways to gather invaluable data
- Timing is still everything: One thing that hasn't changed is sending emails at the right time. Employ A/B testing to find the sweet spot (day and time) and don't forget to account for local time zones.
Connect Your Personalization with Landing Pages
75% of those in the McKinsey survey who said personalization was important to them, expressed ease of navigating the store or online as one of the most important functions of that personalization. By sending emails that lead to personalized landing pages, you can make online store navigation a breeze for new and returning customers.
Meet the Consumer on Their Terms: Make Contact on the Same Platform
People are creatures of habit. If they start shopping on their desktop computer, they'll likely return to shopping there. When a person browses your site from a desktop, it's great to reach out via email, while for those shopping on mobile devices it's an ideal time to personalize SMS marketing for them.
Knowing Just What They'll Like: The Art of Tailoring Recommended Products
47% of consumers will head to Amazon if the brand they are shopping with doesn't provide tailored suggestions. In many ways, utilizing this strategy is a no-brainer. Not only does it help with customer retention, it also leads to a natural increase in sales. But critical to the success of this strategy is providing quality recommendations, and the best way to do that is to trust your data, and let an algorithm do the work.
Nothing Left Behind: Creating an Automated System for Abandoned Carts
One of the most important consumer segments to retarget are those who have left items behind in their shopping carts without completing the checkout process. These are the people who almost pulled the trigger on a purchase, but then at the last minute didn't complete it. Creating an automated system to reach out to this group is a great way to convert those potential sales, but it's important to personalize too. Is this a previous customer? Then a great way to inspire additional loyalty is to offer a discount. If it's a first-time buyer part of the hesitation may be due to web-site trust. How can the message you send them inspire confidence in your brand? If you are using SMS messaging to reach out, this is a great opportunity to create a more conversational tone or even add in a chat function.
Behavioral Trigger Responses
In addition to automating abandoned cart responses, creating trigger responses that lead to personalized marketing responses is critical to personalizing lifecycle marketing. These triggers could include things such as a site visit, Google searches, viewing a product, or repeated site visits. Allowing these behaviors to guide your response allows you to better personalize the marketing materials to meet the consumer precisely where they are.
Special Offers Can Deepen the Connection
Anywhere from 50-90% of consumers are willing to share data for a more personalized experience. By offering discounts and other promotions in exchange for information about your consumer base, you are not just gathering data, you are also increasing sales and loyalty.
70% of millennials report feeling frustrated when brands send irrelevant emails. Personalize email marketing to meet your prospective customer based both on where and who they are.
What Is the Best Way to Personalize Lifecycle Marketing? Text or Email?
If you've gotten this far, you should know the answer to that question is both! Personalization is all about meeting the consumer where they are, and for some that means on email, while for others that will be SMS, and for many consumers it will be both at different times, depending on the message you want to get across.
In comparing email marketing to SMS, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Preferred by many consumers
- More space for increased personalization
- Can use images
- Much higher open rates
- Are seen more quickly (faster overall)
- Less competition for attention
For both email and SMS marketing, the best practice is to always have the consumer opt-in to receive messages.
The value of choosing to personalize lifecycle marketing has been known for some time. Back in 2016, McKinsey found that personalization could increase marketing spend efficiency by 10-30%, reduce acquisition costs by up to 50% and lift revenues by 5-15%. Today's brands are just starting to take full advantage of everything personalized that lifecycle marketing has to offer. To personalize email marketing with some of the strategies outlined above can revolutionize the growth of your brand. And you'll be able to discover the full potential by using SMS personalized message marketing. Though this marketing tool is still underutilized, with 50% of retailers saying they planned to adopt it since COVID, so if you're not already using personalized SMS marketing then you're likely to be left behind.
Hawke Media has helped thousands of brands reach their goals using text and email marketing. Set up a free consultation with the team today to get in on the benefits of this crucial marketing channel. Schedule a free consultation here.