Lexie Lu, Author at Pink Studios
If You’re Personal, They Will Come To You: A Look at Personalized Marketing

If You’re Personal, They Will Come To You: A Look at Personalized Marketing


People are bombarded with marketing from the moment they hop in their car for work to the time when they turn off their phone just before bed. All that noise can be off-putting to a potential customer. To stand out from that horde of advertising, harness the power of personalized marketing. This technique comes in many forms, yet they all help attract new customers when done right.

The Value of Personalized Marketing

Here’s why personalized marketing is important:

As the numbers show, personalized marketing can be powerful, but it has much room for improvement. Read on to learn what to do — and what not to do — to boost your marketing efforts.

Personalize the Information

A media company like the New York Times definitely has its core demographics, yet each reader has their own share of interests. Big news outlets publish so much content each day that the articles a reader might truly be interested in get lost in the shuffle.

To help keep its audience as engaged as possible, the New York Times has been investing big in personalization over the past couple years. This goes well beyond the handful of “recommended for you” thumbnails at the end of articles. Instead, this is a fairly sophisticated system that tracks and displays what kind of articles the reader is interested in. Based on those habits, a custom lineup of articles and videos is suggested.

These efforts have helped increased the quality of each visitor’s experience and has lowered bounce rates.

While none of us likely have the deep pockets of the New York Times, we can learn from their efforts for our own websites. If you’re a content-heavy website, ensure certain types of readers are getting the type of information they’re interested in.

Think Twice About Using Names

One of the easiest ways to include a touch of personalization is to include the person’s name when sending out an email. This is a feature for most email campaign platforms, so it’s not hard to be tempted to do this. While it sounds smart — and polite — to include a personal greeting in your next email campaign, you might want to hold off on that.
Research has found that this turns people off because they’re accustomed to a wide range of spam and phishing attempts that include their names in the hopes of building trust in a victim. These days, most people can see right through such a scheme. The last thing you want is for your company to be associated with those unsavory types.

While you should definitely err on the side of caution, there is a time and place for including the recipient’s name in the email. Online learning resources such as Khan Academy and Coursera do well by including the recipient’s name, as it simulates the classroom and adds a welcome personal touch to the curriculum.

If you’re offering lessons of any type, then including the name might be a good idea. Otherwise, seriously consider whether it adds value or not.

Think of the Time Zone

Thanks to the Internet, even the smallest of businesses can go global. The downside to that is it makes marketing efforts all the more challenging when you’re dealing with different time zones. It’s natural to focus on the time zone you’re based on — especially when you’re already super busy. However, it’s important to target your digital communications (e-mails, social media, etc.) to people at the best possible times for each market.

Look at what happened to online clothing retailer BustedTees when they took this strategy to mind. The results were incredible when the company stopped sending one daily email at the same time and instead staggered it based on the time of the intended market. Email revenues were up 8.2 percent, and the click through rate rose to 11 percent. The content of the emails were the same — all that changed was the time they were delivered.

Time zone management is a low cost way to increase business. Do the research and discover the best time to reach your customers.

Perfect the Website

First impressions are important, and that’s why your website needs to immediately entice potential customers appropriately. Everything needs to be pleasingly designed and quick to load, but also clearly information and understated, especially if the topic and your business serves a delicate audience. 12 Keys Rehab takes on this approach and highlights their counseling services based on each client’s needs rather than a generic approach for everyone.

Adding some additional personalization can help turn a good website into a great one. Continental Warranty seemed to reach its peak when it comes to converting online visitors. However, they profiled visitors and sent them to specific landing pages. Doing so increased leads by 90 percent, according to a case study.

Get Personal

There’s a fine line between smart personalization and going so far that it comes across as inauthentic. Experiment regularly and track your results. You’ll soon discover what works best for you — and your audience.


Lexie Lu is a designer and blogger. She actively contributes to the design world and usually has a cup of coffee in close proximity. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

 

5 Simple Tips When Developing Your Brand

5 Simple Tips When Developing Your Brand

These days, the word “branding” gets thrown around a lot. Everyone knows what it is: Branding is what makes Apple “Apple” instead of “shiny gadget producer,” “Starbucks” instead of “premium coffee seller” and “Nike” instead of “sturdy running shoes.” That being the case, how do you make it work for you?

To be specific, how do you make customers say “Oh yeah!” instead of just “Oh…” when they hear about your company? How do you create a brand that’s memorable, sustainable and true to your company’s values in an age where branding is harder than ever? How do you build something so powerful from the ground up when you’re still new to business?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to those questions. The best branding strategies depend on a ton of factors: Who your target customers are, what those customers think about you, how comfortable you are with your company’s current image, etc.

Better grasp the answers to those questions when you follow the tips below.
  1. Write Your Brand Mantra: Keep in mind that your brand mantra is different from your mission statement. For example, Nike’s mission statement is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete,” while its mantra is “Authentic Athletic Performance.” You can think of a company mantra as a three- to five-word answer to these questions:
    • Why does your company exist?
    • What makes it different from similar companies?
    • How can you make that mantra — and, by extension, your company — memorable?

In Nike’s case, their mission statement answers the first question. However, by adding the word “authentic” to their mantra, they also managed to differentiate from their competitors, which simply offer “athletic performance.” Also, the alliterative “As” make the mantra easy to remember, and a clever allusion to batteries (“AA”) as a source of energy.

  1. Be True to Your Mantra: Your mantra should trickle down to every aspect of your business. For example, if you have a shipping company and your selling point is speed, it should reflect not only in how fast you deliver the goods, but also in the way you handle customer concerns, the way you change according to the needs of your industry, etc.
  1. Have a Logo: Your company may have a mantra, but it’s not going to be the one that’ll stick in your customers’ minds. Rather, it’s the logo — which you’ll need to have STAT.

Why? Because people remember images better than words. If your company’s posts pop up on your target customer’s feeds, your logo/profile picture is going to be the first thing they’ll notice. Similar to your mantra, your logo is a deceptively simple element that should be conceptualized very carefully.

1stWebDesigner has a great post on how to design logos in 2016, but to sum it up:

  • Remember the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple, Silly). If you can shrink a logo to the size of your fingertip, and people can still recognize it as yours, that’s a good sign.
  • Make it different. Even though your logo should be simple, that doesn’t mean it has to be bland. For example, Coca-Cola has a logo completely made up of letters, yet its unique typography makes it stand out. Try to make your company logo simple enough to remember, but different enough to be unforgettable.
  • Make it versatile. No matter what color scheme you apply to your logo — black, white, black-and-white — it should still look good. This comes in handy when you have to use your logos for championship matches, trade shows and other public events where you’ll have to make do with differently colored backgrounds.
  • Give it a story to tell. Remember the FedEx logo? If you look closely at the space between the “E” and “x,” you’ll see an arrow pointing to the right. The same goes for these 40 companies with hidden messages in their logos, which obviously work as far as their customers are concerned.

Luckily, you don’t have to get a logo perfect the first time. Many large corporations change their logos every few decades or so. What’s important is for it to reflect your company’s values and how those values have changed over the years — hopefully for the better.

  1. Build Your Social Media Presence: Since people spend a great portion of their time on social media, it’s a great place to attract as many eyeballs as possible. Also, setting up a profile on sites like Facebook is incredibly easy and inexpensive, making it an efficient, cost-effective way to get in touch with your target demographic.

The only thing you need to worry about is getting drowned out by the social media noise. To avoid that, do one or more of the following:

  • Make your posts pop with beautiful, relevant images.
  • Cross-post across your social media channels.
  • Repurpose old yet evergreen posts. For example, if you had a “How to Prepare an Awesome Thanksgiving Dinner” last 2015, you can promote it again, and make a few tweaks to keep the post updated.

Keep in mind that social media is a two-way communication tool. Don’t be afraid to engage your customers by responding to comments, sharing their positive posts about your company and promoting posts from related, non-competitor companies. Always add value to any conversation, whether online or offline, and it’ll be easier to attract loyal, paying customers.

  1. Build Your Target Demographic

Before you try to be “all things to everyone,” think about what your ideal buyer is like. Is it a young, hip person who has loads of cash to spare? Or is it a senior citizen who prefers to keep all the dollar bills close to their chest, so to speak?

Focus on grabbing a large chunk of your target buyers’ population first. This way, even if expanding to other markets doesn’t work as well as you want it to, you can count on your core market to keep your profits healthy.

Over to You

These tips may be simple, but it’s important not to skip them. Execute them in the best way you can, and if you ever need help or guidance, remember that Pink Studios is always here to help you with community management, editorial calendars, promoted posts and so much more. Contact us now and let’s elevate your business’ success today!

 


Lexie Lu is a designer and blogger. She actively contributes to the design world and usually has a cup of coffee in close proximity. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.