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Personalizing Your Message Without Looking Creepy

Posted by David Quigley on June 18, 2020

 Personalization is simply a must for marketers. Consumers and business buyers want personalized communications and organizations see a greater return when implementing it. In Salesforce’s Fourth Annual State of Marketing Report,  52 percent of consumers and 65 percent of business buyers stated they would switch brands if a vendor did not personalize communications. Personalization was once as simple as inserting the contact’s first name and maybe even a company, and that was all that was needed, but it has evolved to so much more.

Today, marketers have more data than ever, so personalizing far beyond the first name is now doable.  But how do marketers strike a balance between using this data to deliver individualized experiences to each consumer while not scaring them away with how much information marketers may have? Marketers need to focus on creating a message that resonates with their customer based on the data they have, but without directly mentioning the data they have on the consumer. To better explain this, here are 4 examples marketers can apply to personalize their content without scaring their audience.

Delivering an offer – If you have an online retail store, you probably are gathering a ton of data about your consumers’ shopping habits and buying patterns. As an example, you may know that you have a consumer that buys a pack of batteries every 90 days. To personalize a message to them, you could send them an email saying that you know they typically are buying new batteries every 90 days, and it is time to buy more. However, a less direct way that creates a better experience for the consumer would be to send an offer to incent them to purchase sooner. Sending an email that instead says “Check out our latest deals on batteries” helps cover both. You are not blatantly letting the consumer know that you have all of this information; however, you are still delivering a personalized reminder and creating a positive experience.

Focusing on the overall need – If you are an insurance company, you can often struggle with the legal ramifications of how you share the data you have. As an example, if you are an insurance company that offers a premier plan for people with diabetes, directly reaching out with your offer to contacts that have diabetes may make the consumer feel very intruded upon, and may conflict with compliance issues. Rather, send them a message that focuses on how your insurance program can help people with many of the needs that their disease brings. It could be a message such as  “Our plan helps consumers lower the cost of their regular medicine costs.” By doing this, you can focus on the solution your product is providing for the problem this consumer may have, while not scaring them away.

Using Imagery – Let’s look at a car dealership that is reaching out to customers to tell them that it is time to come in for a service check. Although the customer knows the dealership already has the information on the type of car they purchased, you don’t need to use that directly. Rather, use images similar to their type of car that they can easily recognize and resonate with. This way, the end user can easily relate to the email, but they also don’t feel like there is too much information available about their car.

You May Also Be Interested In – This is something many of us have probably seen often. Whether it is purchasing something online and seeing that message, or a follow-up email from the store, this messaging feels less intrusive than most, as it is more subtle. For example, let’s say you sold products online such as headphones, and you knew one particular set was frequently purchased by runners. Don’t use a message that says “You should also purchase this Running Armband.” Instead, creating a message that others are also looking at this lets them feel they are receiving a message that relates well to them, but also is not too creepy in knowing what else they may be interested in.

Creating an individualized message that consumers and business buyers can relate to, while not feeling their privacy is being too intruded upon is critical to driving response and engagement in your direct marketing. If you would like to further discuss your messaging, let J&C know.


Topics: Digital Marketing, Direct Marketing, Email Marketing

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