OK, fine – we made up the word. But honestly, it would make a great addition to the dictionary. Coining a word that combines personalization and segmentation into one ecommerce strategy that can really transform your customer experience is an accomplishment we don’t take lightly. Let us explain.

The Pros of Personalization

In the marketing world, personalization is the ability to provide a unique experience that aligns with a consumer’s needs. Applied at the individual level, you can leverage data and technology to deliver targeted messages to customers with a goal of making them feel important – and that you care about them. Remember when marketers began dynamically populating names in emails? Those first messages that showed up addressed specifically to you were likely a bit unsettling, to say the least. How did they know your name? Did some poor marketer actually sit there and manually type each name into an email? Of course not; that’s the beauty of technology. And what began as a major attention-grabber soon became the standard. Personalization tokens in emails are now so common that to really cut through the clutter and reach your customers, you must go a step further.
  • Use purchase history to make product recommendations. “Love your new flat iron? Take a look at our new travel size!”
  • Create loyalty incentives. “As a thank you for being such a loyal customer, here’s a discount code for 10% off your next order. Thanks for being you!”
  • Implement a rewards program. “Congratulations! You’re one of our top customers! As part of your A-list status, you’ll get free two-day shipping on all orders within the US!”
Delivering more personalized messages that relate directly to your customers will make them feel like you care about them. And customers who feel valued are more likely to be loyal and to continue buying from your brand.

Find Success With Segmentation

Segmentation involves grouping consumers based on common needs, wants, interests and priorities. The goal is to develop a better understanding of the similarities and differences among your audience, and then use that information to more effectively market to them. The more information you have about your customers, the more effectively you’ll be able to segment them. There are various methods for collecting this information:
  1. Examine your existing sources: Google Analytics, browse and purchase history, customer lifetime value, average order value (AOV), etc.
  2. Ask questions: Use the data you gather from your customers when they make a purchase, sign up for your rewards program, or submit a product review.
With this data you can begin to identify trends and common characteristics that will help you create a number of subscriber segments. One of the easiest and most common ways to do this is based on engagement:
  • Group 1: Engaged contacts who are consistently opening, clicking and converting.
  • Group 2: Contacts who open and click but do not convert.
  • Group 3: Disengaged contacts who rarely open, click, or convert.
Grouping your customers this way allows you to infer so much more than you can when they are lumped together as a whole.

The Power of “Persegmentation”

Although personalization and segmentation are separate strategies that should be developed individually, using them together is a powerful tactic that can help you transform your customer journey. Let’s go back to our example of segmenting customers based on engagement and add in personalization:
  • Group 1: Engaged contacts who are consistently opening, clicking, and converting. Send them a “thanks for being a great customer” email, and encourage them to sign up for your rewards program so they can earn points and discounts on future purchases. Use their purchase history to include recommendations for similar or complementary products.
  • Group 2: Contacts who open and click but do not convert. These customers have already shown interest by opening and clicking, so offer them a discount on their next purchase to get them to convert. Then, send them a personalized email thanking them for their purchase and include another discount code to keep that momentum going.
  • Group 3: Disengaged contacts who rarely open, click, or convert. Send this group a complimentary product or a special incentive to try to gain their attention and earn their trust. Based on demographic information (marital status, gender, age, etc.), you might also include a gift guide around the holidays or an email with product recommendations that may entice them to purchase a specific product.
Segmentation and personalization can both help you connect with your customers. Taking the time to analyze what you know about your customers and group them accordingly will pay off as you’ll then be able to reach them with more targeted promotions and communications. And the more personalized your messages, the easier it will be to develop that emotional connection that’s so important in building customer loyalty. A successful “persegmentation” strategy can truly transform your customer journey from start to finish. Give some of our suggestions a try and set your sights on a more loyal and engaged customer base. To learn more about Digital Operative, visit our website.