When a new company attacks a market, it often takes a niche approach. The company tries to speak to an audience that is currently underserved by existing players with a message or feature that resonates. Whether you call it the “thin edge of the wedge” or establishing a “beachhead,” the logic is that every group – all the way down to the individual person – has slightly different preferences. That’s why there are so many cereal options at the grocery store.
With digital marketing, you’re able to take this personalization to the extreme. According to a recent Forrester survey, 63 percent of marketers say personalization is “extremely important” to their long-term goals, and an Adobe survey of marketers found that personalization was more important to most than even big data or social media.
The two easiest ways to bring personalization into your marketing program are through email campaigns and Facebook ads. Here’s how you can implement these tactics:
1. Email Campaigns
If you do any kind of email marketing, you should almost certainly be using an email service provider (ESP) that integrates with your database of customers and allows you to sort based on different attributes. We use the ESP Klaviyo, though I’ve also heard good things about Customer.io and Vero.
When someone places an order with our company, Blank Label, we send basic purchase information to Klaviyo, including customer name, product, price of purchase, and time of purchase. From there, we can create different lists, such as one for customers who have only purchased dress shirts and another for people who haven’t purchased in the last 12 months. The purpose of this list segmentation is to be able to send more tailored messages.
For example, customers who’ve only purchased dress shirts will be the first people we email when we get new shirts in. Plus, we can send them specific emails to cross-sell them into other products. We can send our customers who haven’t purchased anything in 12 months a message like, “Hey Jim, we noticed you haven’t visited us in a while. We just wanted to send you a courtesy email to make sure your garments are treating you well.”
These new personalized ESPs can also track website data. For example, when the customers who haven’t purchased in 12 months visit the site, log in, and don’t make a purchase on that visit, you can send them a personalized email asking if they have any questions.
Once you have created lists in your ESP based on the attributes of customers you want to target, you can export the email addresses in these lists and upload them to Facebook’s Ads Manager. If you navigate to the “Audiences” tab and create a new group (such as “Inactive 12-month customers”), Facebook will match those emails with profiles from its user database. You won’t be able to reach everyone on Facebook from your ESP list, but you should be able to reach a good number of customers.
You can now send tailored messages via Facebook’s banner ad format to these different groups using a similar message to your email campaigns. Some of our more successful Facebook campaigns using this tactic have targeted our highest-spend customers to remind them about our referral program. We also notify people geographically close to one of our stores about upcoming events or new store openings. If you have a segment list of a few thousand people, you’ll be able to reach them once a week for as low as $10 dollars a day.
When determining how to best distinguish your brand from the competition, consider using personalized email campaigns as well as Facebook banner ads to underscore your understanding of each customer at the individual level.
A version of this article originally appeared on BusinessCollective.
Fan Bi is the CEO of Blank Label, an award-winning custom menswear brand. Since being founding in 2010, Blank Label has shipped more than 100,000 custom garments to customers all over the world and has opened stores in Boston and Washington, D.C.