Dale Carnegie once said, “A person’s name is, to him or her, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Using a person’s name in a conversation can have a lasting impression. Not remembering a person’s name can be insulting. It’s not easy for all of us, and sometimes has to be a conscious decision to make the effort to remember. It is no surprise that personalization in the digital age is important too. In fact, it’s more important since digital communication, on its face, is not personal. It’s a ‘one to all’ technique.

Personalization in email started with inserting a person’s first name, then to taking any data field from your email list such as company name or location and inserting the data into a merge letter like you’d do with a word processing program. That changed from communications that were ‘one to all’ to ‘one to many.’

Then transactional data became useful with being able to respond to a purchase with aggregate data insertions. And while this was ‘personalized,’ the communication is data driven and while important and effective, it is not a true personalization tactic that keeps subscriber engaged.
Later on the scene, we were able to track a person’s interests by what topics they showed interest in, and we could then send specific information to a select group of individuals which turned the ‘one to many’ communication style into ‘one to some.’ But true personalization, and the optimal goal is a ‘one to one’ relationship.

Now we collect behavioral data, from both online and offline sources. We know what interests a subscriber has, what engages them, what activities they are involved in, whether they attend a conference, download a whitepaper, click on an advertisement and much, much, more. But the migration to using this data is where many marketers fall short. Taking personalization steps slowly is key, stepping up your game one level at a time.

If you’re utilizing all the tactics available so far, what about taking that next step in the realm of personalization by responding to a subscriber’s actions and automating that process? It may not sound personal from a technical perspective, but it certainly can from a subscriber’s point of view. If the thought of reaching the next level in personalization has piqued your interest, visit us for next month’s blog, “The Marrying of Personalization and Automation.”