Little Data, Big Results: How to Deploy Personalization With Minimal Customer Data

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Personalization has come a long way since marketers got excited about putting a customer’s first name in a subject line. For a while, the mindset was, the more data, the better. Now there’s a new priority: How do you know you have the right data? 

Your marketing managers have a different concern. They’re aware of all the data they could be using, and many want to be more data-driven. But that data is often stored in different silos. Without the tools to access that data or integrate it, marketers aren’t quite sure how they should use it, even if they could get at it.

But while data is obviously important, personalization doesn’t always require as much of it as you may think. Advanced personalization can leverage real-time data even when there isn’t much information available about an individual customer. What’s more, advanced personalization tactics can earn upwards of $20 for every $1 invested — on top of email marketing’s already-high ROI.

Marketers can adjust their messages based on constantly-changing context. So even with limited information about the behaviors or preferences of a particular customer, the message will still be relevant.

Personalization possibilities with little data

  • Operating system/device
    • By using moment-of-open data, Liveclicker can deliver a unique experience depending on the user’s device or operating system. For example, if a customer is opening on a mobile device, they may be invited to ‘tap to text’ to sign up for SMS messages or invited to download the appropriate app for their operating system. A customer opening the same email on a desktop would see different messages.
  • Time of day
    • Personalizing messages to the opener’s time of day provides endless possibilities. A custom greeting in the hero, wishing customers good morning, good evening, or referencing the day of the week is a great way to capture attention. Time-sensitive promotions can be swapped out for different messaging once they expire. Chico’s even did a 3 deals in 1 day campaign, inviting openers to come back to reopen the email for different deals throughout the day. Adding a countdown timer is a great way to create urgency and inspire action.
  • Location/weather
    • Creative marketers leverage moment-of-open location data and weather forecasts in all kinds of ways! By detecting an openers location (rather than segmenting based on data about where they live) marketers can show the closest store locations based on where the customer is in that moment. By using local forecast information, marketers can show the most appealing products for that customer in that moment. For example, retailers can feature rain boots if it’s raining or sunglasses if it’s sunny. It also allows marketers to save time in the segmentation process — holiday emails featuring snow can be displayed where the weather is cold while appropriate creative can be displayed for warmer climates!
  • Store inventory
    • Marketers can connect with their store’s inventory data to make frustrating customer experiences a thing of the past. If you have a flash sale on a popular item, the email can update to feature a different item if the first one sells out. Popular products that are available can change in an instant, and triggered campaigns can be hard to keep up to date. By implementing moment-of-open technology, those always-on emails can update on open, always featuring the newest, most popular products or the most up-to-date promotions.
  • Data feeds
    • Just like with store inventory information, data feeds provide endless opportunity for relevant email. Feature user generated social content by connecting to any of the social media channels, store hours and details specific to different locations, up-to-date pricing, real-time score updates for sporting events and more!

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Brittany is a digital marketer with experience building an online presence for both B2B and B2C brands. As the S. Content Marketing Manager for Liveclicker, Brittany plans and produces effective communication across channels, creating valuable content that helps clients and prospects harness the power of moment-of-open personalization.

Brittany King
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