SMS personalization: Why it matters and how to master it
Personalization can feel like one of those fuzzy buzzwords we throw around in marketing: It’s not exactly clear what it means, let alone how to achieve it. But it’s increasingly critical to effective marketing. And, as tools become more and more advanced, it’s also increasingly easy to do.
In this article, we’ll clearly explain what personalization is, why it’s important, and how you can actually implement it.
What is personalization (in marketing)?
Personalization in marketing is creating messaging or content that is adapted or changed to suit different audiences. At its core, it's about creating value for your customers. The idea is to understand your audience, segment them, and then tailor your messaging so that they can relate to it and feel considered.
Go further with hyper-personalization
Hyper-personalization is going beyond segments, using a number of different sources of data to learn about an individual user—things like IP address, time of day, weather in your customer's location, and more. Typically, hyper-personalization makes use of artificial intelligence and real-time data to build up profiles for individual customers. Companies can then use that data to create better customer experiences.
This level of customization is more difficult to achieve, but it can also be more powerful. It helps you ensure that your customers receive content that is directly relevant to them.
Using data to tailor your marketing messages
The sky is the limit. Of course, the classic is to use your customer’s name when you send them a message. But you can also send them targeted content related to their previous purchases, their language, the country of their IP address, or even how they joined your subscription list.
There are different ways you can use a customer’s data to personalize your marketing campaigns. Here are five potential methods you can use:
• User segmentation. Collect and use demographic data or other attributes to create groups of similar customers. Develop personas based on these segments, which you can use to target with different marketing messages that will resonate with each group.
• Lifecycle mapping. Customers follow a typical journey: from discovering your product, to purchasing it, to repurchasing. You can use their data to target marketing messages at pushing the customer through the next stage in that journey.
• Workflow building. You can use customer data to automate workflows and drive greater sales more efficiently. For example, use customer actions (like abandoning a shopping cart) to send targeted messages that encourage re-engagement.
• Personalization tags. You can tailor messages to specific people in your audience using tags. These are like placeholders—they get filled with information specific to your customer (like their first name).
• Dynamic content. This is where you change larger chunks of your content based on your user. Mobiz offers a tool that does this for you and dynamically swaps out content based on user data. For example, if a customer is female, your campaign will show a certain product, but if a customer is male, your campaign will display a different product.
Why personalization matters for SMS campaign marketing
Here’s why customization is important: It makes SMS marketing more effective. It can boost engagement, relevance, and trust in your brand. For example:
• Consumers like tailored experiences. In one survey, 44% of respondents said they were willing to switch to brands that did personalization better.
• Bespoke messages increase sales. Marketers see an average of 20% increase in sales from personalization.
• Tailoring your marketing drives clicks. In one study, personalizing a marketing message with someone’s name created a 31% increase in sales leads.
Personalization also matters because it’s how you can get a leg up on your competitors. According to Gartner, only 40% of marketers have a strategy for customizing their marketing. By being in that 40%, you can help future-proof your company’s success.
And your customers expect it. According to a 2018 survey by Accenture, 91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands that remember them and provide them with relevant recommendations.
Using data enrichment to optimize personalization
Data enrichment is the process of improving your data so it better reflects your customers. Data enrichment uses tools and insights to turn a set of basic data about a customer—say, their name, age, location, and previous purchases—into a more complete and robust customer profile. In short, data enrichment is a process by which you improve your data so you can truly use it to improve business outcomes.
For example, you can use customer data to adapt everything in your marketing messaging—not just the marketing text message you send them, but even the landing page you link to. For instance, knowing that a person lives in a warmer climate means that you might promote one skincare product to them over another in the winter.
By capturing data through each engagement with a customer, you can optimize future marketing campaigns to be more effective and drive sales.
Implementing personalization into your mobile/SMS marketing
A good start when implementing personalization is to use lists to assign customers to different segments. Then you can send them custom messages designed for their customer persona. For example, Mobiz lets you send a unique text message and landing page promotion for sunglasses to customers that belong to a particular segment, such as women 18 to 40 that live in warm and sunny areas.
A second layer of personalization is to change content based on particular data conditions. For example, Mobiz makes it easy to create landing pages that are tailored to each individual person. These landing pages could display products that are similar to products that have been bought by the particular user viewing the page. Because each link is unique, each customer receives a tailored landing page and each journey can be adapted and tracked.
How you implement a customer-unique marketing campaign depends on the tools you’re using. Mobiz is a purpose-built SMS marketing tool with landing pages—both of which have personalization embedded in their DNA.
The last critical piece of personalization is measurement. This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of process. Instead, you tweak your future campaigns based on what worked last time—and what didn’t. Measuring your success is one of the best practices for SMS marketing.
For example, look at a campaign that was really successful for one segment of your customers. Try to identify what was compelling about the campaign, and then recreate that. Or, go even deeper and look at what individuals do! Mobiz gives you a unique link so that each user can be tracked on a customer level.
Personalization is the next frontier in marketing
Marketing works when your message connects with your audience. Creating effective messaging is a high-stakes challenge.
But personalization makes it easier. Rather than creating compelling marketing content that works for everyone, personalization helps you think much smaller: what will work for this group? Or even a given person?
The best thing about SMS personalization is that, with the right tools, it’s not hard to implement. Mobiz makes it downright easy. Sign up for a 14-day Mobiz trial and see for yourself.