5 Incredible Examples of Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing is a highly effective but woefully underutilized strategy. Even though it’s easier than ever to provide relevant marketing materials to different audiences, most marketers simply aren’t doing it. To get an idea of how big a missed opportunity this is, take a look at these stats:

  • Businesses that personalize web experiences see an average 19% increase in sales. (MarketingProfs)
  • 71% of companies fail to personalize their websites. (Dynamic Yield)
  • Personalized marketing emails receive 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates. (Experian)
  • 70% of companies don’t personalize marketing emails. (Experian)

We need a personalization overhaul—but where to start? Well, I suppose you could individually research every lead in your database and create marketing content specifically for each of them…or, if you’d prefer not to spend the rest of your life in front of a computer, you could automate the process.

When you first think of personalized marketing, you might think of using variable tags to include someone’s name in an email. That’s a good start, but there are so many ways to personalize ads and content that aren’t as commonly used. We’ve written before about how to use automation to personalize your marketing and sales processes, and now it’s time to see some of those tactics in action. Let’s take a look at five companies that used personalization in creative ways—and saw serious results in the process.

Personalization Tactic: Lookalike-Inspired Segmentation

Last year, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium came up with a clever way to boost zoo membership: using data to identify their biggest fans. They analyzed their membership data and learned which ZIP Codes were home to the zoo’s most frequent guests. Then they targeted discounted campaigns to other people from those areas. The result? A whopping 13% increase in membership during Q1 alone.

Even if your products or services aren’t location-specific, you can use this segmentation tactic to your advantage. By looking beyond the basics to discover what your most valuable customers have in common, you’ll get an idea of how you can personalize content and special offers based on how prospective customers will likely respond.

Personalization Tactic: Dynamic Content

Demandbase Personalization Example

I stumbled upon this creative example of personalization on Demandbase’s website. Because of my IP address, they recognized that I work at Salesforce and personalized the message to me.

Dynamic content is incredibly versatile. You can use it to personalize emails, landing pages, forms, and websites—and not just based on IP address. For example, if you know a lead’s role in their company, you can feature a white paper on your homepage that is specifically relevant to their position.

Personalization Tactic: Segmentation by Purchase Behavior

Boca Java, a gourmet coffee retailer, segmented their lists based on how many bags of coffee customers ordered. They sent emails offering a 17% discount on a three-pack of coffee to three unique segments: customers who had previously purchased two bags, three bags, and four bags. They found that customers in the two-bag segment were most likely to take advantage of the discount. This gave them insight into which customers were more likely to respond to that specific offer, and in turn, they were able to upsell those customers.

How can this strategy work for B2B? You can run tests to send personalized content and offers based on past purchases. For example, if you sell office furniture, you may learn that customers who previously purchased higher end desks are more likely than others to purchase treadmill desks in the future. In that case, you can send them emails with a personalized offer for that product.

Personalization Tactic: Time Zone

Need proof that small tweaks can make a huge difference? MarketingSherpa reports that BustedTees increased email revenue by 8% when they switched from sending dreaded email “blasts” to personalizing send time based on time zones and past opening behaviors. Fortunately, marketing automation makes it easy to ensure your nurturing emails are only sent during business hours without having to calculate what time it currently is in Australia.

Personalization Tactic: Customer-Specific Needs

Doggyloot Homepage Form

Doggyloot segments its leads in a unique way: by the size of their furry friends. Even if your customers are exclusively two-legged, you can follow suit. Segmenting by business size allows you to send targeted emails that are relevant to a prospective customer’s business. As Marketing Sherpa points out, there’s no use in offering a 10-pound bone to a five-pound dog; likewise, a small business customer doesn’t need enterprise-level software.

Have you tried any of these personalization tactics? Drop us a line in the comments; we’d love to hear what’s worked for you—and even what hasn’t. If you’re looking for more ways to personalize your buyer’s experience, grab a copy of our free eBook, Personalization with Automation.

Personalization with Automation White Paper


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4 thoughts on “5 Incredible Examples of Personalized Marketing

    • So true, Andrew. Some of these examples definitely require research and testing, but others are fairly simple tweaks that could make a significant difference for a business.

      Glad you liked the post. Thanks for reading!

  • Great post. We’ve been wanting to dive more into dynamic content and the example from Demandbase is fantastic!
    I do have a question regarding the time zone tactic, how does one utilize the nurturing ability to send “during business hours” while having clients around the world?

    • Hey Jonathan, thank you! I’m happy you found that example useful.

      As for time zones— Marketing automation tools will generally associate all new leads with your organization’s time zone. However, you can segment leads by location and then designate a time zone for each segment’s nurturing emails. Here’s some more information on the topic: http://prd.to/1BM436V

      Hope that helps!

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