In our latest webinar, Personalized Messaging Matters: Strategies for Connecting with Consumers, Allen Levy (CEO of Alchemy Worx) presented on why personalized messaging matters and shared strategies to further connect with customers. Levy was later joined by Christine Monaghan, VP Digital of Astral Brands, Bobby Missry, Director of eCommerce at AS Beauty and Emily Cult, CEO of Cover FX (fmr) to discuss why message testing is critical, as well as how to utilize messaging to both keep existing customers in the buying cycle and bring past customers back into the fold.
You can read the recap below or watch the replay here.
ALCHEMY WORX: STRATEGIES FOR CONNECTING WITH CUSTOMERS
Alchemy Worx provides best-in-class email marketing, paid social and SMS support to ecommerce and enterprise-level companies. Through their world class brand customers, the company revealed its data showing how personalized messaging has increased engagement across the board. In a typical retailer’s mailing list, 5% become inactive on any given week. The average database has 60-70% inactive subscribers. Re-activating inactive subscribers and keeping them engaged is worth 2.5x-7x more than an inactive email address. To do this, personalize and segment your emails.
A few smart segmenting categories include:
- Cadence Optimization
You can also increase engagement, loyalty and revenue by better targeting users with ongoing customer scoring and testing to prevent customers from going inactive. To engage in continuous customer scoring and targeting, utilize:
- Customer data assessment
- Existing customer model integration
- Business & channel goal alignment
- RFM-CCO segmentation
- Ongoing testing
Levy emphasizes that the key to increasing audience engagement is to continuously test one’s strategies and to continue testing throughout even after increasing engagement.
STRATEGIC TESTING APPROACHES
- OFFER: Offer changes can drastically impact click rate. Varying offers enable you to reach diverse buyers.
- PERSONALIZATION: Target and personalize content for your buyers to build long-lasting relationships with your buyers.
- CTA PLACEMENT: Experiment with CTA placement to optimize and diversify your buyer’s user experience and drive incentives.
- SUBJECT LINE: Vary and test subject lines to determine the most effective ones. “Buyers and non-buyers react differently to subject lines.”
- NEW TECHNOLOGY: Invest in learning about new technology and innovations in AI for ecommerce to validate your testing.
- STYLE: Design to create the optimal viewing, reading and read experience. Then test each segment individually.
- LAYOUT: Experiment with different layouts to explore the best experience for your buyers. Vary content, CTA layouts, and creatives.
- CROSS-CHANNEL OPTIMIZATION: Utilize multiple channels to engage your buyer and assure that timing aligns for channels to support buyer’s experience.
PANEL DISCUSSION WITH Q+A
BUILDING THE RIGHT TEAM
Cover FX recommended that to build an entrepreneurial environment, you need to hire people naturally curious and with a bias for action. Such people can be singled out during the interview process by asking questions about a real life business problem in the interview and hearing their thought process. Look for people with strong creative or analytical skills, in addition to a strong EQ (Team-Working skills).
Another strategy is to expand employees within your testing team. You can broaden your audience by testing different layouts for the most effective personalized customer experience. Remember to ensure a communication line of results across various team members to test differing opinions.
TESTING VARIOUS OFFERS AND AVOIDING CONFUSION
AS BEAUTY engages in multiple promotional testing across various channels including email and SMS. They combat internal confusion by prepping their consumer service and social media marketing teams on testing issues to avoid that could particularly hurt their brand.
COVER FX prefers only to run one offer at once to decrease confusion amongst audience segments. They found it too complex to run multiple different offers when the majority of their business is wholesale.
ASTRAL BRANDS likes personalization of offers for certain audience segments. They prefer to test personalized offers to make the audience feel special and will honor the offer for other customers should they request it. This gives them more information on what their customer will read or respond to and how to further personalize messages in the future. Astral Brands also tests SMS and email coupons at the same time to observe customer reactions. ALCHEMY WORX makes sure that promotional emails specifically say that any offer within them is an email-only promotion. They found it helpful to attach a limited time coupon on such emails during testing to decrease confusion amongst different audience segments.
UNEXPECTED SOURCES FOR IDEAS IN PERSONALIZED EMAILS
The panelists recommended a multitude of ways to source for new, creative ideas for personalization testing, including:
- Look towards staff working within customer service, sales or in-person staff in stores. Sometimes the best ideas come from the team members closest to the customer.
- Read customer service emails to see firsthand what customers are saying and what promotions or messages will be most appealing for them.
- Customer reviews (especially unhappy reviews) are also helpful in understanding what the customer is looking for—examining analytics against reviews within the same time period to see how customers act and what they do in comparison.
UNSUBSCRIBING AND RE-SUBSCRIBING
Panelists found that there is a higher re-subscribe rate when you honor the customer’s choice to unsubscribe. When there is a higher level of trust between the brand and customer, the unsubscriber is more likely to recommit to the brand. They also note that utilizing social media is an important tool in increasing re-subscriber rates. By reminding the unsubscriber of what they missed since, this can help engage them to re-subscribe. You can even include a subscriber option at the end of an email purchase receipt or physical mail to remind the customer of the brand’s commitment to their customers.
- Testing, testing and more testing is key to understanding what your consumer needs and wants out of your brand. By repeating testing across various audiences, you can monitor unique behavior changes over time.
- Choosing the right audience offer is important—don’t be afraid to send out multiple personalized emails at once, but consider mitigating audience confusion across platforms.
- Unexpected sources for content ideas could stem from every part of your brand, so don’t overlook anyone, especially those who are closest to your customers.
- Ensure trust between your brand and your customer. You’ll achieve a higher re-subscriber rate when you honor the customer’s choice to unsubscribe—and then, tools such as social media can engage unsubscribed customers.