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How to Use Personalization to Improve Customer Experiences

October 9, 2020
By Lizzie Hoffman

A little personalization goes a long way in marketing campaigns. When used effectively, it results in increased engagement, stronger customer relationships and a cohesive cross-channel brand experience.

But does something as simple as adding a first name or location-based content make a difference? Let’s use an example – Say you’re scrolling through your inbox and you come across two offers from brands you love.

One is a generic 10% off coupon that doesn’t address you by name; the second email has your first name, highlights a couple of products you might be interested in based on your last purchase, and a 15% coupon for a location nearest your home.

Which one will you engage with? Personalization is the difference between speaking at a customer and speaking with a customer. The first email could be for anyone in the business’ database, but the second speaks to customers’ motivations, unique needs, and feels more like a conversation with someone you know. 

This is the backbone of people-based marketing, and it ensures you’re strengthening existing customer/brand relationships with thoughtful marketing. We’ve gathered 4 ways that your brand can use data and personalization to improve the customer experience across all of your marketing channels.

4 ways to improve the customer experience with data and personalization

With a customer database filled with valid email addresses, you can use those email addresses to discover key behavioral and demographic data points that encourage your customers to engage with your business both online and offline.

There are 4 primary categories of personalization data that help you improve customer experiences. Let's see how a national coffee chain might take advantage of some of the fields below:

Demographics

The most basic personalization uses primary demographic fields. These include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Name
  • Postal Address

How could you use this?: Adding postal address data to customer records can help you hyper-target customers within walking distance to an in-store event or location-based promotion. 

For example, segmenting your email marketing campaign by location ensures your email content is appropriate and specific; this way, you’re not sending emails about iced tea to Chicagoans in February nor hot chocolate deals to Floridians in June. 

Household

Similar to demographics, household data can improve personalization at a foundational level with details like:

  • Income
  • Marital Status
  • Presence of Children
  • Home Market Value

How could you use this?: Featuring kid-friendly options and family-oriented activities are great ways to take advantage of Presence of Children data. The addition of this field to your database allows you to segment households with children and those without to ensure the families in your database receive relevant, family-oriented information.

Life Stage

Millennial, Gen Z, etc. Taking the next step in personalization, life stage data dives into some of the finer details and provides cultural insights about your customers. Titles here can include:

  • Expecting
  • Engaged
  • College Millennial

How could you use this?: If your coffee shop has great WiFi, a comfortable place to work and great space for study group meetings, adding the College Millennial data field allows you to communicate with students in search of a quiet place to work without having to worry about WiFi access.  

Buyer Type

Buyer type data helps you understand the spending habits of your customers with designations including:

  • Deal Seeker
  • Online Buyer
  • Big Spender
  • Holiday Shopper

How could you use this?: Adding Online Buyer and Deal Seekers data to your customer records is an excellent way to target those who would be interested in your coffee shop's app. Why? 

These individuals are looking for ways to save time, keep track of their purchases and save their favorites for fast purchases – by sending an email to them about the perks of using your app, you can generate digital engagement that crosses over into your in-store experience when they pick up their order.

Examples of Personalization's Power

Hypothetical examples are great, but seeing how real businesses use customer data for personalization in practice is even better. And who knows, maybe one of these real campaigns will help inspire your next marketing initiative! Here are two of our favorites.

13% increase in open rates


This allowed the company to send highly personalized email content to customers, resulting in a great brand first impression with a 13% increase in open rates while also meeting the customers’ specific needs, increasing social reach and preventing inbox saturation.

Telecharge, owned by The Shubert Organization, is a single-source solution for both Broadway and non-Broadway entertainment ticketing sales. As it was looking for ways to increase email engagement and ticket sales, they added purchase history and geographic location to its customer database records. 

ROI of 112%

Springbot delivers an eCommerce marketing platform to small and medium businesses with the goal of helping eCommerce stores easily leverage, integrate and optimize data to make strategic, real-time marketing decisions. However, Springbot didn’t have all of the data it needed on-hand to do so at first.

The addition of demographic, lifestyle and purchase data allowed Springbot to help e-tailers understand more about their customers so that they could personalize content and improve customer happiness in real time.

This ultimately resulted in vastly improved metrics, such as ROI of 112%, 912% increase in site traffic and 51% site revenue attribution to email campaigns.


Like we said, a little personalization goes a long way for businesses, especially those looking to connect both online and offline with their customers. Thoughtful email campaigns have a great impact on digital engagement and in-store activity, but only if you have the data to strategically personalize your email content.

Learn more about bringing key behavioral and demographic data to your brand with Email Intelligence from TowerData by clicking the button below!

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