Personalization : Don’t be informal without a good reason.
Sometimes, but not always
You might have noticed when you’ve shopped online : personalization and familiarization have become standard procedure. Research has proven that it leads to higher CTR’s and sales. It’s like ‘How awesome that they know my name and my needs!.” But on the other hand, there’s a risk that consumers get annoyed, because it might interfere with privacy rules.
So when to use these messages (e.g. “Hi there, Peter”) with a specifically targeted sales message (e.g. “We know that you’re dreaming of this car with these options.”) focuses on the unique needs of each and every visitor?
More importantly : when not to use such messages? Because they quickly can turn out to be counterproductive, causing resistance. Consumers already know by now that marketers use their unique data. And today, this can possibly lead to the same behavior as for printed direct mailings : rejection and irritation.
“The salesman that approaches you when you’re just nosing around, is bothering you. Only when you’ve determined your choice, you might accept his ‘help”
The right approach at the right time
It’s important to bear in mind within what phase of the buyer journey your future client falls. Meaning : you have to be sure whether your consumers are still in the information phase or if they are ready to buy.
Compare it with a visit to a real shop. The salesman that approaches you when you’re just nosing around, is bothering you. Only when you’ve determined your choice, you might accept his ‘help’.
It also depends on how he approaches you : passively (e.g. “Others that were looking for this model, bought the same brand.”), or actively (e.g. “This is the perfect model and brand for your needs.”. The last technique has a more personal feeling to it, but it might lead to irritation. How does the salesman know what is best for you without knowing you, and if he knows you, where did he get this information?
So what is working best?
A detailed study led to a number of conclusions :
- Recommending products on actual search behavior leads to more click-throughs than those based on earlier behavior.
- Consumers consider personalized promotions based on early behavior as more intrusive and they show a more positive approach to the recommendations based on actual behavior.
- The deeper in the buying funnel they are, the more they accept personalization.
- It also seems that passively put argumentation leads to higher click through rates, for all stadia in this funnel.
It’s about common sense, as always
Personalize, but know when to do it and do not act too familiar. You wouldn’t accept either that a car salesman acts as your best friend during his sales pitch, would you?
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