Personalization is relatively straightforward on channels like email and phone since you should have enough data on your customer to tailor your messaging just for them.
It gets trickier towards the top of the funnel since you don’t have a lot of intelligence (yet) on exactly who is seeing and engaging with your content.
The question becomes: how do you effectively personalize 1:many channels?
Hint: It starts with knowing your audience.
Real quick though, most companies could be personalizing 1:1 channels a lot better.
1:1 Personalization: Go beyond demographics/firmographics
When we say 1:1 channels, we’re talking about email, phone calls, direct mail, etc.
Personalization begins with understanding your target customer. Knowing demographics and firmographics is not enough; you have to understand psychographics, values, goals, interests, pain points, etc. Check out this step-by-step guide if you aren’t already familiar with creating personas.
Once you’ve identified your target customer persona, you have to acquire relevant and in-depth data. This is crucial.
Go beyond name, title, or company size and instead look for data points that allow you to measure and communicate the pain/benefit your product can provide.
A great example of this is our cold emails. Our open rates are in the 90%+ range, and our reply rates are 20%-30%. We achieved these results by combining and scraping data. (shoutout to Lemlist).
What data points are relevant for your business? Another way to think about it is what behaviors indicate someone is a potential fit for your product or service? Check out our Intent Signals article if you want to learn more about this.
Don’t forget to organize that data in your system of record (i.e., CRM) so you can use it when personalizing messages in any channel, be that 1:1 (direct mail, email) or 1:many (website, advertising).
That’s personalization on 1:1 channels.
What about 1:many channels?
How to personalize 1:many channels
1:many channels are where you broadcast a message to more than one person, e.g., your website, digital advertising, billboards, etc.
The problem with these channels is you don’t know who you’re broadcasting that message to.
You can target people who may be similar to your ICP on ad platforms, but you can’t know with absolute certainty who you are actually reaching.
But there are some solutions that advance 1:many personalization quite a bit.
For example, Mutiny dynamically personalizes your web pages based on data about the specific visitor, allowing you to have different landing pages for each of your leads or personas.
Other programmatic ad tech tools, like Rollworks and Terminus, let you serve personalized ads to specific target accounts based on reverse-IP lookup or cookies.
These tools are not without limitations. Cookies and IP-address-based targeting are frequently inaccurate…
- Over 66% of mobile devices don’t accept cookies.
- Cookies expire in 30–60 days (if the user doesn’t remove them from their browser first).
- Cookies can only track users on the same device and web browser they used when the cookie fired.
- IP-addresses are inconsistent with a person’s physical location. Anecdotally, we see it is sufficient for 30–50% of website visitors.
Cookies are only going to become less reliable over time. With new updates like IOS 14, Facebook and Google are starting to shift away from cookie-based retargeting.
But these tools are a lot better than no personalization whatsoever. For instance, Terminus reports a 60% increase in demos booked for their customers.
In our opinion, the best way to personalize 1:many channels going forward is a combination of existing tools that help with identity resolution and much, much more segmented targeting.
For example, here’s how Primer does it…
We generated a list of early-stage YC companies from Crunchbase and enriched it with ad network matching data. The result was a list of 2,000 leads that all shared very specific attributes (YC-backed, B2B, actively advertising, etc.). We synced that enriched list to Facebook and then launched a campaign.
The results speak for themselves: 28 leads and 18 demos booked at $52 per demo.
Segmenting your audiences and knowing who is in them allows you to personalize the messaging based on their unique pain points and desires.
So long as you keep in mind the size limitations of 1:many platforms. For example, Facebook’s minimum audience size is technically 100 leads. However, we’ve found that audiences with 4,000–5,000 enriched leads achieve much greater overall reach and results.
The challenge is finding enough people who are similar to your ideal customer.
To personalize 1:many channels, you have to find groups of people who share many specific things in common, i.e., specific pain points and quantitative attributes, and find enough of those people you can target on a broadcast channel.
Put simply; marketers will be using narrowly focused, intent-filled audiences to create more relevant campaigns and much higher conversion rates.
You have to be specific enough so your messaging resonates but broad enough to appeal to the 300+ leads in the segmented audience (Note: 300 is the minimum size for a LinkedIn matched audience).
Proof: At a cohort level (based on the number of accounts that went into one of our FB audiences), our latest campaign has a >10% conversion rate to demo.
It’s clearly much easier to personalize 1:1 channels over 1:many channels.
To personalize 1:many, you have to find ways to determine exactly who is seeing your content. It boils down to targeting and identity-resolution.
If you’re having trouble finding more people who are similar to your best customers, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to help. :)