Everyone talks about personalization but almost no one knows how to do it

Personalization is a trendy marketing technique, the work with which most often comes up with indicating the name in the subject line of the letter. But this technology is something more widescale.


This is not a modern invention; personalization appeared long before receiving the electricity and other benefits of civilization. It was used, for example, by heralds who reported the news, moving from house to house, picking up different news for different residents. And today, personalization is called to be such a message that meets the expectations of a particular consumer, client.

Emotional return on personalization


Researchers at Segment (analyst company) have learned how people respond to a personalized approach by finding out the emotional impact of 1006 people aged 18 and over.


Young people today are called Y-generation and it is important namely for them that the store should have a mobile application. The State of Personalization in Mobile Commerce by Dynamic Yield organization surveyed consumers and found that 76% of the respondents prefer to buy using a smartphone, because it saves time.


However, at the same time, 36% of the people surveyed find difficult the search for goods and services using the application on the mobile phone. Mobile applications should offer products and services in accordance with the interests and needs of the audience.

How personalization motivates to buy


To get a loyal audience, the company must meet its expectations, fulfill the wishes of each individual client. The customized service forces a person to become inclined to communicate, ready to tell more about yourself.


This confirms the Epsilon study conducted in 2018. A US company surveyed 1,000 consumers between in the age range from 18 to 64. According to the results of this work, it turned out that 80% of the respondents are more likely to choose the brand that offers a personalized approach. 90% of the respondents noted the importance of personalized treatment.


The deeper the customization in work with the clients, the higher the conversion becomes. For this reason, it is important to constantly work with your customers, explore their preferences and promptly offer those services and products that they currently need. However, a personalized approach should be comfortable and unobtrusive.

Competent approach to personalized service


2018 showed a significant difference between the X- and Y-generations. If the former are for the most part conservative, then the latter are more flexible in mastering new technologies.


Of course, the representatives of X-generation are interested in and try new things, but they are in no hurry to make decisions in favor of the new technologies and approaches in service.


The new generation easily works with a large amount of information, being able to choose from the variety of goods and services what they need at the moment.


This is what personalization is guided by in building a customer service strategy allowing you to save time on your search. If the brand is able to offer for Y something that will really interest him (focusing on the history of views and purchases), he will not hesitate for a long time on his decision.

Personalization has its downsides


One of the problems while working with the personalization is the distrust and the fear of users that are caused with the messages and calls offering them what they were looking for.


Users are unhappy with the active collection of personal information in the Internet. Some companies aggressively use this data, and a constant spam forces users to unsubscribe and block them.


Conversion from customization is quite comparable with the following for this negative.


Internet users are concerned about the storage of personal data. In April-May 2018, 4Service company held a research, which showed that people are more likely to trust “safe” organizations. They consider banks and medical facilities as such.


Why namely these one? Financial and medical organizations are obliged to strictly comply with all legal norms, because their non-observance threatens multimillion-dollar lawsuits. The companies from the other branches are not at risk of this responsibility, so they freely use the user data for their own purposes.

Although in general, people like a personalized approach, only 21% of respondents chose a proposal that takes their interests into account. 48% read it, but did not use it. 31% of respondents did not read or did not have personalized offers at all.


In addition, people do not want to share the personal data. As shown by the 4Service survey, a very small part of them are ready to provide data to the brands, that is only 23% of the respondents. 65% of respondents would like to share information rarely.


With regard to age distribution, young people (18-25 years) are more willing to disclose the profile. This was confirmed by 35% of respondents. Among people aged 56 and over, only 11% are ready to open an access to the personal information.

How to avoid the client’s “black list”


Personalized approach, as already noted above, often causes the negative. But you can avoid problems. Eugeniy Lobanov, Director for Central and Eastern Europe/Turkey, 4Service Group gives some valuable advice to the companies that introduce or already use the personalization.


Explain to the client why you sent him this email.


A common problem is that users do not understand the essence of the mailing. Often, all advertising sent to the user’s email address is sent to the  “Basket”, thanks to the spam filters, this happens automatically, without letting your client even a look at the subject of the letter. Intrusive, impersonal advertising is removed, and the user unsubscribes from the newsletter. Therefore, it is important to explain to the client why you are sending this. The offer to purchase should not look like the result of surveillance or extortion.


Look at three different messages from “Velostrana”, “Perekrestok” and Sberbank:


Which of the messages you want to delete immediately, and which one would you like to use?

“Velostrana” did the right thing:


  • the client was asked to leave a review;
  • SMS contains the name of the consultant, who works with the client;
  • reward was offered for the time spent.


“Perekrestok” rather dryly informs about the promotional offers, without giving any explanations. Specifying the address and the specific product can push to the idea that a person is being watched.


It is better to do this, for example: “Name, you recently bought Purina One dry food for cats from us. You can refill your pet supplies for a pet with a 7% discount until 03.06. We are waiting for you at the Perekrestok.”

This approach is more difficult to implement, but it gives a greater chance that a person will still make a purchase.

Sberbank made it very badly for several reasons:


  • the message is very long;
  • complicated structure of the request;
  • the client should reply for its own money.


Do not be afraid to ask


Ask your customers in what format it is convenient for them to receive information from the company. This will make work easier, and the customers will be more loyal.
Always explain the purpose, why you are asking for something, and always make sure that this information is safe. No one wants his contacts to be sold to a spammer.

Use the creative approaches to get closer


A good example: in 2016 Beeline developed the personalized video birthday congratulations for several million customers. Together with the Mfive agency, they shot a video for each name and sent it on their birthday. Yes, this is a tough job, but it is paying off.


100% is not the limit


In order to get the result, you have to spend time on personalization and to be careful. Loyalty cards should operate throughout the chain, and barist in a coffee shop should be able to remember regular customers. They will be pleased to hear “It’s great that visit us again, for you as usual?”.

Involve the whole team in personalization


Work with your staff, constantly train them and create new ideas with the whole team. Both personal communication and SMS should be interesting not only for the clients, but also for the employees.


Personalization should be relevant


4Service shares insight received from 10% of respondents: Visitors do not want personal information to be included in the conversation if they came with a companion. This is especially true in the restaurant business, finance, medicine.

Have a trump card in your sleeve


Use partners that have a loyalty system. In this way, for example, a chain of restaurants and a store of alcoholic beverages may cooperate. The waiter may simply offer to buy the wine you like from your partner.

Feel your customers


This is good at Roketbank. Bank support service is able to notice the mood of the client, adapting to it. After the official introduction, a friendly customer will receive smiles and wishes for a good day. This leaves a positive impression of interaction with the company.




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