Intrusive Personalization: 8 Things That Enrage Your Customers


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Intrusive Personalization: 8 Things That Enrage Your Customers


We all get e-mails screaming “Super offer! Discounts up to -50%” or “SALE!”. Daily we are drowning in a huge number of marketing activities of various companies.

In most cases, the fate of such letters is clear: trash! It is rare to come across something really worthwhile, something that makes one want to open it, read, and buy.

Every year there are more and more opportunities to personalize the mailing. But can personalization become too personal?

Customers love to receive personalized offers based on their interests and purchase history. BUT they don’t like their online activity monitored.

And it hurts business.

1. You are too personal

The amount of the personalized content should correspond to the stage of the relationship with the customer. This also is the reason why the content may sometimes become more annoying rather than personalized.

For example, some large healthcare company tracked every stage of pregnancy of their customers based on the date of their purchase and placed its customers in quite fishy mailing lists.

As a result, this PR campaign turned into a nightmare and heavily damaged the brand.

Tip: Send customers personalized offers in a rebag with your standard ‘General’ bulk mailing. Thus, your customers won’t feel like they are preyed on.

2. You get personal too fast

Don’t immediately use all you have to make a super-personalized offer. Such a pressure may scare off customers. Especially when one is in the process of exploring your brand.

For the first email, adding his name to the header will be enough. (Letters that do not contain the basic name of a client in the header go straight to the trash).

In the following letter to the client, you can add some more personalization and dynamic tags.

Tip: Wait until the client is done with the stage of learning about your company. After that, add personalized content to emails, basing on the customer’s behavior at your website.

3. Personalization based on rare queries
For example, a woman may look for children’s items to gift to a friend or someone from the family. The fact that she had been looking for a baby bottle on the Internet does not mean that you have to bombard her with emails and banner advertising offering baby food 9 months later.

If someone enters a query 1-2 times, it may be reasoned as searching for a gift or of mere curiosity. However, if the search requests and becomes more frequent, then enable your marketing to the fullest.

Tip: Narrowly segment your customers to ensure that the desired email is sent to the right customer at the right time.

4. Good offer, served lame

It is important that the client not only receives a good offer but also receives it at the right time. In fact, it is the content that you have to offer. And the context is when and where you offer it.

Let’s get back to the children’s goods. If a woman buys a baby seat, what are the chances that she will need ANOTHER ONE?

Accordingly, the letter offering your new products in this category is likely to be sent to the Recycle Bin. While offering a children’s rug in a few months will still be appropriate.

Tip: Do not use personalization just because you can, and because you have the data. Use it wisely.

5. Be careful with geolocation

Using customer’s geolocation is a great way to make him a personal offer, but it is more important to use it wisely.

If the customer is looking for a meal in Chicago while there on vacation, and then returns home to New York, there’s no more reason to send him a selection of Chicago restaurants.

Customers who remain to be annoyed by such proposals regularly write complaints on social networks, which hurts your brand.

Tip: Make sure your geo-targeting works properly and is configured to the current customer’s location. Update the information regularly.

Many services nowadays allow you locate the customer directly at the moment of opening an email and instantly enclose the desired content.

6. There’s Too Much of You
Plenty is too dainty. If you send customers the same email each month, but they don’t open it and do not respond, what are the chances that THIS finally HAPPENS?

Before you mail something once again, first check if your customer shows any signs of activity in response to your numerous emails.

If you bombard your clients with emails, chances are that they will unsubscribe and will never come back, rather than buy anything from you.

Tip: Be sure to track customer activity on your website when receiving emails. If they have not made their first purchase within 30 days, then slow down. Reduce the number of emails you send them.

7. You get carried away with social networks

Have you happened to mark your geolocation on social networks, and start immediately seeing ads for the places near you?

Using geo-targeting on social customer profiles is more private than tracking visits to your website.

The client immediately raises the logical question, “What else of my private became public?”

Tip: Do not get carried away by advertising or personalized emails based on activities in social customer profiles. Don’t forget that you are trying to sneak into something very personal, and nobody likes it.

8. The annoying retargeting


Such prosecution is more likely to ensure that the customer gets mad at your brand, and as a result, he certainly will never buy anything from you. 30 days is an ample time for a person to make the decision to purchase.

If not, chances are it’s not your customer, and further advertising to him makes no sense.

But in the case when the customer made the purchase, make sure your ad banner is no longer chasing him. Recheck the settings of the advertising campaign.

Tip: Keep an eye on the behavior of customers who are viewing your ads. If you do this, you will be able to change settings or disable idle banner at the right moment.

Remember That There Is A Limit

Customers love the personalization and always expect it from you. But there is a very fine line between the proper personalization and being intrusive… Don’t lose it.

The customer should not feel like you breathe down his neck, watching his every move.

Good luck!

Igor Komarnitskiy
During past 2 years, I've launched 50+ successful email campaigns for E-commerce websites.


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