Examples of personalized marketing

 In Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Personalization from a brand isn’t something new. It is, however, something that many brands absolutely suck at. For that reason, it was once again, a top trend at the Content Marketing Institute’s CM World. Rather explain why you need to personalize your messages, we figured we’d give an example of how it worked.

Details in the Data

For just shy of 4 years I worked for a small vacation rental company called WeNeedaVacation.com. Think AirBNB but only on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. (And way better.) My job as a marketer was pretty simple, get vacationers to find the home they want and then get them to book it.

The The folks there did a great job of capturing the users behaviors and interests on the site – the size of the home, the price range, the town, proximity to the beach, when they typically looked for a home year after year. All of these data points were incredibly helpful when building out our first major move in the strategy. The idea was to personalize the emails that were sent to people with only homes that matched their criteria. We segmented our overall vacationer list and sent these emails once a week to people that were actively searching for a home on the site. To get technical, they had to have looked for a home on WeNeedaVacation.com within two months of the email send.  

How it worked

As you can imagine, it worked. Any time we personalized the subject line with the town they had been looking for, open rates increased. Rather than say “You have to see this view from the Cape.” we would change it to “You have to see this view from Chatham.” We would have to get creative with the subject lines to be sure each town would work and have the same flow as all the rest. 

The most important part of the email itself were the homes inside the email. We tried using different images, blog posts, and videos but the overwhelming majority of people only cared about the homes. Typically, well over 65% of the clicks went to a home based on the users search criteria and preferences. 

One of the most interesting things we came across was that not only did vacationers and the recipients of the email expect it, but at times the expected more. I would receive a handful of replies after each send from folks looking for even more of the details ironed out for them. They only wanted to see homes that allowed pets, had air conditioning, or was close to town. By making a few tweaks to our algorithm, we were able to nail down pretty specifically the small set of homes they had a good chance of wanting to stay in.

Final Thoughts

We know you’ve heard it. Just using a person’s name no longer counts as personalization. I’d even argue that by only using a person’s and not tailoring the entire message will have them laughing at you. Segment your lists. Personalize the message. Do that, and you’ll win.

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