Marketing
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6
 min read

Why One Size Fits All Rarely Does

Impersonal is ineffective -In the customer-centric and product-centric eras, companies intrusively ‘marketed’ without much concern for customer welfare. They threw generic emails in the faces of their best customers like five-year-olds shoving coins into a vending machine, believing the only path to better results was more.

You’re outside a restaurant.

It’s dimly lit, so you walk in to check it out. Only two-person tables fill the restaurant, and there are no booths or windows, which you find odd. A family of four walks in next to you and is annoyed that they’re forced to sit at two tables. You’re told to sit at a table with another lone customer, and the waiter hands you each the bill instead of a menu. He explains that this restaurant serves only one three-course meal and that all patrons are seated in groups of 2 to make the restaurant run more efficiently. He walks away without introducing himself, or giving you the chance to tell him that you’re vegetarian and can’t have the entree. You were only in the mood for a few drinks anyway, and there’s no alcohol here, so you get up and walk out.

The one size fits all tactic is ridiculous when you think of it like this. A restaurant run this way would see bankruptcy before the end of the month. However, many businesses still run their marketing campaigns with the same philosophy; serving their customers one dish, again and again, without any thought towards expanding the menu.

IMPERSONAL IS INEFFECTIVE

In the customer-centric and product-centric eras, companies intrusively ‘marketed’ without much concern for customer welfare. They threw generic emails in the faces of their best customers like five-year-olds shoving coins into a vending machine, believing the only path to better results was more.

The problem is, your customers are not vending machines.

Your customers’ digital marketing exposure has bloated to over 120 emails and 5000 ads a day. With customer-centric logic, these mediums should be more successful than ever before, now that customers are seeing more of them. Right?

Well, no. A shocking 96% of customers don’t trust digital ads. It’s nearly impossible to stand out with email and text; customers dislike mass digital marketing more than ever. Customer-centric marketers have been blowing up a fragile balloon with their intrusive campaigns. It’s only a matter of time before it pops.

This is the cost of the one size fits all approach. Competing businesses that treat their customers the same will find that their customers soon begin treating them the same. It becomes impossible to stand out, and the desperate, unread marketing emails begin to pile up.

The solution: Enter the relationship-centric era. Show your customers, through personalization, that you value them as more than a receipt. This builds loyalty; it ensures that they value you as more than a product and that they respect you enough to buy again.

“But I already use {first_name} in my marketing emails. I’m fine, right?”

Nope.

Unfortunately, it is no longer 2012. Every single one of your customers has already experienced some form of digital personalization. As far as most are concerned, it’s just another gag out of the one-size-fits-all book of tricks.

Personalization is still effective, and always will be. The appreciation of your company’s time and effort is timeless. The digital shortcuts, however, are quickly phasing out. With such a low-effort approach, it’s never long before customers begin to see through the smoke.

MAKE THEM FEEL SPECIAL: BECOMING RELATIONSHIP-CENTRIC

The appeal and efficiency of personalization amount to this: Everyone loves feeling special.

This leads us to a few useful conclusions: For a method of personalization to work, it must make customers feel special. The more special it can make customers feel, the more effective it will be. When people stop feeling special, the method has lost its touch.

As mentioned before, the aura of novelty has already disappeared from most digital personalization methods. Businesses need new, creative solutions to properly delight their customers.

Let’s dig into some of the best.

FOUNDER’S APPEARANCES

One of the easiest ways to make people at a restaurant feel special is to introduce them to the chef. Your business can employ this same tactic. Have your CEO (or anyone else) write up a piece of outreach every so often. It could center around appreciation, an announcement, a cool story; anything works here. Personalize it with the recipient’s name, send it out individually, and even a lowly email is immediately turned into an honorable gesture.

Sign off your new customer thank-you’s with “Jason, CEO & President”, rather than “CompanyX” or “The Team at CompanyX”. It’s a small detail and adds virtually no cost, yet is immediately noticed by your customers at a crucial time in the lifecycle. Signing them in this way also forces you to write personably, a vital skill for modern marketers.

Use this frugally. A CEO is not available 24/7.

PERSONALIZED PRODUCTS

Signed, personalized, or otherwise exclusive products are a great way to attract leads and strengthen loyalty. If your brand has a face, use that person’s signature to blow up the value of certain products. A name, personalized message, or a low-quantity/high-tier version of the product can work just as well.

You can offer exclusive products for sale at a higher price, upgrade customers randomly when they purchase or hold giveaways. Giveaways are useful to double down on a certain marketing effort, like building your email list, but you must make sure the giveaway is relevant to your target niche. People signing up to win a free iPad from a fitness company are far less likely to convert than people trying to win a month of free coaching from the founder.

PUBLIC SPECTACLES

AT&T’s ‘house band’ initiative shows how we can hit two birds with one stone: publicity and appreciation. They made a spectacle out of celebrating 2 million Facebook friends, sending out customized thank-you songs to over 2,000 customers, and making thousands more smile.

So, the next time you plan a celebration for hitting a massive goal, think of all the ways you could involve your customers. They’ll love the chance to celebrate.

HANDWRITTEN NOTES

When you learn to think like your customers, you’ll quickly realize that the medium of your marketing speaks louder than the message.

Outreach methods like email reek of their impersonal, large-scale nature, even if sent individually. Digital ‘personalization’ is no longer an effective smokescreen. But when you hand-write a note to your customers, you provide them with obvious physical value and evidence of your time and effort. Personalizing those letters only adds to the value.

Most marketers choose digital outreach instead because it’s easier to click a few times than hand-write cards for five hours. They’re willing to make the sacrifice in ROI.

IgnitePOST is special - it combines the best of both. It’s simple and automated like an email list, with the same 30x boost in performance that handwritten notes bring to the table. If you’d like to learn more about the newest, most effective method to embrace personalized marketing, click the link below and we’ll write you a sample letter for free.

LET'S GO

IgnitePOST Team
Verified writer
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