For a MarTech provider, initial engagement is obviously just the start of the customer’s journey – and of a relationship that ought to bear profitable fruit for both parties for a long time to come. Nurturing that relationship with personalized emails is pretty much a cornerstone of that future success.
In a previous post, we pointed at five MarTech providers who were doing an exceptional job of self-marketing to prospects and customers. You can bet each of them considers personalization to be central. That’s not in the least because being on the receiving end of personalization is ever more important to buyers, too. As one study shows, there’s a primary reason many buyers have limited engagement with B2B vendors: They’re being sent too much irrelevant content.
So in using email marketing to support your MarTech product, “personalization” has to go well beyond just knowing your customer’s name and title. Messages need to be relevant and contextualized so they – and your product – show immediate value to the recipient.
They’re the bedrock of marketing automation nowadays, and they’re an excellent way to personalize your campaigns. By responding to specific customer actions with messaging that’s punctual and suitable for the situation, you can open up new opportunities.
The number and types of triggers you activate against are nearly endless: content downloads or browsing behavior on your website, for instance; registration for a webinar or user event; the inception or conclusion of a new campaign using your product; making a core update, or adding a plugin or other new functionality.
HubSpot does a good job of this in the example below, where a user’s behavior has triggered a message that will, hopefully, catch them at a moment when their interest in researching social media marketing may be a clue they’re interested in launching a campaign of their own, or upgrading the efforts they’re already making.
Show you know their stack
It’s also vital to demonstrate you know what type of tech stack a customer or prospect is working with, so you’re able to grasp what that says about their marketing objectives and personalize email messaging accordingly. Are they invested in AI? Are they transitioning to ABM? What CRM platform are they relying on? Do they leverage a business intelligence tool?
Understanding a customer’s tech stack gives a MarTech campaign planner the opportunity to demonstrate how their particular offering fits into it, and how it complements or enhances the customer’s existing components. So when you release upgrades that help with cross-platform integration with that customer’s existing solutions, you can make sure they know you’re always improving your own product on their behalf.
When it comes to taking a similar approach in prospecting for new business, or onboarding a new customer without having to grill them about their tech stack, there are new tools that can help do the job. Notablist, for instance, analyzes the email campaigns sent out by marketers to provide a window into what technologies are being used by their brands.
P.S. Notablist uses the tagline “Sending Insights for Closers” — you can easily picture Alec Baldwin spitting it out in Glengarry Glen Ross, right?
Get in sync with their business cycles
One key to personalization is “right time, right message,” and in maintaining engagement with your customers, it’s good to know their business, marketing, and sales cycles. Why? Because by doing so, you’re able to make your messaging more timely and relevant.
If you’re trying to prompt them to use your platform or upgrade to new features, being able to anticipate a marketing cycle where those might be useful means you can hit them with reminders or announcements that play perfectly into their upcoming campaigns.
You can ask for a sneak peek at their marketing/sales calendar, of course, but it’s not always going to be available, or gathering that data is too manually intensive. Here, too, there are analytics tools that can automate the gleaning of insight: Moat is one. By tracking where and how a marketer is investing its marketing resources, in what channels, and the length and breadth of marketing cycles, you’re able to plan your campaigns appropriately.
Encourage and educate
You can put the “personal” in “personalization” by putting a human face on your interactions with customers. They’re investing good money – and their professional standing – in your product, so you should help them along the way by recognizing them reaching individual milestones or other trigger points with pats-on-the-back, by offering tutorials or other skills-building content, or even by giving “power users” exclusive access to new feature demos and the like.
The triggers can revolve around their use of the product, completing tutorials, gaining proficiency ratings, trying out new features, participating in user groups, or any other accomplishments that they can feel good about – and give you a chance to deepen your bond with that customer.
Here’s an example of offering up kudos on reaching a milestone from engagement platform Sleeknote that’s, unsurprisingly, very engaging – particularly since it hails from the CEO, who sounds like a fun guy to hang with.
Let them provide some personalizing
Customers love empowerment, so one way to deliver that – and to help you personalize your relationship with them – is to judiciously give them the power of choice in responding to your campaign.
Newsletters are a classic tool for building a customer profile by tracking the links they click on in each issue, as their choices provide solid data about their interests and needs. Yet there are even more imaginative and expansive ways to accomplish that, as shown in this ProductPlan onboarding email.
ProductPlan isn’t a MarTech provider (they offer roadmap visualization tools), but the idea here translates easily. They’re giving the new customer the power to choose where and how they want to start their onboarding process.
Those choices, naturally, can help a marketer further customize future messages or complete campaigns/tracks. In the moment, though, the customer’s decisions let you direct them to personalized content you can segment as much as necessary to give them a more satisfying engagement.