#3 on the list is…Personalization! (Missed the first two? You can go here, and here.)

Why is Personalization important? Remember that time when the nice folks at Starbucks whipped up that lightly-iced green tea latte with extra matcha…before you even got to the register? That’s Personalization — when a business can truly recognize your needs as a consumer and honors it. With that level of service, you wouldn’t want to leave that Starbucks location for another one across the street. 

It’s no different in the B2B marketing and sales world. Until you’re able to acknowledge and treat your prospects like the wonderfully awesome human beings that they are, you are going have trouble getting their attention and have shot at converting them into opportunities.

Did you know that…

  • Personalized emails deliver 6X higher transactions rates, 29% higher in open rates, 41% higher in click through rates, but 70% of brands fail to use them. [Source: Experian Marketing Services, 2013 Email Study]
  • 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. [Source: eConsultancy]
  • 75% of enterprises will be investing in personalized messaging in 2015 [Source: VentureBeat]

But hey, it seems like you know this — we’ve seen a 40% increase in ‘A’ scores in Personalization in the past year when compared to the previous year in our annual research on their email lead follow-up practice [Source: Conversica’s 4Ps of Sales Effectiveness in Lead Follow-Up]. For the report, we secret-shopped 538 companies and rated them on the following factors:

  • Personalized greeting
  • Personal email account for the sender
  • Specific mention of the lead’s inquiry
  • Inclusion of specific contact information for the lead to continue the conversation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

How to Boost Your Email Engagement Rate with Personalization

Follow up with your lead with an individual name rather than a company name. This increases the click-through rate by 31% [Source: Inside Sales]

Include a signature at the bottom of your email. This increases the response rates by 22% [Source: Inside Sales]

Write the email as if you’ve already met the person at a trade show. Emails that resemble a personal letter were opened 137% more, and clicked through 129% more, than a graphics-heavy email with generic ‘To’ and ‘From’ fields. [Source: Inside Sales]

Be specific with why you’re contacting them. Did they download a white paper? Visit your booth at a trade show? Answered an interactive quiz on the website? Mention this in your message.

Allow the lead to feel like they can talk to a human at every step of the way. Allow your leads to have a human-to-human interaction, as earliest as possible in the communication. This speeds up the sales cycle because it gives leads the ability to connect and tell you their pain points and learn about your solutions in a way that is relevant to them. [Inside Sales]

With this knowledge, why wouldn’t every company practice Personalization in their efforts to engage with leads?

For many teams, it’s the lack of resources. In order to keep up with growing lead databases, companies resort to various tactics to make sure that they’re prioritizing the right leads. But what happens to the rest on their hard-earned inbound leads list? If they’re lucky, maybe they’ll land in an email nurturing program, but the unlucky ones will be forgotten. These leads will get little to no Personalization in their experience, which will push many prospects to look for solutions elsewhere. 

Traditionally, Personalizing experiences for every lead is costly; You have to leverage the right tech solution to ensure ROI of you Marketing Automation and on your Personalization strategy.  Why not use an automated AI sales assistant to help you with your Personalization efforts? It ensures that all the above criteria are checked off, and most importantly, it gives leads a feeling that they are talking with a human who is interested and engaged with their needs. With Personalization in place, you will speed up opportunity creation from your hard-earned leads — ensuring that both sales and marketing will hit their marks!