Continuing off of our basic guide to email personalization last week, we’ve compiled some additional personalization techniques that require a bit more effort to implement but will put you in a much better position with your target audience. The more familiar your messaging is with your target audience’s predilections, the more they are apt to engage, so utilizing these advanced techniques is crucial to standing out in today’s crowded digital environment.

Building Personas

The key to making your content resonate with your target audience is compiling a robust understanding of the kinds of things they want to see. Of course, this is easier said than done since even when you compile loads of data from campaigns of varying success, your audience as a whole could seem conflicted on what types of content they choose to engage with.

If this is the case, you may be generalizing who your target is and what they want to see. To avoid the issue of murky data with few apparent trends, you need to drill down into who your audience really is by putting yourself in their shoes. This is where buyer personas come in.PersonasBuyer personas help you to better understand who you’re marketing to by imagining the ideal customer and creating a list of attributes about them that could be relevant to your marketing strategy. Details such as their job titles, demographics, motivations, and pain points all help build a clearer picture of who’s on the other side of your inbox so you can empathize and strategize around what makes them tick.

The more details you can place around this imaginary person, the easier it will be to imagine what they would want to see from your content. Here are some attributes you may want to assign to your client or prospect persona:

  • Demographic
    • Age
    • Salary
    • Family Life
    • Education
    • Work Experience
  • Values
    • What they pride themselves on
    • Life Goals
    • Current Priorities
  • Where They Get Their Info
    • Blogs
    • Newsletters
    • News Sites
    • Social Media
  • Problems that you can solve
  • Job Title & Level of Seniority
  • Their Ideal Customer Experience
  • Their Day-to-Day Experience=
  • Possible problems they have with your services
  • Areas of Interest

This is a lot of info to accurately pin on a group of people, so this data should be based on information gathered from your sales team, customer service interactions, or any surveys or communications with the clients themselves. Without this info being firmly rooted in reputable experience, the personas are entirely useless.

If done correctly, however, these personas can act as the catalyst to success through personalization that your marketing strategy has always needed. According to research done by Cintell in 2016, “Companies who exceed lead and revenue goals are over twice as likely to create personas than companies who miss these goals.” According to the same study, it is also vitally important to continue to update these personas and not rest on the success of your old personas. Firms that exceeded lead and revenue goals were 7.4 times as likely to have updated their personas in the last six months than those who missed their targets.

Connecting with your clients and prospects through multiple buyer personas will give you more insight into what they want to see from your marketing so you can segment and personalize your messaging to the separate groups. This will take that murky bit of data you once had and give it new clarity, allowing you to more accurately sharpen your approach over time.

Behavior Triggers

You can perform as many surveys and talk to as many customer service reps as you want, but at the end of the day the truth still lies in the old adage “Actions speak louder than words”. As trite and simple as that is, people are often guilty of saying one thing and doing another so monitoring their behavior and how they interact with you digitally is the most honest way to decipher their true inclinations.

The ability to see the interaction your targets have with your content on an individual level lets you accurately gauge what they truly liked, disliked, or completely ignored. You can view info such as:

  • Time spent looking at the contentbehavior
  • Pages viewed
  • Location
  • Device
  • Bounce Rate

All of this behavioral data will take your personalization to the next level, specifically when utilized through two powerfully interconnected marketing tools, the first of which being buyer personas. There is no better data to use to form your buyer personas than your target’s actual interactions with your content.

The second is through behavioral triggers set up along your marketing automation workflow. Marketing automation has a few different variables that lead your target through the workflow, but inarguably the most powerful triggers are behavioral triggers since they can take past actions into account.

These types of triggers help to smooth out certain parts of your sales funnel by ensuring that your lead is being sent the right type of messaging at the right time. Say you send out an email campaign promoting a specific fund and one of your leads clicks through to your events page. If your behavior triggers are set up properly, your lead will immediately be sent an event-based email, taking them further down (or at least keeping them in) the sales funnel.

Content Distribution Systems (CDS)

The ultimate form of email personalization would be if you had the time and patience to write out a personalized email to every person on your email lists. But, until recently, this wasn’t even a feat you could pull off with a sweatshop full of employees writing emails since it requires intimate knowledge of each individual’s content preferences.

cdsThanks to dynamic content distribution systems, which keep track of the content preferences of everyone on your email lists and automatically populates personalized emails with the types of content they engage with, you can reach a level of personalized marketing that is unmatched by any other technique.

CDS also allows your targets to actually pick the kinds of content they would like to receive from you, completely removing any guesswork from your digital marketing. It doesn’t get much more personal than that.


To learn more about StoneShot’s CDS solution, contact us at engage@StoneShot.com or +1 (347) 352 8186!

To start with the basics of personalization, check out our article “Email Personalization: The Basics”!