Power of Personalization

Personalized print effort that showed clubs based on the college the student’s major was in.

Living in an Amazon world, people value customized and personalized experiences. They want to feel as though they matter and content is crafted just for them.

Getting to speak with Evolllution earlier this month about personalization got me thinking that it might be good to share a little bit about personalization and its importance in our work as marketing and communication professionals.

In my dissertation on how marketing can help mitigate the enrollment cliff, using data for things like personalization was a best practice. However, I’d held this belief for some time before. My data only further cemented my view that personalization matters.

Here are four reasons why personalizations is important for those in the marketing and communications field .

Reasons Personalization Matters



Personalization makes people feel valued and like they matter to your organization. It makes them feel like you know who they are and care enough about them to customize content.



Personalized content has much higher engagement because its relevant information to what the person is interested in. Therefore, people are more likely to interact with it and your brand.



Personalizing content builds loyalty by driving an emotional connection. In donor-centered content, this can help drive repeated gifts because people feel personally connected.



Thousands of messages are competing for our attention. Personalization is expected to say this message is worthwhile. People look for it to communicate value or importance.

Three Tips to Start Personalizing

  1. Find a partner – whether that’s a print process or a website process –find someone you trust to help you through it. They might help you think through good moments to personalize. They may also help you think through the logistics of it. Having that person you trust will be critical to get started with it and make sure that it’s working the right way. (If you need a suggestion, let me know – I have some great print and web folks to send you to).
  2. Build in time on the front end to test… test… test… either on web or in print – the setup takes time. I think planning for that helps make sure you catch mistakes, and it helps make sure you have time to work out issues. It’s also important that you personally review the data pulls to make sure it’s working how you imagined. Building in a few weeks into a timeline for testing, in my mind, is some of the best time well spent. 
  3. Finally, I would say the third tip is ask why not? I think that some of the best personalization moments for me came when I said …. Could we… or what if we… and we weren’t afraid to limit ourselves. That brainstorming and ability to think outside the box – really set helped me be successful because we were not just sticking to the basics of personalization.

{Sarah}, You Can Do It

Personalization can be scary, but the best way to get started is to start small. Once you’ve tried it and had a few successes, you’ll find you start thinking of multiple other ways that you can personalize your content.

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