Shutterfly Product VP on The Power of Personalization
Why Scalable Personalization Matters
According to Infosys, 59% of shoppers who have experienced personalization believe it has a noticeable influence in purchasing behavior. According to McKinsey, personalization reduces acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent. In addition, personalization lifts revenues by 5-15 percent and increases the efficiency of marketing spend by 10-30 percent. Simply put, those numbers make me take notice.
First, you don’t want to waste anyone’s time – which is why personalized messages are so effective. In addition, you can help your customers decide by curating buckets of relevancy for them. This frees them from the paradox of choice which says that too many choices limit freedom and cause stress.
Also, better and deeper relationships build trust with customers. One of my bosses once told me, “If customer acquisition is less than lifetime customer value, then it’s always worth the spend.”
Personalize to what they want, when they want it and how they want it. This gets them to come back and repeat business with you. Remember, everyone wants to be unique and feel special. That’s what personalization is all about.
Getting Started – Basic Concepts
At first, you have to define the who/what/where/when/why/how for your strategy:
- WHO are you targeting? Use segments (lists, groups, views, audiences) to define who the experience is for.
- WHAT are you saying? Create templates (dynamic content, merge tabs, variables) to define what is messaged.
- WHEN and WHERE are you saying it? Leverage workflows (sequences, cadences, chatbots) to define when and where the experience happens.
- WHY are you saying it? How are you communicating to the customer differently? Why should they listen?
- HOW will you integrate tools and data to measure results? Operationalize the data to build in a feedback loop with the customer. Then iterate a little bit at a time until you nail it down.
How We Do It
At Shutterfly, we have access to a very broad set of photos and data points on visitors. This is the raw material of personalization. From there we:
- Pre-make suggestions based on algorithms. We know your favorite color and topics already, so we suggest these.
- Personalize communication and triggers. We use push notifications, re-discovery emails, and send products made for you.
- Build products that drive growth and virality.
- Build a feedback loop to constantly refine outputs based on implicit and explicit user behavior.