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What’s Missing After Personalization?

Ashley Wucher
May 3, 2024

We all want our member’s experience to feel as personal as possible, and one way to create that experience is through personalization of our communications.

Personalization is the process of tailoring our communications based on what we know about each individual who receives them. This process can range in complexity from a simple addition of a few words, to modifying every component of an email in an attempt to be more relevant to the person on the receiving end.

Most organizations send some form of broadcast email on a regular basis, and it serves an important role in communicating, at a high level, what is going on and what opportunities are available for engagement. And within those emails, you have three main types, or levels, of personalization available to you as a marketer.

Basic Personalization

  • Most basic form: name personalization
  • Demonstrates some knowledge of individual
  • Other content not personalized

Segmented Personalization

  • Name personalization
  • List segmentation
  • Knowledge of member type
  • Suggested content based on persona characteristics

Content Personalization

  • Advanced personalization
  • Suggested content in subsequent communications based on clicks

If you have a choice between sending personalized and non-personalized broadcasts, personalization is always better. But, there is still something missing: at the end of the day, you are still sending mass communication and shuffling things around to get at your best guess as to what each member wants to see at this particular moment in time. That is a good approach for mass communication, but it is still not how you would help someone personally.

If all your organization ever does is send out broadcasts and track what members read and click on, you are defining the entire range of possibilities for what they can do with your organization. Someone may be dutifully clicking on the links that you send them, but what if they are also interested in an entirely different topic area that you never even gave them the chance to explore simply because they don’t match the persona of the person who is generally interested?

Let’s go back to our definition of personalization: it’s the ability to tailor our communications based on what we know about people.

But you have a blind spot; you don’t know what you don’t know.

You can read this excerpt as well as other Association Marketing practices that focus on two-way, individualized digital communications in the Conversational Engagement eBook. Download it here.

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