This holiday season, it is imperative not to get lost in the shuffle with the massive amount of emails flooding your subscribers’ inboxes. To take your efforts to the next level, retailers should focus on tailoring experiences for each subscriber. You’ll want to use best practices and next practices to break through the clutter, and a great way to do this is by using your customer data.

This isn’t as complicated and time-consuming as you might think. Using tactics, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics, you can automate data-driven campaigns while building personalized messages that increase the likelihood of a sale.

Let’s start by defining some of these terms:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Any device that perceives its environment, takes actions to reason through data and carries out tasks on its own to succeed at some goal.
  • Machine Learning: The ability for a computer program to learn from past experiences without being explicitly programmed.
  • Predictive Analytics: Advanced analytics which are used to make predictions about unknown future events. It uses many techniques from data mining, statistics, modeling, machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze current data to make predictions about the future.
  • Predictive Content: Powered by machine learning and predictive analytics, timely and relevant content recommendations are automatically delivered to your target audience, boosting engagement and aiding in the purchase decision.

This data-driven approach eliminates the time-consuming and manual process previously needed to mine data for customer insights and determines what consumers are likely to buy next. By looking at historical data and anticipating consumers' intent, you can significantly improve the likelihood of converting visitors into purchasers while individualizing every interaction and focusing on the big picture.

Here are 5 data-driven campaign ideas to test this holiday season that will take your personalization to an entirely new level.

The first data-driven step towards a personal experience is segmentation. Segmentation targets a like-minded group of customers and tailors messages to their specific interests. By using your customer data, you can easily find these groups and segment your list accordingly. From there, you can determine who your customers are and what they want to see to understand what makes them tick.

In addition to standard demographics, consider analyzing your customers’ behavioral patterns and psychographics. This gives you the power to use browse behavior, purchase history and preferences.

Lookalike Lead Ads
Now that you’ve discovered your best and most loyal customers, you can let the data do the work with the second data-driven tactic. By uploading your segmented lists to Facebook, you will be able to find potential customers with similar interests to your existing subscribers. This approach allows you to expand your reach to new, prospective customers while presenting personal, relevant ads that are likely to spark their interest. It is an easy way to optimize the value of your email subscriber list while saving time and resources with automation.

Product Recommendations
The third data-driven tactic to try this holiday season would be personalized product recommendations based on each consumer’s behavioral data. Because product recommendations are determined through predictive analytics, each message is targeted to specific customers, helping them find the prefect present and creating a truly customized experience. This is a beneficial tactic that can be used in every email you send, not just your triggered messages.

In fact, your broadcast messages can have that same level of personalization without you having to do any of the work. By simply creating a template, you can send daily, weekly or monthly messages that are automatically populated with product recommendations based on purchase and browse behavior.

Programmatic Display Advertising
The fourth tactic, programmatic display advertising, allows you to expand your marketing reach to consumers after they leave your site—regardless of acquiring their email addresses. With the use of consumer browse and purchase data, you can automate dynamic display ads that are personalized to customers’ online behavior. This delivers efficient and relevant ads, while saving time and effort by automating the process.

Additionally, programmatic advertising is a great way to retarget consumers who visited your site, added something to their carts (but didn’t check out), or demonstrated some other interest. Through this, each visitor will see products related to their specific interactions instead of a generic one-size-fits-all ad. Reminding customers of their browse or purchase history with display advertising can help to reach potential customers at the peak of their holiday shopping and deliver tailored messaging at the right time to help re-engage consumers.

Predictive Content
Similar to product recommendations, our final tactic to test out this holiday season is predictive content. While product recommendations suggest different products based on their past purchases and behaviors, predictive content sends relevant content designed to engage and inform consumers to build long term relationships. It takes all your content like videos, tutorials, blog posts, articles, recipes and guides and delivers them – automatically – to the right consumer at the right time to aid in the purchase decision.

Moreover, today’s consumers – especially millennials - are looking to build relationships with brands. It’s no longer just about the lowest price, it’s about providing value and building trust. While using an incentive such as a discount can drive significant revenue, offering customized content suited to an individual’s interests drives engagement and revenue just as well – or better. Personalized content on its own makes the message relevant and delivers visible value. This type of content makes you a subject matter expert and helps you stand apart from your competition, especially from big companies such as Amazon or Walmart.

From emails with predictive content and product recommendations to personalized programmatic display ads, to triggered messages based on segmentation, your ads emails and all other messages can be individualized and tailored to specific customers like never before with the use of your customer data.

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