During my career in online advertising, performance marketing, email marketing, and lead generation, I have witnessed the industry’s evolution firsthand. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate is the key strength of direct marketing: the ability to deliver a personalized marketing message to the audience directly.
Recently, I read a Forbes article where they noted that exact point, and it got me thinking about the future of our industry. A successful marketing strategy relies heavily on reaching and communicating effectively with the target audience. The best way to achieve this is by personalizing the marketing message based on customers’ preferences, thus leading to better customer engagement and a more successful campaign.
Today, I’d like to share my thoughts on why, through the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we are entering an age of unprecedented levels of personalization in direct marketing, particularly in email marketing. And while the article above discusses the resurrection of direct mail at length, email marketing is more poised to benefit from the era of AI than its postage-stamped counterpart
The Evolution of Personalization
Direct marketing has come a long way since its early days. Back in the day, personalization in direct marketing meant simply addressing your recipient by their first name. Today, personalization has become much more sophisticated, thanks to AI and data analysis advancements.
At Madrivo, we have developed a proprietary AI-assisted database to understand customer behaviors and preferences better. By partnering with publishers and combining their data sets, we can ensure maximum personalization with minimal invasiveness. This approach enables us to tailor marketing messages to significantly improve engagement and conversion rates.
But looking at demographic information is only part of the personalization equation. We examine the consumer journey online and via email, predicting what they will most likely buy. Our approach goes beyond age, geolocation, gender, and household income. For example, if someone applied for a cash-out refinance for their house, they might be interested in home renovation and other home services. Using this information, we target those consumers for our brand partners in the solar space and windows, roofing, HVAC, and other remodeling offers. This comprehensive understanding of the customer allows us to deliver highly relevant and targeted marketing messages that drive better results.
AI: The Game Changer
The rapid advancement of AI has opened up exciting new possibilities for personalized marketing. With machine learning capabilities, we now have the ability to create unparalleled levels of targeted and individualized marketing for customers.
By leveraging vital customer data points, AI creates unique and intelligent customer profiles, pairing each customer with personalized marketing messages and campaigns that are far more relevant and engaging. The result is a significant increase in conversions and, thus, revenue for companies that leverage AI and machine learning in marketing.
The Power of Relevance and Personalization in Direct Marketing (and Why Email Does It Better)
Successful marketing campaigns require meticulous attention to detail in imagery and messaging. The Forbes article highlights the importance of relevance and personalization in direct mail, but while physical mail can achieve a degree of personalization and targeting, email marketing provides similar or even better opportunities for personalization without some of the drawbacks associated with direct mail campaigns. Here’s where I think email marketing offers advantages over direct mail:
Environmental Impact: Unlike direct mail, email marketing does not contribute to paper waste and has a much lower environmental impact. As consumers become increasingly environmentally conscious, the sustainability of email marketing can be an essential consideration for many brands.
Subscription Preferences: Email marketing makes it much easier for customers to manage their subscription preferences, such as unsubscribing or updating their information. This flexibility increases customers’ likelihood of engaging with your marketing messages rather than feeling overwhelmed or annoyed.
Mobility: Direct mail is tied to a physical address, whereas email marketing travels with customers on their devices. This mobility allows email marketing to respond more to customers’ needs and preferences, ensuring that your message reaches them at the right time and place.
Actionable Insights for Marketing Leaders, Brand Advertisers, and Affiliate Marketing Publishers
Based on my experience, I’d like to share some things my fellow marketing professionals should be doing right away (if they aren’t already):
Invest in AI and data analysis: The power of AI and data analysis in creating highly personalized marketing messages cannot be overstated. Invest in cutting-edge technology and tools that enable your marketing team to analyze customer data and behavior. Use those insights to create tailored content.
Foster strategic partnerships: Partner with publishers and other industry players to combine data sets and gain deeper insights into customer behaviors and preferences. This will enable you to create marketing messages that are more targeted and effective.
Test, measure, and optimize: Continuously test your personalized marketing messages and measure their effectiveness. Use the data gathered from these tests to optimize your campaigns and achieve better results.
The future of direct marketing is here, and AI is at the center of it. As we enter this age of unprecedented personalization, marketing leaders, brand advertisers, and affiliate marketing publishers must embrace the potential of AI and data-driven personalization to create engaging and effective direct marketing campaigns. By staying ahead of the curve and leveraging this technological revolution, we can redefine how we connect with our customers and drive better business results.