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The latest business-to-business marketing advice for software companies

Why Personalization Should be a Priority In B2B Marketing

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What makes a customer stay on your site? Why would a potential customer open an email from a company they don’t know? What makes someone click your free trial button? I’ve got the answer for you and it’s a pretty simple one: personalization.

No one wants to put their personal information on a website without having some sort of connection to the product or company. Personalization will not only help you acquire more customers, but also help you build a relationship through interactions with potential, current, or browsing customers.

What is Personalization in B2B Marketing?

Personalization is the process of tailoring content to individual users’ characteristics or preferences. It is key to driving sales, as well as learning more about your target markets and growing customer base. It’s a process that can be used by a wide variety of businesses, from small to large and, if used correctly, can set the ground work for a sale acquisition and repeat customers.

There is no better way to see what will work best then to test your ideas for personalization. Test, test, test, and use data driven content from your results! See what people are drawn toward and apply that in the future. Your customers are using your site and leaving notes, clicks, and navigation. Use that to your advantage to not only target your customers and drive personalization, but learn more about their habits and how to make a better customer experience.

If a potential customer was looking at a specific software, added it to their cart, but never completed the purchase, send them an email reminding them of that software. Or, next time they visit the site, populate the page with details for that specific product to reel them back in and take a second look. These options are key to making contact with a customer and why I am focusing not only on direct communication, but other avenues that you can start personalized conversations with potential clients. 

Email Personalization

“Personalizing that first outreach can make the difference between a sale and a dead end.” If you aren’t able to grab your customer’s interest right away, chances are, you might not get another chance. Email is a easy way to get in contact with your customers and personalize content. 

Email personalization can be done by using contact name, account history data, previous search history, or even a birthday or company anniversary note from your CRM. Email wording is also very important when communicating with your customers. You want to remind them of your conversation or website visit and extend the information to keep them intrigued.

For my visual learners, here’s an easy-to-read break down diagram of the importance of personalization.

Persona-Informed (personalized) Content –> Higher Engagement
Higher Customer Engagement –> Better Lead Quality
Better Lead Quality –> Higher Conversion Rates & Higher Quality Leads

A key point to this flow is that personalization not only drives more leads in general, but leads that are higher in quality. As marketers, we are always pushing ourselves to generate the best leads possible and this is a great way to make sure that you are not only getting a solid quantity of leads, but they are leads your sales team actually wants.

Website Personalization

One of the more challenging ways to start personalization is through your website. You’re not always going to be able to personalize every customer, if you don’t have the necessary information or they are first-time visitors, but with simple additions, you can create a custom website experience for almost every visitor.

70% of buyers have indicated that the vendor’s website was the most influential channel in making their purchase decision. Taking this stat and applying it to personalization means that if you can make that website experience customized to the user’s stage of the buying cycle, you can rely on your website to drive user sales decisions.

A great way to start is by breaking your customer base into categories to help drive your B2B marketing personalization. The examples below are segmented by industry, size, revenue, and location. Optimizely chose this example because it’s broad and can cover a large number of customers. After choosing your segments, you can determine the needs/interest of each segment at every phase of the buying cycle, create appropriate content for each segment, and even up-sell current free trial customers.

Applying personalization to your website will help you better organize that content and direct your prospects to the information they actually want to see.

Lead Nurture Program Personalization

First name and company name are a given, but if you are sitting on the information they’re looking for and will dictate their final purchase decision, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be getting it in front of your prospects right away! Email lead nurturing is a fantastic way to accomplish this, so make sure you are getting the most out of this integral marketing automation feature.

You don’t want to overwhelm your prospects, but having a nurture process is important to maintain the relationship you are trying to build with this potential customer. Just because they don’t click on all your links or buy your product the first time they visit your site doesn’t mean they won’t be seriously interested in the future. Don’t ever let them forget about your software product!

When setting up your nurture programs, make sure you are using helpful content and data enriched emails. Personalization of these emails is just as important, or your customers might not even give your email the time of day. Like I said earlier, if a customer is researching a specific product and leaves the site, send them an email with more details about the product and how exactly your software can solve their company’s challenges. With personalization in your lead nurture strategy, you’ll find it’s a simple and effective way to keep potential customers continuously engaged with your software, until they’re ready to buy.

Takeaways

There are many ways to add personalization to your marketing strategies, and adding these customized fields to your website, emails, and nurture tracks will only benefit your sales cycle and help you learn more about your prospects. Just remember to use data, test your ideas, and listen to your customers to get insight on what’s working and what can use improvement.

How have you utilized personalization in B2B marketing for your software? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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About the Author

Lauren Welschenbach

Lauren is a Vendor Marketing Associate at Capterra and a graduate of Christopher Newport University! In her spare time, she loves playing with her puppy and planning her next travel destinations.

Comments

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Great article which we can back up your findings. The personalised email is so important after getting the enquiry. Everyone likes to feel confident that the person they are in contact with will go that extra mile for them

Great article! I think there has been a tendency to think that personalization isn’t as important for B2B in the past, because B2B customers are thought to be more direct, goal oriented, and less convenience-motivated. However, it looks like the community is coming around to realizing that B2B customers are people too! And the majority of people ultimately prefer a personalized online experience. Personalization is especially important in B2B when you are pursuing an Account Based Marketing strategy, something that we help a lot of our clients out with here at Personyze.

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