Consumers often complain that their favorite brands don’t understand them. To bridge the gap, digital marketers need to get better at personalization. So how can you learn more about your customers and show that you understand them?
By using progressive profiling and loyalty programs, you can personalize to individuals.
What is progressive profiling?
Progressive profiling means building up a profile of each individual customer over the length of your contact with them. The aim is to get to know your customer really well so you can serve individual needs better and market to them individually rather than creating homogeneous groups. To do so progressively is to build up your knowledge of them over time, as you would in personal relationships.
By gathering information slowly you spread the questions you want to ask your users over a longer time to reduce the risk of overwhelming them and causing ‘form fatigue’, a problem often brought to light with form analytics.
In conversion optimization we’re always wary of saying “this works, do it” but as a general rule shorter forms convert better.
Building up knowledge of your customers over time also allows you to adapt your offering as their relationship with your brand and products changes. These methods help you build better relationships with your prospects and paying customers. Loyalty programs with the same aim will be strengthened as a result.
How is it done?
Progressive profiling is done by staggering questions instead of asking everything at once in a long form. A customer who fills out questions in a form will be given different questions via a smart form that recognizes them the next time they visit the site. Marketing automation tools such as HubSpot and Act-On have smart form features that allow you to profile your website visitors.
Use what you learn to inform how you run your loyalty program. Antavo allows you to create forms, that customers can fill to collect points. By setting criteria to segment customers, you can create different forms that set questions based on what you already know, personalizing each customer’s experience.
By asking different questions as the company-customer relationship progresses, customers never have to enter the same information twice. They’re also never confronted with a long set of questions they’d rather abandon.
So how can progressive profiling improve your loyalty program?
Understand your customer’s needs and wants better
Xavier Colomes gave a presentation on personalization at Conversion World 2015. He said that while every year there are articles saying 1:1 marketing is the next big thing, so far it still hasn’t been fully realized. Why? Because we’ve been doing it wrong, jumping ahead to re-targeting without first getting to know customer or making them feel like collaborators.
“Optimisers are always late, catching up with what the user is already doing.” – Xavier Colomes.
More than just which products they buy, profiling can help you preempt which offers, products and deals may appeal to which customer in advance of them looking for it. This helps you promote the right products at the right time.
A loyalty program motivates customers to stick with you because it offers access to great deals. If you can build accurate customer profiles, you have the opportunity to deepen customer loyalty. This stronger loyalty will less likely be lost because of cheaper deals elsewhere. 69% of customers want to be recognized by brands so show them that you do.
Get ahead of your competitors by becoming more than just the cheaper option. Become convenient and familiar.
Make your customers fall in love with you
People want to feel understood, like they have your full attention. Imagine a friend or date who never seemed to remember anything you told them. You’d feel ignored, wouldn’t you? Not exactly the recipe for love.
Make sure your customers can easily see that you remember them and you remember what they like. Progressive profiling skips over any previously asked questions, clearly indicating that you recognize them.
Next, give your customers joyful moments that no other brand or service provider has been able to give them. Picking rewards that your customers will love is all the easier when you know them well.
Antavo’s gamification module ensures that customers leave feedback for others to see, spreading the love and bringing in more new prospects. Sign up for a VIP Demo to learn more about how we’ve helped companies improve their results with loyalty programs.
So remember, consumers want their brands to be more personal. Being personal requires you to know more about them and that means asking questions. Progressive profiling will help you avoid overwhelming your prospects with too many questions all at once and is a great way to show them that you do recognize them.
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Hazel is a copywriter and content manager at Nudgr, a website optimization tool powered by machine learning. In her free time she loves to cook. She also volunteers with a charity project called The Real Junk Food Project that tackles food waste.