By Margie Zable Fisher

Gone are the days when personalized communications surprised customers. Today, they’re expected.

According to McKinsey & Company’s Next in Personalization 2021 Report, 72% of consumers expect any company they do business with to “recognize them as individuals and know their interests.”

The people surveyed said they want to be more than just a sale – they want companies to treat them as a long-term relationship and send information that’s unique just to them. That could look like:

  • Specific product/service recommendations
  • Milestone celebrations
  • Personally addressed communications

Ultimately, getting personal with consumers is good for business. According to the McKinsey report, companies that excel at personalized communications generated 40% more revenue from their efforts than those who only dabbled in it.

Personalized Communications Made Easy

You might think tailoring customer communications requires a lot of manual effort. But a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Thryv can help you quickly and easily personalize and automate client communications.

Your first step is to load all the personal client information you have into your CRM. That should include:

  • Contact information. First and last names, email addresses, telephone numbers (including mobile for texting), street address, city, state and zip code.
  • Custom fields. Information such as birthdays and anniversaries, the names of children or pets.
  • Tags. Information that can help you group customers into different segments, such as those who use a specific discount, participate in activities with others who share their passion (such as triathletes), or have special interests (like gardening).
  • Notes. Deeper details about your clients, such as whether they prefer morning or afternoon appointments, if they want contractors to wear masks when working in their homes, and more.

A CRM also tracks your customer’s history with your business. Beyond appointments, these records can include any actions your customers take after you send them communications, such as opening emails, clicking on links, or redeeming offers. All this information can help you deliver a personal touch.

Create Personal Experiences

Personalized communication can take many forms. These are just a few examples.

Use First Names

Instead of a generic “Hi there” or marketing message in your email opening, consider using your client’s first name.

Not only will your clients feel you’re speaking to them personally, but according to Influencer Marketing Hub, using the recipient’s first name in the email subject line can increase open rates by 26%. Most CRMs, including Thryv, have this personalization functionality built in.

A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.

— Dale Carnegie

Send Milestone Messages

We all want to feel special. Remembering your clients’ birthdays and anniversaries is one way to make that happen.

Birthday messages help your client feel warm and fuzzy, and are good for your bottom line. According to Experian’s Birthday Emails Best Practices Guide, birthday emails provide much higher transaction rates (481%) and revenue (342%) than other email messages.

Even better? You can set up automatic milestone messages within your CRM for all client birthdays or milestones. Thryv offers pre-made templates as well as options to create or customize your own messages.

Other ways to maximize the effectiveness of your milestone campaigns:

  • Give them some time. Send birthday messages with special offers at the beginning of a client’s birthday month so they have time to use it.
  • Provide something for free. Like it or not, we expect gifts for our birthday. Offer a promotional item customers can pick up on their next visit, or bring something during a home appointment.
  • Make it a mystery. Mystery offers bring in the highest revenue per email (502.4%) of any emailed special offer. Get creative with special deals, such as $50 off the next appointment, a free item or service, or 25% off certain purchases during a birthday month.

Personalize With Tags

Tags help you communicate with a group of customers who share specific qualities. Here are some ideas:

  • Tag 1 Example: Seasonal specials. Customers who took advantage of seasonal specials before may be interested in doing so again. For example:

Hi [First Name], we hope you’re having a relaxing July. If not, you may be interested in our summer special of three massages for the price of two …

  • Tag 2 Example: Service-specific specials. Customers who love a certain service, such as a massage, may be interested in a new or different type you offer. Tying it to the time of year, or in response to current events, can show you understand how your clients feel.

Hi [First Name], we all know the holidays can be stressful. We thought you might want to take a break and get a hot stone massage. This month we’re offering a $25 discount to help you get through the season …

  • Tag 3 Example: Activity-based specials. Clients who’ve indicated preferences for certain types of activities may respond to offers tied — or timed — to those activities.

Hi [First Name]! It’s time for the Chicago Marathon! Join the action by coming in for our Marathon special — a free water bottle with every pair of running shoes sold …

Write Personal Notes

Every client is different. Use a CRM’s “notes” field to store important information unique to them that you can use later to help customers feel valued. Here’s an example:

Hi Judy, we hope you’re happy and healthy. Speaking of … it’s time for your annual appointment. Because you prefer afternoon appointments, would you like to come in on June 8 at 3 p.m., or June 9 at 2 p.m.? If so, click here to book it now. Otherwise, feel free to find a time that suits you better here. Or call us at 123-456-7890.

It’s a simple equation. Deeper client relationships = increased revenues. Yes, maximizing your CRM’s personalized communication features may require a time investment, but you’ll find the even bigger returns worth it.