When was the last time you received a “personalized” marketing email that read as if it had been copied and pasted to hundreds, if not thousands, of other people? I recently had an example of failed ecommerce personalization land in my inbox that literally said, “Hi [Contact First Name].” Yes, the company actually failed to populate their form fields correctly. Worse, they were emailing me to promote an email marketing guide– not exactly instilling confidence in their product!
Personalization mistakes happen, but in an eCommerce business, these mistakes are not just embarrassing; they can be costly. Likewise, personalization success can be a huge win. When prospects feel like you’re speaking directly to their needs, they feel valued and understood. It’s a tall order, trying to share unique messages to hundreds or thousands of prospects, but it’s not impossible. Effective personalization starts with listening.
Getting Personalization Right
Lucas Group places sales and marketing professionals at leading eCommerce companies. No matter the industry, delivering personalized messages is a critical part of the sales strategy for these companies– and we take a similar approach here at Lucas Group when it comes to placing talent.
A personalized approach is beneficial for job seekers when applying for opportunities. Rather than blasting your resume and cover letter to anyone who is hiring, take the time to get to know these prospects. Before trying to sell them on why to hire you, assess their problems.
How Candidates Can Effectively Personalize Their Job Applications
Just as personalization can have an incredibly strong impact if done correctly in eCommerce, it can be a huge differentiator to a company sifting through hundreds of applications.
A little investigative work can go a long way. Review the company’s website and social media channels and set up a Google news alert. Use what you learn about the company – in conjunction with the job description – to personalize your cover letter and resume. Has the company recently introduced a new product or service? Are they growing their presence in a new market or expanding to a new region? Are they bouncing back from a misstep or bolding moving forward with an innovative launch? Consider how your skills and experience could be beneficial to these business challenges.
There’s a fine line to walk here: until you’ve interviewed with the team, you don’t want to assume you know for certain what their business needs. The key is to position your background around the most likely needs and demonstrate that you’ve done your research. Then, during the interview, listen carefully to better understand these needs and how you can meet them.
Take the time to get to know your interviewers and note what they say during the conversation. Did they mention having a dog? You can ask the dog’s name or what breed it is. By expressing an interest in them as a person, you’re creating a memorable moment that can help you stand out.
If the interview is on-site, try and speak with other people in the office, too. A receptionist deals with every single person that walks into the building. Be thoughtful and professional, and if the receptionist is interested, strike up a conversation. It’s another opportunity to make a positive impression and learn more about the organization.
Personalization and psychology go hand-in-hand. Whether you’re pitching a product or applying for a job, by understanding pain points and challenges, you can do a better job of offering a tailored solution. And in an e-commerce setting, that’s an incredible differentiator.