Dealing with prospects in the right fashion is a big deal. Get it wrong, even once, and they may not hang around to see what else you have to say but, you have to balance this with costs, how do you interact with every lead as though it were unique? Well, if you’re in a high-volume business, you can’t.
This has meant many businesses turning to either outsourcing to low cost nations to deal with prospects or to automation online.
Both options have proven to be fraught with peril. Nobody has a good thing to say about interactions with people who either don’t speak the same language or speak it with an accent so thick that the prospect can’t understand a word they say.
At the same time, automation online has churned out the same old generic template over and over again. It feels stale, it feels impersonal and it doesn’t feel like you value the prospect’s business.
The good news is that this is about to change. Automation has come of age. Not only is it far more flexible than it once was but burgeoning artificial intelligence services can help you pick up your game on completely hands-free basis.
The Old State Of Automation
Automation isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for almost all of the time that the internet has been around. People sign up for your e-mail newsletter and then once a month (or once a week) you pump out a newsletter to them.
One newsletter reaches 10,000 or 100,000 or millions of people in an instant. Once they’re on your newsletter list, you send them a series of automate sales cycle mails trying to convert interest into sales.
The issue hasn’t been one of the inability to send out automated messages, the struggle has been to personalize these messages in any meaningful way.
The Way Forward Is Personal
Now, you can begin to develop information about your prospects that starts to identify them from each other. Which channel did they come in from? What parts of your site have they interacted with? What other channels do they use?
Where do they live? Where do they work? How old are they? In fact, the only limits to the amount of information you can learn about your prospects are the amount of data they are willing to provide and any legal and ethical constraints associated with them.
The sky’s the limit and thus, you can then segment the data that your prospects provide you with in order to tailor the message to those prospects. You may not be able to send every prospect an individual e-mail when you’re dealing with thousands of prospects, but you can make it feel like you are.
Segmenting by age, for example, can allow you to assess the kinds of language used in correspondence. Those who grew up with the Internet, of course, tend to prefer more informal communication styles and are unlikely to blink at emojis appearing in the text.
Those, on the other hand, of a more senior nature may prefer more formality and a more traditional business language.
When you can create segments, you can easily meet the expectations of both groups. This is a fairly simplified example of the power of segmentation.
Segmenting by location, to take another example, could enable you to tie your promotions into local events or groups.
Most importantly of all. You don’t have to do this by e-mail only any more.
Social Media Interaction
The biggest development of the last few years is the ability to interact in social media channels and, in particular, Facebook.
If you want to create custom personalized interactions, then the interactions need to take place where your prospects are most comfortable.
This is now fairly easy even with Facebook Messenger. No more do your audience have to come to you – you can reach them everywhere and interact with them in the way they want you to, every time.
Return On Investment
It is important to note that as we wrap this up, personalization equals return on investment. The better you communicate with prospects, the more prospects become clients. You can watch this kind of automation pay for itself almost in real time.