Here's something we all have in common and we all know a lot about: being human. Despite knowing so much about it, when it comes to marketing, we sometimes can lose sight of the human element. We talk of marketing to businesses and consumers, leads and customers. But really, when it comes down to it, we're all marketing to people, and people like to be spoken to as such. Here are five ways that you can humanize your marketing:
1. Segment. You can't address people more as individuals until you understand who they are. Use list segmentation to your advantage here. Think about the characteristics of the people you want to contact and how you might want to tailor your messaging based on those characteristics to address the unique problems and challenges these individuals face. Are there both males and females on the list? Where do they live? What is their job title? What industry do they work in? When it comes to segmenting your marketing lists, you are really only limited by the data you have in Dynamics 365/CRM.
2. Personalize. Research shows that personalization improves opens, click-through rates and conversions. It's a great way to show your audiences that you know who they are and you want to treat them as more than just another name in your database. As with segmentation, your possibilities for personalization are only limited by the data you have available in CRM. Need ideas for what to personalize in an email? See this blog post.
3. Be helpful. Think about your email inbox, personal or professional, for a moment. It's packed with unread messages and you only have a short time to get through them before moving on to your next task. How do you decide what to open and what to delete? While messages from your boss or your sister are likely a given for being opened, the decision for others relies heavily on how helpful they are to the recipient. Whether it's saving money on tickets to their favorite team's next big game or being educated about a trend impacting their industry, what problem does a message solve? For all your company's messaging and the content you create, shift your thinking away from your company and more to your audience. How can you address their needs rather than showcasing your product or service's features?
4. Simplify your messaging. Every industry has its own jargon, and often, people working in that industry just love to use it. But that doesn't mean that your customers and prospects love it too. Work to eliminate unnecessary jargon from all your communications, and make the rest of your messaging more approachable too. Even if your brand's style leans more towards professional than casual, you can still make your messaging more conversational. Also, re-read everything you write with an editor's eye, and ask yourself what can be cut to make your message more concise and clear. While removing a few words from a sentence or paragraph might seem small, it can have a big impact on readability and connecting with your audience.
5. Engage in conversations. As much as we like being spoken to like people, we also like knowing that people – not brands – are the ones speaking to us. And perhaps more importantly, that the people behind those brands are actively engaging in conversation rather than the communication being a one-way street. Fortunately, social media makes this easier than ever. Take the time to find out what people are saying about your company or talking about within your industry on social media, and join in the conversation. This two-way communication, no matter how simple, speaks volumes about your company's willingness to engage with prospects, customers and other audiences as people.