I found TetherTug months ago on Instagram. I’ve finally decided to buy one for Jade (she who likes to pull my arm out of its socket).
I pull up the website. Being the marketing geek I am, I got so excited when I saw this:
My mind immediately goes to, “Oooh, list segmentation! Quiz funnel! Facebook retargeting!”
So I type “Australian shepherd” into the field. (Jade’s actually an Australian shepherd/great Pyrenees cross, but I figure Aussies have the bigger reputation as active dogs.)
The first thing you see is a big, blank nothing. It’s a placeholder image. Here’s a huuuuge chance for personalization, unutilized.
Scrolling down, the nothingness continues. There’s even placeholder text that someone forgot to delete from the page.
Scroll a couple of inches more…finally, a list of personalized options for Australian shepherd-appropriate products.
There’s so much TetherTug could do here to capitalize on this splendid idea.
First of all, add some content to the page. Show website visitors you understand what they’re looking for in breed-specific products. For example:
“We know how ball-obsessive those Aussies are. Replace the standard tug on your TetherTug with the Ball Toy Plus and save your arm from hours of throwing.”
Instead of just a list of potential products, make the experience more guided. Have visitors choose the appropriate size, then help them select accessories. This becomes the perfect opportunity for an upsell.
Take It a Step Further
As I said above, when I initially ended up on this website and saw the question, I thought it was the first step for some type of list-building exercise. A quiz funnel, most likely.
TetherTug could ask a few simple questions, including email address. Once they have the email address, the website visitor gets a guide on entertaining the active dog. These guides are tailored to individual breeds (more on that in a moment) and include product recommendations.
The guide (if the visitor doesn’t buy) is followed up by an email autoresponder sequence, Facebook retargeting, or even a phone call (if you collected a phone number as well as email address).
Amy, That Sounds Like a Lot of Work
Well, yeah. Marketing is a lot of work.
Thankfully, though, you don’t need to create a guide for every single dog breed. You write one core guide and individualize it for your most popular breeds with images and by adjusting language as needed. And, of course, changing the product recommendations as appropriate. For example, there’s not much of a difference between a German shepherd and Belgian Malinois in this circumstance, except maybe size.
How You Can Use this for Your Own Business
Okay, this sounds great. Except you’re not an e-commerce store, nor a manufacturer.
Example 1: Brick-and-Mortar Retail Store
Let’s say you’re a retailer whose best customers are people who buy or adopt a puppy and are looking for one place where they can get everything they need throughout that puppy’s life.
You put together a guide: Everything You Need for the New Puppy in Your Life. It follows the same format I outlined above: they answer a few questions, receive a guide tailored to the type of puppy they’re getting, and then get some type of follow-up.
You put the guide on your website. You share it on your Facebook page and your store’s Instagram account. You even run some Facebook ads that direct people who have never heard of you before to download the guide.
The guide includes a checklist of all the items a new puppy needs: puppy food, pee pads, bowls. It also tells people why you recommend these options (“We choose to offer BRAND Puppy Food in our store because they have X” or “Choose a plain collar for your puppy’s first because your puppy will outgrow his collar X times before he’s ready for an adult collar”).
But there’s one more thing the guide includes that’ll get people into your store: a coupon. This coupon is up to you (and you may want to test different versions). Maybe you offer 10% off all puppy items when they print the coupon and bring it to your store. Or maybe you put together packages that give them a slight discount over buying each item individually.
Try other incentives, too. Set up a separate email address for these new puppy customers. Give people the option to send an email that sets up an appointment for them to work one-on-one with one of your sales associates to pick out all of their items. Or, if you offer delivery services, they can select one of the puppy packages mentioned in your guide, pay for it over the phone, and you can get it delivered to them the next day (or however your delivery service operates).
Example 2: Pet Tech
Now for something completely different.
You run a software company for pet business owners. Specifically, you’ve created a software and app dog walkers can use to log time spent working with clients’ dogs.
Your software includes three plans. The goal is to guide dog walking companies to choosing the best plan for their needs.
They answer several questions. (“Are you your only employee or do you have a team of walkers?” “How many clients do you have?”)
Your website sends them straight to a sales page for the matching plan. At the end of the page, they provide their email address and/or phone number so a member of your team can contact them. (Bonus points if you set up a chat on the page so they can contact your team immediately.)
If they don’t respond to your contact, you can continue with personalized emails or phone calls from your sales team. Or you can place them on a list for an email autoresponder sequence written specifically for the plan they’re interested in.
This is How Personalization is Supposed to Work
Personalization isn’t about putting a %firstname% tag in your email. (I mean, it is, but…)
Personalization can be a far more useful tactic. Use it to create a tailored customer experience that ends with your customer wanting to work with you because you’re the one who “gets” them.