This post was contributed by Casey Hill at Bonjoro.

Marketers who invest in advanced personalization efforts can see a return of more than $20 for every dollar they invest.

There is a growing consensus around the power of customizing and personalizing content for consumers. It just makes sense: If you give customers something more relevant to their needs, they are going to convert at a higher rate. Companies like Bonjoro, a personalized video messaging platform, see the value of human touch in delivering that personalized experience.

The results of personal video are revolutionary, with Harvard Business Review reporting a nearly 100% lift in CTR (click-through rate) when email marketers use video. While video is clearly a game-changer, some people might ask, “But what about at scale? What if we have dozens or even hundreds of emails to get out each day?”. This is one of the areas where we see an opportunity for automation and video to intersect — and we think that they’re better together.

How Bonjoro and ActiveCampaign combine video and automation

Imagine that the next time a prospect requests more information about your product or service, you can send them a custom-tailored video, speaking to their question and showing them individual attention. Now imagine that the process to record it was seamless, with the request just popping up on your phone automatically when the prospect submitted the inquiry form on your site.

On top of that, Bonjoro integrates with ActiveCampaign’s customer experience automation platform:

To trigger a video recording task in Bonjoro, add a new contact in ActiveCampaign, then add a tag or add the contact to a list. The Bonjoro task will also pull your contact’s information from the ActiveCampaign CRM, so you’ll be able to record a video that includes their company name, industry, title, and more — right there in the Bonjoro app.

After the personal touch of the video, you can continue to deliver educational content in a steady stream through ActiveCampaign’s email automation platform.

With that initial video, you created a human line of contact — and changed the standard email marketing process that customers are used to. You elevated yourself above hundreds of competitors and made your brand stand out.

How to balance automation and personalization

When businesses are small, much of what they do is manual and 1:1. But small business owners consistently find that they are stuck working “in” the business rather than “on” it. This is why automation is so important: You can use automated task reminders or informative emails to save an immense amount of time in your daily workflow and let you get back to what you got into business to do.

The challenge, though, is that as businesses continue to grow and put in place these scalable systems, it can be tempting to lose the human or 1:1 touch all together. At Bonjoro, we think that is a mistake. Our motto is “Automate processes, not relationships”. We think that certain types of interactions, like the first point of contact after an inquiry, a call, an online consultation, or even a purchase, should be handled in a human and personal way through video.

When to use personal video vs. automated emails

When it comes to how often and at what points in the customer lifecycle to use video, it’s more of an art than a science. You can use automation to automatically generate a Bonjoro request every few months, so you can check in on your contacts. When you keep a human point of contact throughout the customer lifecycle, you can reduce churn and improve customer loyalty.

If you have fewer contacts, you might use video more frequently. If you are a transactional or higher-volume business, you might choose to use video for key milestones, but have text email be your primary mode of connection over time.

Let’s dig into some specifics on when to use video vs. automations.

Here are some good areas in the funnel to use personal video:

  • Response to inquiry/call
  • After a demo/meeting
  • After a sign-up
  • Upon reaching milestones
  • Asking for a review

Here are some good areas in the funnel to use automated email:

  • Educational content drip
  • Product updates/new releases
  • Newsletter
  • Event/webinar/podcast notifications
  • Activation emails for a new program, membership, course, etc.
  • Transactional emails

Video works best when you can really custom-tailor the messaging to the user. Things like a new inquiry or reaching a milestone can be highly customized on a case-by-case basis. On the other hand, you can probably use the same messaging to let everyone on your list know about a new upcoming event or product release, so you can save time by automating that email.

One common thing I hear from businesses is, “Well, personal video seems great, but isn’t this more for higher-dollar B2B companies that can afford to spend all that time?”

How personal video creates brand evangelists

Personal video can work for all sizes of business, both B2B and B2C. For instance, ecommerce company Munkstore used personal video to become the #1 online men’s fashion company in Denmark. The name of the game in business is CLV (Customer Lifetime Value). For many lower-priced products, using personal video lets you create customer evangelists, strong customer advocates who both buy from you more frequently and recommend you to everyone they run in to.

As Mashable puts it, “When you have evangelists for your product or service, you have the best possible kind of customer. Your evangelists are passionate, loyal, and thrilled to recommend you. They are communicators — when it matters. They are your public defenders when times are difficult. Evangelists are also forgiving. They assume your mistakes are honest. They believe you have their best interests at heart. Best of all, evangelists are hyper-repeat customers.”

We live in a world today where the technological landscape is rapidly changing. To stay relevant and impactful with your customers you must constantly be employing new ways to deliver them relevant, timely, and personalized value. We think combining video and automation with Bonjoro and ActiveCampaign is your ticket to amazing growth in 2020 and beyond.