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How to Increase Customer Engagement through Personalization and RTIM

Caroline Nash | April 12, 2021 

In recent years, consumers have increasingly expected more personalized experiences from brands; across every touchpoint including website, app, email and SMS; and the pandemic has only accelerated this trend. If you can successfully deliver truly personalized experiences to your customers at scale, you will enjoy increased brand loyalty and see a rise in conversions and engagement.  

But while we as marketers have been well aware of the importance of personalization for years now, many organizations still struggle to execute. Let’s take a moment to dive into showing how we create a more personalized customer experience.

“Personalization: An experience that uses customer data and understanding to frame, guide, extend, and enhance interactions based on that person’s history, preferences, context, and intent.” – Forrester

What’s the goal? 

In order to achieve more relevant interactions and experiences with your customers and prospects, you need omni-channel personalization with real-time interaction management (RTIM). This means delivering the right content at the right time across the entire customer journey, which may include in-store, customer service, website, product recommendations, email customization, etc.

Setting specific goals for your organization is key. Goals will vary depending on your industry and business model and may include:

  • Reducing service costs.
  • Increasing website engagement, like content downloads and conversions.
  • Driving more revenue.
  • Decreasing cart abandonment.
  • Increasing email signups.

What are the challenges?

  • Customer expectations have increased
  • Proliferation of consumer touchpoints and devices
  • Data silos
    • Businesses are collecting different types of data, using disparate systems, often siloed by departments within the organization.
  • Do the people within your organization have the ability to plan and execute?
    Your marketing automation team needs these capabilities:
    • Creating personalization strategy
    • Coordinating across business divisions
    • Campaign planning
    • Coding and creative design to create experiences
    • Data Analysis to monitor, report, and optimize

A partner like ListEngage, who has successfully led multiple RTIM implementations, can help augment your internal team until you have cross-trained and hired and are able to fly solo. Or, you could keep a partner on retainer to act as an extension of your team. ListEngage’s flexible engagement model allows us to right-size our team to meet your needs on day one, evolving with you.

How Interaction Studio Achieves the Goal

Salesforce’s Interaction Studio:

  • Captures individual insights (customers’ affinities and intent) to create a Unified Customer Profile (UCP).
  • Optimizes the customer experience by leveraging AI technology.
  • Connects offline and online engagements.


Customers are telling you what they want, not just by their purchases and email opens, but also by their behaviors on your website. It’s imperative you listen to these “signals” demonstrated by their behavioral data, so that you can translate that into individual customer profiles. With these profiles built for prospects and customers alike, you can engage them with the right experience (i.e. offer, content, message etc) at the right time. 

Salesforce’s Interaction Studio builds these Unified Customer Profiles (UCP) with real-time capture (data ingestion) and then offers you segmentation and activation capabilities, empowering you to improve customer relationships and engagement, and increase your marketing campaign performance. UCP provides a holistic view of visitors, customers, prospects and users, updated in real-time. A true unified customer profile, as provided by Interaction Studio, combines known and unknown customers’ attributes and behavioral data.


Salesforce, in their “Realizing the Dream of 1-to-1 Personalization” ebook, explains the importance of a good data strategy and defines the types of data sources as follows: 

Behavioral data — An individual’s current and previous digital behaviors. In addition to opens, clicks, and page views, deeper behavioral indicators are collected, such as active time spent and engagement (hovering, scrolling, zooming, interacting with reviews, etc.). Transactions are also factored in for a more complete view of each person’s interests and intent. 

Attribute data — Describes any characteristic of a person. Attributes can be accessed directly from the web and include a person’s geolocation, referring source, company, browser, and device type. They can also be pulled from connected databases, including CRMs, email and marketing automation platforms, and more. 

Explicit data — Responses to forms and survey questions, which can be used to supplement behavioral and attribute data.

The ListEngage Approach

Our Engagers, together with Salesforce, help dozens of clients gain a comprehensive view of their customers and prospects and deliver individualized experiences, meeting the ever-growing expectations of today’s consumers.

Every organization has different goals and business models – all of which will drive unique ways to leverage Interaction Studio. ListEngage offers workshops where we help our clients map their use cases and prioritize those by business impact. We provide you with a roadmap and the help you need to execute it, in a phased approach. Also, we offer expert-led training and enablement to ensure success and your team’s ability to scale.

With ListEngage as your Salesforce partner, you’ll be armed with a real-time personalization strategy and roadmap to ensure you get the most out of your Interaction Studio investment and add real value to the customer journey.

Check back for future posts that dive deeper into different approaches to RTIM, testing and customer stories of how ListEngage has helped our clients achieve omni-channel personalization.

Interaction Studio can integrate with nearly any data source and marketing execution channel, so truly the only limit to where we can personalize is the marketer’s imagination.” – Julie Marques | Director of Strategic Consulting, ListEngage

Over the last year, I have worked with a number of clients in the financial services industry, rolling out Interaction Studio and helping them realize the value of driving personalization at scale. This solution is a real game-changer for our Marketing Cloud clients and partners. – Drew Brennan | Account Executive, ListEngage

Download the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, 2020.

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Caroline Nash | Director of Alliances

Caroline is a business development professional, specializing in marrying consulting, implementation and ongoing managed services with Salesforce solutions to deliver personalized customer experiences.