Those who follow sales and marketing efforts know that there’s been a big shift from salespeople knocking on doors trying to interest anyone in their products to what we have today with targeting the right person with the right product.

It can be a challenge since a business wants to reach as many leads as possible but at the same time have each lead think they’re being personally invited to buy.

This is why a lot of online research focuses on personalization, where users are targeted based on their previously expressed interests and offered info about similar products they might appreciate.

Personalization is a great theory if done successfully – if a customer continues to buy and enjoy the experience, it will also increase their loyalty and support. But there’s also a fine line that can be crossed and potential customers will say things like “how do they know so much about me?” or “I see these ads and emails everywhere – and I only bought one thing from them.”

If your company’s marketing strategy focuses on personalization, try some of these strategies

Be honest. Part of why people get creeped out is because they don’t know when or how a company harvested their info. This can come from a number of sources, including surveys, past purchases, responses to past contacts, or company correspondence. Whenever you contact this person tell them something to the effect of “this is based on your past interests.”

Don’t get greedy. You may want all sorts of demographic information at once, but the more you ask, the more people will feel uncomfortable. If you have the opportunity to ask questions, only ask a few at a time.

Create ideal personas. Rather than ask the same questions to your potential customers, create a fictitious persona of the person or people who most will benefit from your products or services. This ideal customer can be a substitute for personalization.

Offer rewards. People are more likely to share details if they get something in return, starting with a coupon or discount.

For more personalization strategies visit Prosper Firm.