One of the strengths of digital is the ability to cost-effectively personalise the experience for each of your customers.

While some people may find this creepy, when done well personalisation can reinforce the relationship between your business and your customers.

I saw two good examples of this kind of personalisation in action this week, with both Google and Twitter featuring personalised homepage effects for my birthday.Google_happy_birthday

Google did this through a custom Google Doodle (as at right), usually the way in which Google customises its brand for specific events and special days throughout the year.

Mousing over the image displayed the message ‘Happy Birthday Craig’.

Twitter did this through a display of coloured balloons rising over the screen when I first launched the Twitter app or opened the website, with a specific ‘Happy Birthday’ message on my profile.

In both cases the effect was subtle rather than jarring and served to illustrate that these services had a connection to me.

I’ve seen some people call this ‘creepy’, however a little connection like this can also go a long way to strengthening relations or prompting an action – just as some clubs and retailers send special event offers to their members on birthdays or other known significant personal events.

If your business collects this type of information from your customers online and can recognise them through a login or other process, why not consider a similar connective approach, whether it be a sales offer or simply a recognition of their importance and significance as an individual.

If that’s something you feel your customers will also find ‘creepy’, try other approaches to personalise your connection – using their past purchase behaviour to suggest related offers to them, ways for them to save money on a product they buy regularly, or thanking them for coming back to your site for a third time in a month.

Your customers will appreciate the personal touch, and your business will reap the power of these connections through referrals and increased sales.