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Introduction

Michaels, the largest arts and crafts retail chain in North America, has over 1,200 stores and a community of millions of loyal “Makers.” However, connecting individually with Makers at scale poses immense challenges. This case study explores how Michaels implemented an AI-powered omnichannel personalization strategy to deepen engagement and loyalty across its customer base.

The Challenge: Personalized Relationships at Scale

With a diverse base of Makers, from beginners to experts across various crafts, Michaels needed to provide personalized inspiration, projects, and promotions tailored to individual skill levels and interests. However, the scale of their community made manual personalization extremely difficult.

Michaels thus aimed to leverage its rich customer data to build more meaningful ongoing relationships through relevant, inspiring content across key channels like email, SMS, and Facebook. The key challenge was achieving personalization at scale without compromising brand authenticity.

The Solution: AI-Powered Omnichannel Personalization

To enable personalized outreach, Michaels partnered with Motivation AI provider Persado in 2019. Persado’s platform uses advanced AI to generate emotionally resonant, on-brand messaging tailored to customer segments across channels.

For Michaels, Persado built custom language models reflecting brand voice and created predictive models of customer engagement based on past communications. This data trains the AI to predict optimal messaging to drive engagement for each audience.

With Persado, Michaels successfully personalized 95% of email campaigns and saw significant performance lifts, including a 25% email CTR increase. AI automation enabled efficient scaling of personalization without straining human creative bandwidth.

The Impact: Driving Lasting Loyalty

Early testing showed AI-optimized content inspires Makers to take desired actions. But more importantly, it strengthens brand relationships. By providing value through relevant inspiration rather than transactions, Michaels is seeing greater loyalty.

As personalization continues informing customer journeys both online and in-store, Makers engage more frequently with the authentic Michaels brand.

Key Takeaways

Michaels’ omnichannel strategy powered by AI achieved personalization at a previously impossible scale to drive impactful business and loyalty results. The campaign also revealed emerging best practices:

With AI establishing deeper Maker relationships, Michaels is positioned to continue leading in crafting innovation and community.