Power Up Your Digital Presence With Website Personalization

In 1998, just four years after Amazon’s launch, Jeff Bezos made a bold statement, “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores”.

Despite Bezos’ powerful insights into future trends, it took companies well over a decade to start incorporating website personalization into their strategies and many businesses still don’t have elements of it in place today. Personalization pioneers, as I’d like to call them were typically larger companies with deep pockets. It wasn’t until very recently that personalization became accessible to smaller or mid-sized businesses. 

Now, you might be wondering what website personalization truly is and why you might want to consider it for your conversion strategy. According to Optimizely, “Website Personalization is the process of creating customized experiences for visitors to a website. Rather than providing a single, broad experience, website personalization allows companies to present visitors with unique experiences tailored to their needs and desires.”2

Why is this important? Generally speaking, website conversions rates are within the single digit range, whereas skilled salespeople can convert at 20-40% or greater. Even well-optimized websites and marketing funnels often fail to outperform salespeople. This is because salespeople personalize the buying experience, speaking to each buyer’s unique situation and needs. They also connect with the prospective buyer on a deeper and more human level, by greeting them by their name, relating their experiences to the buyer’s, sharing stories with the buyer, and engaging them on a deeper emotional level.

Fortunately for us, even simple attempts at website or funnel personalization can pay back significantly as evidenced by the following statistics:

Convinced? Let’s begin! Here are some attributes you can use to segment your audience so that you can create custom-tailored experiences for them: 

  • Geography 
  • Behavior
  • Weather
  • Time
  • Interests
  • Searches
  • Campaigns
  • Social Media
  • CRM Data

With your overall conversion strategy in mind, determine which attributes you’d like to incorporate into your personalization strategy so you can delight and connect with your audience effectively.

Next, determine if you’d like to pursue a campaign-specific approach (targeting specific users referred from a particular campaign or source), or if you’d like to personalize the user experience for all users entering through the same portal (such as your homepage, funnel or landing page). 

When it comes to campaigns, while you could theoretically create different versions of your web pages to display to different users, this could be could be quite cumbersome and costly from a time and investment perspective. If you wanted to use personalization for an entire webpage or funnel without running multiple campaigns, it’d be a challenge using traditional methods.

Sure, you could create different versions of your pages with the use of A/B split testing, but it’s important to note that split testing differs from personalization. Bound360 clearly describes the differences below:

“A/B testing uses basic statistical methods to report which content piece performs better for a general audience. Personalization uses data to segment audiences, serves content for each segment and reports on an audience’s engagement with specific content. One is a verification tool for content effectiveness, the other is a method to optimize audience experience.”3 

It goes on to mention that while marketers generally use both A/B testing and personalization to increase conversions, personalization typically comes first and then it’s important to use A/B testing to improve the message.4 

While there are numerous solutions that focus on personalization for the web, Unless and RightMessage seem to be the most accessible. As a user of Unless, I’m thrilled with how quickly and easily we’re able to create personalizations using their inline editor. We can choose from over 20+ conditions for targeting, and also incorporate dynamic variables into our sites and funnels to achieve a truly unique experience for each user. While Unless can optimize a specific funnel step or web page, it can also be used to create variations of a specific campaign and create custom conversion paths based on their traffic source, user’s identity and more. 

Unless provides analytics data to help you optimize your campaigns and requires no coding for implementation, making it an ideal solution for those who lack the technical aptitude or would rather focus their efforts on other growth-related matters.

Here are some examples as to how you can use a tool like Unless to boost conversions in your website or funnel:

  • Use it to create personalized greetings for your visitors. These can be based on dynamic content such as: the name of your user (if integrating with a service such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign or Drip), the location of your user, the time of day you’re user is visiting, and much more. 
  • Personalize your campaigns based on your user’s geographical location. You can use related imagery or language to connect with them and establish rapport.
  • Create custom-tailored CTAs (calls to action). According to Hubspot’s research, “calls-to-action targeted to the user had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors.”5 Using personalization, you can have separate CTAs for leads, customers, and visitors, for example. 
  • Welcome returning visitors and showcase specific content or promotions tailored to the next stage in their buyer’s journey. For example, you could use it to showcase time-limited promotions and discounts to encourage your returning visitors to make a purchase. 

With regards to personalization, the sky’s the limit, but you’d be surprised to realize that even small tweaks to your existing campaigns to incorporate personalized elements can significantly boost your conversion rate. Next time you build a website or funnel, I highly recommend considering personalizing your experience for your end user. 

  1. The Homepage is Dead: A Story of Website Personalization – Moz, The Homepage is Dead: A Story of Website Personalization – Moz, https://moz.com/blog/homepage-personalization
  2. Website Personalization, Website Personalization, https://www.optimizely.com/optimization-glossary/website-personalization/
  3. A/B Testing is NOT Personalization | Bound, A/B Testing is NOT Personalization, https://www.bound360.com/blog/2017/04/ab-testing-vs-personalization/
  4. A/B Testing is NOT Personalization | Bound, A/B Testing is NOT Personalization, https://www.bound360.com/blog/2017/04/ab-testing-vs-personalization/
  5. Personalized Calls-to-Action Convert 42% Better [New Data], Personalized Calls-to-Action Convert 42% Better [New Data], https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/personalized-calls-to-action-convert-better-data, Anum Hussain

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