Hubspot describes website personalization as:
Website personalization is a strategy used by marketers to create unique experiences that include tailored recommendations, dynamic content, and exclusive offers for their customers. It’s configured based on a visitor's behavior on the website, their demographics, and their interests.
The next thing though that Hubspot mentions is the below statement which we don't fully agree with.
The primary goal of website personalization is to enhance the user experience by addressing customers’ needs and desires before they mention them. Have you ever walked into your favorite coffee shop only to find your cup-a-joe already waiting for you on the counter? The barista was creating a personalized experience for you — he recognized your car in the parking lot and started your order before you placed it. This is what website personalization should feel like for your visitors.
Maybe personalization could be described as addressing needs and desires before mentioned.
In a typical website, an experience is somewhat personalized in that they choose their own journey. In a truly personalized website, it could be the fact that the experience becomes one of a kind like Hubspot mentions, but also could be a journey that is not random but fully specific to the needs of the visitor.
The one-size-fits-all mantra might work for a few different things, but not when it comes to your website. In this day and age, people are flying through the web looking for a completely customized experience.
They want a company's website to meet all of their needs as well as their concerns and pain points. In fact, they might not know they want this, but subconsciously, it's exactly what each and every person is looking for.
This isn't a stab in the dark with what people want. Rather, marketers have found sales jumped by nearly 20% when clients had a personalized web experiences.
But the market is hot and so is the competition. In a sea of never-ending options, if your website doesn't give users the experience they're looking for, they will quickly move onto another provider without a second thought.
There's data to support this fact as well. eConsultancy found 74% of marketers state targeted personalization boosts customer engagement.
Netflix is the perfect example of personalized content. When you log onto your Netflix account, not only do you have what you previously watched, but there are also suggestions of what you should watch next because of your history. And you don't have to dig for this information either. It's the first thing you see when you log into your account.
How do companies like Netflix do this? They monitor each one of their users browsing, how they rate certain products or services and what they've bought in the past. Then they use this data to completely transform their content. When the customer returns back to their site, they are greeted with personalized, relevant content - no more digging around to find what they want. Instead, it's right in front of their face.
Transform your website
One of the best and fastest ways to create a personalized website is with dynamic content. This is content that adjusts to exactly what your unique customer needs based on already-there information.
You can make this happen by collecting customer data off the bad. Use lead magnets (like signing up for a newsletter) to gather this info. Then, based on the terms that brought them to your site, display various relevant content. The key here is not just making it relevant to what they're looking for, but personalizing it as well.
Another area most companies neglect when it comes their website is following up with email. However, email is a fantastic way to get conversation flowing and keep it going. If you want to make this even simpler, switch to automated emails.
A perfect example of this: Let's say a visitor put an idea in her cart, but left the page before she checked out. If you were able to obtain her email while she was your site, you can send a follow-up email with her name, reminding her that she left an item in your cart. Not only are you encouraging the person to come back to your site but you're also selling your products. Sweeten the deal and offer a discounted price for coming back. For example, offer 20% off the item in the person's cart and see if it's enough to bring them back to purchase the item.
Speaking of shopping, consider offer suggestions. Base your suggestions around browsing history or previously purchased items. You've likely seen this method on your favorite online retailer - you buy something, and there are suggested items near it. It's like having a personal shopper right there with the customer.
Finally, take advantage of the tools that are available. Use Google Analytics for keep track of each user's journey, while ExactTarget can help with offering customized recommendations. Monetate can help with cross-channel personalize, while Visual Website Optimizer assists with dynamic content. While there are plenty of tools for you to pick from, these will likely be the most helpful in your personalization.
Since so many websites are already taking part in this trend, you'll want to start working your way toward a more personalized website. Mass-marketing is in the past. It's time to start customizing your customer's online experiences to continue your company's success. You'll be able to meet the continual raised expectations of your customers, as you make each and every site visit one they will remember.
In this Insivia insight, Andy talks about how important it is to create personalized experiences on your website.
Many digital tools are available to help make your marketing campaigns more rich and personal, but in order to get the most out of these, you'll need to know how the pieces fit together and function.
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