Every visitor that enters your site is looking for something specific, whether it’s a birthday present for their husband, or a cocktail dress for an upcoming gala. The difference between a sale and a wasted opportunity often boils down to whether the customer feels like a priority. Once an individual feels understood and gets the impression that you’re offering what they’re looking for, a conversion/sale is far more likely. Every visitor has their own online agenda, and for companies, trying to sort through the mass of data that follows each individual customer online can get complicated—inhibiting conversions. Targeting a crowd of unrelated visitors with unified, homogeneous messages is impersonal and often irritating to most of your visitors.
A recent study in the US found that 74% of consumers are fed up with and deterred by irrelevant, unapplicable content. In fact, they expressed that it’s generic content that has nothing to do with their interest that is most likely to alienate them from a website.
Today’s marketers are shaping the future of digital marketing with a more “humanized” marketing approach. It’s an exciting, game-changing time for marketers, as they now have the tools to deliver personalized messages and landing pages tailored to each individual, creating the richer and more relevant experience that customers crave.
Here are 10 personalization hacks you can use today to boost sales, build stronger consumer-brand relationships, and grow your business.
1. Create technology driven segments.
Before implementing any personalization plan, it is vital to understand your customers’ personas and online behavior. For example, search for valuable demographic and psychographic hints by identifying early adopters of new operating systems, smartphone or desktop devices. By using this knowledge, you can target the appropriate people at the appropriate time with the appropriate offer. For example, in learning that your audience is comprised of early adopters who belong to the top end of the income spectrum, your company can leverage such information and deliver your latest product offer, as they are likely to invest in new technologies and services. By understanding who your audience is, you are able to provide them with the tailored offering that is perfect for their needs.
2. Reward loyal customers.
Segment and reward loyal customers with exclusive discounts on selected items or services; encourage them to take action with limited time offers, and engage them with custom tailored promotions. Take for instance a SaaS business: offer loyal customers an opportunity to participate in beta releases, join referral programs, or receive product upgrades as a reward for their loyalty.
3. Extend time on site with exit intent messages.
They are all around us, and sometimes we don’t even notice them. Exit intent pop-ups remind us to take action, right before we leave the site. In a reality where most websites offer an overwhelming amount of content, we feel like we’re lost in a sea of data that has nothing to do with us and therefore, we leave empty handed and frustrated. Displaying relevant and custom-tailored exit intent pop-ups and personalized messages turns a visitor’s frustration into added value. Exit intent popups can be used to offer free eBooks, lead-generation forms, white papers, discount offers or just about anything that the customer would appreciate. It’s a hard sell, but an exit message that is relevant, targeted and clearly benefits the customer, is an effective one.
4. Personalize your landing pages.
In an age of highly sophisticated marketing, dedicated landing pages have become a commodity. It’s a well-proven method of targeting customers with the most relevant offers, yet, despite the widespread recognition of effective landing pages, only a few marketers take the next step to personalize their content. One of the biggest challenges marketers face when creating landing pages is the automation process. The automated process of personalizing landing pages is what makes the landing page creation, optimization and personalization practical to execute. This requires an engine that can do the bulk of the work for you—tools that allow for automatic, real-time optimization. Try personalizing landing pages based on the data you’ve collected, such as: displaying the customer or company name, customizing the experience based on device and browser, display different content based on the ad version the customer had clicked on, etc.
5. Customize calls-to-action.
Stay away from generic calls-to-action and start using targeted actions instead. Provide each visitor with the most relevant call-to-action based on his or her past behavior and lifecycle stage. For example, offer a free webinar for registered customers, but replace it with a free eBook download offer for prospects.
6. Deliver different content for different referrals.
Personalize the content of your site based on referral data. To illustrate my point, use the data to match the content of your landing pages to the creation of your AdWords campaigns. Be more aggressive with promotional incentives for high quality referrals, pushing them into conversion funnels faster.
7. Create personalized 404 error pages.
Turn a negative into a positive by personalizing the content and design of your 404 error pages. When customers land on your 404 pages, transform their frustration and disorientation into a targeted action. Avoid dead ends and the weak user experience, and offer your customers personalized content based on past interests.
8. Enable auto login after signup.
Don’t require your customers to fill out the login information on every visit. For logged in users with active sessions, enable auto-login to instantly get them back into your product, delivering a seamless customer experience.
9. Create personalized thank you pages.
Customize your thank you pages and show customers that you value their interest in your services or products. Include a personal thank you message by mentioning the name of the customer; add relevant information such as who to contact for questions, related content, social media buttons, etc.
10. Apply 3rd party API data to personalization.
Personalization relies heavily on data. The more data, the better you can personalize your site. That is why you should always strive to maximize all aggregated data sources into a single personalization platform, mixing historical, behavioral data with customer identity data. Integrating data from your own CRM, as well as from 3rd party software, can increase your chances for winning a successful and effective campaign. By integrating your existing data, it will help target the right messages to the right customers at the right time.
Real-time personalization requires planning. Before delivering personalized content, a company should first understand the desires of your customers. Therefore, it’s important to become user-centric and analyze what each individual is doing on your site. Start asking valuable questions directly to your customers by using online surveys. It is also important to focus on metrics with a meaningful impact on the business. Be realistic and select metrics that can be within your control.
Once you have these answers, the journey to personalization becomes shorter and easier.