Imagine if the following article was custom-tailored especially to you, addressing your personal needs and desires, providing relevant content, special offers and tempting promotions that you’re actually looking for. That would be awesome wouldn’t it? You’d probably appreciate that article and feel fully connected to it, because it was made especially for you.
Now, let’s say that you’ve got a great looking magazine site, offering thousands of unique articles on lifestyle, fashion and design with hundreds of thousands of visitors each day. That’s fantastic, but can you really say you’re making the most out of your content? If you’re delivering the same content layout to all of your users, the answer would be no. Why? Because your audience is diverse and each one of your visitors has his or her own unique background, desires, interests and motivations. Showing all of them exactly the same content isn’t exactly the most effective way to motivate and engage them, is it?
Welcome to the personal web experience!
Delivering personalized and highly relevant content to your users is critical to providing a great customer experience and, eventually, a better bottom-line (in terms of revenue and conversion). Thanks to technology, the solution is here and available: Meet website personalization, an ability to deliver the right content (what), to the right users (who), at the right time (when).
How does web personalization work?
In order to visualize how web personalization works, let’s carry on with the same hypothetical scenario: You’re running a magazine or news website and want to improve your visitors’ satisfaction and engagement and your overall revenues. After looking at the analytics data, you identify that some of your visitors are actually spending valuable time paying special interest in your video content. You define these users into a new segment that you call: “Video lovers.” The next thing you do is personalize their experience by replacing some of the articles on your homepage – and perhaps even on some of your category pages – with new videos. The result: the video lovers get even more engaged with your content and, as a result, they visit your site more often, getting you more ad-clicks and increased revenue.
That’s what web personalization is all about: dynamically delivering the most relevant content to the visitors with the most likely interest in that content.
How to get started?
First, obviously, find a platform that allows you to deliver a fully personalized experience for your audience, such as the one we offer at Dynamic Yield. Become customer-centric and start with the planning. I recommend that you start thinking about specific personalization scenarios and the common behavioral patterns of your visitors. Do that with a practical set in mind. Don’t get too overwhelmed with lots of big and complex ideas that you actually won’t be able to setup by yourself. For example, an international travel site offering worldwide hotel and flight reservations would consider the following scenarios:
- If a returning user has previously shown a specific interest in a destination, on his or her next visit to your site, show him or her special offers and incentives related to this destination.
- If a user has already subscribed to your newsletter, replace the subscription button with a different campaign incentive, such as a “Be the first to know!” offer.
- Welcome returning visitors with a specific and relevant message and offer.
- If you’re looking to increase hotel reviews, offer different incentives to logged-in users who have already booked hotels through your website.
Now, after choosing the right scenarios to target, set up those custom audience segmentations on your optimization tool. A user segment is a part of your website audience, grouped by some common criteria. For example: it could be grouped by geographic location, customer journey, buying history, referrer site, interest in a specific category on your site, specific audience behavior (such as visitors who completed a conversion goal), type of device (mobile versus desktop), and even demographics characteristics, such as age and gender. In fact, all the data you’re collecting can be grouped together as an audience segment. The more you know and gather about individuals, the more you can personalize their experiences.
Next, start customizing the experience of your visitors. Deliver relevant content and calls-to-action to the specific segments you’ve created. For example: if you’re running an online shop for music instruments, you may want to be able to show users who were interested in electric guitars targeted offers for discounted guitars, guitar accessories or any other relevant and motivational messages. Being able to target those users in real-time could be quite effective.
Goodbye one-size-fits-all. Hello personalization.
In summary, serving personalized content is a big opportunity for content marketers: it may improve user experience and overall visitors’ satisfaction (customers feel they are understood and nurtured), and it can motivate and inspire users, and, eventually generate more leads and revenue.
If you’re not already personalizing your website, you should consider doing it. Harness the power of personalization and improve content consumption, signups, purchases or whatever your goal may be. It’s time to get personal.