Would you send the same email to your entire database? You could, but with a database made up of multiple segments and different types of customers (some very new to your product or service and some long-standing customers), sending the same communication to all of these folks would not be effective.
Marketers now know and understand that effective email marketing is targeted and personal. Unfortunately, this vital learning is not applied equally across channels and programs, especially on websites.
Every day, marketers are ignoring their own best practices and offering the exact same experience to every website visitor, every time they arrive—regardless of their behavior or attributes. Magnify that by thousands, sometimes millions, of visits, and marketers are missing a huge opportunity to truly connect with their audience as individuals—which makes a real impact on their revenue. And that’s where web personalization comes in.
What Is Web Personalization?
Web personalization helps marketers make their websites as personal and targeted as their other communications and activities. Specifically, the term web personalization refers to creating a dynamically personalized, highly relevant website experience for your website visitor (anonymous or known), based on their behavior, location, profile, and other attributes.
Done right, web personalization means understanding and meeting your visitors’ interests, tailoring your website to fit their profiles, and ultimately providing them with a relevant experience—whether that’s a message, visual, content, or offer. Today it’s a mission-critical marketing activity that creates a more meaningful experience for your visitors and also generates better business results.
Personalization is not just a ‘nice-to-have’; it’s a necessity in today’s market where your visitors are not only self-directing their customer journey (the majority of their research is done before you ever know them), but they are overwhelmed with messages on a daily basis. In order to break through and get your visitors to engage, you must offer them a relevant and personal experience. In fact, according to recent report by VB Insight, 87% of companies see a lift in key metrics (such as conversion rates, engagement rates, and lead generation or average order value) when they employ personalization.
The Benefits of Web Personalization
At the highest level, web personalization helps marketers address their website visitors in a personal and relevant way online—while also helping marketers reach their goals faster. But to break it down further, web personalization helps marketers in seven key ways:
- Build brand preference: You can use web personalization to strengthen how a visitor feels about you online and offline. For instance, you can use what you know about an individual (gathered from their interaction with your website) to tailor the messages you send on other channels and create content that resonates with them—making your marketing more personal and effective across the board.
- Understand visitors: Web personalization helps marketers understand the personas, demographics, and behavioral and firmographic data that represents your target audience and is most likely to result in conversion.
- Convert visitors: While many of your marketing efforts bring visitors to your site, the majority of those visitors—a whopping 98%—are anonymous when they arrive and remain so after they leave. Web personalization helps marketers track demographic and behavioral data, and unmask, engage, and convert prospective customers as they arrive on your site.
- Nurture and engage: While you are probably familiar with email nurturing, web personalization allows you to nurture customers on the web by continuing the conversation with them through targeted, relevant offers, content, and calls-to-action. Using web personalization, your website becomes another one of your cross-channel tools to accelerate customers through their unique buyer journey.
- Cross-sell and upsell: Understanding your customer segments and the types of offers, messages, and content that motivate them is a huge advantage that web personalization offers. If you have customers that have already purchased from you, you can sell them more by recognizing them as existing customers and segmenting them to receive offers on complementary products based on their past purchases.
- Optimize your campaigns: As you run web personalization, you can collect valuable information from your visitors about who they are and what offers, messages, and content resonate with them. These learnings can disseminate across your programs and cross-channel campaigns, making them more effective—both in terms of engagement with visitors and overall cost.
- Increase revenue: When you better understand your online visitors, buyers, prospects, and decision-makers—in other words, when you nurture and educate them based on who they are and what they do, and then present the most appropriate offer—you are improving your ability to drive revenue.
Learn more about these benefits and how to create a comprehensive web personalization strategy by paging through The Definitive Guide to Web Personalization. This comprehensive 100+ page guide covers everything from how to develop a web personalization strategy, to sourcing the content for creating a personalized website, to testing and optimization and more. The Definitive Guide to Web Personalization is your guide to creating a strategic and dynamic personalized web experience. Download it today!