Personalization: Take Your Marketing Personally

September 13, 2016   /   by  Diane Callihan

How Custom Content Can Improve Sales

“Nothing personal, it’s just business.”

This is a quote made famous from The Godfather, but in truth, it turns out that good business IS personal. The more personal, the better.

We know that leads are more likely to convert to sales if you speak to their specific pain points, and provide them with targeted and relevant content that can help solve their problems. In fact, according to DemandGen, leads who are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.

But with leads coming in from different locations, with different roles, different problems, from different industries – how do you provide a customized online experience?

The answer is: personalization.

More than Just a Name

Unfortunately, when some marketers talk about personalization, they may just be referring to the use of a contact’s first name in an email, or when a user logs in to your website (“Welcome back, Mike!”).

While this kind of personalization is swell, there is much more that you can do to personalize your user’s experience.

Depending on the nature of your website, you may have an area for users to log in and create a user profile. Early personalization efforts only came through that route. A user indicated their preferences and, for example, would only receive emails about topics they were interested in. This is still a viable approach, but we can do more.

Today, with advances in marketing automation, personalization can happen in real-time, on the fly, as users come to your site. And it may be so seamless that the user is not even aware of it.

Personalization can mean that some users see an entirely different version of your homepage than others. Visitors that meet certain criteria may receive offers or be directed to specific landing pages, while other visitors won’t see those offers or pages at all.

Does it Work?

Let’s face it, we wouldn’t be talking about personalization if it didn’t drive results.

  • 66% of marketers reported that enhanced targeting and personalization were top benefits of marketing automation. – State of Marketing Automation 2014
  • In a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients. – MindFire
  • Personalized calls-to-action result in a 42% higher conversion rate than calls-to-action that are the same for all visitors. – HubSpot
  • Personalized emails improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversion rates by 10%. – Aberdeen

So…Let’s Get Personal

There are a number of ways to personalize your web experience. Here are some of the criteria you can use to trigger personalized content.

  1. Behavior - Have your users been to your site before, or is this their first time? (Perhaps new visitors get a welcome offer; long time visitors receive something for their loyalty.) Have they downloaded a certain document or visited a specific page? Did they put something in their shopping cart, but not finish the transaction?
  2. Context - What device is your user accessing your content from? What time of day or day of the week do they visit? Did they come to your site from a certain ad or campaign?
  3. Demographics - What city/state/country are they in? What is their gender? Age? Income level?
  4. Account-based - If you are targeting certain companies or a specific vertical market (like .edu sites), you can personalize based on those factors as well, and create a customized web experience for your high priority prospects. Read more about Account-based Marketing.

Once you know the criteria you want to use, and who you want to target, you can begin mapping out what content you want your different audiences to see and when. Personalization can cross multiple media and impact your website, email marketing, PPC/retargeting efforts and more.

Want to put your own personalization strategy in place? We can help you get started. Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.