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Getting Started With Digital Personalization - Tips & Tricks

Curated online content is everywhere, from news feeds and social platforms to ecommerce and targeted advertising. A customized website experience not only delivers on customer expectations, but if done right, it also aligns content with the consumers’ consumption behavior and buying intentions, thereby increasing conversions. 

Website personalization is creating customized experiences for website visitors. Instead of every user viewing the same information, personalization switches up content based on the visitors’ past interactions with the website, or other data, such as a url, that indicates visitor segmentation.

These days, specialized apps and tools make deploying a singular personalized experience relatively easy. But devising, implementing and fine-tuning a winning website personalization strategy is a whole other matter. 

To give you an idea of what it takes to put together a website personalization strategy that increases leads and conversions, below are three tips we have learned in implementing successful personalization programs for clients.

Start Small Then Iterate

It’s tempting to block out time for an in-depth planning personalization session where your team will go over analytics, UX design, and marketing and sales data to develop a master list of personalization ideas. 

Here’s the thing: by the time you identify the personalization opportunities, document your strategy, and build and launch your website changes, you could have already run a handful of personalization tests and accumulated important data.

Go for the low hanging fruit with a quick deployment. Identify clear visitor segments and put together a campaign targeted to them. Think traffic sources, affiliate/referral partners, geos, etc. 

Don’t Get Distracted by The End-State

In keeping with the above point, forgo building out an overarching strategy with each defined tactic from the outset and instead adopt a drips-and-drops approach. This method is more nimble, fluid and responsive to the data you gather as you run the campaign. With this adaptable piecemeal approach, you can smooth out the process and analyze, pivot and re-launch where needed. 

This metaphor might be useful: how do you climb a mountain? One handhold at time. Don’t get caught up in the end-state, just focus on the small wins and over a long period of time you’ll be at the peak of personalization.  

Quick Wins with Winning Experiments

This is a typical scenario in website personalization campaigns: an A/B test is run and winning variations are declared. The site is then updated with a winner-takes-all approach (e.g., 100% of traffic now experiences the winning variation). The shortfall of this approach is that it can lack nuance that can deliver even more valuable user experiences because it stops short of incorporating some of the most revealing insights gained from post-test analysis. 

During post-test analysis, a visitor segment may emerge that you didn’t previously appreciate, and you may discover that some experiences – even winning variations – perform better for specific user groups. It is for these cohorts that you can then build out more detailed personalized experiences. 

Dynamic website personalization is directly linked with website experimentation; so much so that we consider it the top tier in our Five Levels of CRO

These tips have been enormously helpful when launching website personalization programs for our clients. There are a constellation of options for website personalization approaches, and many companies – even those that list website personalization as a top commerce priority – don’t know where to start. Hopefully these pointers will get you going in the right direction. To learn more, reach out to us today.