People have the attention span of a goldfish when they browse your website.
In just a few seconds, you have to convince them to stay instead of looking for the next stimulus.
What would be a better way to do so than offering a personalized experience that takes into account the unique needs and wants of the visitor?
This blog introduces the basics of website personalization, and how you can get started with it.
We’ll also go through different tools that help you in the process, and what kind of challenges you might face when creating a personalized experience for your website visitors.
Personalization in the physical spaces like stores looks like this: the employees come to the customer, ask for their preferences, and try to accommodate their needs and wants.
When a customer likes a product, the employee can recommend another product that they might like, and create more sales.
The same thing can be replicated in digital marketing, at least to some extent.
Website personalization is the process of creating user experiences on a website that are personalized for the customer.
It means that the company has created different versions of the website for users based on:
It can mean personalized product recommendations, ads, banners, pop ups, content, and other things that appear on websites.
For example, online retailers might recommend products that are related to the customer’s previous purchases, clothing stores can recommend the right size based on past purchases and returns, and music apps can show you new music within the genres you listen to the most.
The goal is to get the customer to take desired steps faster and easier, and stay with your company longer.
Here are some hard facts from the McKinsey report.
Customers want personalization to make their experience better, smoother, easier, and more targeted. They want businesses to know them and have a relationship with them.
In the long run, you are able to build customer loyalty for your business. Who wouldn’t be happy to continue business with a brand that always has targeted recommendations, relevant content, and even wishes happy birthday every year?
Personalization also improves other metrics like time on page, bounce rate, conversion rate, and customer satisfaction.
You don’t want to miss out on these opportunities, do you?
Like anything else, website personalization comes with its challenges.
If you use unnecessary stereotypes as a basis for your personalization efforts, that’s lazy marketing.
Although demographic customer data like location, gender, or age can be useful, it’s relatively vague.
For example, if you choose an item recommendation from your ecommerce store based on the visitor’s gender, you might go terribly wrong. It’s not a given that women will always like makeup and men will want to buy electronics.
Personally, I have a problem with some websites trying to force a specific language version of their website on me.
If I search something in English, the chances are that I want to browse the English language version of a website. But because I am located in Finland, some websites show the Finnish version. Frustrating!
Instead of stereotypes regarding demographic information, use behavior data and buyer personas to personalize website experiences for different audience segments.
Where’s the line between being a thoughtful life companion who says and does the right things at the right time, and being a total creep who knows no boundaries?
Even though customers want you to make them feel special and recognize their needs, you still are one of the companies that try to use their personal information to profit from it.
When is the amount of information you have about your customers “too much”? When do they feel that their privacy is invaded?
Some food for thought.
At least make sure that the customer consents to you using their personal information, and do not violate their trust.
In the E.U., there are GDPR regulations that try to resolve this problem, but going the extra mile and communicating your purposes even more openly is a good idea.
Dynamic website personalization takes its toll on your website.
The loading speed of your website can be affected when you implement lots of dynamic content.
It’s because your website will have a hard time caching the content, which is normally done on static websites to reduce the loading time.
In order for you to figure out what personalization actions to take, you have to do lots of thought work.
You need to analyze customer data and consider different marketing funnels.
Next, you have to set up the personalization tools and make sure they work as planned.
It’s not a walk in the park, but it pays off (remember that +40% revenue!).
Now, while web personalization is a huge topic and there is a lot to be said about it, here are some basic strategies and simple hacks to try.
To provide a personalized experience that benefits your business goals, you must know what your customers need and want.
You can’t possibly know everything about your customers, which is why you need to create buyer personas.
They outline the most important characteristics of your customers, and help you to cater to their needs.
On top of knowing who your customers are, you need to know their customer journey. That’s what sales funnels are all about.
For example, you could have one funnel in which the lead comes from a Facebook ad, and another where they found your website organically with a specific keyword.
When you create personalized experiences for those website visitors, you are more likely to get them to convert into actual customers.
This is especially important when your business has multiple products and services. The journey must be consistent, and the initial value proposition has to hold until the end.
You can’t treat everyone the same, even if you use buyer personas.
Consider the stage of the customer journey. Even if you have two potential customers whose profiles match the same buyer persona, one of them is just on the top of the funnel, while the other is close to the bottom.
Can you use the same content and tactics on both customers? No.
When someone lands on your website for the first time, it’s reasonable to assume they need some more information about your business.
But when the same person comes to the website again, they don’t need the same explanations again. Especially if it’s a returning customer.
Use remarketing tactics and recommendations to keep the returning customers happy and engaged.
Pop-ups are an easy way to add personalization based on the visitor’s behavior on the page.
They can be configured to pop up after a certain amount of time, or based on how the mouse moves on the screen.
Those actions let you in on the customer’s intentions. You can conclude that they are interested and reward that, or notice that they are not interested enough, and change that.
When your site visitor scrolls down on your page, you can show them a pop-up thanking them for their interest and promoting products, services, or content related to the page’s theme.
If the visitor is about to leave, you can show them an exit intent pop-up that tries to salvage the conversion with a discount code, a recommendation from another customer, or a persuasive fact.
In case the customer spends a long time on your page, you can offer them a meeting to talk about your business more.
In this example, the visitor is reading a blog post about social proof, and they get a pop-up promoting a social proof guide:
Showcasing relevant reviews on your website can make a dramatic difference on conversions.
What does it mean to personalize website experience with reviews?
Of course, you have to work with the reviews you have. We do not recommend fabricating any customer reviews just for personalization purposes.
Basically, you cannot do too much about the quality of your reviews, but you can collect them regularly to get as many reviews as possible. It enables you to choose from the lot.
Once you have a large selection of authentic reviews, you can pick them based on e.g. language, products, and customer profiles, and showcase to relevant visitors.
The more the website visitor can relate to the customer reviews, the more likely they are to convert. Thus, it’s wise to try to align the reviews with your customer’s needs and characteristics.
If possible, make use of your customers’ own social connections.
When a customer signs up for your service with a Google, Facebook, or other similar account and they happen to have connections who are also signed up to your service, show that on your website.
“Your friends like us, too!”
This will be a powerful social proof tactic, as people often trust the opinions of their friends and family.
Chatbots are a great way to give your customers some more agency in their customer journey. They get personalized, conversational, and interactive experiences.
Chatbots can have many different functions on a website.
They can be used for lead generation, customer service, customer support, asking for feedback, or giving instructions.
The key is to script the chatbots to follow conditional logic. It means that the chatbot will react to customers’ responses accordingly.
For example, the chatbot could first ask the customer a question: “How can I help you?”.
When a customer chooses an alternative like “tell me more about your business”, the chatbot will continue on that note.
Or, when the bot asks for feedback and the customer gives a low score, the bot can give a suitable, empathetic response and ask for more information.
Test it out:
Interactive images are a nice eye-catching element on your website, but they also work as great personalization tools.
Each person interacts with content differently, which makes the experience unique.
You can use interactive images as navigational tools, or for giving instructions and showcasing examples.
For example, add an image of multiple products and let customers click on different parts of the image to move to the product pages.
Use your imagination to create an impressive and helpful interactive image.
See more tips on interactive content in lead generation.
Surveys that are triggered by customer’s actions enhance the personal experience.
“We noticed that you just ordered a new product from our shop. That’s amazing! Would you help us and rate the ease of the buying process?”
It’s also important to celebrate the milestones of your relationship with the customers.
“Hi Mary! Today marks the first anniversary of our collaboration! 🥳 We would like to hear how the year was for you, and there is a surprise for you at the end of the survey.”
Personal messages work much better than general “please rate us” requests.
Generic CTAs work when customers have already decided to engage with your brand.
But when you are just trying to get them interested, you should invest some effort into crafting personalized CTAs.
If the website visitor shows with their behavior that they are interested in a specific theme, add hints to that theme in your call to actions.
Example: if the customer just spent 10 minutes reading a blog post about what to pack for a trip in the Alps, show them a CTA that promotes essential products, a travel insurance, or other relevant items that you are selling.
Remember that customers at different stages of their journey need special CTAs. A new visitor might want to learn more about your product, while a returning visitor might be ripe for a demo meeting.
A suitable website personalization tool is important. There are lots of solutions in the market, and you must carefully consider which one is best for your.
Some tools are focused on personalized content for email, many are used for e-commerce recommendations, and some are focused on landing pages.
The best web personalization tools have great customer data analysis features and make your life easier, not harder.
According to G2, these are the 10 highest rated web personalization tools.
Insider is the most popular option for enterprise marketers.
It lets you combine customer data across channels to create individualized interactions with customers.
Omnisend enables personalized communication between ecommerce brands and their customers.
It analyzes the behavior of the shoppers and helps you target customers with relevant content. It also makes lifecycle reports of your customers.
Moosend is a email marketing tool that offers advanced personalization options. I’m talking about things like weather-based recommendations, on top of past behavior.
Duda is a web design tool that helps you create effective and personalized websites.
It’s suitable for web professionals and agencies, and not necessarily the best match for someone looking to add a few personalization features on their website.
Klaviyo provides your clients with personalized experiences across channels, but is focused on email marketing.
The individualized messages are based on customer’s behavioral data.
Pricing: custom pricing based on your contacts
Edrone is a web personalization platform especially for ecommerce brands. It offers plethora of necessary features.
Webtrends Optimize is the OG of web personalization, and a more premium solution for businesses that want to invest in their website.
It offers you all-around solution that helps you tailor experiences on your website and increase engagement with customers.
Outgrow helps you build interactive, personalized experiences for your website visitors with no coding needed.
WebEngage is a customer data platform that lets you engage with customers in a personalized way across channels.
You might need some coding to set things up, and segmenting can be difficult, but all in all the interface is praised by users.
Yieldify is an ecommerce personalization platform that helps you along the customer journey. It’s a flexible solution and they offer personalized customer support.
Many of the above tools are best fit for ecommerce stores. But when it comes to simple business websites, you don’t necessarily need all those features.
You don’t need a complex recommendation system or elaborate customer segmentation features.
Sometimes, you just want more leads. In that case, some personalization is a nice addition but it’s not worth it to spend too much time and money on a web personalization tool.
If your spesific goal is to boost your website conversion rate, try Trustmary.
The philosophy behind Trustmary is that happy customers accelerate business growth. When you showcase reviews from satisfied customers with various widgets on your website, you are able to get more leads and more sales.
Trustmary’s widget library includes elements for various purposes. Whether you want to educate the website visitors about your products, or get a repeat customer purchase again, we have a solution for you.
You can either import existing reviews from Google and other review sites, or create an automated review collection process with Trustmary.
Here are the key fuctions:
|Feature||How it works||Effect|
|Showcase reviews and video reviews that matter||Import reviews from review sites or collect them automatically with Trustmary. Then, use stylish widgets to display them on your website.||Reviews are social proof and showcasing them instantly builds trust and credibility for your brand.|
|Add pop-ups||Create a pop-up that showcases custom content and reviews. Launch it at page on-scroll or at exit intent.||Target customers based on their behavior on page. Our customers have experienced significant increase in conversion rates with this strategy.|
|Add customizable CTAs||Use the easy widget editor to customize CTA templates to fit your brand. Change colors, images, buttons, and text to fit your purposes. Include social proof in form of reviews or video reviews.||Social proof makes your customers convert faster.|
|Use lead generation forms||Collect more leads from your website using inline or pop-up lead generation forms. Customize the forms and add social proof.||Increase the website conversion rate and get more leads.|
|Add chatbots||Script effective chatbot sequences that follow conditional logic. Add social proof to the mix and use the chatbot to generate leads or collect feedback.||Enhance lead generation and lead qualification efforts. Increase engagement with a 24/7 presence on your website. Adds a conversational and personalized experience on your website.|
|Conduct timely surveys||Send feedback surveys to your clients at the right time using triggering events that launch the surveys. The best results are reached when you integrate Trustmary with your CRM system.||Get customer insights and signal to your customer that their opinion matters. Find out who are unhappy and who are willing to recommend your business.|
|A/B test and find the most effective widgets||Choose two versions of widgets or test a widget against null. Set up the experiment and wait until the results come in.||You will find out which widgets generate the most conversions. Get more leads and more sales.|
Today, website personalization is not just “nice to have”.
It’s something that customers have grown to expect, and companies that impelement web personalization are achieving better business results.
Creating a personalized website is challenging, but luckily, there are tools to help you.
If you own an ecommerce company that offers many different products, you should take a look at the more advanced website personalization tools.
In case you have a more straightforward business model and your goal is to get more conversions on your website, all you need to do is keep the funnel clean.
Simpler tools are enough for that.
What is website optimization?
Website optimization aims to create unique experiences for your customers when they visit your website. Things like personalized recommendations, CTAs, and individualized messages are included in web personalization.
How to do website optimization?
There are many ways to do website optimization, but the key is to collect and analyze customer data. Demographic information can be useful, but insights on past behavior reveal where the money comes from. Following what your customer has done in the past helps you get more sales.
What are some website optimization strategies?
Wherever you can make use of customer insights to create a solution that fits their unique wants and needs, you are doing personalization. Some strategies include e.g. giving recommendations, adding conversational elements like chatbots, showing specific content for visitors who come from specific sources, and building relationships with your customers.
Trustmary is the most effective way to convert more sales by improving digital trust.