There’s no doubt that personalization helps boost conversions. The proof is in the numbers:
- Econsultancy found that 93% of companies experienced a rise in conversion rates after personalizing their search engine marketing
- The same was true for 94% of companies that personalized their websites
- And 92% of companies that personalized their emails saw a boost in conversions
At the same time, these increases were only minor for a majority of the companies in the study.
- 54% of companies reported a minor uplift in conversions after personalizing their search engine marketing efforts
- For website personalization and email personalization, the numbers stood at 61% and 65% respectively
What are the reasons behind this?
Clearly, personalization has an impact on conversions. But unless it’s done correctly, marketers and companies cannot experience the full benefits.
The stats also show that personalization can be a difficult strategy to nail:
- Only 19% of companies in the Econsultancy study said that it wasn’t difficult
- 39% found it extremely challenging
It seems that a majority of companies are seeing only minimal results from their efforts. If you want to be successful at driving conversions through personalization, your main focus should be on the customer.
You should view personalization as a method for delivering relevant experiences, rather than a conversion gimmick. This means you need to focus on the tiniest details of a customer’s experience that can influence their purchase decisions.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective personalization techniques that will help you boost your conversion rate:
#1: Create Personalized Copy Based on Referral Source
Imagine this scenario.
You come across a brand mention on an influencer’s social media post. They have included the link to the brand’s website so you click on it to check out the brand.
The next thing you know, you land on a generic homepage that has no further mentions of the influencer or the products they talked about. So you don’t really know where else to go or which products to check out.
This can be a very frustrating experience, and could result in a lot of bounces from your landing page.
Instead, let’s say you immediately land on a page that’s clearly designed for the influencer’s audience.
Perhaps it has copy mentioning the influencer and listing out the products they’ve recommended. Or maybe the page even highlights some of the influencer’s reviews about the brand.
Either way, there’s a much better chance that you’re going to be engaged with the brand’s website, explore the various products recommended by the influencer, and convert as a customer.
That’s why you need to start creating dynamic copy, personalized according to the visitor’s referral source – whether it’s from social media, ads, emails, or other websites.
Here are just a few ideas for personalized elements you could add for each source:
- Unique landing pages
Choose whichever option is most suitable for you and for your campaign.
For example, Buffered, a VPN service, partnered with CNET to promote their service. CNET created a list of the best VPN services for 2019 and included Buffered in the list.
Whenever someone clicks on the company’s link, they get redirected to a unique landing page for CNET readers. This page showcased an exclusive offer for them, as you can see in the screenshot below.
Image Source: Buffered
This makes the copy highly relevant to visitors coming from that particular referral source, increasing their likelihood of converting.
In his interview with Crazy Egg, Instapage’s Tyson Quick also explained that people coming from different traffic sources can be in different mindsets.
While someone coming from a Google AdWords campaign is already looking for a solution, visitors from social media may only be in the awareness stage. This is one of the reasons why it’s crucial to personalize your landing page content according to the referral source.
The ideal scenario is dynamically replacing your landing page copy to match the text used in the referral source.
For example, let’s say someone searches for a method to “create personalized emails” and discovers your platform in the search results.
After the searcher clicks on your link, they should see a landing page with CTA and headline copy containing the same verb (i.e. “create”), rather than some other verb like “design” or “make.”
Using this method, Campaign Monitor saw a 31.4% increase in conversions.
#2: Display Dynamic Content Based on Time of Visit
Another effective personalization technique is to deliver dynamic content based on time of visit.
This isn’t just limited to changing your homepage background into a nighttime image just because someone is visiting at night. Other than impressing them a bit, this isn’t going to do much to convert the visitor into a customer.
Your dynamic personalization has to be a bit more relevant and actionable than that.
Ideally, you should display dynamic offers when they’re visiting during a specific event or holiday, or at a certain time of day.
Let’s say someone lands on your site around the same time you’re hosting a paid webinar. Perhaps you could display an option to join in at the last minute, and sweeten the deal with a discount.
Even if running an offer isn’t an option for you, you can still display dynamic content based on time of visit.
For example, let’s say you own a restaurant and you want to start using dynamic personalization.
You could highlight your lunch menu when visitors land on your site between 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM. Or if someone visits right before Valentine’s Day, you could display a banner encouraging them to make a reservation for that special day.
The Gladly, a Phoenix-based restaurant, used a website building platform called Duda to display a dynamic banner advertising a special offer they had during Restaurant Week.
Anyone who visited their site during that period could see this banner. This resulted in a 70% increase in clicks on their Reserve a Table CTA for that month.
Image Source: Duda
Other than the time-of-visit personalization implemented by The Gladly, you can choose from several other triggers available on the platform. This will allow you to effectively deliver dynamic, personalized content according to device type, referral source, location, number of visits, and more.
Regardless of your industry, you should definitely adopt dynamic personalization to display off-hour details. Instead of displaying your phone number when someone visits your site while your business is closed, you’ll provide them with a contact form instead. That way you’re not wasting any leads by giving them a less than optimal first impression.
Rather than having them call during off-hours only to be met with disappointment, encourage them to fill out the contact form. They won’t have to check back several times to see if you’re open, and you can get back to them once business hours resume.
#3: Personalize Based on Device Type
Now this may seem like a very basic technique that everyone is already using. But personalizing based on device type is more than just designing a mobile-responsive site.
Mobile-responsiveness may help improve site navigation, but it doesn’t necessarily boost conversion rates. There are a lot more ways to personalize the experiences of your mobile and tablet visitors so that they convert.
For instance, you could make it easier for first-time shoppers to complete their purchases by offering social login options. There are tons of WordPress plugins that let you add social login options to your site.
You can also display a click-to-call button in your contact page, social media page, or landing page to increase the number of leads. According to 61% of mobile searchers, click-to-call is most valuable in the purchase phase.
Here are a few tips for maximizing this opportunity:
- Design the button so it appears only for mobile visitors, while desktop visitors can view your phone number.
- Make sure the button is dynamic so visitors from different locations can instantly reach the office or store relevant to their location.
- Also make sure you display this button only when the visit is during office hours. This will ensure that whoever wants to call you has someone to respond.
- For WordPress websites, you can install the Thrive Architect plugin, which lets you create and customize click-to-call buttons. If you need more detailed instructions on how to use the plugin for this purpose, you can check out their instructional YouTube video.
A Click-To-Call Case Study
You could also display this click-to-call button on your search ad. By doing this, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) managed to increase their month-to-month mobile traffic by 20%.
Before, they were only displaying their phone number in the ad copy. But they changed it so that mobile searchers could easily initiate a call with them. Their mobile click-to-call ads contributed to approximately 40% of their mobile marketing global revenue.
They haven’t changed the copy for desktop searches, so people who are using their desktop to conduct a search can copy their phone number to their mobile and call them.
Here’s how it looks:
And here’s how their ad looks on mobile. As you can see the click-to-call button is clearly visible, but people can also copy their phone number if that’s what they want.
Google lets you create call extensions and add them to your ads the same way IHG did.
These extensions allow people to tap on your phone number and directly call your business. You can even choose which specific ad groups display this call extension. Check out their support article on how to do this.
#4: Use Dynamic Personalization in Your Ad Creative
Making ads more relevant and personalized according to each customer is still a huge challenge for businesses and marketers.
In fact, an Ascend study found that data-driven personalization is the most difficult tactic to execute. 63% of marketing influencers voted for it as their biggest challenge.
If you want to it right, you need to implement dynamic ad creative that’s personalized according to each customer’s browsing or purchase history. This is an especially important tactic for e-commerce websites to follow.
Did you know that almost 70% of online shopping carts get abandoned? And a lot of times, it’s not necessarily because shoppers did not want to buy the product.
Some people abandon their carts because the extra costs were too high or because they didn’t want to create an account.
Others abandon their purchase because of a lengthy and complicated checkout process. There are even people who abandon their carts because of a website error. So it’s obvious that they did like the product, but could not complete their purchase because of various issues.
Regardless of the reason, with a gentle nudge and a few reminders you could compel them to finally go through with the purchase because they just couldn’t forget about it.
In these cases, dynamic ads would be extremely relevant because you’re displaying products to people who have previously shown some interest. This improves your chances of drawing them to your website again, which will boost your site traffic.
And there’s an even better chance of getting them to convert since the item that they like is now on sale or has an exciting offer.
That is exactly why Facebook launched their dynamic ads feature, which enables you to:
- Record the user’s behavior in your website via the Facebook pixel
- Identify the products which were abandoned at some stage of the funnel
- And display a dynamic ad to the user showcasing those exact products with exclusive offers.
CA Technologies also experimented with dynamic ads on LinkedIn. While the company had seen some clicks through social channels, they struggled to drive actual conversions. And since they had limited flexibility to change their landing page, they needed a better way to attract leads that would convert.
They started displaying the profile images of LinkedIn members along with their brand message. This helped make the ads more relevant to individual users who were targeted for these ads.
Image Source: LinkedIn
The company generated a conversion rate of 11.3% while reducing their cost per lead by 68%, compared to other channels.
For dynamic ads to work, you’ll need to display similar messaging across all of the channels on which you’re executing a campaign. This will provide uniformity and prevent any misalignment in your ad messaging. Platforms like AdRoll can help you create and manage dynamic personalized ads that will increase conversions.
You should also automatically adjust your messaging with relevant promotions that align with each shopper’s interest. That’s what Yamaha did to drive a 5 times increase in conversions.
Using dynamic ads, they automatically adjusted their messaging for holiday promotions and remarketing previously-viewed products so they could match peoples’ interests.
#5: Personalize Based on Number of Visits
Some businesses have also started displaying dynamic content personalized according to the number of visits.
You can display offers that would appeal to first-time visitors, or entice returning visitors with recommendations based on their previous browsing history.
One idea for displaying dynamic content is to notify them about any changes in pricing or any new deals that align with their purchase history.
Another excellent dynamic personalization technique is to display a welcome popup for first-time visitors.
You could include a video or a message that will help acquaint them with your brand and website. To sweeten the deal and improve conversions, you could include an offer to use on their first purchase.
This is what Chickidee did to encourage more signups. They offered 5% off to new customers on their first order in exchange for their email address. Not only will this help them collect more customer information, it will help them drive more conversions with the discount offer.
Image Source: Chickidee
If providing a discount isn’t a viable option for you, you could encourage new visitors to check out some resources that they would find especially helpful. This could be anything from a buying guide to a size guide.
Even if these visitors don’t convert initially, providing them with valuable resources will help nurture your relationships with them. This could eventually result in more conversions in the long run.
The previously-mentioned Duda platform can help you create personalized popups and notification bars based on number of visits. As shown in the screenshot above, you can select the “Visits” trigger to start the process.
Naked Wines goes a step farther and displays dynamic home page copy for first-time visitors. As you can see in the screenshot below, they “welcome” new visitors with their copy. They also invite them to take a quick survey in exchange for a free voucher.
Once you take their survey and provide them with your email address, you no longer see the previous welcome page. Instead, you automatically see the following page on your next visit:
HubSpot has a Smart Content feature that lets you display dynamic content like this, based on the number of visits.
Using this feature, you’ll be able to show different homepage or landing page content depending on whether the visitor is a stranger, a lead, or an existing customer. According to their internal analysis, CTAs with personalized content perform 212% better than generic ones.
#6: Use Geo-Location Personalization to Enhance Experience
If you’re not new to marketing and business, you don’t need to be told that customer experience is vital for conversions, or that inconveniences increase customer frustration and lower your chances of converting them.
A lot of inconveniences could occur because you’re not catering to the location-specific needs of customers. Your product recommendations, rates, promotions, content, and events may not necessarily be relevant for customers across all geographic locations.
That’s why dynamic geo-location personalization can be a great solution for boosting conversions. It delivers content, promotions, and experiences that are relevant to the location of each visitor and enhances the customer experience. This increases their probability of converting.
For example, let’s say you’re an SEO consultant and you’re running a promotion with a free 30-minute consultation for clients in the U.S.
You have a banner up on your site, which takes people to a form submission page. All they need to do is fill out the form, select a convenient time, and wait for you to contact them for the consultation.
Say someone from outside of the U.S. visits your site and sees the promotion. Since you didn’t specifically mention that this offer is only for American businesses, this visitor submits the form too.
The next day, they see an email from you explaining how the offer does not cover them. Just try to imagine how disappointing and aggravating the situation could be for this visitor. Similarly, it puts you in a very awkward position.
If you had automatically detected where the visitor was located, you might have never displayed the promotion banner. You would only display it to people who are visiting from the U.S., helping you attract more qualified leads.
Or let’s say you’re an ecommerce business and you don’t deliver certain products to certain locations.
A customer shopping from that location has gone through a lengthy process of researching the products on your website and picking out their favorites.
But once they get to the checkout page, they get a message saying that some of the items they’ve selected cannot be delivered to their location.
This is not only going to cause immense frustration for the customer, but it could also prompt them to abandon their entire purchase. So you’ve missed a chance to convert them even for the items that you can deliver to their location.
To remedy this, you can automatically display dynamic content that provides useful and relevant location-based information in real time.
For example, The Home Depot will automatically detect your location (but give you the option to change it).
They display dynamic shipping and stock information for certain products based on your location, and they will proactively inform you whether or not the product is available for delivery to your location.
You can also see whether the product is available for pickup at the store nearest to your location, and how many pieces are in stock.
This saves shoppers a lot of time and frustration. They can immediately move on to a different product and continue with their shopping if the product they like is unavailable.
These are some of the most effective personalization techniques that you can use to boost your conversion rate.
As you can see, the main focus is on getting personalization right so you can deliver relevant real-time experiences for each customer. The more targeted your message, the more likely people are to convert.
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