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10 Ideas for Website Personalization

I recently had some time with a company that was struggling to find some great personalization ideas to use on their website.  I have used personalization heavily on several of the sites I have worked on, so this topic came easily for me. I decided to document them and see if it could benefit anybody else by providing some fuel to do personalization well.  Personalization isn’t for everybody though, you do need to know plenty about your customers in order to utilize it well.

  1. Landing pages:  Depending on if they are a returning customer or not, you can control what type of banner/content is displayed to them.  New Customer:  Educational message about what you do.  Returning customer:  Banner specific to best products and services.
  2. Landing pages:  Do you know what products or brands they have interacted with in the past on your site?  Make sure you have a direct tie into those products when they first arrive to reduce bounce/exit.
  3. Customer Interest:  Have you asked the customer any explicit questions about their interests during account registration? Make sure these categories are captured on homepage, landing pages, email programs, social posts and any customer engagements you attempt to make.
  4. Marketing Assets:  Does the customer already have a couple of your marketing assets? If they already have your mobile app, be smart and don’t ask them to download it again. What other assets can you have them download? Browser app. Email sign up, Mobile App, SMS list, Social channels, etc.  You can do this easiest through a proactive lightbox or modal, that way it is not intrusive to the customers flow.
  5. Customer Interest:  Make sure to have a widget about recommended products or brands. Best locations for this are either in your emails, internal search results, blog, or on your 404 page.
  6. Customer Interest:  Do you know what gender your customers are? Customize experience with colors or products at the top of the page based on their answer. If you don’t know what gender they are, take some liberties with the first names on your list and bounce it up against a gender matchup to understand your customers a little more.
  7. Customer Interest:  If you send a welcome email, make sure that it matches well with the referral topic (referral code) that they signed up with? It needs to match their expectations or else you will lose them fast.
  8. Customer Interest:  If you have a strong email campaign, results have shown adding localisation, gender or known technology (ie. iPhone) to your subject line and content.  I’ve personally seen engagement go up to 40% when you can appeal to their personal journey.
  9. Customer Interest:  If the customer has purchased with you in the past, maybe they need an accessory to the item they purchased? Or maybe they are looking for an easy way to repurchase, so give them a fast path to purchase again.  Ease is critical to our online shoppers.  Always give them an appropriate path based on their potential comfort with conversion by motivating with dynamic CTA language.
  10. Customer Info:  Use the customers account information to show that you know who they are.  You definitely do not want to me “big brother” and share an email address globaly, but if you know the customers first name, show that you know something about them.  Put it in your super-header, put their name near the sign out, but make them feel like you know who they are.

That’s my quick list to help fuel your pursuit. What am I missing?

 

CRM explained

What is CRM? Simplified Version

What is CRM? 

In the world of digital marketing there is a very popular acronym known as CRM. We’ve all heard it.  It’s an acronym that all executive leaders like to talk about, all managers act like they know how to use, and analysts feel the right way to quantify it.  Well, before you step into a world of high cost software packages, or massive agency budgets, I’d like to recommend a simplified view of what it really is.  Wikipedia defines it as:

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.

…but I would like to simplify it a bit and suggest that we rename it to be Count, Relate, and Monetize.  When simplified like this, it may actually seem like a task you could actually accomplish rather than dream about it for a long time and never do anything about it.

Count

Starting with the basics, do you really have visibility as to how many assets or existing customers you have to make your Digital Marketing efforts do well?  Assets?  …Examples of assets are:

  • Registered customers
  • Active 180 day email open subscribers
  • Active mobile apps
  • Active browser apps
  • Social followers
  • Mailing list
  • SMS lists

Understanding the trending and volumes of these assets is critical as you start the planning of your marketing by realizing the biggest area of opportunity of assets to engage with your customer base in the first place.  Spoiler alert …CRM is all about building audiences for your promotions, and communicating the promotions to your valuable customers through your assets. You will not do it well without the growth and optimization of assets like these.

Relate

The goal of relating with your existing and potential customers is to engage with them.  Engagement with your customers means that you are that much closer to a potential conversion with the most valuable customers in your business, BUT if you don’t have the means to communicate with them, it will not be very easy.  This is why asset “Count” is so important to the “Relate” piece of CRM.  You can’t rely on PPC, Organic, and Radio spots alone to drive engagement from your existing customers, but they need to be a piece of the overall omni-channel communication experience.

The difficult part about relating with your customers is that you have to figure out WHAT topics or content to engage your customers with.  Well, just like you would bring up topics that your friends would have interest in, you need to find implicit ways (unless you have explicit questions in your account signup) to understand what they would like to receive from you.  Some implicit examples might be:

  • What has the customer put in the cart?
  • What categories did they visit on your site?
  • What have they clicked in previous emails?
  • What have they purchased in the past?
  • Do you have a social login?  Grab the Social Interests from it.
  • What have they looked at in your mobile app?

Once you are able to start capturing these Implicit actions, this is where you are able to start building audiences.  Audiences are critical to understand before you start doing any marketing as this is the most significant form of personalization that you can give your customer.  Deliver messages to your customers that are in tune with what matters to them.  This matches perfectly with the studies of Implicit Egotism that shows that customers are organically prideful, love to be catered to, they love the fact that companies are listening to them, and ultimately this will help with a conversion decision of the journey.  Counting and trending your audiences segments will also help form future products or promotions as well.

Monetize

Now that you have found simple ways to count your assets, and build audiences to relate well with your customers, now you need to find which combinations will bring in the best profitability and engagements for your efforts. You need to COUNT which combination of asset and communication…

  • brings in customers with the highest LTV (life time value)
  • acquires New Customers the most effectively
  • re-engages with your ageing customers
  • influences the highest omni-channel engagers
  • cross promotes other assets
  • promotes your most frequent visitors

If you can answer these questions with your reporting, then you now have the knowledge to go do some profitable communications and  build beneficial relationships. For some of you conservative marketers out there, yes, RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetization) is secretly captured in this model, but I dare not suggest that RFM is fit for every company out there.  It needs to be tweaked to fit the specific benchmarking needs for each company goal.

Bottom line, if you are able to COUNT, RELATE, and MONETIZE in these simplest of forms, you can do CRM.  For some, the right answer might be to install big software packages that integrate with every system that you have based on the volumes you are working on, but you don’t always have to go that route.  Regardless, the goal should always be:  The right product, the right channel, for the right customer, and you will continue to win with engagement in a profitable way.