6 Ways to Use Content Personalisation to Increase Conversions
Connecting with your audience on a deep and meaningful level is challenging. It’s even more challenging if you speak to each customer, potential customer and casual browser in the same way. By blasting out an identical message to anyone and everyone it’s the online equivalent of throwing pasta against the wall to see what sticks.
Instead of broadcasting a single message, brands and businesses are looking for ways to build more personal relationships with their customers. Personalised content is a big trend set to continue. Let’s look at what it means and six different ways to use it in your digital marketing.
What Is Content Personalisation?
Content personalisation is a marketing approach used to deliver tailored content to specific segments of your consumer base. It may also be tailored to the individual person reading the content. Personalised content can refer to the reader by name. It can also speak to known characteristics about them like their purchase history, age, gender etc.
The goal is to help better meet the customer’s needs, solve their pain points and ultimately, drive more conversions.
Personalising content also builds trust and deepens relationships with your audience and customers.
Why Is Personalisation the Next Big Thing?
According to a report by Evergage, 68% of marketers saw increased conversion rates from their personalisation efforts; 61% saw improved customer experience; and 57% experienced a hike in visitor engagement.
Quantitatively, the lift in conversion is compelling enough. Qualitatively though, it is a gateway for brands and businesses to interact with consumers in a more human way.
Your customers want to feel that there are real people listening to their needs and ready to answer their questions. If you can make them feel like that, it paves the way for strong long term relationships.
The benefits are clear. And without personalisation, the absence of relating to customers can be painfully obvious.
The Opposite of Personalisation
Imagine you recently bought a new coffee machine. It’s amazing. And so is the ethically sourced, single origin espresso you make yourself every morning. It was expensive but it was worth it.
A few days later you receive an email from the coffee machine company. Your prized coffee machine is now on sale! 50% off! You feel cheated and that coffee now leaves a bitter taste in your mouth – and not the good kind!
The coffee machine company should have tailored their message. If they had used personalisation they would never have sent a discount to a customer who recently bought the very item.
Content personalisation works to avoid customer interactions like these. Try to avoid blanket promotional offers to your entire consumer base or you could risk annoying loyal customers.
Instead, try a more relevant approach to furthering the relationship with new customers.
Let’s revisit our coffee machine owner example. The company will have data about who has just bought a coffee machine. They could follow up with tips about how to make different coffee styles at home – lattes, flat whites, cappuccinos etc. In a series of emails they could send out a series of coffee inspired recipes. Or, they could send a guide to cleaning and taking care of their new appliance.
For a high-end purchase, this level of personalised content is a great added value. Even if your business sells lower priced items like drinks or snacks, you can still apply these techniques to great effect.
What Do You Need to Personalise Your Message?
Content personalisation wouldn’t exist without its foundational building blocks: data.
Data is the driving force behind all personalisation efforts. Without data you can’t know who you’re talking to. To offer a personalised experience you need to have a really clear picture of who you’re talking to and have the data to back it up.
This invaluable data comes from a number of sources. If you’re personalising your emails, you’ll pull data from your email service provider. If you’re personalising your website content you might use information from user accounts or your analytics provider. Social media is harder to personalise when posting updates but you can use social media data to get a better understanding of your customers.
Now you’re more familiar with content personalisation, here’s six different ways to apply personalisation tactics to your website, email and social media strategy.
6 Ways to Personalise Your Content
Your marketing emails are competing for attention in your customers’ inboxes. You need to cut through the clutter and shine through. When customers see their name in the subject line, it can make them look twice.
In fact, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, according to Experian.
This was the case for FreshDirect, an online grocer serving the north eastern region of the U.S. They were looking to intensify the emotional bond with their customers and didn’t stop at the subject line. They began sending out deals that were personalised with the subscribers’ names weaved throughout the body of the email. This masterful stroke of personalisation helped incentivise repeat purchases.
Customise Website Copy Based on URL Parameters
Perhaps the most dynamic content personalisation today is customised web copy based on campaign source, referral sites and actions performed by users on your website.
This means serving up variations of creative copy once a user lands on your site.
The choice in message is determined by what the user did or where they came from. The mechanism that determines this are unique identifiers found in the URL. These can that track a source, channel, or campaign name. They’re often known as UTM parameters and take the following form:
charity: water is a not-for-profit whose mission is to provide clean water to all the world’s inhabitants. They depend almost entirely on online channels to fund their water projects.
Through data analysis, they found most of their donors only pledged once. Using segmentation attributes like past donation amounts, they implemented customised web copy and tailored suggested donation amounts that were pre-filled once a potential donor arrived on the donation page. After conducting a test run, they found that suggested pre-fill amounts increased the average donation size by 30%.
Segmentation is the beating heart of content personalisation. In regards to email, start simple. One way to personalise your message is to segment between potential customers and existing customers.
Splitting your list based on this data point is hugely valuable. You can then dedicate time to nurturing prospective customers and offer them incentives without annoying existing customers that something they have already purchased is now on sale. Remember the coffee machine story?
Another way to segment your email list is based on customer interests. You might ask customers what they’re interested in – via a survey or series of tick boxes. Or you can gather data about what they like based on the links they click in your email campaigns.
If you keep track of who clicks on what you could automatically add subscribers to different “interest” segments. With this data you can send targeted emails. Emails about coffee to people who are interested in coffee; emails about tea to people interested in tea. Personalisation at its best!
First-Time and Welcome Back Popup Offers
An example of behaviour-driven segmentation is visitor frequency. Brands tracking their new and returning visitors can see how many times a user has visited their website.
Heartier are an online retailer of meats, charcuterie, barbecue and pantry products. When a user visits them for the first time, a pop up provides an introductory offer.
The offer has an expiry date to drive urgency. And the message takes full advantage of the available screen space to communicate the brand’s values of proper, tasty, local produce.
Personalised Products and Recipes
Allergy sufferers often struggle to find recipes and products they can eat safely.
Recipe sites and apps that allow users to fill in their personal preferences provide a huge opportunity for gathering data and providing a highly customised experience.
Content personalisation trends to be driven by the brand and the data they have available. Customisation passes the reins to the consumer and gives them freedom to control the experience based on their own preferences.
A great example of this is Spoon Guru, a mobile application that allows users to input their food preferences and restrictions to create a unique, personal profile.
After customisation is complete, Spoon Guru will keep the content personalisation train going. They do this by automatically serving up options that the user can safely choose. The search and discovery tool will filter out recipes in real-time that contain allergens. Meanwhile, it will populate recipes that meet your nutritional needs at the top.
Personalise Social Ads Based on Data from FB Tracking Pixels
One final approach is to use data from Facebook tracking pixels to create personalised social advertising. We have an article that goes in depth on how to set up your Facebook tracking pixel. Here we’ll outline how this could be used in a hypothetical scenario.
Let’s say you’re a brand that offers a line of gluten-free snack bars. Your customers are all linked by a desire for gluten free products. This could be a personal choice for health reasons or it could be because they suffer from celiac disease. In addition, visitors to your website could be coming to buy products or could be searching for information about the gluten-free eating.
Your visitors might be consumers, industry professionals, nutritionists or doctors, researching your products.
Using a Facebook tracking pixel you can gather data about who your website visitors are and what they do. This allows you to segment your website visitors into custom audiences of Facebook users. You can then create custom Facebook ads and send personalised promotions to them in the News Feed.
For user who browsed your product range but didn’t buy you could send them a personalised discount off the specific products they were browsing. For visitors who read your guide to going gluten-free, you could deliver them more informative content to deepen the relationship.
Delivering Personalised Content
In summary, content personalisation is a powerful marketing strategy. It lets you deliver different content to targeted groups within your wider audience. This will help you lead them through the buyer’s journey to a successful conversion.
Segmentation is the process of grouping consumers via shared attributes. Commonly used attributes include name, gender, geographic location, unique vs returning visitors, referral sources and purchase history.
You don’t need to create loads of new content. You only need to curate it for each segment. Use your product info, FAQs, how-to’s, customer ratings and reviews. Sending the right kind of content to the right person at the right time makes your marketing more relevant to the individual customer.
The more personalised and relevant your marketing message, the more likely you’ll be to see an increase in conversion rate.
Email greetings, personalised email and website content, offers and tailored social media ads are all forms of marketing that can be personalised to maximise results.
So, go forth, be personal and build relationships with your customers. Get to know them, speak to their needs, solve their problems and you’ll start to see the fruits of your hard work!