Personalization - The Secret Weapon of Conversation Rate Optimization

Written by Jeff Cole on July 13, 2017

simple color line flat design of website personalization

When it comes to marketing your business, are you willing to get personal? If you want to ensure a high rate of conversion on your website and its landing pages, you better be. Personalization is becoming increasingly important throughout digital marketing, and businesses are only starting to catch up.

Millions of internet browsers are installing ad browsers every week, specifically because they find traditional advertising intrusive, annoying, and ubiquitous. Inbound marketing techniques, which seek to pull in audiences with relevant content and by building credibility, seek to combat and reverse these attitudes.

But without personalization, even inbound marketing may not be successful. To maximize lead conversions on your website, personalization is vital. In fact, it might just be the secret weapon of your conversion rate optimization strategy.

First Things First: What does ‘Personalization’ Actually Mean?

Let’s start with a definition. We see the term personalization thrown around everywhere, so we want to get the record straight. For us, building a marketing strategy – and delivering content – that is created with the unique needs of your target audience in mind.

Personalization, in other words, means relevance above all else. It can come in a variety of forms, but all of them rely specifically on marketing efforts designed to speak to your audience’s needs, pain points, and preferences. With that definition in mind, here are 3 ways in which you can utilize the concept to boost your lead generation efforts.

1) Building Your Website with Target Personas in Mind

In its most general sense, personalization starts the second that you write the first line of code of your new website. Every decision you make, from the home page to individual pages and even the navigation, should consider the needs and preferences of your audience.

Your first step in achieving that goal is to develop target personas. These are hypothetical people who represent the ideal customer. Your target audience analysis may find that your best customers are between 24 and 29, female working professionals in California. A persona representing this audience might be Kate, a 26 year old sales executive who lives in San Francisco.

Target personas can help you make better marketing and content decisions throughout your website. In fact, one study found that the simple fact of using marketing personas increased website effectiveness (measured through conversion rates) between 200 and 500 percent. This guide can help you build your first persona(s), and begin optimizing your website.

2) The Power of Customized Web Content

Persona development, of course, is only the beginning. To truly optimize your website, consider the potential effects of customized content.

Imagine different members of your audience seeing different content, depending on their individual characteristics. What seemed like science fiction a while ago is now a reality, thanks to a variety of software options that let you customize content based on browser settings (such as language and location), or previous lead sign ups.

At its most extreme, that can mean addressing individual visitors by their first name. For some more subtle examples, it can mean dynamic calls to action, content recommendations, pop-ups, and more.

Either way, it pays off. A HubSpot study across 93,000 CTAs found that those personalized to individual users increased leads by 42 percent on those pages. On the flip side, nearly 75 percent of internet users get frustrated when web content is not personalized to them. Customize your web content by users, and your conversion rate will thank you.

3) The Benefits of Personalization at the Point of Conversion

It’s time to talk about the most important pages in your conversion rate optimization strategy: your landing pages. Here, your audience gets access to valuable, in-depth content hidden behind a sign-up page. The content on the page will determine whether or not a visitor actually converts to a lead.

Fortunately, you can achieve personalization on these crucial pages in a variety of ways:

•Building custom landing pages by campaign and persona. If you run targeted marketing campaigns to each persona, consider building custom and adjusted pages for each campaign you run. The more custom, the more personalization possibilities.

•Including social proof relevant to end users. Testimonials, expert reviews, and other types of social proof can be vital in pushing your visitors to take the conversion step. Consider using customized, dynamic web content to personalize testimonials specifically to your various types of visitors.

•Adding conversation opportunities. Nothing is more personal than allowing your audience to interact with you. But if you also want to keep them on your page, your options are limited. Consider adding live chat software, which allows your audience to ask you questions that will move them more closely toward conversion.

After the Conversion Bonus: Personalizing Your Email Messages

Finally, never forget that conversion rate optimization does not end when the lead is generated. The ultimate conversion you’re after is likely the sale or transaction, and that can only be achieved reliably through personalized lead nurturing. Fortunately, your email marketing offers more personalization opportunities than your website:

•Segment your email list according to signifiers that might be relevant. For example, if your sign up form asks for the user’s location, consider sending different emails to recipients from various states.

•Personalize the sender. Avoid sending any email from a generic company account. Instead, pick a member of your team that’s relevant to the message, and turn them into the sender of any automated nurturing emails.

•Address recipients by their first name. A few little manners can go a long way. Let’s be honest: “Dear New Lead” simply doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Hi Kate” does in the first line.

•Don’t forget the power of dynamic content. It’s available in your email messages as much as your website content. Take advantage of it to increase your lead-to-sales conversion rate.

It’s difficult to think of many marketing concepts that are more important in your conversion rate optimization than personalization. Skip over it in your marketing strategy, and your audience might just find more relevant brands to interact with and convert to instead. Do it right, and you will see your lead generation efforts succeed and your business grow.