So, here you are. You’re ready to start experimenting with personalisation. Your organisation has invested in top-of-the-line marketing automation technology and is focusing all its efforts on becoming customer-centric and data-driven. Part of this (business) transformation involves delivering personalised, relevant experiences – whether on your website, in an email, or with (social) media campaigns.
Personalisation is a marketing tactic that delivers relevant and in-context experiences that increase engagement, build loyalty, and drive business goals on each of your customer-facing channels. Personalisation’s positive impact and Return on Investment (ROI) has been proven in many cases. Businesses that personalise web experiences see an average 19% increase in sales(1), and overall marketing spend is reduced by 30% using personalisation and testing(2).
Looking at these figures, it is surprising to see how many businesses are still not using personalisation and A/B testing. In fact, some studies show that 62% of marketers are not incorporating personalisation into their e-commerce sales cycle(3). This continues to surprise us, as does the fact that the biggest hurdle to kicking off personalisation is often due to doubts about ROI.
OnModus can offer hands-on, easy-to-implement personalisation strategies, derived from our various (proven) Accelerate programs(4). These programs are focussed on quick wins that help marketers build motivation and momentum for change. We then iterate on small successes and implement using the various in-house agile test teams we have trained and coached throughout the years.
Defining a hypothesis, such as ‘treating second-time visitors on our homepage differently will increase engagement value’, is a good way to create quick wins. It is important to set the goal and conversion metrics before each test, to be able to identify changes in the test data. After each test cycle, we present findings to upper management in sprint cycles.
Quick Win 1: Personalise your landing pages to match your Adwords Ads
If you are running Adwords campaigns, this quick win could be very beneficial. The idea is to add parts of the search query to your landing pages, and by doing so make the page more relevant. The search query your customers use reveals a lot of information about their intent and can be added to the landing page, for example in the title head. With Sitecore and personalisation, when a visitor comes from a specific SEA campaign, you have the ability to target the visitor with this specific context.
For example, let’s say Strava sets up an Adwords campaign that targets two sets of keywords: ‘Cycling Training App’ and ‘Cycling Practice App’. Using the Sitecore Campaign Manager, we are able to adjust the title on the landing page to “Challenge yourself and download our Cycling Training App”. This resonates well with visitors from the ‘Cycling Training’ ads, but less with the visitors from the ‘Cycling Practice’ ads. From our hands-on experience, this can reduce the bounce rate for ad campaigns by more than 30%, and have a significant impact on your ad spend.
Quick Win 2: Treat first-time visitors differently than second-time visitors
New visitors are a great opportunity for your brand, and by treating them with extra care, you can get ahead of your competition. The same principles apply online as those you would use to introduce yourself to someone for the first time offline. By using personalisation to give first-time visitors a warm welcome, you show your appreciation. And also the level of detail you operate on as a brand.
Welcoming messages can vary from calls-to-action to chat functionality that invites new customers to contact you. The content could present the depth and breadth of different services / products you offer. Within Sitecore, personalisation rules can be used to set up different messaging for different visitor levels on a component level.
Be aware that not all first-time visitors are new to your brand and domain. It’s possible that the visitor is using his or her desktop after first having browsed via his or her mobile. Or browsing from home instead of from work. Therefore, make the welcome message subtle, and not too obvious.
Quick Win 3: Base personalisation efforts on incoming traffic source
The referral source your visitor is coming from could be a potential foundation for personalisation opportunities. The difference between someone who visits from your company page on LinkedIn and someone who comes in via an organic search query from Google tells a lot about their intention and interest.
Maybe you are dealing with different client relationships, such as customers and suppliers. A supplier almost always uses certain referrals, for example LinkedIn traffic. When personalising specific content based on the referral source, the context of the visit is improved, and engagement is likely to increase.
By setting up personalisation test around incoming traffic, you are able to test different hypotheses and will get a better understanding of what type of content your visitors are interested in.
What to do next
According to Customer Experience Expert Paul Fennemore, applying personalisation over your different channels, consistently, is what to strive next for. “An omnichannel consistent experience, which include your platform, mobile app, email and social channels will be the next step for context marketers to dig into”
Paul continues “For this to operate well and effective, one integrated view of your customer is necessary, with data insights from existing systems such as CRM, ERP and logistics systems. Sitecore 9 and xConnect are great examples to start this conversation off”.
These examples are part of our Sitecore Accelerate program – a service specifically designed to make full use of the SXP capabilities. Our MVPs will train your marketers to become personalisation experts, fully capable of running an in-house agile test team.
Interested in accelerating your Sitecore platform? Don’t hesitate to contact us.