How to Use Content Personalization to Win Customers

By Erika Goldwater

June 7, 2018

Businesses that take the extra step to add a personal touch to the user experience are often the ones that have the most loyal customers. Approximately 73 percent of customers like to buy from brands that have created a personalized shopping experience, and 75 percent like it when brands send personalized messages and offers.

These personal touches have a name and are part of a greater marketing strategy called content personalization.

Content personalization has the ability to take a simple customer interaction and make it a unique and engaging experience. The connection your business builds through content personalization will increase brand awareness, drive conversions, and win customers. Let’s take a deeper look.

What is Content Personalization?

Content personalization is the practice of tailoring a user experience to individual customers. This can be carried out in several different ways—such as through product recommendations, individually tailored emails, and more—and on many different platforms, making it an omnichannel-friendly marketing method. Content personalization utilizes real time data and AI technology to create a more personalized experience for users.

Why Content Personalization is Essential

Content personalization creates an experience for customers that cannot be replicated anywhere else. By utilizing this strategy, your business delivers relevant content to customers across channels, keeps them on-site longer, and drives improvements in conversion rates and revenue.

This type of user experience adds a competitive edge. As customer expectations increase, it could play a crucial role in whether customers return to you, or take their business elsewhere.

To fully leverage the benefits of content personalization, it needs to be part of an omnichannel strategy. Omnichannel personalization is built on the idea that customers should have similar, consistent interactions with a brand regardless of channel. It’s accomplished by leveraging real-time data from all channels to inform and personalize every customer interaction.

Content Personalization Tactics to Drive Conversions

Understanding your customer and their needs before they even think of them is something businesses are striving for in today’s hypercompetitive environment. Here are a few proven ways to execute content personalization:

AI-Driven Content Personalization

To build, manage and deliver a consistent customer experience, marketers are looking to AI technology to aggregate and analyze customer data in real time. With these insights, a personalization engine is able to tailor a customer’s experience to not only make it more relevant to the individual, but also more likely to drive conversion actions.

AI-driven content personalization utilizes both first and third party data to make intelligent decisions with each customer interaction across channels. It can deliver content, in the form of personalized landing pages, special offers, or product recommendations, that is likely to appeal to the individual based on past behavior, demographics, browsing history, and other data points.   

Product Recommendations

With product recommendations, you can drive conversions by suggesting other products customers have bought with the item the customer is browsing, products that are in line with the customer’s search queries, or products that pair well with an item already in a customer’s cart.

Product recommendations are especially useful for businesses that have large product catalogs, since this provides them with more options to connect with and guide customers. Implementing product recommendations can increase revenue by up to 300 percent, improve conversions by 150 percent, and boost average order value by up to 50 percent.

Behavioral Targeting

Understanding a customer’s past interactions with your website and brand presents an opportunity to get to know them better. With insight into a customer’s interests, preferences, and behaviors, marketers are able to anticipate what they need and deliver content that drives conversions.

For example, an ecommerce site may target certain behaviors, such as when a customer adds an item to their cart but doesn’t make a purchase, when they return to your site after a long absence, or when they browse a specific category. This information can be used to send personalized email messages, or trigger a special offer on-site.

A/B Testing & Segmentation

A/B testing and segmentation should be leveraged to optimize content for different conversion actions and audiences. A/B testing allows you to compare different versions of a landing page (or another digital asset) and then move forward with the better performing asset for a given conversion.

Segmentation identifies high-value audiences through real-time and contextual analysis of data, including browsing behavior, geography, purchasing behavior, technographics, weather, and demographics.

Together, these two tactics can help create the tailored customer experiences across channels that are the building blocks of lasting customer-brand relationships.

Examples of Content Personalization

How does content personalization work for real companies—and what are the possible results? Take a look at these examples:

True Religion Finds Success with Geotargeted Emails

Challenge: Jeans brand True Religion wanted to increase in-store traffic and promote local events by targeting email subscribers within a certain proximity to their brick-and-mortar stores, but had limited internal demographic information.

Solution: Leveraging Monetate’s third-party data, they were able to give their subscriber list more context and use geotargeted emails to inform subscribers about local events and drive in-store traffic.  

Results: More than 65,000 True Religion geotargeted emails were opened, with a 2.5% click-through rate and a 1% in-store conversion rate. True Religion also experienced an overall increase in revenue.

Machine Learning Streamlines Product Pages for Office Depot

Challenge: Office Depot realized they needed to update their cluttered Product Description pages after noticing customers were spending less time onsite and seeing fewer conversions and less revenue. The website needed to dynamically present the right information on these key conversion pages based on where each customer was in the buying cycle.

Solution: Leveraging Monetate’s Intelligent Personalization Engine and its machine learning capabilities, Office Depot was able to deliver a personalized experience in real-time for each visitor. The Product Description pages were customized to emphasize the most relevant content, based on data and intelligence. This gave visitors the information they needed quickly and streamlined the buying process.

Results: In approximately four months, Office Depot saw an increase of nearly $6.9 million in revenue as a direct result of Monetate’s machine learning capabilities.

Waitrose Uses Purchase History to Drive New Customer Conversion

Challenge: The marketing team for British supermarket Waitrose did some digging and found that customers who made at least five online purchases were more likely to turn into loyal customers than those who did not.

Solution: Waitrose decided that the best way to capitalize on this information was to send tailored offers to customers over the course of five purchases. They sent personalized emails with discount codes and carried the message throughout their homepage to remind the returning shopper of the offer.

Results: The multi-channel campaign deployed with the help of Monetate’s solutions helped drive new customer conversion by over 30 percent.  

The Bottom Line

Engaging personalized content can drive sales by increasing brand loyalty and relevancy to the users. As customer expectations increase, content personalization is an effective way to improve customer experience across multiple platforms and touchpoints. By leveraging data and analytics, marketers can purposefully personalize every interaction for each individual to drive specific conversion actions and increase revenue.   

If you are interested in learning more about how Monetate can help you apply content personalization to your business, contact us today.

Erika Goldwater, CIPP/US is a B2B demand generation expert with over 15 years of experience in fast-growth technology and consulting organizations. Goldwater has had her privacy certification since 2008, working to help marketers implement best-practices and drive revenue the right way. Prior to Monetate, Goldwater was VP of Marketing for ANNUITAS and Marketing Manager, Strategic Accounts and Partners for Eloqua.

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