In these early days of 2017, your resolutions are probably top-of-mind, both personal and professional. Maybe you’ve resolved to spend more time with your family, donate to charity, or get in shape. Maybe you’ve decided to start personalizing your digital properties, or to improve upon your current strategy to have an even greater impact this year.
But when it comes to personalization, there are so many different directions you can take, it can be difficult to focus on the right areas when planning for the year. Our customer success team meets with marketers every day, and they have the expertise to help you set your resolutions this year. Here’s what they suggest:
Remember that Less Is More
recommended by Logan Goulett
In 2017, I recommend you hide irrelevant information from your visitors, like free US shipping notifications to international visitors. I suggest simplifying your homepage by only showing products that your visitors indirectly or directly expressed interest in, and A/B test enhancements to streamline the checkout funnel to eliminate unnecessary hurdles and optimize the user journey and purchasing experience.
TAKEAWAY: Marketers often find themselves with an overabundance of information and not enough space to present it throughout their digital properties. This year, use personalization to give your visitors only the information that is relevant — and consider removing anything that isn’t. Make sure to keep your digital experience concise by helping each individual focus on the aspects of your site that are important to them.
Use All the Data You Have
recommended by Julie Hayes
In 2017, I recommend combining CRM data with browsing behavior to promote relevant products on your homepage to maximize value for your users.
TAKEAWAY: Being maximally relevant to each individual on your site can only be achieved when you have the right data. Make sure you are using all the data you have available for your personalization efforts, even if that means integrating with other systems. Use all this data to avoid irrelevance for your visitors — such as recommending a product that a visitor has already purchased or promoting a webinar to someone who already registered.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goals
recommended by Rich Corriss
In 2017, work smarter, not harder. Have a clear personalization plan in mind that will help you achieve the impact you’re really looking for.
TAKEAWAY: When it comes to personalization, it’s easy for marketers to get caught up in a “what if we tried…” planning style. This is great, because you should always be trying and testing new ideas. But it’s important to avoid getting lost in all the campaigns you could run, and focus on what campaigns you should run. In other words, what will actually help you achieve your goals on your site?
To accomplish this, you need to make sure you know what your goals are and which metrics will be used to measure the success of those goals. When you have those in mind, it will be easier to stay on track.
Think About Visitors’ Real (Not Imagined) Journey
recommended by Karen Simmonds
In 2017, remember that the shopping path isn’t linear. Identify how your customers enter and exit your site to enhance personalization throughout the visitor’s actual journey.
TAKEAWAY: Sometimes marketers will fall into the trap of assuming that visitors flow through their site in a specific way they intended. This is often not the case, of course. For example, with retail sites, shoppers do not always go from the homepage, to the category page, to the PDP, to the cart, and then to checkout. They may skip some of these steps entirely or hit them out of order. It’s important to look at your data, identify how your visitors actually flow through your site, and identify ways to personalize those areas to help them accomplish their specific goals.
Test, Test, Then Test Again
also recommended by Karen Simmonds
In 2017, I recommend that you review tests you ran last year and use those learnings (good and bad) to build out your testing roadmap this year. Be flexible and end a test early, try new tests or retry things that didn’t work in the past.
TAKEAWAY: Take a look at the personalized experiences you developed this year and the tests you ran. What worked and what didn’t? What can you learn from those tests? Which tests should you revisit? Maybe a campaign would do better at a different time of year, or old ideas that didn’t work out can be revisited or revamped to see success this year. Take a minute to go through the data on your performance in 2016 to plan for 2017.
Reimagine Old Tactics with Personalization
recommended by Nic Winters
In 2017, I recommend that you remove the carousel from your homepage and replace it with personalized messaging instead.
TAKEAWAY: Nic really dislikes homepage carousels, because they are a solution to a problem that is better addressed with personalization. That is, instead of having your homepage hero image cycle through multiple images and links, you can pick the one that is most relevant to each person.
In general, revisit outdated web tactics and think about how they can be reinvented with personalized elements to make them more effective.
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