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5 Best Practices for Using Data for Website Personalization

Data is the fuel that powers personalization.

Here are 5 best practices for using data to personalize your website to drive more conversions.

Data is the fuel that powers personalization. Yet most marketers have a lot of questions when it comes to how to best use data in their personalization efforts. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with leading marketers across a variety of industries and in this post I’ll share some best practices for using data for website personalization.

Tip One: Make Full Use of Data You Can See on Every Impression

A common question I hear is, “What data do I need to personalize my site?” Most marketers are surprised when I answer, “You don’t need to deliver any data to get started.” It’s easiest to start with data that is commonly available on every impression. This includes data such as device type, time of day, day of week, IP-based geography, and more.

To most marketers’ surprise, high performing segments are often there to be found in this routinely available data. When you’re considering personalization, make sure the tools you are using can efficiently make use of this data.

For example, one of our clients, Chime, reaped significant gains by personalizing based on this data. They saw a 23% lift above their winner-take-all variation by personalizing for mobile, a 30% improvement during evening hours, and significant lift based on geography.

Tip Two: Use Paid Media Data to Enhance Personalization

If you are using paid media campaigns to drive traffic to your site, you can use UTM parameters to pass the targeting information you used in advertising to further enhance personalization. Data such as the creative content of your campaigns, keywords, and the referring site can be quite useful in creating a seamless experience across your paid media and your web site. One of our clients recently saw a 43% improvement in conversions as a result of personalizing headlines for visitors who came from specific campaigns they ran on YouTube.

Tip Three: Use Your First Party Customer Data to Personalize on Lifecycle

Your most valuable customers expect to be treated differently than a first time visitor to your site. Recognizing loyal and valuable customers with special, limited offers and unique offerings reinforces their special relationship and can increase conversions (and loyalty). For first-time customers, providing incentives for trial make sense and testing several versions makes sense. Of course, first party data can be used beyond the lifecycle as well.  You can use your customer data to drive specific behavior, for example, one of our clients recently drove a 400% increase in app downloads by personalizing for existing customers.

Tip Four: Use Third Party Data for More Relevancy

Third party data can be particularly valuable when used to create relevancy for visitors to your site. There are many data providers offering a wide variety of consumer and B2B data. The most commonly used categories include:

  • Demographic data such as age and gender can be particularly useful when personalizing for consumer applications. For example, banks might use age data to personalize promotions for investment products based on the lifestage of customers. Retailers might use gender and age data to highlight popular items.
  • Behavioral data such as past purchases, hobbies, or interests can be useful in a variety of applications. For example, credit card companies may personalize their offerings based on frequent travelers or sports fans.
  • Finally there is a rich set of firmographic and technographic data B2B marketers can use for deeper personalization. One example is using reverse IP lookup to identify the company of visitors to personalize your offerings or deliver Account Based Marketing (ABM) driven experiences.

Tip Five: Use Predictive Personalization to Put it All Together

Given the rich set of data and number of potential segments based on the data above, using an AI based tool is particularly valuable at automating segment discovery and simultaneously learning which variations perform best for each segment. For example, it is routine for our customers to optimize millions of versions of a page across millions of segments with <5,000 page views per day. Predictive personalization can help you deliver performance you simply could not achieve through manual or rules-based personalization approaches.

Want to learn more about how data can help you drive more conversions?

We would be happy to show you some best practices and examples of how you can use data in your company to personalize your site to improve conversion rates. Simply click the “Request Demo” button on our site.

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