Top 5 things to do when starting with website personalization

There are two marketing truths universally acknowledged:

  1. Companies are looking to get the biggest bang for their buck on their websites.
  2. Buyers are savvier. More than half of consumers and B2B buyers do research online before buying.

Marketers want to create great marketing that gets their customers to feel great by engaging with their company. That’s the key to website personalization: implementing smart adaptations that help visitors find the solution to their problems—serving both customer’s needs and the company’s bottom line.

But how do you start personalizing your website? How do you offer relevant messaging and offers at different parts in your visitor’s journey, and test which variables are the most effective at delivering your intended results?

Well, you plan for it as you begin executing.

You probably already know that website personalization is one of the most valuable trends in marketing. McKinsey analysts estimated that personalization stands to create $1.7-3 trillion in new value for companies. Creating a personalization strategy with the following elements will help you prepare for launch, so you can realize value more quickly.

 

Here are five things you need to know before you get started with website personalization:

 

1. Decide on your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Before you do anything else, you have to consider what kind of results you and your executive team are looking for.

If you don’t know what you’re trying to do better, you’ll never know if you did better. So you have to set benchmarks, create the plan, test, and see if your hypotheses were correct. The whole point of personalization, apart from catering to your customers, is to improve, iterate, and learn. Working backwards from business goals ensures you’ll make your team valuable and your boss happy.

When you know better, do better, as they say.

Here are some KPIs our biggest B2B clients focus on:

  • Getting more high-quality leads
  • Moving visitors through the sales funnel
  • Increasing leads to sales
  • Generating more form fills on B2B landing pages

And here’s what ecommerce teams tend to work toward:

  • Increasing cart conversions
  • Increasing basket size
  • Reducing the time it takes to purchase
  • Reducing abandoned carts

These are just examples, however, and you should pick the right KPIs for your business.

 

2. Really get to know your customers

After you decide on your goals, you need to understand what motivates your customers the most. Learn what values resonate with them most and align best with their needs. Understand how they currently interact with your website.

To start, get access to any form of customer interaction and data in your company: these could be customer calls, emails, reviews, demographic data, website analytics, surveys, feedback loops, or interviews. These interactions and resources will help you dive into their motivations, objections, pains, and desires.

Here are some questions that could help you better understand your customers:

  • What paths do site visitors follow on your website as they move toward the actions that drive your KPIs? Which points along the path are the most common drop offs?
  • Where do they spend the most time on your site before they convert?
  • Where do they bounce from your site? Why?
  • What about the product or service experience stopped buyers who almost purchased but didn’t?
  • What do new customers love about the product or service? What keeps customers coming back?
  • What are the biggest concerns you hear in your customer care emails, calls, and support tickets?
  • What customer lifecycle stage are they in? How aware are they of your company and your product or service?
  • Where were they at the exact moment of purchase or conversion? What device were they using, which location were they in, or what day of the week was it?

These insights will help you identify opportunities for improvement, and help you focus as you start personalizing your website.

 

3. Get your team aligned

Next, you need to identify the resources available to you internally, and help them understand that personalization is an ongoing, iterative process that changes as your customers and business plans change.

All companies have different approaches to marketing, so the key stakeholders should be on board with your website personalization plan. It’s valuable to have executive alignment and support for making continuous learning a core component of marketing and growth strategy.

Once executives are on board, give some early insight to your broader marketing org, often including team members working on content, creative, and product marketing. They’re often the ones that will be developing and implementing creative ideas, so it’s important they understand your goals, processes, and the impact of your desired personalization plan results. Other teams, like sales and customer service, may also be affected by and have ideas for personalization and should be made aware of the plan and the opportunities personalization can bring to their departments.

Getting expectations aligned will make your life as a marketer a lot easier. With organizational support behind you, you have a mine of knowledge and support.

Here are the team members that may help you drive successful web personalization projects:

  • The executive: who helps the main team identify the goals, checks in on the progress, and approves the overall strategy
  • The creatives: whose copy, psychology, photography, design, or video production is crucial to the success of your variable testing
  • The product marketers or product managers: who knows all the nooks and crannies of your service or product, and the hooks, leads, and messaging for all your customers
  • The customer care and sales teams: who are intimately involved in the day-to-day lives of your customers and can offer invaluable insights for creating on-target messaging

 

4. Brainstorm some creative testing ideas

Once you have your creative and executive teams on board, it’s time to circle back to those KPIs.

Why? Because your business goals and key performance indicators should guide your entire creative approach. If you’re thinking of brainstorming clouds, “increasing quality leads” (for B2B) or “Increasing cart conversions” (for ecommerce) would be in the very center, with your team’s ideas shooting out like lightning bolts.

It’s not just about testing “headline A” versus “headline B” for no good reason: you need to do it strategically by creating a hypothesis.

Let’s use the first example above: increasing quality leads. You might believe, for example, that leads aren’t high-quality because:

  1. Your marketing is in the wrong places, and thus, reaching the wrong audiences
  2. Your messaging isn’t convincing the right people, or
  3. Your messaging is short-circuiting somewhere and not helping customers follow through

With those assumptions, you could start building out tests to confirm or refute your hypotheses by creating variations of:

  • The landing page images and copy
  • The continuity in the messaging and images from source to the landing page
  • The presence of a navigation bar
  • The cart process pages
  • Visual layouts
  • The “Thank you” page

The list goes on and on. After you’ve identified your most valuable tests tied to your KPIs, it’s time to decide how you’re going to run the actual testing.

 

5. Choose your approach

This is the biggie. You have three options for personalizing your site:

  1. Rules-based personalization, which focuses on very specific rules-based scenarios, like “if visitor X came from social media network Y, show sales page Z”. This is useful if you already know the exact parameters you’re personalizing for, but takes a lot of time to set up and manage more than just a few of these scenarios.
  2. A/B testing, which allows you to compare the performance of two competing ideas on one element of your website for all your visitors. This is useful when you want to answer a single focused question and don’t have many options to test.
  3. Predictive personalization, which uses machine learning to automatically personalize your web pages and dynamically adjust them over time. This allows the team to try far more ideas with far less effort.

Rules-based personalization and A/B testing seem simple and quick, but complexity compounds as new rules are added on top of old rules, and tests take too long to reach clear answers for each experiment.

Personalization rules are often based on:

  • Location of visitor
  • Technology used
  • What website they came from before visiting your site
  • What social network they came from before visiting your site
  • New/repeat visitor
  • Time spent on website
  • Abandoned cart

The mix and match of creating those rules, and the upkeep of those rules, usually become burdensome for the marketer, which is why we recommend predictive personalization.

With predictive personalization, you maintain creative control over copy, design elements, and video. The difference with predictive personalization? Machine learning determines the personalizations to be shown, using all of these same data types listed above and more. However, predictive personalization personalizes for each unique visitor, making it feel like you’ve automatically created a rule for each visitor. Additionally, as conditions and behaviors change, predictive personalization automatically adapts to find the personalization variations that will work best in the moment for the then-current audience. By simultaneously testing many ideas at once, predictive personalization learns at 25x the speed of traditional A/B testing. This approach manages the complexity for you, and delivers results at unparallelled speed.

Regardless of the approach you take, the most important thing to remember about personalization is that it shouldn’t be a one-and-done project, but rather a process that iterates every day and week over time. Your customers will change, your business plans will change, your industry will shift, and best practices will adapt accordingly: so should your team’s website personalization.

Video: Debunking myths about AI in marketing

AI has become a hot-button topic with digital marketers. While some people think of AI as magic, others might think of it as a menace that’s trying to take over our jobs. Others might think of the Hollywood version of AI (like The Terminator or Westworld).

Although AI does tend to activate our imaginations, a lot of stories around AI today are perpetuated by myths. The truth is, AI is operating in the background for many of your most common marketing applications already. Paid ad distribution, lead scoring, and chatbots all utilize AI in one form or another. In our personal lives, AI helps us find faster commutes through mapping apps, gives us suggestions for our next favorite TV show to watch on Netflix, and helped us organize our never-ending stream of emails more efficiently.

From advertising to lead scoring to website personalization, many subsets of digital marketing are already using AI.

To separate fact from fiction, in the video below, Intellimize CEO Guy Yalif will walk through several myths we hear about AI and personalization, including:

    • Myth #1: I can completely turn over website personalization to AI
    • Myth #2: Everyone talking AI is telling me the truth
    • Myth #3: AI is too complicated for me to use for personalization

Watch the video to learn more about AI and how it can help power website personalization efforts so that we can eliminate rote work and focus on the things that matter most to us as marketers: creative ideas, connecting with customers, and alignment with the rest of the marketing organization.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use AI-based website personalization to drive more leads and revenue, simply click on the “Request Demo” button on our website.

Video: Accelerate B2B leads to sales with AI-based personalization

We believe that AI can empower marketers to drive more personalized experiences for website visitors. By driving connective reactions with their brands, marketers can create more opportunities for sales and revenue.

In this video, Intellimize CEO Guy Yalif will walk through several real-world examples that could help your marketing team better personalize experiences so that you can move visitors further through the funnel.

Here are a few important takeaways we cover in the video:

Stoke your visitor’s competitive juices
By showing competitor logos or case studies on your website, you can create serendipity and better convince the visitor that your product or service is catered to their business.

Optimize for downstream leads
With AI, you can create multiple weighted goals for website optimization – not just one – that correspond to how likely a visitor will become a sales-qualified lead.

Treat low-value and high-value leads differently
If you use predictive lead scoring, you can show different experiences on your website for low-value and high-value leads. For instance, you might direct low-value leads to a self-serve option or direct high-value leads directly to a conversation with your sales team.

Try a lot of lead-generating ideas at once
With AI-based personalization, you can test many website optimization ideas in parallel, see insights on hours or days rather than weeks or months, then add or remove ideas at anytime.

To find out more about how you can can use AI-based personalization on your website to drive more sales leads, simply click the “Request Demo” button on our website.

Video: Demystifying AI for Marketers: A/B Testing Summit

Video: Find out what AI really is, why it’s gaining more traction in the marketing space, and how its applications can help growth marketers deliver more value and revenue.

 

Artificial intelligence (AI) might seem a little mysterious to some marketers at first. However, there’s plenty of data showing that AI can help marketers bring real results and drive revenue for their companies.

Guy Yalif, CEO of Intellimize, recently talked about the different types of AI that matter most to growth marketers at the A/B Testing Summit. In his video session, you’ll find out: 

  • What AI is
  • What AI is good at
  • How AI impacts website personalization
  • The benefits of AI for growth marketers

Watch the video below to see how AI can help marketers accelerate their careers, deliver more for their businesses, and get a lot more done.

 

 

Webinar: Growth and AI at Looker: How Looker delivered 44% more qualified downstream leads with AI and web optimization

Shilpa Narwade - Head of Global Demand Generation, Looker

Webinar: Learn how B2B SaaS company Looker uses AI to automatically personalize the website experience for each individual visitor, resulting in a strong funnel of high-quality, sales-ready leads

 

In this webinar, Guy Yalif, Co-Founder & CEO of Intellimize, and Shilpa Narwade, Director of Digital Marketing at Looker, share how Looker has leveraged AI to automate a seamless customer journey across its website that has fueled the funnel and delighted its Sales team, driving 44% more qualified downstream leads YoY.

Watch now and learn:

  • How to practically use AI to drive lead growth
  • How to optimize your website for driving high-quality, sales-ready leads
  • Why the speed of your testing & learning process on your website is directly related to the health of your funnel
  • 3 ways Looker has personalized its website that have produced real results

 

Webinar: Modern marketing plays for converting 100% of website visitors who should convert

Webinar: Learn how to deliver the personalized, relevant experience your website visitors crave and deserve – and gain higher quality leads as a result

 

In this webinar, Guy Yalif, Co-Founder & CEO of Intellimize, Francis Brero, Co-Founder & CRO of MadKudu, and Guillaume Cabane, Former VP Growth of Drift and Segment, teach us marketers the significance of shifting our focus away from “just getting the conversion”, and instead, to laying the groundwork for creating a fantastic user experience. It’s here where the conversion will take care of itself.

Watch now and learn:

  • 3 plays that leading SaaS companies are using to optimize their websites for lead conversion flow — and the needle-moving results they’re gaining from it
  • How to approach data collection, personalization, and lead scoring on your website
  • Ultimately, how to get 100% of the website visitors who you want to convert, to convert

 

Press: Intellimize shakes up web personalization with $8M Series A, helping businesses save 25 years of A/B testing each year

  • AI based website personalization company announces new growth stats, including 1,338% revenue growth since 2017, the appointment of a new VP of Sales, and new customers including SoFi, Looker, and Drift.
  • Releases latest customer success stats, delivering 577% more conversions at 25x the speed of traditional A/B testing.
  • Secures $8M Series A lead by Amplify Ventures and follow on participation from Seed investors Homebrew, Precursor Ventures, and more.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, APRIL 23, 2019: Intellimize, an AI based website personalization company, has today announced a string of company updates including an $8M Series A funding round, new growth figures, and a new VP of Sales.

The company closed the Series A investment with Amplify Partners as the lead investor, following two years of impressive customer success. This round builds on a previously unannounced $2 million Seed round in 2017. Seed investors Homebrew, Precursor Ventures, and several angels reinvested in the Series A, expressing confidence in the company and its growth.

Founded by a trio of machine learning and advertising veterans from Yahoo, Twitter, and BrightRoll in a backyard shed in 2016, the startup generated its first revenue in just three months. Intellimize has grown steadily since, increasing revenue 1,338 percent in the last two years.

Intellimize, which uses machine learning to personalize mobile and desktop web experiences, helped notable companies including SoFi, Looker, Stella & Dot, Drift, Talkdesk, and Huckberry drive improvements in conversion rates and revenue.

Intellimize’s customers experienced an average of 46 percent lift in conversions in 2017 and 20181, 577 percent more than the average lift seen by traditional A/B tests2. The median lift was 15 percent. The company’s AI delivered positive results in 88 percent of campaigns, which is four times more often than the sub-20 percent of typical A/B tests3.

Intellimize co-founder and CEO Guy Yalif, said the company’s ability to drive significant financial benefits and insights for its customers had been key to it growth, and attracting the investment.

“Last year, marketers spent $100B4 in paid media to drive traffic to websites, yet 98 percent of those visitors left without becoming customers5.”

“Traditional website optimization approaches like A/B testing try to solve this problem, but treat everyone the same forever and significantly limit test speed. We addressed these frustrations and more by dynamically personalizing for each unique visitor in real time.

“In doing so, we were able to significantly accelerate our customers’ learning, helping them test 177 different ideas in 2017 and 2018 on average. These ideas would have taken more than 50 years to test using traditional A/B testing, saving them years of time. With Intellimize, these ideas combined to make 78 million possible versions of the average web page, enabling marketers to focus more time on customers and deliver better ROI,” said Yalif.

Jen Grant, CMO of Looker and an Intellimize customer commented on Intellimize’s technology saying, “Intellimize’s machine learning based optimization delivered 5x ROI by driving more prospects to our various content, demo requests, and other web forms which directly correlates to revenue for my company. In addition to this, my web optimization team estimated they had 10x more time to work on other demand generation activities. We completed years of testing in just a few quarters, and then applied those insights across our marketing channels to better engage prospects with more targeted messaging. Intellimize’s AI provided my team with leverage and a great financial return while giving my team to focus on what matters most: the customer experience.”

Intellimize will use the funding to accelerate development of its AI and expand the team across all functions. Today, the company has also announced the appointment of David Singh as Vice President of Sales. David previously led sales teams at People.ai, Lattice, Salesforce, and Demandforce. His deep experience scaling B2B SaaS teams and bringing machine learning to go-to-market functions will help accelerate Intellimize’s growth.

Mike Dauber, General Partner at Amplify Partners, who will join Intellimize’s board, said the firm invested in Intellimize because of its stellar founding team and differentiated approach to website optimization.

“The ultimate goal of most business websites is to convert visitors to customers. Intellimize’s utilization of machine learning allows marketers to create better experiences for their visitors, and ultimately drive much higher conversions in a shorter period of time. The Intellimize team are clear leaders in this domain and we are excited to partner with them.”

For more information, visit intellimize.com

 

-ENDS-

 

About Intellimize
Intellimize automatically optimizes websites to drive revenue and customer acquisition. The company’s AI dynamically personalizes mobile and desktop websites for each unique visitor in real time.

Intellimize was founded in 2016 by machine learning and advertising veterans from Yahoo, Twitter, and BrightRoll and is headquartered in San Mateo, CA. Intellimize works with successful growth teams at companies such as SoFi, Drift, and Looker. Intellimize is backed by leading early stage investors including Amplify Partners, Homebrew, and Precursor Ventures.

 

 

1 Campaigns 90%+ statistical significance and 100+ lifetime conversions were included in this analysis
2 Source for A/B testing lift averages: https://blog.analytics-toolkit.com/2018/analysis-of-115-a-b-tests-average-lift-statistical-power/
3 Source for how often A/B testing delivers an answer, positive or negative: https://www.emarketer.com/content/most-a-b-tests-don-t-produce-significant-results
4 Source for $100B https://www.reuters.com/article/us-advertising-digital/global-spending-on-digital-marketing-nears-100-billion-study-idUSKCN1M30XN
5 Source for conversion rate https://www.inc.com/reshu-rathi/5-mistakes-most-e-commerce-marketers-make-but-you-dont-have-to.html

Webinar: AI in retail: Testing & personalizing customer experiences for e-business growth

Webinar: Stella & Dot improved its website conversion rate by 52% by automatically personalizing its check-out page for each site visitor, using AI

 

AI can be a powerful tool for retailers to accelerate learning, personalize experiences, and drive incremental revenue. But tackling this tech space can be a daunting task for any retailer. Stella & Dot, the global social selling fashion and accessories brand, leverages strategic experimentation to dynamically personalize the journey for their stylists, hostesses, and shoppers on its mobile and desktop sites. With a test-and-learn philosophy, the brand has allowed analytics, increased revenue, and consumer engagement determine future strategy.

As a result, Stella & Dot has driven a 400% increase in website engagement and a 52% increase in shopping cart check-outs.

Want similar success from your website efforts? Listen in to this webinar where Meera Bhatia, COO of Stella & Dot, and Guy Yalif, CEO of Intellimize, explain how AI can revolutionize your website testing & optimization efforts, how you can skyrocket the volume of testing you’re doing—but with less time and less work, and why it’s easier than you think to get started with AI now.

 

Webinar: How Drift doubled its homepage conversion rate via personalization

Webinar: Drift improved conversion rates by 265% on its homepage by personalizing its onboarding experience using lead scoring data. 

Drift is the leading conversational marketing platform that is changing the way companies interact and communicate with their prospects and customers. The growth team at Drift has more than doubled conversion rates on its homepage generating more meetings and account sign ups.

As part of its commitment to its customers’ experience, Drift uses Intellimize to personalize its onboarding experience for each prospective customer based on a lead score from MadKudu. Drift has created content and tools to enable prospects with lower lead scores to onboard themselves efficiently and quickly. This allows the company to focus its sales team’s time on prospects with the highest lead scores. In this webinar, Sara Pion, Growth Marketing Specialist for Drift, describes their approach with examples, results, and lessons learned.

Webinar Transcript:

Introduction

First things first. Hi, I’m Sara. My current title is Growth Marketing Specialist at Drift. And I was previously a Conversational Marketing Specialist, and before that I was a Customer Advocate. So I’ve been at Drift for about a year and nine months, and I’ve been working on the growth team since late August of 2018. So I’ve been on the team for a few months and we focus on touchless activation, which includes free user signups and activation, as well as demand gen, and we own our own lead segments. I work on both teams, but today I’m talking about how we approach onboarding for our free users.

Today I’ll show you how we use lead scoring to create different onboarding experiences for our free signups. So before someone even signs up for Drift, their onboarding starts when they come onto our website. We already want to create a custom experience for those people. We create website variations based on MadKudu score. We leverage MadKudu and Intellimize as two different tools to help us perform these fun experiments.

The Technology Drift Uses

MadKudu is a lead scoring tool that leverages AI and customer data to score your leads in a dynamic and ever-changing way based on their firmographic information, but also their behavior inside your application and on your website to really help you and your sales reps understand how “good” your leads are.

Intellimize is a platform that allows you to create website variations and target them based on a lot of different criteria. We use Clearbit to help us understand the visitor’s company and then we target based on MadKudu score. We create a lot of different website variations for the different kinds of traffic that we have coming onto our website. So, we have created a bunch of Intellimize variations on three super high converting pages on our website, to kind of help leverage the pages where we want people to sign up versus chat with us.

Personalization Examples

On the right, you’ll see our Simple Ass Homepage variation versus the control which is on the left. On our homepage we really want our bad leads to create a free account first. We want to create a more touchless experience and have them go right on forward with creating a free account. With our good leads, we want to leverage a conversation before we push to a free account. And the reason why we do that is because for us, meetings booked generally helps with higher MRR than a free account converting to a paid account. So, for good leads, we try and leverage meetings, for bad leads we try and leverage free sign ups almost immediately. And the Simple Ass Homepage has a 1.79 conversion rate, versus the control which converts at a 0.49 conversion rate. So we’re actually doing better at getting the people that we want to sign up to sign up with this variation.

We also leverage headline changes to give people a little bit more information on what they’re actually signing up for and what Drift can actually do for them, so we want to give them a little bit more information on why they should sign up for Drift and add a little bit of social proof in there. So 150,000-plus businesses are using Drift to connect with their customers now. See how Drift tryout works on your site right now. And we also like to play around with the hero image and the rolling logos that we show, to see if we can try and drive some more signups and some more signups from that social proof.

So, we then have our powered by page, and the way that you get to drift.com/powered-by is through our widget referral. We have done a lot of work on creating viral loops through the Drift branding that shows on our chat widget, and when you click on that chat, powered by Drift hyperlink, you actually come to our powered by page. And about 18% of our signups happen on our powered by page, so we’re driving a lot of freemium traffic to the power by page that then drives freemium signups. It’s a fun little viral loop that we’ve worked really hard on in 2018 for sure. These powered by variations convert way higher than the control, and we think the reason why is the control is a super long form page, really text heavy, and it talks a lot about what conversational marketing is. Versus these power by variations, which are a single split screen, there’s nothing below the fold. We do a product highlight, so we’ll highlight our bot or our meetings tool or our Drift profiles image or a tool, or we’ll do a social proof.

We’ll highlight a customer that’s having a lot of success using Drift. And we also leverage the website that they came from. Do you want the experience you just saw on Drift.com on your own site? Get started with drift. It’s totally free. Create a free account now. So we kind of give them enough information and give them enough leverage to then feel the need to create a free account. And these perform very well.

And then we have our pricing page, which obviously has a higher converting page as well. This is our top variation right now. It’s actually being shown to about 80% of our traffic versus the control, which is sent to about 20% of the traffic. And the reason why that’s happening versus a 50/50 is Intellimize actually does a Bayesian split. So instead of just continuing to send traffic to 50% of your variations versus the other, once your variation starts outperforming the control, that will be shown to more and more traffic to try and drive more conversions. So if you go to drift.com/pricing chances are you will see this variation and not the control, which is what we want because it converts at a 7% for signups against 3.46% of traffic that signs up on the control. I didn’t even put the control image on this page. It’s honestly not very pretty. This one is definitely better and we’re really excited to see that it does also aid in conversions.

Making Intent Part of Onboarding

So awesome. High five. Someone signed up for a free account, now what do we do? So we make intent part of onboarding. This is so that we can ask them what they’re interested in using Drift for so that we can create a more custom experience along the way. So this is the final step of the onboarding process before you install Drift. And we really wanted to know if people were looking at these, checking all that apply, or if they were just checking random ones.

We tested it and we switched around the order of things and we saw that people were actually looking at the options and checking all that did apply. We found that the top two reasons people were signing up for our free plan was talk to leads and live chat for support, which is perfect. That’s what we’re made for. We’re super excited. We were very interested to see that chat bots was lower down in the … Like number three as part of the intent rather than number one or number two, which makes sense because our free plan is just live chat, it doesn’t include bots. So it kind of helped with some of the inferences we were making and it helped solidify those.

Another good example of a company that asks for intent when they’re onboarding is Amplitude. So I was invited to our Amplitude account this week, and right after I was done filling out my personal information, it asked me what team I worked on. So I said that I worked on our product team because technically our growth team falls under product, and the next page was specifically tailored to what I put in that previous step. So product managers love Amplitude for these three reasons, time for you to get started, just like them. So I wanted to highlight another good example of just how people are really easily asking for intent, and immediately customizing the onboarding experience. So shout out Amplitude. Big fan of your product.

The Onboarding Process

So someone signed up, they’ve installed Drift, or they may not have installed Drift, but now the onboarding starts. So they are dropped into the product and this is when we start sending them nurture emails. The first section here is what we will send to people if they have not installed Drift yet. So, from days one until 30, if they haven’t installed Drift, we send them a nurturing email every couple of days to kind of bump, let them know what they’re missing out on when they don’t have Drift installed on their site. But the fact that they can get those things, all they have to do is install.

If someone does install Drift, they’re then enrolled in our activation sequence, which again goes from day one until day 30. And our goal here is really to activate Drift. So get fully onboarded, fully understand the product, to get your calendar connected, integrate your help center, all of that fun stuff that really helps show the value of Drift. And we also want them to start a conversation with our support team, because we know if they’re asking questions about how to use the product, they’re going to be a little bit more into using Drift versus someone who doesn’t have any questions about using Drift. We’ll be a little bit more worried. We want them to activate, we want them to have questions so we can get them deeper into the product.

And that’s what we send bad leads. We are really trying to help them help themselves. So we want them to onboard themselves, we want them to install themselves, we want them to understand and find parts of Drift that they wouldn’t have found otherwise, and then ask questions to us later. With good leads, we send them an email sequence from day one until day 30, where we want them to actually talk to our team. So instead of showing them how to activate Drift and how to use Drift, we leverage the intent data that they’ve given us and tell them how they can level that up if they’re on our higher paid plans.

And the CTA for all of that is to talk to our team. Let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about your strategy. What CRM are you using? Let’s chat. So that goes from day one until day 30. If they go all the way through and they don’t talk to us, we’ll enroll them in another email sequence that’s similar to the activation sequence, but the final CTA at the end of these is still to chat with our team to learn more about how they can leverage Drift. So the clear CTA for good leads is to talk to us, and the clear CTA for bad leads is to help us help you, and help you become more successful by activating yourself.

So people have gotten our emails, they’re onboarding themselves onto Drift. I wanted to highlight some successes that we’ve seen with these sort of experiences. We have this onboarding path for non-ICP customers. ICP is ideal customer profiles, so these are people who aren’t necessarily the perfect fit for Drift. We don’t want them to not sign up, we just want them to be more successful without us having to handhold them the whole time. This flow chart is a little bit scary to look at, so I broke down basically what we do.

We have automated onboarding sequences for these non-ideal customers, and we look at how long they’ve been using Drift, are they currently live? Do they currently have a playbook running? Or do they need some pushes? Do they need a little bit of extra oomph to really help them go live? We have pre-recorded on demand webinars for these leads to tune into. We have office hours held by dedicated Customer Success Managers that focus solely on this touchless segment. And we have Async reviews of instances before customers go live, so that they can get an inside view into how they’re doing without having to schedule a call with our Customer Success Managers, they just get it directly sent to their inbox and they can watch it whenever they’re free. It helps our Customer Success Managers dedicated to those people to kind of do more Async reviews, and it helps enable our customers so that they can help themselves on their own time.

Results

So what are the results from this specific onboarding experience? In 2018 we had 62 total office hour sessions. We had 531 accounts fully onboarded automatically. We had 700 total webinar registrants for those on demand webinars. And the biggest point here is that we reduced the average time to go live from 54 days to 14 days. So people were getting the answers that they needed faster and on their own time, and then they were able to understand the product better for themselves, without anyone hopping on a call and walking them through it, which was a huge, huge win.

Lessons Learned

But nobody’s onboarding experiences are perfect. And we definitely learned a lot of lessons while experimenting with our onboarding experience. So I wanted to highlight two failures that we had that did not perform well, even though we really wanted them to. So the first was our ICP Fork. So if a good lead signed up for Drift, they were an ideal customer fit. We wanted them immediately to book a meeting rather than go through the rest of the onboarding flow. So we had this split screen go for people before onboarding even started. So we just wanted them to book a meeting immediately. But unfortunately it just didn’t work. And the reason why we think it didn’t work is because they didn’t understand that they could interact with the bot on the right.

The bottom on the right is actually a conversational landing page, which is a Drift product that you can embed as an iframe into a web page. But it’s a relatively new product, people don’t really know about it when they’re signing up. And it wasn’t obvious that we wanted them to interact with it, so people would just skip this step. So it booked almost no meetings. It was such a failure. And our sales team was so excited about it, and unfortunately it just didn’t work.

Another thing that we did was we leveraged that MadKudu lead scoring and we only sent this bot free trial to our bad leads, so Madkudu lead score is bad. And it was positioned as a surprise, like congrats, you’ve been selected to have a bot free trial. You can have it for this amount of time and I’ll flip the switch for you and you can do it all by herself. People were definitely interested, but people who are a bad fit for us are a bad fit for reason, and unfortunately we didn’t give them the bot free trial for long enough for them to actually see results and want to upgrade.

This also was an experiment that we didn’t tell enough of our sales reps about and our sales directors about, where people were coming into chat and our sales reps had no idea why this free account had a bot. So it led to an internal friction, so we definitely learned about how to communicate with our team better about experiments that we were running and also understand what parts of the product will show our customers success no matter the website traffic that they have. So this was definitely another good learning experience of what does not work for our free users who are not a great fit.

As I wrap up, I just want to leave you with this message. No product qualified lead is exactly the same, so their onboarding experience should reflect that. We really want to tailor our customer experiences to how they’ll work with us, and so we make sure that they’re onboarding experiences are almost entirely custom made for them.

 

Want more ideas on how to personalize your website? We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work across various industries. Simply click the “Request Demo” button on our website.

How B2B marketers can use data to drive higher conversion rates

B2B Marketers have reliable and easy access to 3 key types of powerful data that can help them optimize conversion rates on their websites. Using contextual, firmographic and behavioral data is key to personalizing the experience for different types of customers and different contexts.

 

B2B marketers have three great sources of data to personalize the experience for visitors to their website: contextual data, firmographic, and technical data, and behavioral data.

Contextual Data

There’s a lot sitting in contextual data. They can actually improve how you speak to your prospects. You might look at where your prospects are, speaking to locally relevant things. You might talk to them differently if they’re on a mobile device or on desktop, and if you know what time of day, and day of week it is where they are, you can actually speak to them in the mindset that they are in that moment. You know if it’s the middle of the afternoon in a weekday, they’re at work and are thinking in one mindset. If it’s in the morning on a weekend, their head is in a completely different place, and you can talk to them differently as a result.

Firmographic/Technographic Data

With firmographic data and technographic data, you can tailor your pitch quite a bit. If you can use reverse IP lookup and know what company you’re speaking with, you can do account-based marketing, speaking to the individual company, maybe the individual person at that company. If you know what industries a company as in, you can actually show their competitors on your website, trying to stoke those competitive juices, getting them to want to use your product more. If you can look at their website and learn different technologies they’re using, you may be able to infer something about how you want to speak to them. If you’re selling CRM software, you can see what CRM is on their site and take action on it. Finally, if you know what size of company they are, you may tailor your sales pitch entirely differently. If you’re talking to a 10,000 person company, you might point them straight out your salesforce, versus the 10 person company. You may prefer to send them straight to your self-serve product.

Behavioral Data

Behavioral data can also help you tailor the experience. You might take the first-time visitor to your website, and talk to them about your brand promise. Help them understand what category your product is in and what it does is. The repeat visitor, you might now try to drive more engagement, getting them to listen to that webinar, getting them to talk to a salesperson and accept the demo, and the repeat customer who’s coming back, you want to cross sell them, up sell them, tell them about your latest release, or even better, get them to tell another prospect about your product and service to drive more sales for you.

Our hope is that you are better able to use contextual data, firmographic, and technographic, data and behavioral data now, to drive more revenue today.

Want more ideas on how to personalize your website? We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t across various industries. Simply click the “Request Demo” button on our website.