The World Wide Web launched back in the early 1990s as a way for anyone with a computer and an internet connection to access vast amounts of information.
It quickly blossomed from a space primarily used for research to what is now referred to as Web 2.0.
Internet connection speeds ramped up, users increased exponentially, and millions of people went from passive web participants to dynamic and interactive creators. Blogs and social networks took off and user-generated content was king.
As we survey the current landscape, it’s clear that another shift is underway. We are now entering “Web 3.0.” It’s hard to identify the exact inflection point that will kick it off, whether that point has already passed, or even what the total impact will be. But we can be confident in identifying some of Web 3.0’s core characteristics.
A key component of Web 3.0 is that there is now a massive opportunity to personalize the web.
We have the data, the tools, and the know-how to make each person’s trip around the Internet uniquely tailored to their preferences and needs. The benefits of website personalization can provide a better overall experience for consumers and brands alike.
What is Web Personalization?
Website personalization (also known as web personalization or dynamic website personalization) is the practice of building a customized website experience for each visitor that comes to a web page. Rather than displaying a single, one size fits all experience, a personalized website displays a unique experience based on a visitor’s characteristics. The goal is to make each page you visit feel like the digital equivalent of that warm feeling you get when you walk into a local diner, and the server tells the chef to start cooking up your favorite meal before you even have to order.
Web personalization used to be a difficult and time-consuming task, if not downright impossible. Nowadays, with advanced data collection tools and a desire to focus on creating customized user experiences, benefiting from website personalization is not that hard.
We have the opportunity to dynamically personalize every step of the marketing funnel, from ads to emails to landing pages and beyond. The goal is to never make the consumer feel like they are having a generic and boring experience.
9 Benefits of Website Personalization
The personalization revolution is well underway, so let’s explore how you can use it can boost your sales, digital marketing, and branding efforts. There are many benefits of website personalization — but here are 9 of the most powerful ones:
1. Better Converting Calls to Action
A call-to-action (CTA) is a great way to move things along in the buying process, but its value extends beyond simply initiating a final conversion. A good CTA can encourage someone to read a blog post, take a survey, start a free trial, or watch a demo.
Regardless of what kind of CTA you implement, you are going to want to personalize it. Research shows that personalized CTAs perform 202% better than their generic counterparts. This makes intuitive sense. For instance, if someone visits your site who is already on your mailing list, you shouldn’t show them a pop up asking them to sign up again. You’d be better off encouraging them to take a different action, such as trying a product demo.
Personalization and attention to detail pay off too. Businesses that personalize web experiences see an average sales increase of 19%.
That’s huge. If you do $1 million in MRR — implementing personalization could increase your sales by $190,000 a year.
2. More Relevant Product Recommendations
On my list of things that annoy me, irrelevant product recommendations rank between sitting next to someone on a plane eating a hard-boiled egg and being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. There’s just something so irritating about a site trying to get me to buy something I either don’t want or already have.
To get the benefits of website personalization, you do not have to inflict that kind of pain on your users. You can use the data you collect to make sure the product recommendations are always fresh and relevant. Doing so will boost customer loyalty.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon does well in this regard. They leverage their vast marketplace and trove of personal data to quickly make quality recommendations. For instance, I read a lot, and I’ve found Amazon makes far better recommendations than less tech-savvy websites. If I need a new book, I can log in and see what Amazon thinks I’ll enjoy. It’s like having a friend who won’t judge me for wanting to read an entire book about grammar.
Amazon’s personalization engine
3. High Converting Landing Pages
There are certain touch points of the user experience, such as landing pages, that are just screaming for personalization. E-commerce and SaaS businesses should pay special attention to landing pages, as one that is properly optimized can have a huge revenue impact. 63% of consumers are influenced by personalized product recommendations on home and landing pages.
Proof’s bridge page stands as a good example of what can be done in this realm. Visitors who leave a site with the Proof pixel installed are directed to a unique, hyper-relevant landing page based on the website they just came from. This allows for a seamless, non-jarring user experience. Here’s how it looks with a Proof partner, Fivver:
Proof’s bridge page when a visitor arrives from Fivver.com
4. Improved Customer Loyalty
It’s human nature to want to spend time with people who treat you right. We all value high caliber service, and it’s a big part of what makes humans brand loyal.
Web personalization works the same way. When you use every tool at your disposal to make your site experience warm, welcoming, and individualized, you will boost customer loyalty. Research shows that 79% of consumers only consider brands that show they care about them.
Personalization is especially crucial if you are running a loyalty program, as only 25% of customers are satisfied with the amount of personalization in their loyalty programs. When you show people you understand them, you will see a higher long-term value out of them.
5. Better Understanding of Your Customers
One benefit of website personalization is that you can efficiently sort customers into personalized funnels. For instance, CTAs can encourage visitors to tell you what industry they work in, the size of their company, and other key information. Based on what they enter, you can segment your audience to different versions of the website.
This context is critical to creating better lead qualification systems that will increase your conversion rate. You probably don’t want to try to sell the deluxe enterprise version of your software to a sole proprietor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Personalization can prevent that.
The design website Canva does this beautifully. Smack dab in the middle of their homepage is a CTA asking how you intend to use the product.
Canva’s personalized signup flow
Once they have this information, the user is shown a specific template that is statistically more likely to convert at higher rates. Every site can deploy similar tactics in order to make sure each user is seeing the most relevant content possible.
6. Fewer Follow Up Emails
Nearly 50% of people say they get too many marketing emails. So, if you don’t want your emails filtered into the trash or spam folder, a good start would be to simply send less of them.
By building personalization into your flow, you can quickly sort visitors into different categories. Then you can send them follow-up email flows that are highly relevant. The virtuous circle is completed when they click through the email to your site, and they are met with custom content tailored to their needs.
Also, with proper tracking and website personalization, you can stop wasting time with emails that are just thinly veiled attempts to get your visitors to tell you what they are interested in. They will self-select into categories for you and make your job a whole lot easier.
Personalized Netflix feed based on watch history
Think about how Netflix uses past behavior to recommend shows I might like rather than blasting me with an email every other day saying, “We have a new nature documentary, do you want to watch it?” Rather than sending irrelevant emails, they build personalization into their product.
7. Less Wasted Sales Time
Sales professionals love to talk passionately about their product or service, host amazing demos, close deals, and bang excessively loud gongs that irritate the rest of the office. What they don’t like is wasting time validating leads, or fielding calls from unqualified leads.
A benefit of website personalization as described above is that you can create marketing campaign flows that segment the audience for the sales team. This leads to better-qualified leads, more effective sales calls, and whether or not you like it, more gong banging.
8. Increased Time on Site
It almost goes without saying that when you show someone content that is relevant to them, they tend to stick around for longer. If you want to decrease your bounce rate and improve time on site, you have to personalize the experience. You want to give people a reason to explore the site and hang out with your product.
For example, I tend to watch product demos when I really want to evaluate a service. I’m confident the SaaS company Zendesk has a way of tracking such behavior because when I recently went to their site I was almost immediately met with a CTA asking if I wanted to schedule a demo.
A personalized banner ad from Zendesk
When I visited the site in an incognito window that hid my browsing history, I did not get the same pop-up. Thus, by analyzing my past behavior, the site was able to speak directly to my interests.
9. Greater Brand Affinity
Personalization should lead to higher conversions, happier customers, and increased brand loyalty.
When studies show that 15% of a business’s most loyal customers account for between 55% and 70% of sales (think Pareto principle), it’s clear that you are missing a big opportunity if you don’t do everything you can to make your customers feel appreciated.
The goal of personalization is to create an experience that brings a smile to their faces. There’s a reason we all prefer to go to restaurants with a friendly and informative staff that know us by name as opposed to one of those snooty places where they sneer at you if you mispronounce “gnocchi.”
Website Personalization — The Marketing Strategy You Need
While marketing gets better and more efficient every year, competition among marketers is on the rise as well. The influx of marketing has crowded the space and made it harder to grab consumer attention.
In that sort of environment, it’s important to set yourself apart by creating a personalized experience where the consumer feels appreciated. Thankfully, the website personalization tools are now available that will help you reap the benefits of website personalization.
Once you collect user data, whether from your site or through a third party service, you should use it to design an experience that makes the consumer feel understood and valued. Your customers will be happy and your revenues will grow. That’s a true win-win.