Dynamic content and web personalization: why, how and when to use it?

Dynamic content and web personalization, learn the differences

If you're a regular here, you know we've been talking about customer experience and customer success for a while now. After all, not only do these two complete each other, but they're also the core of a successful business.

Millennials and generation Z customers are changing their buying habits according to the experience offered by companies. This means that they require more attention, more personalization and more delightful moments. How to achieve that? Dynamic content and web personalization are, for sure, a great way to start.

First of all, you need to understand that clients are different and so should be your marketing approach. The old one-size-fits-all strategy is no-no for winning your customer's hearts. People not only have different tastes but are also looking for distinctive outcomes and solutions.

The greater benefit of adapting content according to the client? Faster conversion, which can dramatically shorten the sales cycle. Just think about it. When you provide a personalized experience, visitors remain on your website longer, download more offers, and ultimately purchase more products.

Keep in mind that the whole experience should be pleasant since the first interaction. The more your leads feel related to you, the bigger the chances of becoming and remaining customers.

Web personalization vs Dynamic Content

To start, you need to know and understand the differences between web personalization and dynamic content.

The concept of dynamic content can be implemented almost everywhere. For example, you can use it on email marketing campaigns, social media ads, websites and so on. It consists simply on displaying different texts or images, according to the customer segmentation: for example, gender, preferences, demographic data, purchase history, etc.

A good and rather simple example? Netflix. That's what the "because you've watched recommendations" are. This section is based on your viewing history and clearly personalized according to your tastes.

Netflix page example

(Nevermind my suggestions - I have a baby boy at home)!

Moving on, the main point here is: this content changes according to the customer's profile. Dynamic content is very common on emails, CTAs and "recommendations" areas of the website, just like the one above. Amazon rings a bell?

Content personalization has dramatically changed the way customer interact with companies. Before that, for example, emails were sent to an entire mailing list and the results were spotty at best. Segmentation changed all that.

Once marketing professionals began segmenting their leads based on interests, personas, industries, etc, and customized their efforts to a particular list, performance improved dramatically.

According to the Aberdeen Group, personalized emails increase click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.

But, what happens when the customer that clicked on this personalized emails lands on a static, generic website? They are disappointed, to say the least.

That's when web personalizations steps in

Web personalization is the real-time customization of a website to suit each visitor’s needs and guide them through a personalized conversion funnel.

According to Janrain, nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests

But imagine that a customer clicks on a personalized email and it's redirected to a fully customized website according to his country, interests, language, gender or anything else you wished, such as job title, lead score or even last event. Wouldn't that be amazing?

Let's see an example. On the first page, the visitor is a girl, who lives in the US and is summer in her country. The second visitor has never bought from the website, is a male, is coming from outside the US and really likes the Nixon brand.

Web personalization example 1

Web personalization example 2

Just think about it: if the client has two websites to choose from – one which makes them feel like an individual and the other that only makes them feel like a number or statistic, then you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know which company will generate the most business.

Web personalization affects bounce rates, conversions, page views, time-on-site and other success metrics. Hey, I'm not the one telling you this. A recent report from VentureBeat says that 87% of the companies that uses web personalization saw an increase of at least 5% of most important metrics, and 39% saw an increase of at least 20% in their metrics.

Note that dynamic content and web personalization are not two separate worlds. In fact, they can perfectly work together. Does your Facebook page ring a bell? You can be scrolling through your newsfeed and suddenly an ad for a product or service that you've been thinking about appears. As if Facebook read your mind. Rather it reads your browsing history, both within and outside of the website.

Facebook will also note frequently used keywords in your posts and put two and two together to work out what you're into. If you start talking about rockets engineering courses and have googled that, prepare to start seeing ads pop up on your Facebook feed. Another way that Facebook personalizes content is to predominantly show posts from close friends that you interact most with, rather than those who have profiles that you barely look at.

How to choose the right personalization software

To be able to build the website of your customer's dreams and deliver personalized content, you need the right software. But how will you choose from all the ones available in the market? The answer is simple: determine some 'must have' criteria. We'll give you a hand.

First of all, how can you segment your customers? Think outside the box. Demographics, gender, and interests are basics. Look for a tool that offers different types of segmentation like I said before: lead score, events performed, sales cycle stage, job title, social media and so on.

How easy is the platform to use? Does it have a friendly interface? Is it drag-and-drop? Can you preview your actions in real-time? These things shouldn't be complicated. Just go for the simplest ones.

When you "shop" for a software, go for the ones that offer more possibilities and that allow the whole company to work as one. It will increase productivity and your overall results.

A good personalization content software should allow you to use first-party and third-party data. First-party data or the information collected from your web forms and customer's behavior will help you build content that is totally aligned with your client's expectations.

Third-party data, on the other hand, provide richer insights into markets because it brings together information from a wide variety of data sources. And you should be able to use those insights to help with your strategies.

Last but not least, don't forget to search for a software that offers you the possibility of measuring and analyzing every single thing that you do. After all, how will you know if the dynamic content is successfully impacting your customers or not? How will you measure the conversion rate difference between countries or regions, for example? A full BI (Business Intelligence) board can give these and other answers in real-time.

Now that you know what dynamic content and web personalization are, its benefits and what to look for in a software to help you build your own strategy, you need to know what steps to take to get there.

It will not happen overnight, but if you take it seriously and invest time into your content personalization, then the results will definitely pay off. This blog post was a basic outline to get you going in the right direction. Your best bet, of course, is to seek the guidance of the right tool.

We'll give some more educational advice on part II of this content. Come back on friday!

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