Share this news

Personalization Considerations for the Inbound Marketer

—June 26, 2013
Personalization Considerations for the Inbound Marketer

Posted By: Stephan Brisard

Have you ever thought of personalizing the experience of your website to attract leads and potential buyers based on certain demographics, personas or other visitor-specific information? While tailoring marketing content based on your target audience appears to be the right thing to do to improve experience overall and facilitate better conversions on your site, it needs to be done carefully and not prematurely.

Personalization only makes sense with good data. It’s particularly true with email marketing; without clean, segmented and scored data sets, it could make very little sense to start messaging people with dedicated content. It’s best to verify the accuracy of your data in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application and eliminate any issue ahead of time to avoid what could potentially be very long term damaging mistakes. If there are gaps in the data and you’re using a Marketing automation tool to trigger outbound emails with personalized fields, make sure that you first set defaults features to safeguard against errors and establish an agreed-upon standard for communication with your audience. Data hygiene is another important step in the process: identify duplicates, wrong phone numbers, missing information etc. One last important step would be to use form validation to prevent misspellings, bad data and overall integrity of the fields which would be used to trigger personalization features.

What’s most important in this process of personalizing content and fields to reach various target audiences is to think first if there is a good reason to do so. Will personalization increase interest of your audience, engagement levels and ultimately trigger emotional reactions which would indicate a higher propensity to convert on a website or landing page? Personalization without a good reason breaks the cardinal inbound rule: Marketing should be driven by the prospective customer’s needs. At its core, marketing should be useful. Personalization is a good way to properly message web visitors with the right content at the right time while avoiding redundancies i.e. a visitor who already downloaded a white-paper and familiar with a certain subject matter would benefit from visualizing a different type of asset to raise its degree of engagement. Marketing automation platforms such as Eloqua and Marketo allow the use of what’s called smart lists and smart CTAs (Call to Actions) which bring some intelligence to the type of assets that visitors downloaded and what content needs to be distributed appropriately. Personalization can also be extremely powerful to nurture leads and prospects based on interest and knowledge of what the audience already likes to elevate the right level of content. Personalization is a way to make conversions easier by simplifying the way that web visitors navigate throughout the conversion funnel i.e. simplified contact forms with already filled-in information or automated thank you emails to remind audiences of past content viewed (Netflix does a great job with this).

Finally I’d recommend not personalizing content too much and certainly not too early. There should be a good balance between content which should be absorbed by all and personalized one which adds a touch of uniqueness. Targeting content too much to the individual can lead to a limited perspective. A recent MIT study on targeted marketing came across an interesting phenomenon.

The study reported:
“When online shoppers were simply looking at a product category, ads that matched their prior web browsing interests were ineffective. However, after consumers had visited a review site to seek out information about product details — and were closer to a purchase — then personalized ads became more effective than generic ads intended for a mass audience.”

It really reflects on timing of the personalization and certainly mapping customization with the Sales funnel; the closer leads and prospects get to the point of conversions and the better it gets to personalize content to attain sales. It’s also best to increase personalization efforts when decision makers are identified as opposed to influencers with which more generic content would have resonated just as well. At the end of the day it’s all about delivering impactful and relevant content to you audience and maintaining the right balance of personalization. On top of that it will matter to the search engines as to how relevant the content is.

Terms of Use | Privacy Practices | Copyright & Usage | [+} Report a Problem
© 2018 Mitchell International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
By accessing, each user agrees that they have read and agreed to be bound by the
Terms and Conditions governing and Privacy Policies governing