In 1978, a young editor at Bantam Books discovered something interesting — allowing kids to participate in how a story unfolds encouraged them to read more.
Over the next decade, Choose Your Own Adventure books became a massive success, selling more than 250 million copies.
Why were they so successful? Because humans crave interactivity and personalization. We like to be noticed, and we like to be in control.
Today, businesses are using the same principles to guide prospects through the sales funnel.
It's called website personalization.
Website personalization isn't new — websites like Amazon have been using it for years. According to Hubspot, it's actually been around since 2007.
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Website personalization is a marketing strategy that delivers custom, personalized experiences for website visitors. Rather than creating one website or landing page, you create a custom page for different segments of your audience based on location, industry, or even what content they read on your website.
For example, a national fast-food brand might show Chicago and Orlando visitors the locations closest to them. Or, a travel website might show a visitor interested in visiting Dubai a landing page with pictures and content about Dubai.
Imagine the custom Spotify lists with all your favorite songs, but instead of a music channel, it's a brand website where images, content, and recommendations are tailored based on your job, location, industry, or previous website behavior.
Benefits of website personalization
One of the biggest challenges of any new initiative is proving (to yourself and maybe your boss) that the change is worth the investment.
This makes sense — nobody wants to drop cash and resources into an initiative that won't impact the bottom line.
With ROI in mind, let's look at the benefits of website personalization:
Customers want personalization: 61 percent of consumers expect brands to provide a personalized experience based on their preferences.
Personalization improves profitability: 90 percent of marketing leaders say personalization significantly increases business profitability.
Personalization improves marketing and sales ROI: Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by 50 percent and increase marketing efficiency by 10 to 30 percent.
Website personalization can help brands:
Reduce cart abandonment rate
Increase Average Order Value (AOV)
Increase retention rates
Drive customer loyalty
Now let's talk about tools you can use to gather data and implement website personalization.
Website personalization tools make it easier to gather (and use) data to create a custom website experience.
But, not all the tools are created equal.
Before selecting a website personalization tool, think about what your personalization goals are — for example, do you want to decrease cart abandonment rate, increase engagement, or drive customer loyalty? You'll also want to make sure the tool you choose integrates with the tools you already use, such as your CRM and email marketing platform.
Let's look at six of the top website personalization tools.
Google Optimize is a testing and website personalization tool from, you guessed it, Google. It offers a variety of testing and data gathering tools you can use to A/B test, improve advertising performance, and create personalized website experiences.
It integrates with Google Analytics, so you can see which site experiences drive the most engagement and optimize your personalization efforts.
Pricing: Free (there is also a paid version called Google Optimize 360 for enterprise brands.)
Personyze is a machine learning and marketing automation platform designed to help businesses deliver dynamic online experiences. The tool gathers data to build real-time visitor profiles based on location, IP data, referral source, interest, and website visitor behavior.
Features include a recommendation engine, dynamic landing pages, behavioral targeting, email personalization, A/B testing, and personalized social proof.
Pricing: Free for up to 5,000 page views a month, paid plans start at $149 a month.
Proof is a visitor notification and website personalization tool that displays live social proof on your website. For example, it can show the number of people who are visiting your website, who just signed up for a free plan, or who bought a specific item.
Rather than showing static social proof in the form of recommendations or case studies, Proof personalized your site by showing actions users are taking on your website in real-time. Proof users have an average conversion rate increase of 10 percent, with some seeing conversions rise as much as 300 percent.
Pricing: $79 per month for up to 10,000 unique visitors per month. They also offer a free 14-day trial.
Ominconvert is a conversion rate optimization platform that combines the power of A/B testing, pop-ups, surveys, segmentation, and website personalization to increase conversion rates. It is a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase revenue, but it can be a bit pricy if you’re just looking for personalization.
Website personalization features include personalized discounts, reviews, navigational tooltips, landing pages, and chat messages. Personalization can be adjusted based on website behaviors, such as visited pages, search results, and items they have in their cart.
They don't offer a stand-alone website personalization tool; rather the features are built into their current offerings. While it might not be the best option for SMB, if you need a powerful conversion rate optimization platform, it's worth considering.
Pricing: Contact for pricing.
Optimizely is a "digital experience platform" that provides experimentation software and website personalization tools. They provide a range of features, including A/B testing, multivariate testing, website personalization, and feature toggling.
Personalization features include targeted messages, targeted offers, and content recommendations based on interests and website behavior. Again, it doesn't offer stand-alone personalization features, rather they've added personalization to their suite of offerings.
Pricing: Contact for pricing.
Instapage is a landing page creation and optimization tool that delivers dynamic experiences to site visitors based on past experiences. Features include dynamic landing pages, copy matching based on keywords and demographics, and testing capabilities.
Pricing: Custom pricing (Their "Optimizing" plan starts at $149 a month, but does not include their personalization features.)
Website personalization is a powerful strategy that delivers custom web-based experiences. Rather than delivering the same content to every visitor, you create a personal experience that can increase customer loyalty and drive conversions.
Note: See who’s surfing your site with the Leadfeeder 14-day free trial.
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