The age of personalisation

Ollie's Photo by Ollie Jackson


Website personalisation involves designing and developing a customised experience for each visitor to your website or user of your application. Rather than taking the ‘one size fits all’ approach, you deliver a tailored experience according to the preferences and characteristics of the user. 

Consider it the digital equivalent of the barista in your favourite coffee shop knowing what you’d like to drink before you’ve even ordered it. It’s a little moment of delight that makes for an improved user experience. And the same is true for the web. 

Delivering a personalised experience is rapidly becoming one of the most effective marketing strategies. And because of what’s involved to implement it, personalisation straddles User Interface (UI) design, User Experience (UX) design and web development. You need buy-in throughout the business to implement personalisation effectively.

In this post we’ll explore:

  • What personalisation is
  • The benefits of personalisation
  • How you can take steps to implement it

The benefits of personalisation

Here are some of the top reasons why personalisation is rapidly becoming a marketer’s dream:

  • Delivers better customer experiences
  • Increases brand loyalty
  • Delivers more measurable return on investment (ROI)
  • Increases leads

Research from HubSpot shows that personalised CTAs perform some 200% better than their non-personalised counterparts.

Call to Actions that convert

Well placed call-to-actions (CTAs for short) are an effective way to keep your users heading in the right direction. They signpost and encourage users to take considered next steps and complete certain actions. The nature of the call to action is entirely dependent on what you want the user to achieve. Maybe it’s to get in touch, read a particular blog post, or join a mailing list.

So how might we apply personalisation to call-to-actions? Well, if we take the example of a newsletter CTA, if we know that a user is already subscribed to your newsletter, why show them a popup asking them to join?

Research from HubSpot shows that personalised CTAs perform some 200% better than their non-personalised counterparts. 🙌

Relevant recommendations

If you’re a Netflix customer, you will have experienced personalisation at work. The ‘Top Picks’ functionality presents you with content that you may wish to watch and is based on your viewing habits. This is Netflix attempting to understand you, to learn from the data it is gathering about you and to present you with timely, relevant content that improves your overall experience. Netflix will even tailor its recommendations according to the time of day.

Spotify are another good example of using relevant recommendations as part of delivering a personalised experience. They gather vast amounts of data on your listening preferences, they know your likes and dislikes, which songs you skip, which songs you listen to on repeat. All of which shape the content and recommendations Spotify presents you with.

Spotify Personalisation
Spotify creates personalised playlists based on what you're listening to

Effective email campaigns 

Targeted email campaigns are perhaps one of the most popular ways to implement personalisation, not least because the barrier to entry on a technical level is much lower. Popular email marketing solutions (like MailChimp) often have personalisation baked-in so you can get up and running with personalised, targeted emails pretty easily.

Rather than applying a ‘one size fits all’ to your marketing campaigns, segmenting your subscribed users according to their preferences makes it much easier to send marketing emails that are relevant to a particular subscriber list. In turn, you’re spending less time and less money on email marketing and your customers receive content that is tailored to them. It’s a win win!

But personalisation is not without its obstacles

Whilst there is an uptake in personalisation, there are several reasons why businesses are not adopting it, they include:

  • Lack of budget
  • Lack of personnel
  • Poor technology solutions
  • Data access constraints
  • Internal technical limitations

But we fully anticipate that personalisation will continue on its upward trajectory and marketers agree. With personalisation quickly becoming a growing user demand, soon the question will not be whether to adopt it, but rather how to adopt it.

If there is alignment within your organisation and you can prove that there is a valid use case for personalisation, then the technology and services do exist to make it possible. And you can start small. Test out targeted email campaigns, product recommendations or relevant call-to-actions to see what works

With personalisation quickly becoming a growing user demand, soon the question will not be whether to adopt it, but rather how to adopt it.

Summary

Users want to feel understood. They want to know that you are striving to understand their priorities and preferences and genuinely care about making their experience a great one. In return for personalisation you can expect greater loyalty from customers who you can count on as advocates for your brand.

The age of personalisation is here. Take some time to think about how this type of marketing strategy could apply to your business and how you might go about getting started. It doesn't have to be a big operation - you can start small and build up a picture of audience as you go. 


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