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Tips & Tricks for Building Your Experimentation Program

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When a visitor first lands on your page, they’re already providing insightful data about themselves. Consider factors like user identity, behavior, time of visit, referral source, location, device platform and more to personalize their experience to be more relevant.

Use these personalization tips to create a unique visit:


Personalize Language to Customer Journey

Personalize the CTA to the user’s buying stage in order to nurture him or her towards a sale. A first-time visitor needs to be converted into a lead before they become a customer. Your web page detects their first visit and presents relevant content that warms them up. For example, for first-time visitors, a moving company has a CTA that drives towards a helpful blog post titled “Steps to Packing Up Your Family’s Belongings for a Safe Moving Day”. On the next visit, users on the same page see a CTA for a quick quote for moving services, instead.

See how Lynton, a marketing agency, shows its homepage to first-time visitors:

Lynton Regular Visit

Notice the headline copy and the CTA language, “Learn About Inbound”. It’s personalizing the CTA for education of their services. After a user has converted into a lead by submitting a form, this is how the homepage changes:

Lynton Return Visitors

The page now personalizes its CTA language to match the customer’s journey. Since the lead is already educated and interested in Lynton, the CTA changes to “Start Your Project Today”. Also, the headline of the page is personalized to call out HubSpot, which the user submitted as their current marketing software.


Personalize Recommendations & Repurchases Using Past Behavior

Provide your users with a valuable experience that also increases your revenue per visitor. Personalizing recommendations mean that they’ll discover more products relevant to their needs and interests. Data about their existing behavior on your site determines other items or service upgrades they likely want. Take a look at how Amazon uses recommendations:

Amazon Recommendations

Because I recently viewed a few camera lenses that I did not buy, they offer a number of other options to consider. They have also tracked my book purchases related to marketing and recommended other titles.

Here is a view of someone else’s Amazon experience:

Amazon Buy It Again

Instead of recommendations, this user has a personalized list of items that he has bought before that will likely need to be purchased again. Therefore, personalization in the buying process provides both relevancy and convenience. Both remove friction so that users easily convert.


Use Location for Relevant Content

Your visitors provide info about their current location when they land on your page. Use this to create a better experience by offering content relevant to where they are. For stores, this could be a list of nearby locations or local deals. For publishing sites, this could be news from around the user’s area. There are many ways your business can use location for personalized content.

AirBnb uses my location (Austin, TX) and promotes weekend getaways in nearby cities:

AirBnb Personalization

ESPN uses my location to suggest nearby sports teams to follow in my “favorites”:

ESPN personalization


Use Time of Visit to Be Relevant

Time is another piece of information used to personalize your site. The hour a user visits your page tells a lot about their needs. Someone who enters in the morning differs greatly from someone who enters at night. A restaurant website, for example, gets reservations early in the day, but more online take-out orders in the evening. Their site has the potential to emphasize CTAs for one or the other, depending on time.

Yelp uses time in a small, but significant way in the sidebar of its business pages:

Yelp Time

When I visited this business page at 3:30 pm, their content clearly told me it was closed at the time since I was looking at the page right between their lunch and dinner hours. But when I visit during an open hour, the page changes:

Yelp Time Open


Target Offers & Content Based on Referral Source

Where your users come from says a lot about what they expect. So if they’re arriving from an email campaign about a sale, they should land on a page referencing that. Personalize your site with callouts for the sale that other visitors from other referral sources wouldn’t experience. Same goes for PPC ads.

For example, look at the original product category page for French Connection when a user visits directly:

French Connection Visit

Now, look at how the page changes after a user is referred from this PPC ad, which promotes a 30% off sale:

French Connection Ad

French Connection Code

This personalized page for ad-referred users has a floating callout for the 30% off discount code. If users do not see this, they are likely to abandon the page since they expected a discount, but could not find it easily anymore.


Leverage Calls for Mobile Users

Take advantage of a user’s device platform by leveraging its capabilities to enhance the experience. A publishing site could use a tablet-specific image gallery or an ecommerce desktop site could use live chat that requires typing. For Eater, a restaurant review site, they differentiate between the desktop and mobile experience:

Eater Platform Personalization

The desktop site (left) shows a full map with the restaurant’s info. The mobile site (right) minimizes the map to fit on small screens and also changes the phone number into a click-to-call link that immediately dials. Your page should detect a user’s platform and look for opportunities the improve interaction.


Conclusion

Evaluate how your users interact with your site and personalize the experience to cater to needs and interests. Giving your customers a unique visit removes friction and adds value and relevance, driving them to convert.

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