The reason why we do tons of A/B tests on our landing pages is we want it to convert, but if you want it to convert more and become more relevant to the people you are targeting, you need to go the extra mile with personalized landing pages.
Personalized landing pages are indispensable conversion optimization efforts for some of ecommerce’s biggest and successful companies. It is a sales-motivated ecommerce page filled with components unique to a particular user.
Personalization should be a priority in any marketing endeavor in ecommerce whether it is for landing pages, email marketing or product recommendations. With 85% of consumers well aware that websites are able to track their online shopping activities and 75% even prefer that companies use their personal details to improve their shopping experience, personalized landing pages should be a standard for ecommerce and not just an option.
Boost your customer satisfaction now and increase your conversions significantly with these five simple steps on personalized landing pages. We will also cover the advantages and some of the challenges that you may experience along the way.
Step 1: Track user behavior
If you shop regularly on Amazon, then you know how landing page personalization works.
View a particular item on the site and the next time you launch Amazon on your browser, you will be greeted by product recommendations based on the item you recently viewed and even products based on your browsing history.
Essential to this capacity is to have Amazon customers sign in on their accounts. So to do the same level of personalization for your site, it is important to set up member registration on your site. This is also probably one of the easiest ways to track the activities of your users on your site.
Another way to track user behavior is to place high-value offers on your site behind a form that requests the different information you seek, such as gender, location or email address. While these may not be sufficient yet in landing page personalization, it is a good first step to keep the personalized interaction going.
Once you have the information you seek, start applying personalization tokens to each of your users. When they visit your site again, the data you have about them, their browsing history and even the purchases they made on your site will stay with them. You will also be able to collect more information for personalization throughout their visit.
Why is tracking user behavior important?
Because you do not want to waste time and energy recommending products they already bought or are no way interested in buying. By showing them products similar or complementary to the item they viewed or purchased, it can help increase their lifetime value and their chances of converting more.
Step 2: Collect other helpful information
It is often easier for B2C companies to collect information than B2B companies because tracking user behavior can already give you more than what you might expect. Without doing any further tracking and inquiry, information such as income level, age, lifestyle and civil status are easy to gather based on products purchased and items browsed over.
However, if tracked behavior is not enough, you can always reference your data to collect more information about your users. Browser, customer behavior, hours & days, referring sites, and content efficiency reports are some of the many great sources of information you can use from your Google Analytics data for your landing page personalization.
Other ways to personalize your landing pages is to base it on weather forecasts (e.g. promote your comfortable rainy day outfits when it’s the rainy season), upcoming major holidays (e.g. create gift guides for Christmas and New Year) and trends (e.g. if high cut sneakers happen to be in, put your high cut merchandise to the front).
Even ad clicks, IP addresses, operating systems, device-specific information and profile info from third party sources are types of data you can use for landing page personalization.
By referencing other helpful information aside from just tracked user behavior, you can dramatically reduce exit intention and eliminate vagueness in your marketing messages. It shows you can keep up with the pace and you know what you are talking about without the need to create a costly landing page for each product and buyer segment.
Step 3: Set up a personalization process
Beyond the mandatory account registration or the collection of reports from various data sources, you can make things easier on your end by investing on a marketing technology service that will track and store information of your individual site visitors.
These technologies are cloud-based services that dynamically generate user profiles and automatically analyzes them minus the intimidating process of big data analytics and machine learning. As a marketer, you can leave all the data mining work to the data experts.
Here are some examples of marketing technology services you can consider investing on:
Once the technology is set up, you can start personalizing your landing pages based on as much information available for you as possible. Make the most of the data you have and get ready for the next step.
Step 4: Create your landing page
Unless you are really into creating your personalized landing pages, you can choose to have a landing page with fill-in-the-blank elements for the headline, certain paragraphs of content, images and CTAs that will adjust to your prospect’s name, gender, location, viewing history, buying history and so on. In marketing parlance, these are called dynamic landing pages.
Dynamic landing pages are landing pages that are easy to manipulate so you can give your users a fully-customized experience without doing all the legwork. Through dynamic text or dynamic keyword insertion, you can create a single landing page template you can use for multiple keywords.
Let’s reference how to create a dynamic landing page using Unbounce from Disruptive Advertising’s demonstration.
Suppose you are running three PPC ads for the following keywords – Polar Bear Conservation Fund, Polar Bear Conservation Charity and Polar Bear Conservation Donation.
Instead of creating three unique landing pages, treat one as a template and use it for the other two keywords. The image found below is the landing page created for the keyword Polar Bear Conservation Fund.
Mark the areas of the landing page where the other keywords should appear using dynamic text. If you are considering using Unbounce for your dynamic landing pages, all you need to do is highlight the text where you want to swap it with the other keywords and click on the ‘Dynamic Text’ button on the dashboard.
Once the dynamic text tool pops, you need to set up the URL parameter (this is for your ad’s destination URLs), default text (or the text placeholder until the new keyword is swapped in) and the text style (e.g. uppercase, lowercase, title case or sentence case).
Make sure to set up the URL parameters in your AdWords account too so the PPC ad for a particular keyword will lead to the correct landing page.
Let’s say the destination URL for the original landing page with the keyword Polar Bear Conservation Fund is ‘http://unbouncepages.com/polar-bear-conservation/’. By adding the URL parameter, ‘http://unbouncepages.com/polar-bear-conservation?kw=Polar%20Bear%20Conservation%20Charity’ for the keyword Polar Bear Conservation Charity, the area in the landing page where the dynamic text was applied will change to the new keyword.
When using dynamic landing pages to your advantage, try not to overdo it with keywords. Aside from getting penalized for keyword stuffing by Google, it won’t promise a good experience for your audience either.
Also, instead of using dynamic text on your paragraphs and paragraphs of content, consider the hotspots of your landing page instead like the headline, the title, the CTA buttons and images. Choose the action spots of your landing page and from there apply your dynamic text.
Step 5: Test out your personalization efforts
Essential to creating landing pages is testing it and finding out if it is converting or not. The sooner you know what’s keeping your users from fulfilling your conversion goals, the better it is for your bottom line.
Secret Escapes, an online travel company, already saw high click-through rates on their various paid search ads, but they decided to direct all of their paid traffic to a single PPC landing page.
They hypothesized that by keeping the copy on the landing page the same with the copy on the ad, they will improve their conversion rates. Specifically, they wanted to find out if symmetric messaging between ads and landing pages will boost their new user signups.
This hypothesis was based on the idea of combining user intent on search engines with expectation. Simply, if a user sees that the terms they used while searching clearly matched the copy on the ad and the landing page, they will be more likely to perform the conversion goal on the page.
Below is the PPC ad created by Secret Escapes using a keyword from their “spa” AdWords group.
Given this PPC ad, Secret Escapes created two personalized landing pages against the control page that had no personalization done. Below are the control, variation 1 and variation 2 landing pages.
In variation 1, the subheading was personalized to include the keyword ‘spa’. The image was also changed to a spa pool. The symmetrical subheading and image boosted signups by 26%.
In variation 2, the image of the spa pool was retained while the headline and subhead were updated with the keyword ‘spa’. The signups increased by 32%.
The two variations were shown to users who came to the landing page using keywords in the “spa” AdWords group.
Regardless if it is variation 1 or 2, landing page personalization does help in your conversion goals. Sometimes, even more than what you expect.
Advantages of using personalized landing pages
Why is landing page personalization considered a conversion trick by many?
It reduces bounce rates. Whenever a user leaves a landing page and does not perform the conversion goal, it’s bad. It’s bad not only for traffic, but for conversions. Since the landing page is displaying content, an offer or a product recommendation relevant to a user’s intent and expectations, it can drastically help you improve your numbers.
It has high engagement levels. When landing pages reflect user’s intent and expectations, it is more likely to be more engaging for them. And when a user is engaged, they are more likely to convert.
It can be controlled. For instance, there is a user searching for sports bags by Nike and not Adidas. With the right marketing service technology and data, you can generate a personalized landing page that will show all sports bags by Nike and other related products except Adidas. When you bring everything you know about a user to the landing page, they are more likely to convert.
It keeps users on coming back. When users feel like a brand goes out of its way to personalize their shopping experience, they are more likely be repeat customers. And the more a user returns to a site, the data you have of them becomes better.
It also welcomes newcomers. Aside from its nurturing aspect, a landing page that’s personalized can also help you welcome more new people to your site. When a new customer responds to your first offer or campaign, you know you did personalization right.
It gives you better conversion rates. While this does not need to be said anymore, personalized marketing efforts are 375% more effective than generic ones. You can make your conversions and revenues rise by going the extra mile with personalization.
- When it comes to email messages, you can have a member of your marketing team send it instead of your entire company. Especially when there is a photo and a signature added at the end of the email, the communication feels more thoughtful and humanized.
- Again on your email messages, address your recipient by their name and not by generic space fillers like ‘Dear customer’ or ‘Hey there shopper!’
- Instead of mass-market campaigns, segment your email database and start personalizing your messages from there.
- Base your messages on various marketing personas. Use them as a guide.
- Respond to messages or inquiries on social media. Skip the robot responses and customize your answers.
Even outside the realm of landing pages, you can apply personalization too in other areas of your marketing.
Challenges along the way
Of course, landing page personalization has its share of challenges too with one being it takes time to build.
Even with dynamic text and automation tools at your disposal, to map out the different trigger-effect dimensions for personalization, to measure and optimize its performance, to collect and analyze tools for personalization, and to create unique and truly creative landing pages will all take time from your hands.
Aside from being time-consuming, doing personalization also costs a lot of money. Check out if certain technologies that will help streamline the process are worth investing on or not.
And beyond the development stage, there are also concerns about personalized content on the part of users. Privacy issues, the feeling of being tracked or watched to be sold something to is the other face of personalization. The Big Brother effect may be common and everywhere, but it may still make some people uncomfortable.
Whereas the purpose of personalization is to make communications relevant, what if a user’s tastes have changed? What if a person is no longer interested in Kindle books (for reasons that the Kindle got lost or broken) and yet Amazon still continues giving Kindle-related recommendations? This is just a scenario when personalization can go wrong.
When you attract and engage your customers and prospects with customized marketing messages, they are likely to convert and become repeat shoppers. In fact, this type of effort converts four times more traffic than generic marketing messages.
Get started by customizing your relationships with personalized landing pages you can build following these five simple steps:
- Track user behavior
- Collect other helpful information
- Set up the personalization process
- Get creative with your landing page
- Test out your personalization efforts
Also, try to remember these four nuggets of wisdom on personalization.
Whether you are doing it for your landing pages or not, you do not need to be a data scientist to make sense of your customer data. There is no need for intimidation in personalization.
Capitalize well on what you know about your customers through your data. Whether it is a win or a loss, learn from them as you make your engagements more nurturing and converting.
Always think of your customers – not the channel. Multi-channel marketing can distract you from what’s most important – your customers. Work on a marketing strategy that revolves around them.
Invest and keep personalizing for the long haul. You do not want quick and temporary wins. You need loyal customers who will help you sustain your business. Place your customers under the lens and from there present offers and communications relevant all throughout the cycle.
Have you tried personalizing your landing pages? What additional steps and learnings did you pick up along the way?