A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: 3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions

Happy New Year, travel marketers! The beginning of January always brings its own kind of magic with resolutions and the opportunity to both reflect on the past year and look towards the next.  It’s also a time that, if I can be honest, is a little overwhelming with the pressure of setting life-changing goals. And… Read More

The post A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: <br/>3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions appeared first on Bound.

Happy New Year, travel marketers! The beginning of January always brings its own kind of magic with resolutions and the opportunity to both reflect on the past year and look towards the next.  It’s also a time that, if I can be honest, is a little overwhelming with the pressure of setting life-changing goals. And it’s not only personal goals! Working within the digital marketing space I feel that every other content piece is focused on “new year, new marketing strategy” resolutions that couldn’t be easier to implement – or so the articles read…

At Bound, we’re big believers in starting where you’re at, especially when it comes to personalization and your marketing strategy.  That’s why one of our resolutions this year is to focus on something that we know has an impact: optimizing our goal conversions

When it comes to our monthly content reports, few things give our Customer Success Managers more joy than seeing an increase in click through rates on goal related content pieces.  But as fun as these increases are to see, we are even more thrilled by increases in the goal conversions themselves. As we’ve become increasingly aware of the important relationship between clicks and conversions – and the very different stories each can highlight when they don’t align  – we’re excited to share our new Goal Dashboard and highlight three resolutions on increasing your conversions in 2020:

Read More (into your A/B tests):

When in doubt about your content, run an A/B Test!  While click through rates can certainly highlight your audience’s preferences for the imagery, copy or CTA, how do you account for the content’s impact on the actual conversion?  Within the new Goal Dashboard, you can now compare conversion rates against your campaigns, segments and pieces of content, allowing for a deeper level of insight. We recently took a closer look at an eNewsletter related A/B test we have been running with a DMO.  Month over month, we found that one content piece had consistently less clicks than the other. However, in comparing the conversion rates between the two pieces, we saw that the content piece with a lower CTR had a considerably higher conversion rate. This comparison helped us see the value of a content piece we might have otherwise removed and will help inform future A/B tests.

Exercise (your understanding of your Mobile and Desktop visitors differences):

As we’ve written about before, there are many things to take into consideration when creating content for your Desktop and Mobile visitors.  Goal conversions are no different, especially given that our Mobile visitors are often less likely to convert. Within the new Goal Dashboard, we can now dive into the conversion rates for our different segments across campaigns, allowing us to compare, for example, fly-ins served to desktop visitors and banners served to mobile audiences.  Layering in this insight can help us develop content best suited for each of our unique visitors groups.

Spend Less (time guessing how your content is performing):

Over the past few years, we’ve increasingly become fans of thoughtful “abandonment” content and the way these direct CTAs can increase conversions for visitors who have initiated, but not completed, a conversion goal.  While we often see this content with high CTRs, it can be challenging to determine how exactly this content contributes to the overall goal. Thankfully, our new Goal Dashboard takes the guesswork out of content creation and helps us see exactly which Abandonment content is best contributing to the goal. 

Our hope for your 2020 is that your conversion related content is directly increasing your goal conversions (leaving you with more time to increase engagement for your ad visitors!)   Knowing that goal conversions are a vital piece to understanding your visitors intent to travel, we’re excited that our new Goal Dashboard will bring new awareness and insight this year.  Cheers to you and your increased conversions!

Want to learn more about the Goal Dashboard or personalizing to increase your conversions?  We’d love to chat with you and hear all about your 2020 marketing resolutions!

The post A Well Balanced Content Personalization Diet: <br/>3 New Years Resolutions to Increase Goal Conversions appeared first on Bound.

Monetate Retrospective: Holiday Season 2019 (and What to Do Next)

The holiday magic was in the air this peak shopping season. Despite industry worries about sluggish sales, more people than ever shopped over the holiday week that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. NRF reports that 189.9 million Americans shopped during this time, 14% more than in 2018 (165.8 million). And this year also…

The post Monetate Retrospective: Holiday Season 2019 (and What to Do Next) appeared first on Monetate.

The holiday magic was in the air this peak shopping season. Despite industry worries about sluggish sales, more people than ever shopped over the holiday week that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. NRF reports that 189.9 million Americans shopped during this time, 14% more than in 2018 (165.8 million).

And this year also proved that holiday shopping has gone cyber. While Black Friday commanded headlines for decades, online sales are taking over. Early tallies show that the US had the biggest Cyber Monday ever with $9.4 billion in sales. About $3 billion of that spending came from smartphones. 

The shopping journey is obviously more complicated than a few days and two channels. Brick-and-mortar store sales on Black Friday dropped 6.2% compared to 2018, according to data from ShopperTrak. However, the firm also notes that foot traffic in stores increased 2.3% on Thanksgiving Day compared with last year. So, while people prefer to buy online, they still like to shop. Similarly, “buy online pickup in store” (aka BOPIS and click-to-collect) also increased for the holiday weekend by 43% over last year, and delivered 64% more value in store than sales from non-BOPIS shoppers.

With so many elements to connect, it’s important for retailers to understand what works and how to give customers a positive experience in the process. Personalization can be a cornerstone of a successful holiday weekend. With a 2x increase in session volume for this year’s holiday shopping weekend over last year, we had plenty of our own data to analyze in order to provide some insights. 

There’s a lot of good news for brands. We found a big increase in the use of personalization overall, and as a result, Monetate clients saw improved YoY conversion rates and order values. 

Here are a few highlights from our clients’ holiday seasons:

  • US Conversion Rates were 5.6 times higher for pages with Monetate personalization compared to non-personalized pages.
  • UK Conversion Rates were 3.2 times higher for pages with Monetate personalization compared to non-personalized pages.
  • Average Order Value increased 54% for US shoppers exposed to Monetate personalization
  • Average Order Value increased 11% for UK shoppers exposed to Monetate personalization
  • Monetate also found that retailers grew the use of personalization by more than 200% from 2018 to 2019 across the US and the UK. This includes growth across segmented experiences, Individual Fit Experiences (one-to-one personalization) and Majority Fit Experiences (dynamic testing).

We also looked at cross-device and customer identification rates (aka the “cold start problem”). Monetate did find that over the Thanksgiving weekend, our clients identified just over one-third (35%) of their visitors across desktop and mobile compared to only 23% visitor identification last year, which is a great improvement. But do the math in reverse and that means 64% of visitors weren’t identified. Our UK clients increased their ID rates but tend to have slightly lower match rates overall due to a different approach to privacy protections. 

As we’ve highlighted in the past (see the full post here), using AI-enhanced personalization allows brands to create unique strategies for “small slice” audiences. For example, we found that retained holiday shoppers from a year ago are very loyal and actually spend more even than regular shoppers come next holiday season. This relatively small group are a perfect example of a group that deserves a marketing strategy to identify and personalize a campaign that will keep them coming back next year, growing the group over time.

[Looking for more holiday shopper research? Download this report from the Monetate data team.]

The good news is that clients can increase their match rates with Monetate and identify more of these small but valuable audiences that are likely to come through over the holiday season. You can collect your Person ID (unique identifier assigned to an individual) either onsite, or through clickthrough. The onsite method can be utilised by using a JS variable or a cookie triggered on sign-up or users log in and / or at checkout. 

The clickthrough method uses the query parameter that includes an identifier, set up by your ESP. The value in this parameter is unique and tied directly to a person which means that you can stitch this ID to the Monetate cookie. This will give you the connection you need to bring match rates up and create more one-to-one personalization using IFEs.

We know that holiday planning for 2020 starts now, and it’s the insights we get that help us chart a successful season next year. Now’s the time to analyze what works and chart a course for an even bigger holiday shopping season in 12 months.

Phil Lee is a senior strategist on Monetate’s client success team.

The post Monetate Retrospective: Holiday Season 2019 (and What to Do Next) appeared first on Monetate.

How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors

With the launch of their “always on” regional “Reclaim the Weekend” ad campaign, VISIT DENVER faced the challenge of how to keep their main landing page relevant. The regional effort, which promotes visiting Denver for a long weekend, targets a wide variety of personas that change monthly. Instead of creating multiple new landing pages every… Read More

The post How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors appeared first on Bound.

With the launch of their “always on” regional “Reclaim the Weekend” ad campaign, VISIT DENVER faced the challenge of how to keep their main landing page relevant. The regional effort, which promotes visiting Denver for a long weekend, targets a wide variety of personas that change monthly. Instead of creating multiple new landing pages every month, VISIT DENVER used personalization with Bound to match the hero slideshow content to the appropriate persona.

VISIT DENVER developed and rolled out three waves of ad personalization within their first year with Bound:

Wave 1

The first step was to personalize the slideshow for visitors coming to the landing page directly from the ad. This involved not only showing the appropriate group of slides but also starting the slideshow with the content targeted to that persona. While these visitors only had a 4% increase in clicks specifically on their persona-targeted slides, overall page engagement was significantly increased. Compared to other visitors, the ad persona segments had a 53% increase in visit duration and a 45% decrease in bounce rate when entering the site through the Reclaim the Weekend landing page.

Wave 2

The second step was to use Bound’s Media Optimizer tool to personalize the slideshow for visitors who were exposed to the ad. The pixeling capabilities of Media Optimizer allowed Denver to target Reclaim page visitors who had seen, but hadn’t clicked on the ad, as well as visitors who came back to the site after their specific persona campaign ended. Not only did these pixeled visitors have great page engagement, but they also had a 100% increase in clickthrough rates on the slideshow and were 28% more likely to click specifically on the persona-targeted slides. With this information, Denver had the data needed to show that visitors were still interested in persona-specific content even if they had not clicked on the ad. 

Wave 3

The third step was to build on the learnings from the first two phases of personalization and launch a fly-in campaign. The fly-in targeted visitors exposed to the persona who had never clicked on the ad or otherwise reached the Reclaim page. Using the fly-in, Denver was able to successfully direct 2% of these visitors to the page and continued to increase website engagement. Visitors exposed to the persona fly-in had a further 23% increase in visit duration and 18% decrease in bounce rate.

By identifying visitor interests based on ads, even if those visitors never directly engaged with the ad, Denver has been able to increase views on their key ad landing page and continually increase their landing page engagement. This has increased overall site performance and has allowed Denver to optimize the experience for these high-value website visitors. 

Want to learn more about personalizing for your targeted ad visitors? 

The post How Denver Increased Engagement for Ad Visitors appeared first on Bound.

Finding the Fun in Travel Marketing: Aiming for the Sleigh Factor

Ho Ho Ho and Happy Holidays to all you wonderful winter people! As the weather gets colder, our DMO client’s marketing starts to focus on one big winter holiday that takes over department stores, classrooms, offices, and websites. It’s festive, beautiful, and usually involves family, presents, and gratitude. That’s right, we’re talking about the big… Read More

The post Finding the Fun in Travel Marketing: Aiming for the Sleigh Factor appeared first on Bound.

Ho Ho Ho and Happy Holidays to all you wonderful winter people! As the weather gets colder, our DMO client’s marketing starts to focus on one big winter holiday that takes over department stores, classrooms, offices, and websites. It’s festive, beautiful, and usually involves family, presents, and gratitude. That’s right, we’re talking about the big one… Boxing Day!

Kidding! Of course we’re talking about CHRISTMAS. Around mid November, the team at Bound gets to experience first hand the holiday traditions that take over cities, states, and CVBs (we even named a few of our favorites in this blog post). Marketing winter and holiday events is merry and joyful and helps us feel fully prepared for the Christmas season.

But, it also got us thinking about some other Christmas-focused destinations that may be more difficult to market because of the variety of visitors or the difficulty in reaching the location. So, as a continuation of our multi-part series of ‘personalized marketing for fictional* destinations,’ we’re adding another famous place to our list:

THE NORTH POLE 

Because while it may be easy to get humans to visit Santa’s factory, it’s going to take some very different marketing approaches to convince the Elves to visit the winter wonderland way up North. And what better way to market to different Christmas personas than with a little bit of persona based personalization!

DESTINATION BACKGROUND: 

Let’s start with a  little background information about the North Pole as a destination. As a disclaimer, based on my intensive research I do not think you can actually reach the North Pole because 1) it’s constantly moving and shifting around like a wobbly top hat on the globe, 2) it’s frozen, and 3) Santa’s put a magic spell on it making it impossible for humans to see or visit. But, according to legends, songs, and popular films, it’s a beautiful place that’s constantly doused in Christmas cheer. It’s snowy and cold but everyone seems genuinely pleased to be there. And most importantly, it’s where Santa has chosen to set up shop literally and figuratively. He has, as of a few hundred years ago, moved his workshop and home to the North Pole, making it the capital of Christmas and arguably, where all Christmas magic begins. 

There are three main groups of personas that would be highly interested in learning what is going on and what makes the North Pole an exciting destination, but all three would want to explore for very different reasons. First, I’ll describe each of these personas, then I’ll provide the DOs and DONTs for targeting them so that we can understand how in the jingle bells the North Pole could become the most visited Christmas destination, with the right personalization strategy.

PERSONA SEGMENT: SANTA
(AKA Business Travellers)

For the sake of your childhood wonder, I hope that you have a vague idea of the man that is Santa Claus. But if not, I’ll give you a few bullet points about the legendary Kris Kringle. He’s a jolly older gentleman who exclusively wears a red fur suit, keeps a list of good and bad children, and delivers presents on Christmas Eve. His job entails sneaking into our houses after we’ve gone to sleep, leaving us presents, and taking whatever sweet treats we leave out for him (I think his preference is oatmeal cookies). He also runs a very busy workshop that creates toys and that workshop is headquartered in the North Pole. 

DOS:

If the North Pole set up personalization for Santa, it’s important to understand that Santa is not a businessman. He’s a business,* man. His work is very important to him and he has essentially created a Christmas empire. So, thinking business first, he wants what is best for him, his company, and his employees. When targeting Santa, be sure to note that the North Pole is actually outside the confines of any one country. That’s right, according to a quick google search, the North Pole is technically floating in international waters somewhere. That means no taxes which is a brilliant financing ploy to convince the big man in red!  Plus, for a workplace that emphasizes warm beverages and cozy stockings, the temperature is ideal for Santa, elves, and reindeer alike. 

If personalizing to Santa Clause, emphasize the cold weather, availability of workers, and the fact that his business gets to exist in a much more frigid version of the Wild West. No laws, no taxes, anything goes! 

*Note: Santa’s workshop may be a non-profit. I don’t really know. 

DO NOTS: 

While the North Pole is a wonderful place for business, it’s not all candy canes and mistletoe. There are things about living in the North Pole that could turn anyone into a Grinch. For instance, if targeting Santa or any business, the North Pole should absolutely NOT mention the commute to work. Santa has a limited amount of time to get to the “office” (what I’m assuming he calls our living rooms). Do not emphasize that he’ll need to travel thousands of miles to his first stop or that it will be thousands of miles to his next stop after that, or his next one, or his next one. Also, maybe don’t mention that there’s no movie theatre, no restaurants, no grocery stores, or really anything in the North Pole. We don’t need Santa trying to make any kind of big move. 

PERSONA SEGMENT: ELVES
(AKA the locals)

The next persona group is the Elves! Elves are typically thought of exclusively as ‘Santa’s Helpers’ but they are so much more than that! They’re tiny little creatures that love to sing, dance, and yes, they usually work in Santa’s workshop building toys or taking care of his reindeer. They enjoy standard winter activities like snowball fights, eating candy, and spending time with family.

DOS: 

If movies like Elf are to be believed, the Christmas elves are a tight knit community. They love Christmas but they also love spending time together. If you’re personalizing your content to Elves you’ll want to emphasize the more social aspects of the North Pole. Push events and things to do around town. Show off the Elf community, the plethora of syrup, and the availability of snowman building supplies. 

DO NOTS: 

Santa’s elves are an interesting persona group because traditional “North Pole” messaging will not work on them. Do you think the city you live in would entice other travelers to visit by posting pictures of your workspace? Definitely not! So naturally, targeting should not use pictures of Santa’s Workshop to entice Elves to come visit the North Pole. And in that line of thinking, do you think they want to see pictures of their boss everywhere? No matter how much they love the jolly guy, it’s probably tough to be bombarded with images of the person you work for. 

PERSONA SEGMENT: HUMANS
(AKA the tourists)

And lastly, let’s talk about marketing towards humans. Hopefully I don’t need to get too far into what a human persona group looks like because if you are reading this you should be quite familiar. But, generally humans enjoy the holiday season, a few Scrooge-y humans notwithstanding. We have fragile human skin which does feel cold. And for the most part, we like presents. 

DOS: 

Do I need to break down the reasons humans would go to the North Pole? It’s the same reason travelers might want to go to the Dr. Pepper facilities in Dublin, TX or the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA. We want to see a glimpse behind the scenes of what it takes to pull off the best holiday of the year! Is it chaotic or well organized? Is Santa kind to his elves or is his managerial style more stern? How do they train the reindeer for their big night?I want to know it all! And it is literally the only attraction that could convince me to travel to a place that requires 4-5 parkas to still feel cold. 

So, North Pole’s Marketing team, if you’re reading: lay it on thick with the Christmas content when speaking to us regular ol’ humans. We like Christmas. We like presents. We like the idea of everyone wearing a standard fur trimmed uniform to work! Show us the North Pole’s Christmas!

DO NOTS: 

Did I mention the weather in the North Pole? It’s colder than a Polar Bear’s toenails up there. Living in central Texas I sometimes forget that the thermostat drops below 30  degrees Fahrenheit in most places. If marketing to humans my advice would be to leave out the fact that it gets to be -40 degrees Fahrenheit in winter (THIS IS TRUE! I JUST LOOKED THIS UP! THAT’S VERY COLD). 

And there you have it! A perfect way to personalize North Pole messaging to the different marketing personas that would most likely visit. Did we convince you to make the North Pole next year’s winter vacation? 

Happy holidays from our happy work family to yours – see you in 2020!

The post Finding the Fun in Travel Marketing: Aiming for the Sleigh Factor appeared first on Bound.

Bound’s Favorite Things: Destination Holiday Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Our team loves partnering with our amazing clients to see how each destination celebrates their unique holiday traditions.  We’re grateful for the opportunity to work closely with our client teams every single day! To celebrate the season with ‘thankful hearts and endless joy’, and taking some inspiration… Read More

The post Bound’s Favorite Things: Destination Holiday Traditions appeared first on Bound.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Our team loves partnering with our amazing clients to see how each destination celebrates their unique holiday traditions.  We’re grateful for the opportunity to work closely with our client teams every single day!

To celebrate the season with ‘thankful hearts and endless joy’, and taking some inspiration from Oprah herself, we present our favorite holiday traditions inspired by some of our favorite DMOs:

Ali’s favorite thing:
Asheville, North Carolina: National Gingerbread House Competition

Baking has always been a favorite past time, but the need to bake greatly intensifies around the holiday season. Thanks to the holiday editions of baking shows, I’m able to spend even more time during the season thinking about holiday baking. A few years ago I discovered the show Gingerbread Giants and quickly became obsessed with the unbelievably amazing creations made by master baking and decorating artists.  These sculptures feel especially unbelievable because making a gingerbread house is SO MUCH HARDER than it seems and makes me feel like I have my own Nailed It! competition happening in my kitchen. 

While it has become a new tradition for me, The National Gingerbread House Competition has been a favorite Asheville holiday tradition for over 30 years. I hope to one day plan my own trip during the holidays to celebrate all things gingerbread, but for now, visions of sugar plums and icing sugar are dancing in my head as I plan out my next baking adventure!

Jessica’s favorite thing:
San Fransisco, California: Illuminate SF Festival of Light

I love all things bright and cheerful, which is why Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. My family used to drive around for hours checking out all the holiday lights. That’s why each year I’m excited to see all the new content for Illuminate San Francisco. This annual display of light art across the city (including installations on wheels like the “lightmobile’) looks so gorgeous and inviting in the photos, that I can’t wait to plan a trip to see in person!

Mary Clare’s favorite thing:
Franklin, Tennessee: Dickens of a Christmas

Is there anything more Christmasy than Charles Dickens and a Christmas Carol?

I’ve loved Dickens since the first time I saw Michael Caine and Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Christmas Carol (easily the best version ever made). In fact, I loved a Christmas Carol so much that every year growing up, my grandma would give me a house for my Charles Dickens Christmas village. Even now, it doesn’t fully feel like Christmas until I’ve pulled out these houses and set them all up for December. So I’m thrilled that the folks at the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County have hosted their Dickens of a Christmas in downtown Franklin for 35 years. With hundreds of actors and characters set in the most charming downtown I’ve ever seen, this is easily at the top of my Christmas bucket list.

Taylor’s favorite thing:
Austin, Texas: Mozart’s Coffee Roasters Light Show

If you were to tell me that cramming onto a deck at a coffee shop with hundreds of other Austinites would be my favorite holiday tradition, I would have scoffed, but Mozart’s Coffee Roasters light show is a sight to see. With over 1 million lights (which take 6 full time staff members weeks to assemble), Mozart’s Coffee on Lake Travis hosts a light show every hour on the hour from Thanksgiving until New Years. Sip cocoa, cuddle up with family, and sit in awe of this impressive 10-minute display. And of course, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” makes an appearance.

Adriana’s favorite thing:
Branson, Missouri: Christmas Tree City Trail

For me, the holiday season truly begins when Explore Branson switches all of their site’s Fall imagery to Christmas content. It usually happens about mid November and it tells me that it’s finally okay to start listening to Christmas music.

Though I am a definite Christmas and holiday enthusiast (on occasion I have been called “Christmas Crazy”), my appreciation pales in comparison to the Christmas fervor that takes over Branson, Missouri. The entire city is lit up with twinkling lights and there’s a Christmas or holiday related event almost every night. One of the things that I appreciate the most is Branson’s Christmas Tree Trail. The city boasts over 700 ‘colorful, unique, and creative’ trees. And better yet, Explore Branson created a multi-stop list so that you can tramp around to see all the trees that are at least 20 feet tall or are part of a multi-tree display. You may need the entire season to see all 700 trees but it’s a goal that I’d be willing to work towards!

 

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and, as Tiny Tim would say, “God Bless us, every one!”

The post Bound’s Favorite Things: Destination Holiday Traditions appeared first on Bound.

Getting Started with Homepage Personalization

Some retail brand leaders (particularly towards the more luxury end of the spectrum) have traditionally viewed their site homepages as highly curated canvases — much like the front window display of a store. I’m an artist myself, so I’m very sympathetic to the concept of a unified brand aesthetic. However, these brands are limiting their…

The post Getting Started with Homepage Personalization appeared first on Monetate.

Some retail brand leaders (particularly towards the more luxury end of the spectrum) have traditionally viewed their site homepages as highly curated canvases — much like the front window display of a store. I’m an artist myself, so I’m very sympathetic to the concept of a unified brand aesthetic. However, these brands are limiting their ability to convert more customers and increase revenue by not personalizing the homepage experience.

Personalization really is the key to unlocking the most revenue from your homepage. I know that every marketer (and technology partner) seems to have a different definition for personalization… and that’s a topic for a future blog post. It can mean dynamically updating a homepage banner based on previous purchases, or serving a recommendation slider with products relevant to a specific visitor. For marketers still building the case for homepage personalization here, let’s focus on 1-to-1, AI-driven personalization and how retailers are using Monetate to increase revenue.

Why homepage personalization works + a case study

Monetate customers use what we call “Individual Fit Experiences” to deliver personalized homepages to their site visitors. This method uses both first- and third-party data to inform individualized content decisions — meaning that each site visitor receives a unique combination of the variants determined to be most likely relevant to them. 

This is different from something like an A/B test, where it’s certain that a random section of your target will see a less relevant experience. In fact, Monetate examined data from over 2 billion personalized experiences in order to learn how manual methods perform compared with their AI counterparts. Our finding? Individual Fit Experiences succeed 4X as often as A/B tests.  

[Read more about AI-enabled testing here]

To illustrate why, let’s look at a real-world example where I’ve only removed identifying features about the brand. A current Monetate customer and well-known retail and ecommerce brand (with a top-down culture of viewing the homepage as a work of art) decided to launch a personalization pilot to compare personalized performance with the one-size-fits-all approach.

With executive buy-in achieved and a goal metric (click-through) set, the next step was establishing how to personalize the homepage. Should they create variants specific for genders or product lines or something else? We ultimately decided to create variants across four of these, including the traditional curated homepage as a “control”, and let the Monetate Personalization Engine decide what visitors would see. 

Key results? After 14 days, the Individual Fit Experience drove a cumulative +26.42% lift in click-through from the homepage. Using Monetate, the marketing team was also able to get insight into which categories our AI-powered engine determined were most influential to assign traffic to our goal metric, and this will help them plan future strategies.

How to start with homepage personalization

As you can see, running a successful homepage personalization pilot can be done with minimal variants and the data you already have. If you’re ready to get started, here are some additional tips from my work with leading retailers:

  1. Start small. Most homepages already include a wide range of persona-specific products. Using an Individual Fit Experience to update what content is above the fold can be incredibly effective, and it doesn’t require any additional resources.
  2. Trust the engine. This isn’t the typical “If you bought this, show this” type of experience, and we have proven results. With a clear goal, you just need to let the engine learn and make the right decisions. Remember that you’re still in control of all the variants.
  3. Bring data. Monetate’s Individual Fit Experiences can make decisions out-of-the-box based on context it can “see” but your first-party data can also ensure visitors are getting the perfect experience.

Greg Giletto is a Senior Platform Consultant at Monetate. Austin Rochford, Monetate’s SVP of Data Science, also contributed insights to this article.

The post Getting Started with Homepage Personalization appeared first on Monetate.

Non-Profit Persuasion Lesson from Jay-Z

Rapper Jay-Z used a classic influence principle for non-profit persuasion.
The post Non-Profit Persuasion Lesson from Jay-Z appeared first on Neuromarketing.

non-profit persuasion - jay-z style

Rapper Jay-Z used a classic influence principle for non-profit persuasion.

The post Non-Profit Persuasion Lesson from Jay-Z appeared first on Neuromarketing.

Are You Mobile-Optimized or Mobile-Awesome?

Weird fact about me – while I am of average height, I have tiny, below-average hands. Because of my tiny hands I was super reluctant to upgrade my tiny phone, so until the last few weeks I was still living my best life with my 4” screen iPhone 5. When your phone is that tiny… Read More

The post Are You Mobile-Optimized or Mobile-Awesome? appeared first on Bound.

Weird fact about me – while I am of average height, I have tiny, below-average hands. Because of my tiny hands I was super reluctant to upgrade my tiny phone, so until the last few weeks I was still living my best life with my 4” screen iPhone 5. When your phone is that tiny it becomes really clear really fast when websites aren’t optimizing well for mobile.

Which brings up a good question: what does it really mean to “optimize” for mobile? For a lot of websites it simply means nothing breaks when viewed on a phone. You would think “not breaking” should be the bare minimum, but I have been on plenty of websites where everything from the hero image to a form fill is in fact “broken” and either cannot be viewed or cannot be used on my mobile phone.

Of course, “not breaking” is still a pretty low standard to set for such a large chunk of your audience. While the percentage of mobile visitors will always vary by site, in 2019 we’re seeing an average of 64% of travel & tourism website visitors using mobile devices. 

If you want to create the best mobile experience for your visitors, why not use personalization? Here are 5 examples of ways you can use personalization to create a better website for mobile visitors without having to recreate the entire website wheel.

Changing the Copy

A giant block of text on mobile? Ain’t nobody got time for that! A lot of times mobile optimizing means that the text technically fits on the screen. And that’s it. But we can do better than that! You can create a better experience overall by shortening the copy for mobile. 

Think about your homepage hero, for example. If you overlay copy over an image, it will always take up a large portion of the image space, even when using smaller text. If you try and make it much smaller you run the risk of no one being able to read your copy. Create a cleaner mobile version by shortening or removing an element such as the subhead text, so that mobile visitors can still get the full effect of the image. Or, consider setting up a different template on mobile where the text moves below the image instead of appearing over it.

Changing the copy can also mean changing the call to action text. Mobile visitors are more likely to click on a visitor guide “view” call to action over one that says “download.” 

Changing the Content

Wide, sweeping landscape images are beautiful. On desktop. 

On mobile, wide images can get tricky. If you keep the same image ratio on mobile your image can become very, very small. If your website automatically crops the image to create a taller version, you might end up with a completely different point of view:

Instead of a mobile-optimized version of the image, use personalization to show a completely different image that better fits the story you want to tell on mobile.

Prioritizing the Right Content

That big, long intro text is really nice for your desktop visitors since they can still see other elements further down on the screen, but maybe you have articles or user generated images you think would appeal more to your mobile visitors. Using personalization to make sure the best mobile content is visible before scrolling can keep mobile visitors better engaged. This could mean rearranging content or using an overlay campaign to grab your mobile visitors attention right away.

Using Different Forms

Think about your formfill pages for a minute. How you would feel trying to fill them out on a phone. Are there 10 required fields before they can sign up for your newsletter? Are there several dropdowns they need to try and scroll through? Are there tiny checkboxes close together that might make it hard for them to indicate the right interest?

These are all issues that can easily dissuade a mobile visitor from completing a form. If you have a shorter, mobile-friendly form, you can use personalization to promote it strictly to mobile visitors who abandoned the original form page. Alternatively, you can direct them to the short form when they first click your call to action instead of showing them the long form at all. 

Using Different Overlay Content

With mobile visitors making up over half of your website sessions, of course you still want to target them to promote your key goals. However, even when sized for a mobile screen, a fly-in can still create a larger than desired impact, more akin to using a modal. If you want to create a less disruptive experience on mobile, considering using banner campaigns instead. Mobile visitors can easily choose to either interact with a banner or ignore and continue scrolling.

 

Personalization is all about creating the best website experience for a group of visitors, and at the end of the day your mobile visitors are just another one of those groups! Looking for more ideas of how to better personalize for mobile? Contact your designated Customer Success Manager or reach out to here to discuss more!

The post Are You Mobile-Optimized or Mobile-Awesome? appeared first on Bound.

Make Travel Marketing Fun Again: Aiming for the Slay Factor

Working with Destinations and CVBs changes you. When visiting a new city or state, I used to do a quick 10 second scan of Yelp to decide on a lunch spot. Now, I read a few blog posts and check out the destination’s instagram before settling on the best option for a bite to eat…. Read More

The post Make Travel Marketing Fun Again: Aiming for the Slay Factor appeared first on Bound.

Working with Destinations and CVBs changes you. When visiting a new city or state, I used to do a quick 10 second scan of Yelp to decide on a lunch spot. Now, I read a few blog posts and check out the destination’s instagram before settling on the best option for a bite to eat. And things to do? You better believe I visit the tourism site’s curated list of activities and attractions. All those changes are to be expected when you work closely with amazing destination marketers. 

But, one surprising element of working with destinations? You never watch movies or TV shows the same way. Instead of placidly enjoying a movie, I spend a portion of the movie dissecting why the heck anyone would visit the setting of the film. If you’ve watched horror movies, disaster movies, or even Hot Tub Time Machine, you’ve probably found yourself asking the same thing.  

So, in the spirit of Halloween, we are kicking off a multi-part series to tell you exactly how some of these ‘film-worthy’ destinations got their tourist traffic. Because we all know, there must have been some heavy handed marketing to get visitors to some of these spots (please STOP sending your children to Camp Crystal Lake!). And, I’ll show how some fun personalization can highlight the best of a destination for every persona visiting (get ready for some stellar Graphic Design work by yours truly). 

Our First Destination:
Sunnydale, California – Home of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

If you’ve never spoken to me, you may not know about my enthusiastic appreciation for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In conversation, I try to wait till at least the 30 minute mark to reference the Slayer, the Scooby Gang, or Sunnydale High. But, most people know pretty quickly that I am a card-carrying devotee to Joss Whedon’s phenomenal series about a teenage vampire slayer. And when brainstorming for this blog series, I could think of no better representation of a multi-faceted, ‘why the heck would you visit’ destination than Buffy’s very own Sunnydale, California. 

Destination Background

Before I begin my dissection of personalization strategies for Sunnydale, CA, it’s important to know a little bit about the Buffyverse (yes- that is what it is called). The series begins by introducing Buffy Sommers, a teenager that’s been chosen to defend the world against “vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness.” In order to be most effective, she’s forced to move to Sunnydale, California where a portal exists that bridges ‘this reality and the next.’ This portal is called the Hellmouth and with it comes an abundance of supernatural activity. This means the area is teaming with ‘big bads’ like vampires and demons. But, the area is also full of humans just out there, living their everyday human lives. So, what brings both groups to the mix? And how would you market Sunnydale, California to such a diverse group of personas? With a little bit of personalization, obviously! So, let’s break it down persona by persona, starting with:

PERSONA SEGMENTATION: HUMANS 

This persona group consists entirely of the regular ol’ fleshy bodied humans that you see walking around in your day to day life, assuming that you reading this are also a human. Humans typically eat plants and sometimes animals- but always cooked(unless wrapped in seaweed over rice). Most are up and about during the daylight hours and sleep at night. All standard human behavior.

TARGETED CONTENT FOR HUMANS

Humans enjoy (and can be out in) sunshine and Sunnydale, CA has it in large supplies. Being in California, the weather is temperate and it doesn’t seem to snow. For humans, Sunnydale is a tight knit community that has a high school, a college, an adorable main street, a lively night-life district, and way too many cemeteries. 

If targeting to humans:

DO emphasize the sunshine-y weather and familial feel of quaint Sunnydale. 

DO NOT mention Hellmouth, vampires, demons, werewolves, or witches. 

PERSONA SEGMENTATION: VAMPIRES

Before I break down the Buffyverse’s vampires, let’s get one thing straight- these ain’t no sparkly, Twilight-style, Robert Patterson vampires. The Buffyverse’s vampires are ruthless, rough, and sometimes just waking up from a deep slumber (lots of bed head). Of course, they tend to drink blood. Oh, and they’re overwhelmingly soul-less. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t like to go out on the town for a little fun every now and then.  

TARGETED CONTENT FOR VAMPIRES

Unlike humans, vampires don’t like the sun so emphasizing nightlife is important. Sunnydale has a bustling nightlife district that is frequented by humans and vampires alike. Additionally, unlike humans, vampires may prefer proximity to the Hellmouth. And, there’s at least 38,000 potential meals just walking around the city (Sunnydale Human Pop is over 38K). 

If targeting to vampires:

DO emphasize the weird plethora of cemeteries, the proximity to the Hellmouth, and the pre-existing vampire community that already resides in Sunnydale. 

DO NOT mention The Slayer or the sunshine. 

PERSONA SEGMENTATION: SLAYER 

There’s really only supposed to be one Slayer so the targeting would need to be hyper specific. The slayer is always a teenage girl. She has super hero like abilities and is selected to defend the human world against evil supernatural forces. Typically she’ll be accompanied by a watcher who helps guide her in her journey. 

TARGETED CONTENT FOR SLAYERS

Targeting for the Slayer would be the equivalent of targeting meeting planners on a traditional DMO site. Because there is only one slayer, it’s important to get the messaging right. Specifically, an emphasis on the abundance of vampires and a CTA  that mentions defending the human world against darkness would all be effective. 

If targeting to slayers:  

DO emphasize the short commute to work (read: the Hellmouth and numerous cemeteries), room for professional development and the nightlife. 

DO NOT mention high slayer mortality rate or mean high school girls. 

 

Now, seeing all this personalized content, I get it. I understand why a human might move to Sunnydale. Look at that sunshine!  I also get why a Vampire may pay a visit. Tons of cemeteries and great things to eat. Personalization gives you the opportunity to put your destination’s best foot forward no matter who you are personalizing to. 

If you have more questions or just want to discuss the Buffyverse, we’re dying to hear from you. 

The post Make Travel Marketing Fun Again: Aiming for the Slay Factor appeared first on Bound.

Is Your Personalization Lonely? Get a Marketing Team Going with These 4 Tools

Okay, marketers, the cat is out of the bag. We know that personalization is not your ONLY marketing strategy. We know that you have other platforms that you work in and other marketing campaigns that you run on your website. And, we know that you are active on social and are constantly creating new innovative… Read More

The post Is Your Personalization Lonely? Get a Marketing Team Going with These 4 Tools appeared first on Bound.

Okay, marketers, the cat is out of the bag. We know that personalization is not your ONLY marketing strategy. We know that you have other platforms that you work in and other marketing campaigns that you run on your website. And, we know that you are active on social and are constantly creating new innovative content. We know that you’ve got your hands full trying to inspire visitation to your destination. 

But that’s what we love about you! We like that you are multifaceted and have a ton of simultaneous initiatives. And, honestly, we want to help out! There’s a million and a half ways that you can partner your personalization with other on-site and off-site elements.  Here are four specific technologies I want highlight as effective tools to partner with personalization. Let’s start with: 

Email Collection:

Despite rumors that email marketing is “dead”, the eNewsletter list is still an important marker of success for most CVBs and Destination Marketers. Collecting a visitor’s email gives you direct access to a visitor’s inbox and allows you to update potential travelers on new things to do and see around town. As long as your emails stay relevant and timely, eNewsletters will continue to be a meaningful way to connect and communicate with locals and visitors alike. 

While we probably don’t need to convince you that email list building is important, we do need to talk about how marketers collect email addresses. Email collection can be tough and the line between assertively requesting emails and aggressively annoying site visitors is thin. Marketers often start with what is thought to be a gentle ask, only to realize later that their requests are off-putting to audiences. 

That’s where personalization offers a solution. Rather than asking the same visitors for email addresses repeatedly, setting up targeted segmentation can be an effective way to cut down on “ask-annoyance.” Plus, you can use personalization to make sure that you don’t serve an eNewsletter form fill to a visitor that has already signed up for your list. Instead of badgering visitors for emails, personalization helps you to ask the right visitors for emails at the time they’re most likely to sign up. 

Crowdriff:

Like I said earlier, we know that we’re not your only marketing platform and we hope you’re using some of the other innovative technologies built for the travel and tourism vertical. One of our favorite technologies in this space is Crowdriff, a visual content marketing platform. Crowdriff allows marketers to easily pull User Generated visuals from social channels, manages this content, and serves diverse galleries on their website. Through this practice of sourcing beautiful imagery by visitors, Crowdriff provides content that resonates with and inspires future travelers. 

Personalizing Crowdriff galleries adds a layer of targeting that ensures site visitors are greeted with imagery that really speaks to their interests. Through Bound’s personalization tool, you can segment visitors by implied behavioral interest, geo-location, or by paid media. This gives marketers the opportunity to serve “outdoor focused” galleries to visitors who have expressed interest in outdoor activities. Similarly, a marketer might want to show imagery with a heavy fall focus to geo-locations that don’t necessarily get the chance to experience fall (*sigh* In Austin, TX we go straight from summer to winter). 

Serving user generated content through Crowdriff provides websites imagery that makes destinations seem accessible and fun. Adding personalization takes it one step further and allows marketers to serve user generated galleries that will speak directly to a visitor’s interests.  

Youtube, Vimeo, Wistia, etc.:

The look and feel of a destination comes across in pictures but videos give visitors a more heightened perspective of a destination’s offerings. Beautiful landscapes can be viewed in full and the action behind exciting events can be witnessed beyond a single photo. Videos truly show a destination’s personality through rolling shots, music, and energy. 

But destination marketers sometimes have trouble getting more eyes on the beautiful videos that they created. And if marketing dollars were spent on producing top-notch videos, it’s important that an audience sees those videos. The good news is that personalization can help here too! 

Dependent on the intentions of video content, Bound’s personalization can do multiple things. For starters, Bound can serve video on your site to make sure more people have access to it. If more views is your main goal, that’s easy for us to enable. But, we can also make sure that the right videos are serving to the right people. If you have a series of visitors highlighting the food scene in your fair city, town, or state, we can make sure that your foodie audience gobbles those right up (pun intended). 

Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics:

Marketers tend to shy away from intensive reporting because it can quickly overwhelm. But ultimately, reporting should be one of the most important things that website marketers do. And as far as reporting platforms go, it’s hard to get better than Google Analytics. With it’s enormous breadth of content, it is definitely a beast of a platform. But who doesn’t love all those colorful little graphs and interactive flow-charts. Tracking site engagement through reporting tools like Google Analytics tells you what is working for your traffic and what is not working. Which is why it’s important to push personalization information into your Google Analytics reporting tool. 

By tracking personalization in GA, you can easily segment your personalized audience and compare performance to visitors who did not see personalization. Or you can get super granular and see specifically how audiences react to certain content pieces. By tracking the performance of your on-site personalization, you can improve upon your website segment by segment, leading to better engagement overall and a site that’s highlighting the most ideal content for a specified audience.

This barely scratches the surface of ways that you can partner your other marketing initiatives with personalization. If you want to learn more, reach out to our sales team or your designated customer success manager!

The post Is Your Personalization Lonely? Get a Marketing Team Going with These 4 Tools appeared first on Bound.