Images and Stories Inspire Us to Travel

Photo courtesy of Tupelo.net When you see an image of a beautiful location or hear a great story about a destination, your natural response is to want to experience it yourself. The first step in that experience is often looking at the pictures of other travelers and reading their thoughts, opinions and narratives of their… Read More

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Photo courtesy of Tupelo.net

When you see an image of a beautiful location or hear a great story about a destination, your natural response is to want to experience it yourself. The first step in that experience is often looking at the pictures of other travelers and reading their thoughts, opinions and narratives of their experiences. We respond strongly to this user generated content because we can relate to the creators and we can relate their experience to what ours could be like.

In our 2018 State of Personalization Report, we identify user generated content as a major driver in online engagement. That’s the difference we see between user generated content and advertiser or marketer generated content. Travelers trust other travelers over advertisers. According to a study by Elon University, 65% of consumers trust word of mouth on the Internet more than content produced by advertisers.

Incorporating user-generated content into your destination’s digital marketing campaigns is a great opportunity to include an undeniable level of authenticity. In the report, we look at how leveraging local audiences to create content creates three benefits:

  • Modern consumers are visual decision makers.
  • Real people don’t feel like an advertising campaign.
  • User generated content establishes credibility.

As part of a bigger initiative to turn all marketing directives from professional photos to user-generated images taken by real visitors, Bound customer, Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, started their #MyTupelo campaign. While Elvis’ hometown draws crowds from far and wide, many visitors only come for one specific attraction — so the challenge for the marketing team at Tupelo CVB was to increase overnight/weekend stays. Tupelo realized that it could take its marketing goals and initiatives to another level with a strategy that involved leveraging their locals.

“With UGC it’s not just us telling you to use our hashtag; it’s us saying there’s another traveler who stood in the exact same spot you’re standing in right now, and telling their travel story with a level of authenticity we just can’t provide on our own,” said Will Crockett, Online Content Manager at Tupelo CVB.

San Francisco Travel Association launched their “I am San Francisco and You Are Always Welcome” campaign as part of an initiative to let international travelers know that all people are always welcome. The first phase addressed the visitor directly in a dedicated video and #AlwaysWelcome hashtag. Phase two involves a nine-feature campaign leveraging locals with the goal of showcasing San Francisco as a diverse and welcoming destination. Titled “I Am San Francisco,” it’s an online series sharing the stories of both natives of the city and those who came to visit and found a home.

“We wanted to tell stories that are real and authentically San Francisco,” President and CEO of SF Travel Association, Joe D’Alessandro said. “This is what San Francisco is all about–not just acknowledging diversity but celebrating and defending it around the world.”

User generated content is just one of the topics we cover in our annual report. You can download the Free Guide: State of Personalization 2018 Report to learn how destination marketers like you are leveraging:

  • Website personalization benchmark statistics
  • Strategies for implementing personalization
  • 2018 trends in content and personalization
  • Real case studies from successful destinations

Related Posts

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Changing Your A/B Testing Software? Read These Tips First.

With the number of testing and personalization tools available, it can be difficult to choose one to invest in. But once you’ve already selected a software, making the decision to transition to a new tool altogether can feel overwhelming. But this happens quite often. For many clients, cost is often the deciding factor in making […]

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With the number of testing and personalization tools available, it can be difficult to choose one to invest in. But once you’ve already selected a software, making the decision to transition to a new tool altogether can feel overwhelming.

But this happens quite often. For many clients, cost is often the deciding factor in making the decision to switch testing tools–there are a few testing tools that offer similar capabilities at a lower price point. On the flip side, if you’ve increased your program budget and capabilities, it may be time for an upgrade.

And although all testing tools offer similar functions, each has unique features that are important to consider. Personalization, for example, has become a point of focus for many testing programs – perhaps you’re interested in transitioning to a tool such as Evergage or Dynamic Yield that puts personalization at the forefront. Or your testing program has enough velocity to run multiple experiments simultaneously, and you feel you’d make good use of Optimizely’s built-in mutually exclusive experiments feature. Maybe your company uses other Adobe products, like Adobe Experience Manager, so you feel Adobe Target is a good fit.

Regardless of which tool you select, once you select a new software–the next major obstacle is implementing it. Here are our tips for going about the process:

First, examine your testing roadmap.

Take inventory of the tests that will be running close to the date when you plan to stop using your previous tool. Make sure they will have reached significance and be ready to be turned off before you lose access. 

If your budget allows for it, we recommend giving your team a period of time where both tools are available. This will ensure your testing cadence isn’t affected while your team gets up to speed on using the new tool and allows you to transition more seamlessly – you’ll be able to let current tests run their course in the old tool while launching new ones in the new tool.

Then, test your testing software.

While you might be excited to dive in and start launching tests left and right, it’s important to take the time to ensure your new tool is implemented correctly.

Run a QA test that visually changes the page to check that the code is being delivered and the flicker looks reasonable. If there are a lot of flickers, you may need to move the testing tool tag higher up in the head of your HTML.

We also recommend running a live test without visual changes, just for the purpose of checking metrics. This enables your analyst to see that metrics are being tracked correctly within the testing tool, or if you’re using an outside analytics tool, that those metrics are being passed accurately to it. 

Once you’ve confirmed that visual changes are showing up as expected and metrics are tracking accurately, you’re ready to start using your new tool!

Switching testing software comes with its challenges. However, in the right circumstance, switching can offer substantial benefits to your testing program. Taking the time to pinpoint your reasons for switching, plan your testing roadmap carefully around the transition, and having patience as the new tool is implemented will ensure your tool transition goes smoothly.


Brooks Bell has over 15 years of experience working with enterprise brands to establish and scale their experimentation programs. We take a holistic approach to our technical diagnostics and analytics services, providing technology and data recommendations based on your business, your goals, your team, and your unique challenges.

What can Brooks Bell do for you?
✓   Clean, organize and centralize your customer data.
✓   Help you select the right a/b testing and personalization tools.
✓   Ensure your tools and systems integrate with one another.
✓   Train your developers and analysts.

Contact us to learn more.

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What Marketing Performance You Should Expect from Your E-Newsletter Sign Up

Across our many Travel & Tourism customers, e-newsletter sign up is a key website metric because it builds a destination’s email list and creates a connection with potential visitors. It enables you to maintain an ongoing – albeit long-distance – relationship with a potential visitor to your destination. Think about it, when a website visitor… Read More

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Across our many Travel & Tourism customers, e-newsletter sign up is a key website metric because it builds a destination’s email list and creates a connection with potential visitors. It enables you to maintain an ongoing – albeit long-distance – relationship with a potential visitor to your destination.

Think about it, when a website visitor submits the sign up form, they take a big step in their relationship with you — they move from an anonymous person learning more about your destination to a person who is sharing their information and asking to be updated when you have something of interest to share. Let’s take a look at:

  • Why people sign up for e-newsletters
  • What performance you should expect from your own e-newsletter sign up
  • How our experience and best practice strategies impact e-newsletter sign up

Why do people sign up for an e-newsletter? We see two main segments of website visitors signing up to receive an e-newsletter:

In-Market

  • Want to be aware of upcoming events
  • Weekly digest and weekend highlights are important
  • Will impact the business of key attractions and local partners
  • Will likely not impact hotel occupancy

Out-of-Market Pre-Visit

  • Are considering a visit but not immediately booking
  • Updates on key attractions and annual events are important
  • Will impact the business of key attractions and local partners
  • Will impact hotel occupancy

In-Market

Out-of-Market

Smart destination marketers message these two groups differently. Consider offering them a call to action or reason for signing up that aligns with their interest. Think of this as their ‘why’. Why should they give you their contact information? What’s in it for them? If they are in-market, focus on upcoming events content that is shared in the e-newsletter. If they are out-of-market, focus on the long-term reasons to stay in touch with your destination.

What performance should you expect from your own e-newsletter sign up? If we look across our customers’ sites for visitors who do not receive personalized messages (non-targeted visitors), we see an average of .12% conversion rate on e-newsletter sign up. Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of non-targeted visitors on site who sign up for an e-newsletter by the total number of non-targeted site visitors.

If we look across our customers’ visitors who see a personalized call to action related to their  interests, we see an average of .42% conversion rate on e-newsletter sign up. Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of targeted visitors on site who sign up for an e-newsletter by the total number targeted of site visitors.

How do we see e-newsletter sign up done really well?

Visit Sarasota uses simple, but powerful, personalization to drive engagement with this key goal.  Sarasota County, Florida — an award winning Gulf Coast beach destination with a thriving arts and cultural scene — encourages website visitors to sign up for their e-newsletter during their initial visit to the destination’s website. If they don’t sign up today, Sarasota’s personalization waits two weeks and asks again when the visitor returns to the site.

With support from their agency, Miles Partnership, Visit Sarasota introduced their e-newsletter pop up in January of this year. Within six months, this personalization campaign drove over 8,000 new subscribers — increasing the size of their email list by more than 250% as compared to the previous year.

With increased subscribers, Visit Sarasota shares upcoming events, sponsored places to stay, and unique local attractions on a monthly basis.

In our next post, we’ll take a look at how e-newsletter sign up compares with visitors guide download. We’ll discuss as a call to action and where each is used most effectively.

Download the Free Guide: State of Personalization 2018 Report — in this report you will learn how destination marketers like you are leveraging:

  • Website personalization benchmark statistics
  • Strategies for implementing personalization
  • 2018 trends in content and personalization
  • Real case studies from successful destinations

The post What Marketing Performance You Should Expect from Your E-Newsletter Sign Up appeared first on Bound.

Who’s Hiring in September?

Pumpkin spice is not the only thing in surplus this month, take a look at some job postings around experimentation and personalization. Here are our picks: Director, Digital Strategy – Universal Orlando is looking for a Director to “champion the consumer’s journey across channels to achieve business and campaign objectives and collaborates with leaders of […]

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Pumpkin spice is not the only thing in surplus this month, take a look at some job postings around experimentation and personalization.

Here are our picks:

Director, Digital Strategy – Universal Orlando is looking for a Director to “champion the consumer’s journey across channels to achieve business and campaign objectives and collaborates with leaders of non-digital channels to ideate and recommend campaign integration opportunities.”

Senior Web Experimentation Lead – The marketing experimentation team at esurance is looking for a leader to “embed an experimentation culture into the esurance DNA in San Francisco. This role will deliver increased cost savings, additional revenue and industry leading user experiences through the power of site testing technology and the scientific rigor of controlled experimentation.”

Senior User Experience & Small Business Project Manager –  Lenovo is seeking a candidate in Raleigh, NC to drive “UX projects to improve the online customer experience for Lenovo.com globally. The project manager will manage the identification, conception, definition, design, testing and implementation of UX projects with the goal of improving the customer experience, online engagement and purchase conversion.”

Manager of Digital Testing & Optimization, Analytics – Join the digital analytics and optimization team at L Brands in Reynoldsburg, Ohio and “lead digital testing and optimization efforts. This person will champion the advancement of testing and optimization capabilities and be viewed as the optimization evangelist for different brand partners.”

Digital Marketing Manager, Personalization – looking for an ambitious learner to lead a test & learn strategy through experimentation for our digital marketing channels. You will be the leader and subject matter expert of A/B testing with the goal of developing the strategy and approach on personalization.

E-Commerce & Digital Operations Manager – In New York, Zacharys Fine Wine is looking for a candidate to plan and execute “digital and website activities for retail including: content, merchandising, landing pages, site search, product recommendations, personalization, loyalty and other on-site conversion optimization tools.”

Sr. Integrated Marketing Manager – Web Analyst – Microsoft in Redmond, Washington is looking to fill a role to “work with the web lead to strategize, create, manage, execute and optimize web analytics. This includes building experimentation and personalization programs for Dynamics 365 and Power BI.”

Director, eCommerce – “Drive the strategy, development, implementation, and continued improvement of the eCommerce booking experience for Carnival Cruise Line” in Miami, Florida.  “Help lead the presentation across the eCommerce website and mobile app, supporting the integrated programs, promotions and initiatives across the organization.”

Sr Analyst A/B Testing & Site Optimization – Help “drive and support A/B and multivariate testing initiatives on the Homedepot.com site” in Atlanta, Georgia. “The Sr Analyst will be responsible for statistical design, analysis, and reporting aimed at the continued improvement of Homedepot.com onsite experience, with a focus on partnership for making data-driven decisions that drive improved conversion.”

User Experience (UX) Designer – Join the Brooks Bell’s UX team in Raleigh, North Carolina.  “The core function of this role is to research, concept, design, user test, and produce all files needed to execute A/B tests for our clients. This includes creating digital assets that are consistent with the development team’s standards and templates, as well as selecting images, designing layouts, and creating digital experiences that answer user issues outlined by our digital analytics and user research sessions.”

Trying to fill a position in testing and optimization? Send us your posting and we’ll include it on our next post!

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Don’t Make It Weird: 5 Tips for Balancing Privacy & Personalization

Imagine a simple scenario: Your coworkers are participating in a fun run for charity and want you to join. You’re up for it, but you know you need a decent pair of running shoes. The logical solution is to go online, search for information about running shoes and identify a few possible options. You could […]

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Imagine a simple scenario: Your coworkers are participating in a fun run for charity and want you to join. You’re up for it, but you know you need a decent pair of running shoes.

The logical solution is to go online, search for information about running shoes and identify a few possible options. You could order the shoes from an online retailer, but because proper fit is important for running shoes, you decide to visit a specialty retailer at the mall. A salesperson there is friendly and knowledgeable. The store has a pair of shoes you like, in your size. They’re a bit more expensive, but the fitting service added value and there’s no additional shipping cost, so you purchase the shoes on the spot. The next weekend, you run the race and the shoes feel great.

This illustrates a relatively traditional model of consumer decision-making. It begins with a spark that motivates a search for a product. It leads to a research phase, and a consideration set is developed. It then progresses to some type of product experience that narrows the consideration set. Ultimately, a purchase decision occurs and an evaluation of the final product is made.

But today’s online customers may notice a glaring omission from the process: It occurs a week after the run, when you visit a news website. There, in the right column of the page, is an ad for a pair of running shoes. The ad is tailored to your expressed preferences, but not personalized enough to know that a purchase has already occurred.

Seeing these ads, which follow us around the web, can be annoying, unnerving, and even potentially embarrassing. Because the targeting is so crude, it’s obvious that we’ve exchanged some degree of privacy for a marginal—in this case questionable—convenience. And, if this exchange has happened so frictionlessly with one online retailer, how often is it happening elsewhere?

If you can relate to this, you’re not alone. Research has found that consumers generally dislike targeted and personalized advertising. So if personalization makes customers uncomfortable, does this means brands should stop using tailored messages, offers and experiences?

The answer is, decisively, no.

Here’s why: the same body of literature that outlines a negative attitude towards personalization, also highlights the undeniable benefits of personalization. When an ad or message—such as an email subject line—is tailored, even superficially, there is almost always an increase in engagement with the subsequent content.

This contradiction is known as the “privacy paradox.” Consumers are willing to make a long-term trade of personal privacy in exchange for a short-term benefit or convenience, like more relevant advertising or a more specific shopping experience.

But while attitudes toward privacy may contradict behavior, they certainly shouldn’t be ignored. When an ad, message, or experience feels intrusive or creepy, it can diminish the effect personalization could have on your customer and their overall perception of your brand.

Luckily, there are many ways to deliver personalized experiences while also making your customers feel more at ease about their privacy. Here are our tips.

1. Be transparent

Numerous studies have found that the more transparently personalized content is presented, the more effective—and importantly, the more broadly effective—it is.

While making explicit references to data collection and sharing policies can increase privacy concerns, it can also diminish the effect the concern has on consumer behavior.

In an extreme example, Facebook somewhat-recently rolling out a new way for users to see their ad preferences, after the company’s advertisement platform and practices faced scrutiny following the 2016 Presidential Election.

But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. For instance, simply including ad security icons, for example, has been shown to increase the effectiveness of tailored ads even when the icon is unrecognized.

In addition, referencing privacy policies can diminish concerns over data sharing and personalization, even if consumers never read the policy. One study found that consumers interpret a privacy policy as a blank slate populated with all the usual safeguards. This means, of course, the burden is on your company to draft and enforce a responsible privacy policy whenever consumer data is being collected.

2. Be public about your data security efforts

Unsurprisingly, reassuring your customers of data security and describing the efforts you’re taking to protect their data can make them feel more at ease. But the effectiveness of this approach really depends on how much your customers trust your brand and your site. Building this relationship is difficult and can be easily destroyed.

But, if your brand has built a relationship of trust over time and is authentically dedicated to preserving this relationship, referencing the care you have taken to secure private information can not only be a boon to overall perceptions but increase the effectiveness of personalization.

3. Be personal to the right people, at the right time.

In marketing, timing is everything; and the same goes for personalization, it turns out. In e-commerce, personalization is most effective when your customer has established a consideration set and a final decision is about to be made. Additionally, as your customer engages more with a product category or brand, they begin to expect and look forward to a more targeted, relevant experience.  

4. Let newer customers opt-in to personalization

When it comes to moving customers toward a purchase, personalization is more effective in the “pull” direction than in the “push” direction. This means that you should implement personalization with more loyal customers and especially those who have requested more tailored experiences.

For new customers, we suggest waiting to provide personalization until a visitor has shown a specific interest in your company or product: they’ve viewed a few pages on a website, downloaded your app or signed up for your email newsletter. Once this happens, offer a dialog asking “Would you like a more personal shopping experience?”

While it’s true that many visitors may choose to continue on their own, others may not. This also gives you an early opportunity to show your brands’ interest in providing a relevant, convenient shopping experience, which may come into play later once they become loyal customers.

5. Let your customers run the show

Perhaps the most unsettling recommendation for balancing privacy and personalization is to give up some control over the degree of personalization consumers experience. Doing so evokes many of the tips we’ve already covered: it improves transparency, allows consumers to opt into personalization, and helps to build trust. Additionally, offering this service has been found to dramatically improve the effectiveness of personalization, even when some customers actually change settings beyond the default.

Personalization is a powerful tool. The effect personalized messages and experiences have on customers, however, is variable and possibly unpredictable. It’s important that companies balance concerns for privacy and general feelings of intrusion when delivering personalized experiences. Testing these approaches we’ve outlined above will help make your personalization efforts feel less creepy and ultimately, increase the effectiveness of the customer experience.


Transform your customer experience through personalization.

Brooks Bells’ Personalization Jumpstart Program uses a comprehensive, five-step process to help top brands incorporate personalization across their customer experience. Learn more today >> 

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Who’s Hiring in August?

Here are our picks: Director, Digital Marketing, Estee Lauder – North America – “Develop, execute and manage best in class national and coop digital marketing programs to promote brand awareness and drive retail sales” in New York.  “Manage digital budget, timelines and drive creative production for asset development.” VP, Digital Technology – Total Wine & More […]

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Here are our picks:

Director, Digital Marketing, Estee Lauder – North America – “Develop, execute and manage best in class national and coop digital marketing programs to promote brand awareness and drive retail sales” in New York.  “Manage digital budget, timelines and drive creative production for asset development.”

VP, Digital Technology – Total Wine & More is looking for a candidate in Raleigh, North Carolina to “build the right technology strategy to support the Omni-channel efforts across the company.  This individual should have deep experience with high-traffic, content-rich retail websites sites and applications focused on bringing digital solutions to all store and customer interactions.”

Associate Director, Testing (Marketing Analytics) – “Help the World’s largest omnichannel retailer, Walmart eCommerce, drive optimal efficiency and effectiveness of our Marketing investment through continuous testing of optimization scenarios” in San Bruno.

Personalization & Site Testing Analyst – Levi Strauss & Company is looking for a candidate in San Francisco to “play a key role in accelerating the growth of Levi’s and Dockers eCommerce businesses via site testing & personalization.”

UX/UI Developer & Designer – Direct energy is looking for a “passionate and dynamic Mobile UX/UI Design & Develop professional who understands the intricacies of cross-browser development and knows how to build simple interfaces by writing maintainable CSS.”

Digital Marketing Manager, Personalization – Charlotte Russe is going through an “exciting digital transformation to become a best-in-class fast-fashion retailer.” They are looking for an “ambitious learner to lead a test and learn strategy through experimentation for their digital marketing channels” in San Francisco.

Senior Digital Optimization & Testing Analyst – Dignity Health is searching for a candidate in San Francisco to “improve the user experience through Personalization, A/B & Multivariate testing and inform experimentation strategy across the organization.”

Testing & Personalization Specialist, Analytics & Data – In New York, IBM is seeking a “champion of user-centric thinking to help shape marketing through A/B testing and personalization.”

Manager, Site Analytics and Optimization – “Manage the optimization of Eddie Bauer’s digital properties and support a testing and analysis-based culture to drive customer experience” and business goals in Bellevue, Washington.

Vice President, Finance – Brooks Bell is looking for someone to join the leadership team in Raleigh, North Carolina.  They will be responsible for financial strategy, accounting and contract negotiations with clients.

Help us, help you! Trying to fill a position in testing and optimization? Send us your posting and we’ll include it on our next post!

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B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Survey Results

Our most recent email series introduced a step-by-step approach to website personalization strategy. The strategy series outlined the five elements of a successful strategy: Solutions, Segmentation, Targeting, Tactics, and Optimization inspired by the Website Personalization Strategy eBook. In each email, we asked our B2B marketing subscribers one question about their digital marketing strategy. Let’s take […]

The post B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Survey Results appeared first on Bound.

Our most recent email series introduced a step-by-step approach to website personalization strategy. The strategy series outlined the five elements of a successful strategy: Solutions, Segmentation, Targeting, Tactics, and Optimization inspired by the Website Personalization Strategy eBook. In each email, we asked our B2B marketing subscribers one question about their digital marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at what you all had to say.

What is your #1 marketing challenge?

50% of marketers surveyed answered “Not enough qualified leads.” This echoes the most common goal that our customers seek to solve with personalization.

Are you segmenting your website audience for anonymous visitors?

Only half of respondents are segmenting for anonymous visitors—that means the other half are ignoring 95% of their audience.

How are you targeting with paid media?

A significant 86% of marketers surveyed said they are targeting their paid media based on buying role or persona attributes. It would be seamless for the majority of B2B marketers to mirror this persona-based experience on their website.

Where are your buyers abandoning their journey?

30% of respondents don’t know where buyers are abandoning their journey and 60% know they’re dropping out of the journey in the Consideration and Decision phases. There is an urgent need for responsive nurture throughout the buyer’s journey.

On average, how often do you review your digital campaigns?

Over half of the marketers surveyed review their digital campaigns weekly. All of your digital campaigns drive to your website. How often are you reviewing and optimizing your website strategy?

Get the definitive guide to a successful website personalization strategy in the Website Personalization Strategy eBook.

If you’d like to receive our email communications, join the newsletter!

The post B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Survey Results appeared first on Bound.

6 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Personalization Vendor

Your team has explored all options for improving conversion optimization. You’ve identified that a website personalization tool is the best option for streamlining your customers’ digital experiences. But how do you choose a personalization vendor that will help you get the impact you are planning for? We’ve put together a list of questions to ask […]

The post 6 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Personalization Vendor appeared first on Bound.

Your team has explored all options for improving conversion optimization. You’ve identified that a website personalization tool is the best option for streamlining your customers’ digital experiences. But how do you choose a personalization vendor that will help you get the impact you are planning for?

We’ve put together a list of questions to ask your website personalization vendors to evaluate how well they fit with your strategy.

Does this vendor specialize in my industry?

Sure, every vendor wants to help you, but are they really built to? There are a few ways specialization benefits you: the tool with have the right set of features, the team will have the right set of experience, and the ecosystem (data options, tech connections, agency relationships, etc.) will fit your needs. If your industry does not fall within a vendor’s specialization, evaluate how much of their time and attention they will spend to learn your needs and act on them.

How does the solution personalize for first-time visitors?

This is a big one! Log into your website analytics platform right now. Look at your first-time vs repeat visitors. Which number is bigger? A good personalization vendor has both the data and the methodology to identify anonymous visitors. Listen closely to the attributes they list (hint: it should go beyond geography, industry, or account) and the approach they take for identifying as much of your anonymous audience as possible.

What is the vendor’s approach to personalization?

Let’s face it: you’re not looking into personalization for the sake of personalizing…or at least you shouldn’t be. We recommend looking for vendors that take an outcome-based approach. For example, you might be looking to grow traffic to targeted sections of your website, increase form submissions, or boost inbound contact requests. Have your goal in mind and ask how your vendor plans to support you in reaching it. Remember, strategy comes from people, not platforms.

What is the total cost of investing in this solution?

Vendors differ by what they include in the quoted price. Here is the laundry list of items to consider: platform access, data connections, technical support, initial implementation, training, strategy development, reporting, ongoing management, and ongoing strategy optimization. Be sure to ask about the scope, limits and in-house availability of these items.

How does this solution fit with the rest of our tech stack?

No technology is an island. Understand the flow of information and actions between this vendor and the rest of your stack. You are not looking for a vendor that connects with everything, just with the things that are necessary to meet your goal. If a vendor doesn’t connect with a technology you think is relevant, talk with the vendor about why you think this connection is relevant to your goal and ask if there are other ways to meet this need.

How long does it take to get started?

This question is fairly straightforward; however, make sure to clarify what “get started” means. Does it include time to configure the software, set a strategy, launch a campaign, and report on results? For example, with Bound, you could turn on your first campaign in less than 15 minutes. But do you really want to start fiddling with your number one marketing asset without an informed strategy? We didn’t think so.

We hope you find these questions and considerations for choosing a personalization vendor to be useful. If Bound isn’t already on your personalization vendor shortlist, please request a consultation to see if we are a fit.

The post 6 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Personalization Vendor appeared first on Bound.

The Fundamentals of Website Personalization Strategy [Part 6 of 6]

Welcome to our six-part series on building a successful website personalization strategy. This is the final post in the series. Want the full picture? Start from the beginning! In the last post, we discussed tactics, the final planning stage of your personalization strategy. In this post, we talk about the testing, measuring, and learning necessary […]

The post The Fundamentals of Website Personalization Strategy [Part 6 of 6] appeared first on Bound.

Welcome to our six-part series on building a successful website personalization strategy. This is the final post in the series. Want the full picture? Start from the beginning!

In the last post, we discussed tactics, the final planning stage of your personalization strategy. In this post, we talk about the testing, measuring, and learning necessary to optimize a website personalization strategy.

Personalization is in the website optimization category for a reason: optimization is a process—it’s never done. If you think about it, all of marketing is a process. How often marketers revisit each element varies, but nothing we do—from updating nurture series to account prioritization—is every really done. In reality, website personalization, like marketing, is an iterative process requiring constant optimization towards a success metric.

How often should you optimize web personalization? We encourage customers to think of two main types of personalization programs: always-on and conversion-based.

Always-on personalization programs are the strategic messaging for your website. For example, a marketer might choose to personalize their homepage hero for target industries or company sizes. Because always-on personalization plays might not point directly to a point of conversion, we encourage marketers to measure success based on website engagement metrics like bounce rate, time on site, and click-through rate. After some initial testing and calibration, the customer might choose to revisit these messages only as often as they update personas, campaign themes, or positioning. On average, customers choose to update strategic messaging on an annual basis.

Conversion-based personalization programs support a specific marketing program. For example, a marketer might choose to serve a fly-in promoting a whitepaper to target prospects who have not yet viewed that asset. Much like marketers use channels like paid media, social, email, and direct mail to support a program, conversion-based website personalization should be used to support specific marketing goals like event registrations, resource downloads, contact us requests, or cross-sell inquiries. On average, customers choose to update conversion-based personalization plans every three months, which tends to align with quarterly marketing goals and planning cycles.

Be warned! Most marketers want to do everything at once. Our customers find the most success getting up-and-running quickly with one to two conversion-based programs while they take more time to build out always-on personalization programs. Over time, our most advanced customers are able to successfully run multiple conversion-based programs at a time.

What solution are you optimizing towards? Understanding your audience? Increasing conversions? Expanding accounts? With the goal in mind, execute on steps one through four of the website personalization strategy and then iterate. Below are the steps to maximize and optimize web personalization strategy.

Optimize Web Personalization to Results

  • Review audience insights – Have the target personas changed? What’s the biggest segment of the website audience that is not getting personalization?
  • Review conversion-based program success – Did the stated programs meet their goals in the given time period? How much success was attributable to personalization programs?
  • Review audience health – What percent of each target audience converted? Did engagement metrics improve, hold steady, or decline?
  • Review content feedback – What is the most popular content topic by audience? What content type performed best?
  • Review organizational goals – Did what are the upcoming marketing goals? Do your personalization programs need to chance to support them?

website personalization strategy optimization

Web personalization, like marketing, is a process. It takes a plan, discipline, and dedication to optimize. It takes technology, data, and expertise to be successful. The personalization experts at Bound partner with innovative marketing organizations to guide strategy and optimize web personalization to meet their marketing goals.

If you’re interested in seeing if website personalization is right for you, request a personalization consultation today.

Download the eBook The Fundamentals of a Successful Website Personalization Strategy: The Focus Required to Earn Results to learn more!

The post The Fundamentals of Website Personalization Strategy [Part 6 of 6] appeared first on Bound.

The Fundamentals of Website Personalization Strategy [Part 5 of 6]

Welcome to our six-part series on building a successful website personalization strategy. We will publish a new post each week. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates! In the last post, we determined which data sources feed personalization plays. Next, we’ll describe how to develop personalization tactics that best engage your prospects. Personalization tactics are simply […]

The post The Fundamentals of Website Personalization Strategy [Part 5 of 6] appeared first on Bound.

Welcome to our six-part series on building a successful website personalization strategy. We will publish a new post each week. Sign up for our newsletter to get updates!

In the last post, we determined which data sources feed personalization plays. Next, we’ll describe how to develop personalization tactics that best engage your prospects.

Personalization tactics are simply the delivery vehicles for your personalization messages. The three main categories of tactics are embedded, overlay, and redirect.

Embedded tactics are the subtlest delivery of personalization. These tactics, including text modification and graphic replacement, present your webpage with more tailored text or relevant images. Personalization with embedded tactics will feel most natural to your visitor – like your product or service was built for them.

Overlay tactics are the most attention-getting delivery of personalization. These tactics, including fly-ins, banners, and modals, are served on top of the webpage, in addition to on-page messaging. Personalization with overlay tactics is most effective for prompting action from a visitor.

Redirects are the most assertive delivery of personalization. This tactic confidently declares, “We know who you are and what you need.” Personalization with redirects is excellent for directing visitors to account hubs, microsites, and webpages for well-defined lines of business.

How will you deliver the perfect message when your target audience visits your site?

Personalization Tactics

  • Text modification – Tailor text on your website including copy, headlines, and buttons. For example, show a light CTA for a first-time visitor and a more aggressive CTA for a repeat visitor.
  • Graphic replacement – Swap out one or more graphics on a page to help engage a visitor. For example, change the hero image to a factory when manufacturing visitors arrive on the homepage.
  • Fly-ins – Slide in a small content block with an image, text and/or CTA. For example, serve a link to the next piece of content in that buyer’s journey.
  • Banners – Drop down a full-page-width bar with informative or time-sensitive text. For example, remind webinar registrants of the upcoming webinar.
  • Modals – Interrupt a visitor with centralized window that requires an action or acknowledgement before continuing. For example, deliver an important product alert only to product users.
  • Redirect – Simply redirect the web visitor to a more relevant webpage. For example, redirect automotive homepage visitors to your existing automotive solutions page.
  • Triggered Live Chat – An interactive chat session triggered for a specific audience with a tailored message. For example, “Would you like to speak with our Healthcare IT experts?”

Congratulations, you’ve finally built a personalization strategy! Are you ready to begin executing? Hang on. There’s one final step in evaluating your results and iterating towards success which we’ll address in the next post!

Tactics for website personalization

About the personalization strategy series

In this multi-part blog series, we’ll break down each of these five critical elements to building a website personalization strategy. In the next post, we’ll talk through determining which personalization tactics are right for your business challenges.

Download the eBook The Fundamentals of a Successful Website Personalization Strategy: The Focus Required to Earn Results to learn more!

The post The Fundamentals of Website Personalization Strategy [Part 5 of 6] appeared first on Bound.