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…

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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.

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Non-Profit Persuasion Lesson from Jay-Z

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

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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

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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

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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.

Personalization trends and techniques: are you doing it right?

This is the year of personalization! Just like last year, and… well, it may seem like every year is “the…Read blog postabout:Personalization trends and techniques: are you doing it right?
The post Personalization trends and techniques: are you …

This is the year of personalization! Just like last year, and… well, it may seem like every year is “the...Read blog postabout:Personalization trends and techniques: are you doing it right?

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To Include or to Exclude? New Ways to Think About Targeting Your Audiences.

So you’ve decided you’re ready to start personalizing your website for visitors. That’s great! Do you know who you’re going to personalize for? Determining which visitors are going to see personalized content is a key first step, but sometimes it can feel like the hardest. There are a few tried & true segments you can… Read More

The post To Include or to Exclude? New Ways to Think About Targeting Your Audiences. appeared first on Bound.

So you’ve decided you’re ready to start personalizing your website for visitors. That’s great! Do you know who you’re going to personalize for? Determining which visitors are going to see personalized content is a key first step, but sometimes it can feel like the hardest.

There are a few tried & true segments you can always start with, such as big geo markets (and if so, make sure you check out these 5 geo-targeting strategies), first time versus repeat visitors, and interest-based segments. Another easy way to think about it is to think in reverse – who do you not want to see your personalized content?

That’s right, sometimes it all comes down to excluding certain types of visitors. Here are 4 examples of when to think through your personalization based on exclusions:

When a Visitor Is Already on the Destination Page

This is a pretty straightforward case, but often overlooked. Content promoting specific events or articles is becoming more and more common as a way to engage visitors. If you are using overlay campaigns to promote a specific page, whether it be a blog, article, or event, you should always start by excluding anyone who is currently on the page being promoted.

When a Visitor Has Already Been to the Destination Page

Similarly, if a visitor has already been to blog, article, or event page you’re promoting, they probably don’t need to see it again. This situation comes up frequently for hero campaigns as well. Many destinations will use their homepage hero to promote big upcoming events or key promotional landing pages. Unless there is a specific reason you want visitors to frequent these pages multiple times, excluding anyone who has already viewed the page is a targeting no-brainer and frees up personalization opportunities to promote other goals.

When the Content or Call to Action Doesn’t Apply

This can go hand in hand with geo-targeting. Visitors who are already physically in your area aren’t looking for hotel deals or content promoting why they should plan a visit. Similarly, if you’re using banners to keep visitors in the loop on local road closures or current beach conditions it’s not going to be relevant to visitors who are halfway across the country. 

When a Visitor Has Completed the Action

Promoting goal-based content is key to your site, whether it’s to get visitors to download or request materials like a visitor guide, or sign up for a newsletter. If you’re using a personalization campaign to promote a goal, start by excluding everyone who has already completed it. 

Have questions about targeting visitors with exclusions? Contact us to discuss more!

The post To Include or to Exclude? New Ways to Think About Targeting Your Audiences. appeared first on Bound.

Are You Practicing Good Ethics With Your Website Content?

Our customer success managers are the pros on using Bound to its fullest extent.  Today’s tip highlights best practices for using modals and fly-ins. Today’s post was inspired by a frustration I experienced last week when searching for event rentals for my upcoming wedding.  On a seemingly harmless event rental homepage, I was greeted by… Read More

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Our customer success managers are the pros on using Bound to its fullest extent.  Today’s tip highlights best practices for using modals and fly-ins.

Today’s post was inspired by a frustration I experienced last week when searching for event rentals for my upcoming wedding.  On a seemingly harmless event rental homepage, I was greeted by a full screen pop up exclaiming a sale on chair rentals. I closed out of the window and navigated to the tent rental page…where I was instantly met with the same pop up.  As you might guess, I was greeted by this same pop up on every page I visited. I eventually crossed this event company off my list – my time and frustration were not worth dealing with this darn pop up!

We have all experienced this frustration and understandably, these experiences have heightened our awareness in ensuring our own modal and fly-in content is not intrusive.   When we follow best practices with our content, we empower our visitors to engage with our site in an experience that is informing and inspiring – and not at all intrusive. Inspired by this example of unethical content, our CSM team wanted to share our best practices for working with modal and fly-in content.

No surprises 

When creating copy for our content pieces, we’re always looking to strike a balance between creativity and practicality – our users should be intrigued enough to click, but not be surprised by where they are taken.  Ensuring that our content is clear on what we are asking is vital to ensuring our visitors are empowered with our content. Similarly, ensuring our visitors have the choice to not engage with our content is critical.  Few things make me more frustrated across the internet when I’m trying to close an online ad and find the X is fake! Our new Content Templates make it easier than ever to customize the close out X on your content and ensure it is always easily found.

Know your audience

The beauty of personalized content is that we can speak directly to those we want – and only those we want.  We recommend excluding visitors who have already engaged with a conversion point from seeing content driving to that same conversion point.  We often see success with Abandonment groups targeting repeat visitors who have seen certain content but have not yet converted, which also helps them see new content. If you ever have a question on how to correctly exclude visitors from a segment, your CSM will be happy to help!

Similarly, we recommend knowing your mobile audience and ensuring that your content is appropriate for their smaller screen experience.  A modal may be perfectly sized for a desktop visitor but may be mistaken for the actual homepage on a mobile device. As an alternative to using mobile sized images, we also recommend using a banner to promote content to mobile visitors.  If you haven’t already checked it out, our Content Templates can help you create a banner to seamlessly fit into your site’s styling. 

Know your limits

On my rental search, I had a small amount of dread in knowing that I would see the same pop up if I wanted to continue to explore the site.  We know that limits are imperative when working with content and keep our visitors curious and wanting to know more. By being selective in the frequency that we display a content item, we can prevent overexposure and keep the clicks coming. If we find that a content item isn’t receiving enough impressions, we can always consider displaying it on more pages, rather than only increasing the frequency it is seen by the same visitor. 

Limiting your content can also apply to limiting the amount of pieces that your visitors see of that content type.  We recommend ensuring that all types of overlay content (modals, fly-ins and banners) live within a single campaign to ensure that a visitor doesn’t see that same type of content throughout their site visit.  This can work well in creating a funnel type approach to keep content fresh for repeat visitors!

Know your strengths

You are the expert for your destination – you will always be able to share the experiences that make your destination unique and help visitors create meaningful memories.  Your visitors come to your site craving this information, and modals and fly-ins are a great way to share your knowledge and recommendations so they can make an informed travel decision.  By following best practices on working with modals and fly-ins you can ensure that you are serving ethical and relevant content to empower visitors. So go out there and create! And know that your Bound CSMs are always here to chat through any questions you may have on best practices.

Have questions about content best practices? Contact us to talk further!

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Is Your Personalization Missing These 5 Geo-Targeting Strategies?

 It’s a sunny Thursday afternoon, at the end of summer. Do you know where your website visitors are?  If your answer is yes, you’re steps ahead of many marketing teams. Knowing the geo-location of your site traffic can help to inform site content and allow you the opportunity to cater site messaging to specific geo-locations… Read More

The post Is Your Personalization Missing These 5 Geo-Targeting Strategies? appeared first on Bound.

 It’s a sunny Thursday afternoon, at the end of summer. Do you know where your website visitors are?

 If your answer is yes, you’re steps ahead of many marketing teams. Knowing the geo-location of your site traffic can help to inform site content and allow you the opportunity to cater site messaging to specific geo-locations using personalization.

 But, often times, marketers have a shallow understanding of their geo audiences. Most marketers know the general geographic make-up of their visitors, but usually they stop their geo-targeting after a quick glance at Google Analytics.

 I’m here to tell you there’s more- MUCH MORE- to geo-targeted personalization. And, it’s not as tricky as you might think! Let’s start with:

What Visitors Are Already on your Site?

 Throughout your personalization journey, Google Analytics will continuously serve as a compass to help guide your strategy. And, there is no better way to start considering your geo-markets than by referencing the Geo tab under Audience. This resource may tell you a little bit that you already know. Like, of course, your top geo-markets are probably cities/states in close proximity. But, you could also learn something new about the visitors coming to your site. Like crikey, who knew your destination had so much traffic from Australia? Deciding the messaging for your visitors is another beast in itself, but it’s important to first identify your existing audiences so you can start personalizing to them.

What cities are you targeting in your other Marketing Channels?

Driving down the highway in Austin, Texas, you won’t  get too far without seeing a billboard or a bus placard for another destination (I see you, Fort Worth). Or, hearing a destination’s sponsored ad on the radio (what’s up, St. Pete!). DMOs are constantly using geo-targeting in their other marketing channels, but are you mimicking that marketing on your site? If you’re specifically targeting another city or state with messaging about your destination, make sure to continue that messaging when those visitors land on your website!

Are there Direct Flights to your destination? 

What’s a great way to get more visitors to your destination? Make getting there as easy as possible! And what’s easier than a direct flight? Visitors from areas offering direct flights to your destination are a great group to target with personalized messaging. And unfortunately, these visitors are often overlooked by marketers. If a trip from City A to your destination is as easy as a direct flight, you better get the word out! Booking a trip gets a lot easier (and more desirable) if no plane changes are involved.

Are you geo-targeting with paid media?

Oh, paid media. It makes some marketers smile and others shudder. It can bring excited new visitors to your site but can also introduce an onslaught of low-engaging traffic. Love it or hate it, paid media is here to stay. So, why not make the most of your current paid strategy? If you have paid media hitting certain geo-locations, it’s essential that you account for those geo-locations in your personalization strategy. This does not need to be difficult or time consuming. Simply put, if you’re targeting Sunnydale, CA(for example) in your paid strategy, you better be targeting those visitors on site too!

Do you have articles written for certain geo-locations?

As they say in the biz, content is king. The right content can lead a potential visitor to book a trip to your destination while the wrong content can make a visitor decide that your destination is not for them. Editorial pieces, blog posts, and stories are fantastic ways to build long-form marketing content, showing-off your destination to potential visitors. And a trend we’ve seen lately, is for destinations to publish content about trips from specific Geo-Locations. Sometimes it’s a blog post about a road trip, other times it’s a video following a visitor from a specific city. Whatever the format, it’s important to account for those geo visitors in your personalization strategy. Whether your desire is to lead those site visitors to a landing page full of personalized content or if it’s simply to push them to the blog post you’ve written for them, setting up segmentation and personalization for this group is key. Plus, if you’ve spent time writing about their journey, you want to make sure that content is easy for them to access and engage with!

While reading through this list, some of these key geo-targeted segments might resonate with your DMO. Others may not. The important takeaway is that your geo-targeted personalization strategy should be as robust as your destination! To speak to a diverse audience, you must target diversely. And a great place to start, is with geo-targeting!

Have questions about how to best engage your geo targets?  Contact us to talk more!

The post Is Your Personalization Missing These 5 Geo-Targeting Strategies? appeared first on Bound.

Bound’s Guide to ESTO Eats

Welcome to Austin! We’re so glad that you’re here.  In a city of amazing food options, we know you have a lot to choose from.  We wanted to share our favorite spots to help make your trip even more memorable.  Enjoy! When you land: Taylor recommends: Juiceland at Gate 7 As you hop off the… Read More

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Welcome to Austin! We’re so glad that you’re here.  In a city of amazing food options, we know you have a lot to choose from.  We wanted to share our favorite spots to help make your trip even more memorable.  Enjoy!

When you land:

Taylor recommends: Juiceland at Gate 7

As you hop off the airplane into the jetbridge, you may be surprised by the 100+ degree Texas heat. Start hydrating ASAP by hopping over to Juiceland located at Gate 7. On the other side of the airport, but would love some juice? They have Juiceland kiosks with fresh juices thoughout the airport. My favorite smoothies are the Wondershowen (add cacoa for a kick), Morning Sunshine and Peachy Green. If you’re more in the mood for juice, I recommend the watermelon, beet, and sea salt combination found in the Recovery Punch.

For breakfast:

MC recommends: 1886 Cafe and Bakery

Check out the historic (and haunted!) Driskill Hotel and then grab breakfast or lunch at the delicious 1886 Cafe and Bakery. If you don’t want the decadence of a Texas Pecan Waffle (but really, why would you not?), the omelettes and sandwiches are all fantastic. If you’d rather check out the Driskill a bit later, the Driskill Bar serves pretty delicious cocktails and will give you a taste of historic Texas.

Ali recommends: Easy Tiger Bakery

This is also a late night favorite with an amazing beer garden, but their fresh baked pastries and coffee make for a perfect breakfast.  Buy a cookie or baguette to snack on later!

For lunch:

Matt recommends: TLV (at Fareground Food Hall)

A relatively new addition to the Fareground Food Hall, TLV serves excellent Israeli street food. Fresh veggies, delicious hummus and pitas. Literally all of their lunch & dinner options are good, and they have some tasty pastries and interesting filled donuts.

Jared recommends: Burger Bar

You might be thinking, “It sure looks like they wanted to maximize restaurant space in this hotel by renting out part of this exterior utility closet and I bet these burgers and shakes are average at best.” Well, you might be right on the real estate and efficient use of space front, but the burgers and shakes are slightly above average. I would wander down to Hopdoddy’s on South Congress if you want to level up your burger game, but for convenience and quality you are set here.

For an afternoon break:

Adriana recommends: Halcyon

Halcyon is a fun little spot to grab coffee, a cocktail, or a quick snack. There’s a ton of comfy couches and they usually have a small band or guitarist playing in the corner. The best thing to order is the build your own Smores. They actually bring out a tiny miniature campfire, sticks, and all the fixings so you can make your own delicious dessert.

Ali recommends: The Central Library

This is pretty much my new favorite place in town since it opened – I would live here, if I could. Their rooftop patio is a fun way to see the city and their Cookbook café has the greatest french toast ever, along with a lot of other great snacks. It’s a half-mile from the JW Marriott and a great place to have some quiet time after a full day of conferencing!

For dinner:

Jessica recommends: Moonshine Grill

All the cocktails are delicious but it’s definitely worth trying the Apple Pie or Strawberry moonshine. The food is a Texas twist on comfort. I’d recommend the Chicken & Waffles, Green Chile Macaroni, or the Hill Country BBQ Baby Back Ribs.

Jared recommends: Coopers BBQ

It’s good Texas BBQ, and it’s right next to your hotel. You don’t want to be far from your bed in a dark room with A/C when the meat sweats hit.

Ali recommends: La Condesa

Modern Mexican that pairs bright, fresh ingredients with amazing drinks and desserts.   Treat yourself to the guacamole trio, ceviche and some mezcal.

For an after dinner drink:

Jared recommends: Elephant Room

Good things always happen at bars below ground level. Chimay is on tap. Duke Silver will probably grace you with his presence.

When you’re heading home (and already planning your next visit!):

Ali recommends: Ruta Maya at Gate 28

Ruta Maya will always hold a special place in my heart as the quirky coffee house across the street from my college where I attended my first (and only) poetry slam contest. Thankfully, they opened up a beautiful coffee shop that is my favorite spot to grab a pre-flight coffee. They also serve a variety of fancy and fun chocolate bars that I like to pick up as a treat for the person I’m visiting, if I can keep myself from enjoying it on the way there.

Taylor recommends: Tacodeli at Gate 24

Nothing says hello (or goodbye) Austin like a breakfast taco. Filled with your favorite breakfast foods, Tacodeli tacos are the best in town. Try the Otto, Vaquero, or Migas. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for papas on your taco. Nothing says breakfast like delicious mashed potatoes with eggs and bacon.

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