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

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 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!

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How Mooresville Kept Visitors on Site Using Persona Based Targeting

One of the most common struggles for a destination is how to appeal to visitors with wildly different interests. With persona-based ad campaigns you can separate these visitors and send them to different landing pages, but how do you continue to speak to their specific interests as they explore the general site? Using Bound, the… Read More

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One of the most common struggles for a destination is how to appeal to visitors with wildly different interests. With persona-based ad campaigns you can separate these visitors and send them to different landing pages, but how do you continue to speak to their specific interests as they explore the general site? Using Bound, the Visit Mooresville team created a homepage experience customized for each of their three target personas.

With the website address of racecityusa.com, you might guess that Mooresville, NC is best known for being a racing town. However, the area is also a popular destination for travelers with an outdoor interest, and is packed with gorgeous wedding and reunion venues as well. As the Visit Mooresville team planned their 2019 spring and summer ads, they decided to target three key personas. Each persona, (racing, outdoors, and wedding interest) was sent to a different destination page aligned to their interests.

The Visit Mooresville team wanted the homepage to also reflect each persona’s interest. They used Bound to change multiple elements of the homepage to show articles and user generated content relevant to each persona. 

Wedding Interest

 

Racing Interest

 

Outdoor Interest

 

They found that while the racing interest group was the largest audience, the outdoors group engaged best with the personalized content, with an 18% clickthrough rate on the outdoors articles.

In addition to improving clickthrough rates, the personalized sections helped keep visitors on the site. From March to mid-August the homepage averaged a 68% bounce and a 61% exit rate. For visitors seeing the persona-specific content, this dropped to a 31% bounce rate and a 29% exit rate. These visitors also had more than a 200% increase in overall pages per visit and time on site.

By updating a highly trafficked page to create more relevant content for their ad personas, the Visit Mooresville team has continued to increase their website engagement and the value of their ad spend.

 

Interested in creating a better website experience for your ad personas?  Contact Us:

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Why Personalization Matters As Explained By Your Thanksgiving Feast

It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and you’re still trying to plan the menu. While you are thrilled that some rarely-seen relatives have decided to journey to your home for the holiday, they’ve also presented you with a culinary challenge. You realize that with only one turkey, and room on the table for only a few… Read More

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It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and you’re still trying to plan the menu. While you are thrilled that some rarely-seen relatives have decided to journey to your home for the holiday, they’ve also presented you with a culinary challenge. You realize that with only one turkey, and room on the table for only a few side dishes, you won’t be able to give everyone the perfect Thanksgiving feast.

You decide to try and tackle the turkey first since it’s the centerpiece of Thanksgiving. Uncle Bob has requested a fried turkey this year, but cousin Alice from Austin thinks a smoked turkey would be better. You’ve never smoked nor fried a turkey before so it seems like an easy decision to stick to the traditional, which should be good for most of the group.

However you feel bad that Bob and Alice won’t get the turkey they want, so you decide to prioritize them for the sides. They’re both on board for your garlic mashed potatoes. This means though that the mashed sweet potatoes won’t fit on the main table, and will need to stay in the kitchen. Your mother will only eat the sweet potatoes and has a bad ankle. Is it fair to make her walk to the kitchen every time she wants more?

You could move the green bean casserole to the kitchen and leave all the potatoes on the table. Meanwhile your brother-in-law, Caleb, asked if the green bean casserole could use gluten free fried onions, and you’re still trying to decide if that would work for everyone or if it would taste noticeably different.

You’re completely lost when it comes to desserts. Your family will only eat pecan pie but your mother-in-law is severely allergic. It seems logical to make pumpkin, but how can you not have the pie that half your guests want?

Luckily you’re only faced with this conundrum once a year. Destination marketers, however, face this challenge daily. Instead of a turkey, they need a homepage hero that still appeals to in-state, out-of-state, and special interest visitors. They might not need to worry about someone walking the extra steps to the kitchen, but they struggle with keeping content easy to find so that brides looking at wedding venues or business travelers coming for a conference don’t need to dig through page after page of general vacation trip ideas.

Reimagine this Thanksgiving feast/website with personalization. Most guests would see the traditional turkey hero, but Uncle Bob and cousin Alice see the turkeys they want. Your mother doesn’t need to “walk” to the kitchen, because you’ve set a fly-in on the sides content that takes her right to the sweet potatoes. That pecan pie that can’t get near your mother-in-law? You’ve set rules to exclude her from ever seeing it.

We hope YOUR Thanksgiving is delightful and there are no challenges with planning. If you’re interested in learning how to take your website to the next level with personalization request a consultation to see how we fit in with your current marketing strategy.

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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

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