Content personalization increases conversion rates, boosts lead generation and cuts cost per lead. It might be intuitive to believe a personalized message is more effective than a one-size-fits-all message, but intuition isn’t the driving force here – the data is.
At BrightInfo, we have offered millions of personal content recommendations and the evidence now shows an increase of 20-30 percent in conversion rates, all on existing traffic and content. Behind these numbers, there are several reasons as to why this works so effectively.
Here are four of them – one for the marketer and three for the online visitor.
1.) For the marketer: Personalized content recommendations are economically-efficient, low-hanging fruit.
If you are in marketing today, you probably have noticed a wide variety of investment options for your marketing budget. If you’ve built an audience and have them waiting at your virtual front door, you are confronted with three related problems:
- The user has already made up their mind. According to CEB, 57 percent of the customer purchase decision is complete before a customer ever contacts the business.
- 98 percent of visitors will remain anonymous, making it very difficult to decide where they fit into your array of desired personas.
- You have very little time to convince them to stay. Combine the median business site load time of three seconds with the fact that the majority of visitors leave after 15 seconds – and you really only have only 12 seconds to engage with these anonymous visitors who already know what they want.
By converting the visitors who are already at your website – the low hanging fruit – you can generate quality leads at a cost of three-to-six US dollars, according to BrightInfo’s data. From the economic standpoint of measuring alternatives, that is very efficient.
2.) For the reader: It Cuts through The Paradox of Choice.
With so much content available for consumption on the web today, a visible, real-time offering counteracts this phenomenon, described so eloquently in this TED video.
If you’re skipping the video, allow me to summarize: In terms of customer satisfaction, it is true that some choice is better than no choice. But it is not true that infinite choice leads to greater satisfaction than limited choice.
Having a large and diversified arsenal of content is usually a smart strategy, as it helps to cater to bigger crowds. But, each of those visitors is at risk of getting lost by trying to compare different offers that compete for their limited attention span. Help them make a choice with personalized content recommendations.
3.) For the reader: It Reduces Analysis Paralysis.
Analysis paralysis is an anti-pattern, a state of over-thinking a situation so that a decision is never actually taken. Analysis paralysis happens when a decision is considered to be over-complicated with too many detailed options and a choice is never made.
Even worse, when people start to look for an optimal or perfect solution, they not only fear making an imperfect decision, but they also start imagining that there is an ideal solution. If they don’t find that perfect solution in those first 15-to-30 seconds they spend on your website, their image of your product or service may remain negative for a long time. Furthermore, anything that they actually do try out or buy will most likely be compared to that imagined ideal solution – and reality often fails to meet imaginary expectations.
4.) For the reader: It prevents user disorientation.
Another closely related phenomenon, disorientation, can be tackled by shortening the funnels – the track a consumer takes through your website.
This is especially important in websites that offer numerous products, services and content, and for those that experience high bounce rates. Many marketers place a lot of emphasis on page-views, often thinking the more the merrier. But in that approach, there is also the danger of serving the wrong information to the wrong visitor. You never, ever want a visitor to think, “Wait, why am I even seeing this?” Instead, focus on leading visitors down the right path by highlighting content that’s relevant to their interests.
As Dan Moyle, Creative Director of Marketing & Communications for AmeriFirst Home Mortgage, said in his article on tools to assist conversion, “[Personalized content recommendations] are the glue that ties it all together for each individual user, making sure your audience will use your content and helping them take the leap of faith to contact your brand and get to know it better.”
By making personalized recommendations from your expansive library of content – whether they’re anonymous or have already been identified as a lead – you’re doing them a solid in cutting down the noise and confusion they might experience on your website. They’ll repay you by spending more time-consuming content on site, and with returning visits.