By mapping the customer journey, from identifying initial needs to researching options, making decisions and becoming a new customer, you can deliver experiences that are tailored to specific milestones along their route.
Make first-time visitors feel welcome
There’s a reason we still use that old adage, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. Take the opportunity to show first-time visitors to your site that you recognize and appreciate them, while at the same time showcasing your brand and its values.
Keep in mind that a first-time visitor could be at any stage of their buying journey. Help them navigate to content based on where they are, using welcoming language and useful directions to different areas of your site. The paths they take will help you start to gain insight into why they’re visiting.
Recognize existing customers
Many businesses become so focused on new customer acquisition that they forget the value of their existing customers. Existing customers come back to your site for good reasons: they might be looking for additional information, or for a user guide for a product they recently purchased, for example. A little white-glove treatment goes a long way to show them you recognize and value them, which in turn primes them for upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
You might also nurture returning visitors as advocates for your products. What’s more, giving them your attention may reduce costs incurred by support calls and customer service inquiries.
Link inbound traffic to personalized experiences
Customers who land on your site via an inbound source are often there for a specific reason. That reason was triggered by the content of the email or social media post — the inbound source — that they clicked on. Knowing this, you can then serve up contextualized content that’s relevant to them at that moment.
Let’s imagine you send out an email to all customers who purchased a laptop from you in the last three months. If a customer clicks on a link that brings them to your site, you might show them content about related accessories such as external hard drives, protective carrying cases, or software. It’s an opportunity to create relevant, personalized experiences that can help you reduce spending on outbound efforts and/or generate more conversions.
Serve up location-relevant content
Geolocation services enable you to determine where someone lives or pinpoint where they are at a particular moment — such as near one of your retail stores. Having insight into where they are creates an opportunity for you to serve them content in context. In the case of a retail store, you could provide relevant content such as directions or opening hours.
Using geolocation personalization to make a visitor’s interaction more relevant can reduce the number of times they have to click to get to the content they want.
The easier it is for audiences to connect with contextualized content that matters to them, the better your chances are for conversion.
Treat known contacts like the VIPs they are
When a visitor converts on your website, like when they sign up for a newsletter or download a whitepaper, it represents a golden opportunity to tailor content for them going forward. This valuable conversion or new lead has offered you their name, email address, and potentially more, for a reason. They’re an interested audience — seize your chance to treat them as such.
If you’ve been tracking visitor journeys to your site and know at what point they turned into a lead, you can use that information to present them with new calls to action that correlate to where they are in their journey. If they signed up for your newsletter, you can continue building the relationship by offering them something in context, such as special offers or exclusive content.
Take their mobile context into account
With people more on the go than ever before — not to mention with shorter attention spans — the might of mobile today can’t be overstated. Visitors could be landing on your site from virtually anywhere and at any time. That reality is driving many marketers to take a mobile-first approach to their efforts, from site design to in-context experiences.
Customers today expect sites to respond well in the mobile environment. With personalization tactics such as geolocation that give you insights into where your customers are at a given time (see tactic 4), you can exceed their expectations by leveraging location-specific data to deliver relevant experiences right to their phone or tablet.
Leverage in-the-moment visitor behavior
Which section or sections of your website a visitor engages with gives you insights into what they’re interested in. If you’re tracking visitor data in real time, you can use those valuable insights to understand and even predict their intent and deliver contextualized content accordingly. For example, if someone visited your product pricing page, you could then present them with a special offer or discount.
Profiling is a simple way to start harnessing the power of personalization. Because it allows you to create more resonant experiences, leveraging visitor profiles increases your probability of conversions. It also results in more robust analytics that you might take into consideration when developing your overall marketing plan, mix, and budget.
Assign each customer a score
You can use personalization tactics to rate or score each visitor based on their likelihood to become a customer (“lead score”) or to leave you (“churn score”). Based on these scores, determined through each visitor’s digital activities, you can tailor the content you offer them accordingly, and thus increase your chances of advancing the relationship — or in some cases, saving it.
Lead and churn scores are created using visitor profiling (tactic 7). You can create user profiles with a solution such as Sitecore® Experience Platform™ to ensure you’re reaching visitors in ways that resonate with them.
Let customers connect with social media accounts
Another solid tactic on the road to personalization is leveraging social media. If most of your customers are using social media networks and you have forms or account authentication on your site, allowing them to sign in using social networks can deliver loads of advantages.
While it makes it easier for customers to sign into your site via Google, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, (because you’re saving them from having to remember yet another username and password), it also connects you to a deep well of demographic and psychographic data that you can dip into.
The data customers share with you from their social media accounts gives you better insights about them, which in turn helps you offer them more relevant experiences, faster.
Map the customer journey
Visitors to your site have different intentions and questions depending on where they are in their journey. To answer them effectively, you need to serve up specific, contextualized content at every step. But how can you know what to offer them if you don’t know where they’re going? This is where customer journey mapping becomes a valuable exercise.
It reveals a logical path from awareness through to loyalty.
By mapping the customer journey, from identifying initial needs to researching options, making decisions and becoming a new customer, you can deliver experiences that are tailored to specific milestones along their route. And as we now know, more relevant experiences equal more engaged customers, which in turn leads to more conversions.
Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) is an example of a solution that allows you to employ this tactic to ultimately deliver the most relevant content to your visitors.