To ensure that your implemented personalization is as effective as possible, you want to make sure to take the time to think through your strategy, align efforts to business goals, and have a clear understanding of your audience segments. 
Here are four common, yet easily avoidable, personalization mistakes that will help keep your strategy intact and ensure your customers are feeling the love through personalization, not pressure.

Mistake #1: Ignoring your data

Data is the not-so-secret ingredient for strong marketing strategies. It provides clear insights into who your audience segments are, how they engage with content, and how customers move through an experience to a desired outcome. Whether you use a tool like Path Analyzer to understand user flow through your site and potential areas of friction, or you aggregate customer data — get to know who your audience is and what their preferences are. Use their digital cues to inform when, where, and how you deliver personalized content.

Mistake #2: Treating every device the same

Your customers have different intentions and preferences when they engage with you on different devices. With the ubiquity of smaller screens, streamlining experiences, click-throughs, and calls-to-action becomes critical. On desktop, users may be receptive to long-form content or video. Your personalization should address these preferences accordingly. Understanding how desktop and mobile behaviors differ or are nuanced is important to knowing the type of content you should deliver or interactions you should push for with your personalization.

Mistake #3: Setting and forgetting 

Ensuring data is statistically significant can take time – so make sure your content doesn’t get stale while you take the time to compile insights. The digital space is evolving quickly, and so are user preferences. Make sure to keep a pulse on your personalization, and evolve your strategies based on results. This will keep personalized content fresh and ensures your personalization remains effective.

Mistake #4: Not personalizing 

The statistics about customers expecting personalization are aplenty, so there isn't a need to reiterate those here. However, it should be noted that not personalizing is a common mistake that marketers make. Postponing personalization efforts means you are leaving business on the table and missing an opportunity to not only convert prospects into new customers, but to build trust and strengthen relationships with those engaging with your company on a regular basis.

While some marketers tend to struggle with executing on personalization, it is important to note that personalization becomes more approachable as you get to know your audience better. Marry the outcomes you are looking to achieve with knowledge of your customers' preferences to help you avoid some of these common personalization mistakes.

To learn more about some of the pitfalls of personalization, read “What bad personalization looks like and how to fix it.”

Jill Grozalsky is Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.