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Email Best Practices

How to align website personalization with your emailing strategy

Learn how to connect website personalization to your email marketing strategy to boost your conversion rate. Top tips from website personalization experts.

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At AB Tasty, we’re big believers in the benefits of personalization for marketers - more specifically, of website personalization. Borrowing from ConversionXL, website personalization can be defined as “... the real-time individualization of a site to suit each visitor’s unique needs and guide them through a custom conversion funnel”.

For an e-commerce site, this might mean banners promoting bikinis to women in Spain, and men’s outerwear to guys in Canada. Or using retention pop-ins for visitors about to abandon their shopping cart, or displaying product recommendations based on previous browsing history… Well, you get it - the possibilities are endless.

Using the website data layer, our client Sephora displayed a promotion banner only to loyalty card holders. The banner offered a 25% discount for online purchases with a special promotional code. The result? A16% increase in online transactions.

Crucially, website personalization pays off: 98% of marketers surveyed in Econsultancy’s 2017 Conversion Rate Optimization report said that website personalization was either a ‘highly valuable’ or ‘quite valuable’ method for improving conversion rates.

But if you’re reading this blog, it’s because you’re already aware of another effective way of engaging and retaining prospects: emailing. And Mailjet is on the ball with their email personalization feature, which lets you customize your newsletters based on customers’ location, name, favorite product, etc.

And here comes the nagging question: How can marketers connect their website personalization and emailing strategy to reach maximum conversion rates?

Linking website personalization to your email marketing strategy

There are two ways to do this:

Using on-site marketing campaigns to boost newsletter subscriptions

It’s first up in Mailjet’s steps for how to define a successful email strategy: build and grow your contact list!

Sometimes, that’s just as simple as putting in place a customized retention pop-in. At least, that was the case for one of our clients, NRJ. The French radio station didn’t want to feel like they were overstepping boundaries, so they decided to display a pop-in only to people who had visited an ‘article’ page (i.e. engaged, interested visitors).

The pop-in was beautifully designed, and allowed readers to customize their subscription, choosing what type of content they were interested in - news, games or partnership offers. Their approach worked, boosting their newsletter subscriptions by 500 per month.

French radio station NRJ was able to boost newsletter subscriptions by 500/month, simply by activating a well targeted pop-in for customized newsletter subscriptions.

Another client of ours, Gémo, A French fashion retailer, used a similar tactic. They, too, were hoping to boost their newsletter subscriptions, but didn’t want to be too pushy about it. So, they decided to use an incentive - 7 euros off a purchase for first-time subscribers - to customize their newsletter pop-in on all their website pages. If someone subscribed, the pop-in disappeared. But if they clicked on the little X to close it, it folded up into a sticky bar on the right side of the screen, discretely following visitors, hoping to be unfolded and filled in.

French fashion retailer Gémo personalized their subscription pop-ins with a 7 euro discount as an incentive.

When closed, the pop-in discretely folded up and followed browsers around, waiting to be unfolded and filled in.

Possibilities with these kinds of pop-ins are endless. You can trigger them to appear for people who have added an item to their basket, but are about to leave the page before finalizing their purchase. You can personalize them to remind visitors of the advantages of giving their email address (keeping up to date with products like the ones in their basket, seeing if something they are interested in will soon be out of stock, etc). Their email address can then be used later for remarketing purposes or reactivation campaigns. Or why not trigger a pop-in with an incentive based on the prospect’s geographic location or browsing history?

Ok, so let’s say you’ve already got a sizeable newsletter subscriber base. What can you do next?

Personalizing your website with custom emailing URLs

Ever heard of the concept of ‘information scent’? It’s the idea of leaving a ‘trail’ of information, consistent in design and messaging from one channel to another, that will help an online browser predict what they will find if they pursue a certain path through a website.

Sounds promising for increasing conversion rates, doesn’t it? But how exactly do marketers go about leaving this digital trail of breadcrumbs?

Here’s one way:

Let’s say you’re sending an emailing campaign to your contact list. You’ve got lots of things to promote - blog posts, new products, an event… but you’ve also got a huge sale on women’s handbags, and a special discount with the promo code PURSE. Why not create an image for the header promoting the sale and promo code?

Then, using URL parameters, you could personalize your website so that any visitor who clicks on a link in that particular email reaches a version of your site with that same banner at the top of each webpage. This way, you leave a nice, coherent information scent for segmented subscribers that have already shown some interest in the offer, increasing chances of a conversion.

You can apply this to pretty much any sort of information scent: duplicate the campaign for a different promotion on men’s clothing, or for loyalty card holders, or prospects in different parts of the country, etc. Or what about an email inviting loyal customers to a VIP event? Customize your site so that when an invitee clicks on a link in the email, they land on a version of your homepage with a countdown clock, reminding them of the event (and that they should RSVP!). Same goes for holidays and birthday offers, VIP giveaways…

The takeaway

Marketers know that personalization works - it’s all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time. Now, the challenge for many is creating a coherent personalized experience across different channels, and continually broadening their audience. By linking an email strategy to website personalization you can achieve both goals, while maintaining a high quality standard for your prospects, and increasing your conversion rates.


This post was written by Robin Nichols. Robin is a Content Marketing Manager at AB Tasty.

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