Go to Amazon, and you’ll see a long list of personalized websites with recommendations just for you. Open the Netflix app, and you’ll find suggestions for your next binge based on your previous viewing activity. When you walk into a store, a good salesperson will personalize your experience by asking you questions and getting to know you. Now, go to your average B2B website, and you’ll read a dull, unimaginative, generic marketing message. See something wrong there?
One way to meet the buyer’s expectations is by creating unique, personal, and relevant experiences. This customization helps to establish a meaningful connection with a potential buyer and gives the prospect a reason to stop and listen to what you have to say. In business-to-business sales, such tailoring is also possible, even at a scale, when you establish a systematic process to personalize websites based on real-time company information.
Personalized websites are a simple concept. Rather than providing a single, broad experience, personalized websites are dynamic, allowing companies to present visitors with relevant content and unique experiences tailored to their needs and desires.
In this article, we’ll go through what you need to personalize websites and several examples.
- How to collect data for website personalization
- Defining your audience
- 5 examples of how to personalize websites
Let’s get started.
What you need to personalize websites
This is as obvious as it gets: you can’t customize your website without a deep understanding of who your visitors are. Where are they located? What’s their industry? And their role? How many employees work at their company? What technology does the company use?
Data about site visitors is what determines what content is most relevant to display. Same as Netflix. You’ve watched several romantic comedies lately, here’s a selection of all the Adam Sandler movies.
How to collect data for website personalization
Collecting the data isn’t difficult. It comes from different sources. The most obvious starting point to get to know your visitors is behavioral data. How are your visitors interacting when your website?
A marketing automation tool can track the actions your user take any time they visit your website. What pages did they see? Did they download an ebook? Did they open the latest newsletter? Based on this data, you can already personalize websites to enhance a user’s experience.
However, in B2B sales, individual behavioral data falls short of the mark because purchases aren’t the decision of a sole individual. Several stakeholders and departments generally participate in a B2B purchase. Plus, the needs of a company don’t always match the interests of a person.
Fortunately, today there’s no shortage of data on nearly any company in the world. Plug your CRM into a sales intelligence platform, and you’ll have a steady stream of real-time company information that updates automatically as companies’ characteristics and conditions change.
When you integrate a sales intelligence tool with your CRM and your marketing automation, lead enrichment is just a click away. A sales intelligence platform will match your lead’s email domain (@vainu.com) to a company in its database and enrich the lead with all the key data points: company name, industry, size, key technologies used, you name it.
With the combination of behavioral data and company information, your view into your target audience exponentially. Now, you don’t only know if a site visitor has downloaded an eBook, but you can also know the situation and needs of their company. You can know employee count, technologies in use, revenue, and other less obvious attributes. Such information will give you the necessary context to personalize websites, determine what content is most relevant to display, and what specific experience to deliver. Simple, isn’t it?
First step: Define your audience
One way to make your site more impactful and relevant is to use the understanding you have of your visitors’ company to personalize website content. Know they work at a large corporation? Highlight your enterprise solutions.
Once you have collected data on your site visitors, the next step is choosing how you want to segment your audiences. Start by looking at your ideal customer profile to create an initial list of target accounts. Next, you can further segment the audience into smaller account clusters that allow a higher degree of personalization.
Create audiences based on different attributes (the data points that now populate your contact database):
- Number of employees
- Technologies in use
Want to find all prospects matching your ideal customer profile? Request a demo now!
Make it personal for the leads that matter most
In theory, you can create endless versions of your website, as many as the number of audiences you define. In reality, the degree of personalization will be directly related to the effort you want to put into each account.
Not every lead is created equal, and not every visitor “qualifies” for preferential treatment and a personalized website. For example, you don’t want to waste resources creating website content for prospects that don’t match your ideal customer profile.
Here, you can mirror an account-based marketing strategy: dedicate the biggest efforts to the accounts that matter the most. As a result, you’ll cover a wide spectrum that ranges from fully personalized websites for just an account to light personalization for hundreds of lower-value accounts.
Examples of how to personalize websites
Technology allows you to personalize nearly any element of a website. That doesn’t mean you need to create a whole different website for every customer segment. Approach website personalization as a modular project, where you change different elements to match your audience by using dynamic content blocks.
1. Headline and heros
Headlines are like first impressions. And, you know what they say about first impressions: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
For most site visitors, the homepage and other key landing pages are the first interaction with your company. You only have a few seconds to convince them your website is worth their time. The headline and hero images are the best opportunity to speak to your leads as early in the buyer’s journey as possible. Those elements must resonate with your visitors so they stay with you. Customize your header text and images to speak directly to your visitor.
2. Call to actions
Every marketer knows a compelling call-to-action can make all the difference. A great CTA has the power to persuade someone to click through.
Sometimes, however, CTAs are scary and off-putting. “Talk to sales”, “Request a demo”, “Get in touch” are frequent examples of generic, unattractive CTAs. They promise a time-consuming sales pitch and not the different, tailored experience visitors desire. Only show those CTAs to prospects very far down the funnel.
Website personalization with custom call-to-actions is also an excellent way to allocate your resources. Take this example. If you’re a SaaS company that offers different subscription models, you want to create different CTAs based on employee count or revenue. This way, visitors from large companies would see a CTA to speak to sales about enterprise solutions, while visitors from smaller companies would be encouraged to sign up through a self-service model.
If you’re a SaaS company that offers different subscription models, you want to create different CTAs based on employee count or revenue. This way, visitors from large companies would see a CTA to speak to sales about enterprise solutions, while visitors from smaller companies would be encouraged to sign up through a self-service model.
3. Case studies and customer testimonials
The importance of case studies and customer testimonials on a B2B website is critical. This content provides social proof, establishing your brand’s credibility and relatability. Success stories are both inspiring and influential—everybody likes success stories.
However, not all your case studies will resonate with your visitors, mainly if your company sells to different industries. An attractive and high-converting case study for some will be entirely irrelevant for others.
Highlight different case studies based on your visitors’ industry. Visitors from the tech industry can see testimonials from technology companies, while visitors from the retail industry see customer testimonials from the retail sector.
Get as granular you can to create high-converting case studies.
There is a huge potential to offer users a relevant, personalized experience—and grow user engagement through chatbots. Personalization is what can make a chatbot feel less robotic and more like an intelligence assistant.
By using additional attributes and insights from company information to personalize websites and chatbots, you can focus on the visitor’s distinctive characteristics, and address their needs and situation, and those of their company. Instead of focusing on just basic demographic information, you can make your chatbot more human-like if you consider less obvious characteristics.
Company information allows you to design bots that deliver a contextual experience. Without context, there’s no relevance for the prospect, resulting in a suspect interaction. A generic “Hi, how can I help you?” is unattractive, so it’s no surprise that it converts poorly.
Using all the company information at your disposal, you can deliver a customized experience that immediately resonates with the prospect. The exact flow of the bot (of the conversation) you design will vary depending on the kind of company in question.
This way of personalizing websites is particularly useful for companies that are catering to more than one type of customer or offer more than one product. Often, you might come across a website that pages dedicated to different types of buyers. For example, HubSpot offers a product for marketers (Marketing Hub) and a different product for salespeople (Sales Hub).
When you personalize a website, what you can do is highlight a specific product or feature based on your visitor’s firmographic attributes. If you know the visitor is a marketer, shuffle the order of your features, so the most relevant ones for marketers show first.
Improve conversions with personalized websites
You don’t need to quote any studies to understand that relevant, personalized web content and experiences will make sense to your web visitors and help them move quickly and efficiently through your marketing and sales funnel. Generic marketing messages are flimsy.
Customizing specific site elements for well-defined, relevant audience segments will improve conversions for the leads you most care about. When you based the targeting and messaging on particular attributes of an account, your site will turn into a valuable resource. After all, people like buying from people who know them.
Web personalization is also a cornerstone tactic of an account-based strategy, where you aim at acquiring specific high-value customers with highly targeted, personalized campaigns. If you’re still getting started with ABM, we recommend you our Beginner’s Handbook to Account-Based Marketing.