Over the last several years, email has been pronounced dead half a dozen times, if not more. The truth is, even today, that email is very much alive and, for most optimizers, it’s far from being on its proverbial deathbed.
How can there be such a divided opinion? Segmentation and personalization are the answer.
Optimizers who take advantage of it are seeing real ROI. Optimizers who don’t? Well, they’re likely declaring that “the email blast is dead.”
We live in a world of short attention spans. Attention span is the amount of time that a person can concentrate on a task without becoming distracted.
That task could be learning about your product, figuring out if your service is right for them, etc. In other words, it’s kind of important. You need to learn how to grab attention—and hold it—for your website visitors.
At some point, personalization may seem like a good next step to level up CRO efforts. But companies—if and when personalization does make sense—often try to use algorithms immediately, relying on AI and machine learning to create personalized experiences.
Many also get started with marketing tools that have data collection and AI built-in, resulting in a fragmented experience for the customer and suboptimal results for the company.
About two years ago, I wrote an article on using Google Tag Manager (GTM) to personalize your website. Even then, people asked why I wouldn’t just use Google Optimize. At the time, the answer was simple: Personalization was part of Google’s six-figure paid solution.
However, in November 2018, Google released the functionality to all users. Since then, Google Optimize has become a primary platform to initiate personalized experiences. But GTM is still critical to overcome its enduring limitations.
In 1999, David Weinberger, a technologist and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, wrote, “Personalization: the automatic tailoring of sites and messages to the individuals viewing them so that we can feel that somewhere there’s a piece of software that loves us for who we are.”
Two decades later, ironically, personalization is being used by companies attempting to make the online experience more human.
Personalization has grown rapidly since David’s statement. So much so that personalized experiences have become the norm, not an option. [Tweet it!]
If 500 different people go to Amazon.com, they each a different version of the home page. How come? It’s personalized! It’s no secret why Amazon does that: content personalization makes money.
According to a survey that researched omni-channel commerce for small and medium-sized businesses, email is the key driver of both customer acquisition (for 81% of respondents) and retention (for 80% of respondents).
A few months ago, I took my family to Dinosaur National Monument in Utah. We saw some pretty cool fossilized dinosaur bones as well as ancient petroglyphs and pictographs. There was, however, one stop that disappointed us.
If you ask most marketers, they will tell you that A/B testing and personalization are two completely different things. I respectfully disagree, and I think this disagreement is at the root of how to use them best together.
Did you know that Netflix has only 90 seconds to find a show that suits a user before she gets frustrated and quits? According to a recent academic study, “a typical Netflix member loses interest after perhaps 60 to 90 seconds of choosing, having reviewed 10 to 20 titles (perhaps 3 in detail) on one or two screens.”
How does Netflix manage to find the right show for the right user so quickly?
According to the same study, 80% of its customers’ video plays comes from its personalized recommendation engine. Netflix estimates the value brought by this personalized recommendation system at a billion dollars per year.
That’s a serious win achieved through personalization.