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10 quick wins for web personalisation

by Damian Proctor, Head of Strategy, 18 November 2014

Read Time: 10 minutes

With websites needing to be all things to all visitors, we look at 10 quick personalisation techniques that you can add to your website. These tips are ideal for anyone using a CMS that features inbuilt personalisation, such as Sitecore Experience Platform.


What visitor waits to see panel 2, 3 and 4 on your carousel? Rather than keep all your stakeholders happy by giving each of them a piece of the homepage, use the data you can collect to make your landing message more personal. Use Google search terms, different displays for first and repeat visitors, or campaigns to select the appropriate welcome for different users.

Push your goals

Design a simple engagement strategy and dedicate CTAs (calls to action) to achieve those goals.  Whether you want your visitors to register, subscribe to an email or watch a promotional video – you can push the message until they take that action, or until you establish they don’t wish to engage. Analysing your audience’s actions can also help you adapt your strategy. 

Use site interactions to shape your emails 

We all interact with websites via email. From password reminders to alerts and newsletters – use site behaviour to tailor email content.

Booking engines 

Price configurators and booking engines can gather large amounts of data about a person. Often these functions are separate to the core website – so look at how this external data can indicate personas, and how you can then pass these matches onto the personalisation engine. For instance, a visitor who’s price-checking two adults and two children isn’t likely to be going on a stag-do.

Share with back office

Tag goals and engagement points to visitors to the site based on their actions. Pass this to your CRM so that your whole operation knows the frequency and level of engagement for each visitor.

Forget the 9s at your peril

If you want to get really clever then explore the psychological aspects of decision making, such as biases and heuristics. Try some anchoring to set positive thoughts in the user’s mind before they need to make a decision. For example, a charity site might feature the cost of achieving something worthwhile on a page that doesn’t specifically relate to donations, and then include that same amount as a suggested contribution on the donation page/channel. It’s also proven that items sell in greater quantity if priced at £49 rather than £45 – crazy, but true. Use A/B variant testing to trial your site pricing and get the best ROI. This blog uses the title ‘10 quick wins’ for a reason – to make you more interested!

Support the checkout process

Personalisation can support form completion and checkouts, by using the information added to tailor the experience. If you’ve created a registration as part of the process, take the user into their profile or account area upon completion so that they can appreciate the functions that will assist their order fulfilment. Support and reinforce this with personalised email content.

Adapt by device, but allow some personal choice

Be mindful that users want to be able to do everything, always, anywhere, and on the device that’s closest to hand. Whilst responsive sites are now commonplace, they allow people to personalise their experience across devices, rather than force it upon them.    

Group by interest

Use personalisation to group content against personas, rather than typical categories. We’ve all seen things such as ‘Gifts for Father’s day’, but by looking to create categories that mirror your end users’ groupings, you can allow them to browse across sections by preference. You can even go a step further and allow users to create lists that you can consolidate. For instance, most liked products by outdoor fanatics. Any personal engagement with a site builds empathy.

Search term not found

Look hard at the terms people are searching for, but not finding content. It might help you understand areas of the site that are badly signposted or not covered as comprehensively.  Personalise your ‘No results’ page with suggestions to help them find what they want; this can be triggered by the search terms entered.


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