7 Tips for Boosting Online Conversion
Are you overlooking marketing gold? Your current and potential customers spend more and more time online, both at home and at work. Yet too many retailers overlook the marketing gold buried within their online interaction data. Retailers that use interactive data effectively — tracking each person’s clicks, opens, purchases, views, comments, etc. — can engage individuals with communications tailored exactly to them, at convenient times and in manners they prefer, to boost conversions, revenues and profitability.
Here are seven tips you need to boost online conversions and tap your online gold:
1. Understand the potential payoffs. Do the math: Personalizing content and interactions based on individual online behavior has demonstrable return on investment. Consider these statistics:
- The Aberdeen Group reports that email personalization, based on web data, increased conversion rates from 1 percent - 2 percent to 3 percent - 4 percent.
- Forrester Research says 58 percent of online marketers who delivered targeted content to customers reported conversion rate lifts of 5 percent or more.
What would these types of increases mean to your business? Six figures of increased revenue? More?
2. Look at what your competitors refuse to see. Despite the underlying power of interaction data, few online marketers leverage it to their advantage, giving a clear competitive edge to those that do.
- According to the Aberdeen Group, only 16 percent of marketers personalize emails beyond the recipient’s name.
- MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Ecommerce Benchmark Survey found that only 21 percent of consumer websites do any sort of targeted cross-sell/upsell.
- A 2009 Aberdeen Group survey revealed that even among companies it defined as “best in class,” only 7 percent personalize online content in real time based on session behavior.
- An e-tailing group survey found that only 9 percent of U.S. online retailers dynamically show product based on past customer purchases.
3. Dig into individual-level data. Timely, customized communications depend upon insights into individual activity. Yet too much data about individual behaviors is disbursed among separate, difficult-to-access silos. Successful online marketers need to synthesize rich data from the following sources:
- website behavior that reveals how each visitor found the site, what they saw when they got there, what held their interest and what frustrated them;
- marketing responses from individual visitors to search ads, website promotions and email offers; and
- social media activities, including product rating tools, social networks, blogs, community platforms, photo and video sharing sites, and more.
4. Work seamlessly at every stage. To realize the advantages of personalized communications, marketers must manage every step in one seamless marketing workflow that turns insights on visitor behavior into triggers for precisely targeted, customized content. Follow these four steps:
- reporting and analysis that refines raw data into actionable information;
- segmentation and targeting for precise marketing to specific subgroups;
- content authoring that creates custom offers for on-the-fly campaigns; and
- campaign execution that's easily managed across different channels and schedules.
5. Automate for efficiency. There’s simply no way to personalize content and time communications based on individual behavior across thousands or millions of visitors and customers if marketers have to perform each step manually. Marketing automation software allows marketers to define customer behavior triggers and content personalization rules that can turn online interaction data into personalized marketing in a scalable manner. As Forrester Research said in its report Sharpening Web Site Relevance, “trying to accomplish this [online relevance] without the aid of automation is futile.”