Not just for tech giants: the next big wave in UX is personalization

Gloria Quintanilla
Oct 2, 2018 · 5 min read
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Photo by Headway on Unsplash

What do Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon have in common? They all bet on personalization to improve their user experience. They also have big bucks and massive amounts of data. This allows them to develop highly tailored machine learning algorithms for their personalization needs. Where does that leave smaller companies? Is personalization just an elusive goal for most of us? Not anymore. Companies like Unless are leveling the playing field and making this conversion optimization technology more accessible. Let’s look at how personalization is changing UX and list some practical examples you can apply.

Personalization and UX, where are we heading?

In a world where household appliances talk back, we have become so accustomed to apps incorporating personalization that it’s become almost oblivious. We no longer search for new movies and series, we expect recommendations. We don’t need to look for events to attend in our area, we see them on our Facebook wall. Buying new stuff is a breeze since we get product suggestions in our interest area all the time. That’s why it can be off-putting to visit a website that is not tailored to your needs. If the content is not easy to grasp by default, the level of friction is even higher. Website personalization can fix that, along with other UX problems.

Until recently, personalization resided largely in the domain of tech giants, but with cloud computing evolving at a rapid pace, infrastructure costs decreasing, and new SaaS providers entering the space, it’s becoming a lot easier for smaller companies to implement this technology. Let’s explore a few examples of how personalization can improve your user experience.

Removing distractions

If somebody lands on your page from an email campaign, the last thing you need to do is ask them to sign-up for your newsletter. Chances are, they already did. Using personalization technology, you can remove that distraction to offer a cleaner, more relevant experience. The best part? Implementing this would only take a couple of minutes using UTM parameters. If a person clicks on a link with the UTM_source=email, you can set a condition and remove the element you want to hide.

Moving website visitors down the funnel

To follow up on the example above, you could leverage personalization technology to use the real estate more wisely. Instead of showing the newsletter sign up option, you can prioritize a recent announcement, promote a new product, or steer the visitor down the funnel. After all, if someone has already opted-in to receive your emails, it’s safe to assume that they’re interested in your company’s offering. Personalization can help you make your UX smarter and filter in more leads.

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Change CTAs to steer visitors down the funnel

Reducing bounce rates

According to a Nielsen Norman Group study, users often leave web pages within 10–20 seconds. That’s an awfully short amount of time to get someone to internalize your brand’s value proposition. If you’re struggling with high bounce rates on key landing pages, personalization can help. Start by analyzing traffic sources for those pages. Which websites refer traffic to you, and what can the traffic source tell you about the referred visitors? Analyze what kind of visitors each referrer attracts and create audience profiles for them. Then create page personalizations aimed at each profile.

Let’s look at an example. Say you offer collaboration software for developers and marketers. Some of your web traffic is coming from sites like StackOverflow and Github. To lower the bounce rate for visitors coming from those websites, implement personalizations targeted at developers. Change the way you pitch your product, focus on its technical aspects, and highlight the features important to coders. You could do the same for referral sources that are popular among marketers.

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Tweak your product pitch to appeal to different audience segments

Facilitating conversions from ad campaigns

The average Google Ads conversion rate is 2.70%. That’s pretty inefficient, but trying to optimize conversions with A/B tests can be equally ineffective if you have a granular ad setup. Personalization offers a better way, by allowing you to improve the symmetry between your ad and your landing page.

To stick with the example above, if you sell collaboration software and are running Google Ads to highlight different features of your product, you can dynamically inject the ad’s search query (say video conferencing vs. cooperative writing) into the landing page to maximize relevance and improve your conversion rate.

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Highlighting product features based on ad search queries

Ready to get started?

These are just a few examples of how personalization can improve user experience, and you don’t need Netflix’s resources to implement them. You can start piloting the technology with data from basic tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads. If you’re ready to apply personalization or would like to learn more, drop me a line.

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The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +718K people. Follow to join our community.

Gloria Quintanilla

Written by

Writer at @squadshq | Online marketer | Helping SaaS companies grow at @chirppoint

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +718K people. Follow to join our community.

Gloria Quintanilla

Written by

Writer at @squadshq | Online marketer | Helping SaaS companies grow at @chirppoint

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +718K people. Follow to join our community.

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