Personalising Landing Pages and Emails


This article explains how to personalize landing pages with different kinds of data, shortening the customer journey with personalized search, and specific strategies for emails.

Increasing Conversions With Landing Pages

Personalizing landing pages are a proven method for generating the best returns for online marketing campaigns.

There are many different types of landing pages. Essentially, a landing page is a web page a visitor arrives at after expressing interest by clicking through from one of several forms of advertising:

  • An organic search engine result
  • PPC campaigns such as Google AdWords
  • Google product listing adverts
  • Banner advertising
  • Links in emails
  • Print advertising
  • TV commercials

The purpose of the landing page is usually to convince the visitor to convert to a customer by taking a specific action. Personalizing landing pages increases the likelihood of conversion in two distinct ways:

  1. Where personalization data is available for a visitor, the landing page will not only include the message or product that encouraged them to visit but also additional products that are relevant to their preferences.
  2. If a visitor is not known, products can be displayed that are associated with or have an affinity to the product that caused their initial interest. At its simplest level, an example would be “here are some products that were also viewed by people who viewed the product that brought you to the landing page”.

A good example of personalized landing pages in action is reflected in our work with Hawes & Curtis, supporting product listings adverts (PLAs) in their Google Shopping campaigns.

Directing customers to the right product

Hawes & Curtis recognized that PLA campaigns drove qualified traffic to its website and could include narrower search terms to help direct the customer to the right product at the right time. To increase the relevancy on the PLA landing pages, we worked with Hawes & Curtis to personalize the page and improve conversions with a dynamic widget. This offered up to eight alternative products.

These recommendations were based on agreed configuration strategies for the particular product advert, which is optimized and tailored to an individual’s behavior and preferences. From the customer’s perspective, it meant that the landing page they were shown was more relevant to them.

Personalising Without Data

If no personalization data is available for an individual because they haven’t previously visited the site, default merchandising strategies are activated such as “Relevant similar products.”

Personalizing the landing page in this way resulted in a 10% reduction in the bounce rate. Even more significantly, it led to a conversion rate increase of 26% and a revenue per session increase of 32%.

The company’s head of ecommerce commented:

Brand engagement is a critical success factor in all our paid search campaigns. The Episerver PLA widget has enabled us to offer a better customer experience by showcasing additional relevant products on the landing page, which reduces the bounce rate.

In this way, Hawes & Curtis are able to show their customers that they really understand them and their preferences, while demonstrating to the business the benefits personalized recommendations have on their conversion rate.

Personalized Search

It’s been mentioned earlier that personalization helps visitors to find products more quickly that they are interested in buying. For large catalogs, personalized search can help visitors to discover products that they didn’t know they were interested in until they saw them. This was one reason why apparel sites were early adopters of personalization as visitors often had only a vague idea of what they were looking for.

With the incredible growth of shopping on mobile devices, retailers have been seeking ways to filter and refine search capabilities that help visitors find products on relatively small screens.

Using behavior data in search

The onsite search capability within the Episerver platform incorporates behavioral data. This means that search results are influenced and ranked according to an individual’s browsing and preferences.

For example, if an individual inputs “red shirt” and has happened to browse buttoned down collars previously, red buttoned down collar shirts will appear first at the top of the search results.

Personalizing the search function saves time, reduces the length of the customer journey, and promotes really satisfied customers.

Navigating through category pages can also be fully optimized by reordering the thumbnail images, based on what is known about the individual browser.

Personalized and Trigger Emails

Behavior data gathered online, capturing what customers do and don’t do, is very effective in driving increases in revenue through email campaigns.

The wealth of personalization data available to support personalization strategies will vary considerably from customer to customer. One customer may have purchased recently, another may have abandoned a basket or recently viewed some products, while another may not have been on the retailer’s site for some time.

Adapting Emails to Available Data

When mailing a customer database, the system that generates the best products to recommend needs to be able to adjust to the data available for each customer. It needs to manage what personalization data is available and use the best strategy for generating a sale. When no data is available, the system needs to default to merchandising strategy options.

When it comes to personalization strategies, the Episerver Advance dashboard is truly unique in the market. It enables users to create personalization campaigns using a comprehensive selection of up to 25 personalization and merchandising strategies.

How Episerver Advance Works

In order to optimize which personalized products to display, users can create a cascade of multiple strategies. If the data is not available to support a particular strategy, Episerver Advance will automatically cascade to the next selected strategy to find a suitable product, and so on.

Ultimately if no personalization data is available relevant to that email address, the user can either create a default manual list of products they want to promote or select some merchandising strategies to ensure that there is no blank space within the body of the email.

This guarantees that the best products with the highest propensity for purchase are presented to each individual in an email.

How to Get Value Out of What Customers Don’t Do

Trigger emails are very effective in getting customers to complete an action that they didn’t complete when they were on a website. Episerver Advance provides behavioral targeting triggers that can be sent as batched emails or streamed to go at a specific interval after the on-site action occurred.

Streamed emails would include abandoned basket or checkout actions, where the customer failed to complete a purchase or stopped browsing. Emails showing what was abandoned and alternatives to what was abandoned see click-through rates as high as 30%, with click-to-purchase rates averaging around 20%.

Batched emails would include targeted discounts, where customers who previously viewed products but didn’t purchase can be sent an email when the product is reduced in price. M&Co saw email conversion increase by 55% using targeted discounts.

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