5 keys to build an effective content personalization strategy

As the audience of your website grows, it becomes more challenging to publish content that is relevant to all readers. Personalization gives the ability to profile each user’s behavior and capture their preferences, allowing you to deliver more relevant content to keep them engaged — and ultimately, to increase conversions.

Many of our clients are eager to embrace personalization, for good reason. But before diving too far into a personalization strategy, there are a few critical questions to ask.

By taking into account the following considerations, a solid cross-functional team (business leaders, marketers, product owners, technologists, legal) can collaborate on the best personalization path to meet your goals.

For an in-depth look at personalization in enterprise WordPress, download our white paper, “How to Achieve Personalization with Enterprise WordPress.”

1. How will the data be shared with existing systems?

If the personalization requires any data to be sent to a vendor (for instance, user data, activity data, etc.), a JavaScript snippet will need to be included in all pages. Be sure to choose a reliable third-party vendor, as slow response times on the vendor end could affect the site’s end-user experience, and a data breach at the vendor could expose customers’ information.

2. What will be the reliance on external systems?

As recommendations for a specific type of user may change, the recommended list of content is typically sent dynamically from the personalization vendor’s systems. Some vendors store the user’s behavior in a cookie so that users don’t have to rely on their service being online. Ensure they have a strong uptime/availability record and make sure to understand what features of the site (if any) will be impacted if the service vendor’s systems are unavailable.

3. How can sharing personal data be kept to a minimum?

If users are required to sign in with their account, there is the added advantage of using their user-specified preferences. However, this would require additional information to be shared with the personalization vendor. Ideally, it’s possible to share just the username or a unique identifier for the user.

4. How can personalized experiences be shared across channels?

To capture a user’s data across various channels (social media, email, mobile apps, website, etc.), the vendor will need to unify data to a single user profile (typically based on the email address). Most personalization vendors that support cross-channel data gathering will also allow recommendations to be published through any of these channels.

5. How will the customer profile integrate with existing marketing tools?

Insight into customers’ profiles allows specific segments to be targeted with special offers or promotions. To use existing marketing software, it’s imperative to have it integrated to the personalization engine. Alternatively, campaigns could be managed within the personalization vendor’s portal.

In closing

Successful personalization requires marketers, technologists, and business leaders to have shared goals, with a firm understanding of how pursuing personalization will affect each area of the business. These questions can get you started building that foundation as a team.

At WordPress VIP, we have helped our clients provide personalized experiences on some of the most popular websites in the world. Even though we already have an assortment of tools, we continue adding features to our platform to help make it easier to provide these experiences.

For a detailed look at achieving personalization with enterprise WordPress, download our white paper, “How to Achieve Personalization with Enterprise WordPress.”

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