The Essential Personalization Techniques to Retain Your Best Customers

Marketing budgets often focus on acquisition – driving new traffic, and then getting new customers. But do you really know the future value of your current customers? Gartner statistics show that 80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your existing customers.

Retention marketing, conversely, means focusing on making your current customers happy, so that they become not only repeat customers, but fans. It’s hardly surprising that 82% of businesses agree that retention strategies work out more cost effective in the long run.

So, how can you make your customers happy and engaged? It requires getting to know them and nurturing that relationship. You’ll need to know who they are, understand their likes, dislikes, and what makes them tick. Long gone are the days of generic marketing communications and blasting irrelevant messages – it’s time to personalize your marketing efforts.

Let’s run through some tips on how to retain your most valuable customers.

1. Segment your visitors

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: you need to know your customers.

Analyze the plethora of data at your fingertips, and use it. This will allow you to segment customers according to characteristics which are relevant to your business. When considering retention, look at transactional and behavioral metrics such as their browsing history, average order value, and purchase history.

One example is to segment your visitors according to when they last converted. Customers can then be targeted in various ways based on how long ago they purchased. So, if a customer is approaching the end life of a previously purchased product, target that user for product replenishment – a helpful reminder of an item they might need to to re-buy. Or, try to re-engage a user who has been inactive for a while with personalized content related to products they like.

2. Find new ways to engage

The key to retention is keeping your customers engaged and interested in your brand and products.

Looking at previous browsing and buying behaviour, send your customers content and offers related to the products they love, and make sure they’re quick to know about new releases. Research has shown that for 78% of customers, offers and promotions are only effective when tied into how they have previously interacted with your brand. With this in mind, send targeted offers as a reward for purchasing from you, and add urgency techniques such as a countdown timers, to drive incremental purchases.

3. Get ready for their return

When your customers return to your site, a personalized experience should await them. This means engaging users with relevant content and personalized product recommendations as soon as they land on your site. Remind them of what they previously viewed on their last visit so they can easily start browsing again. Consider how the space on each page they visit is used, and split test to see what works. Here are some tips for your homepage.

4. Personalize emails

Email is not dead. In fact, it’s still a great channel to reach your customers, if it’s personalized. When it comes to re-engaging customers, segment customers by their last visit. A ‘we miss you’ email with a personalized message and recommendations is a great way to bring old customers back.

On your site, you should give visitors the option to have their abandoned carts saved and emailed to them – a great way to re-target customers later with a tailored abandoned cart email. Research repeatedly shows that personalized emails can seriously increase conversions over generic messages.

5. Reward your VIP customers

Your VIPs are your most valued customers, not only through their purchasing, but through their brand advocacy. However you choose to do this, the trick is to make these customers feel special, and behavioral targeting is one of the most effective means of doing this. 

Of course, targeted offers are effective, but consider other options, too. Remember your customers are bombarded with marketing messages and you’ll need to cut through the noise. So, be creative when thinking of other ways to reward customers. Previews of new product lines relevant to their preferences are a nice way to make shoppers feel valued. Other examples are invitations to events, free samples, free gifts or tutorials – whatever works best for your store and products. 

To sum up…

Retention marketing is sometimes overlooked. However, with the opportunities brought by personalization, it is easier than ever to effectively retain customers. Experiment – an effective personalization tool like Bunting will allow you to run multiple tests and see what works well. Get to know your buyers and then engage, target and reward . You might be surprised by the results.

Getting Started With Personalization: 5 Tests to Try for a Quick Conversion Lift.

Getting started with personalization can be daunting, with seemingly endless tests to try for that all important conversion uplift.

Getting to grips with the machine learning technology required to implement personalization can also feel like an intimidating task.

But it shouldn’t.

Firstly, it’s important to establish your goals. What do you want to achieve with personalization? Is it an increase in conversion rate? Or improved average order value?

Once you have a tool that clearly reports real time data back to you, then you can make decisions on who you want to target, and with what content, to achieve those goals. Are you struggling to convert new visitors, for example, or increase orders from traffic coming from a certain region?

At this early stage, it’s always helpful to look at tried and tested experiments that have worked for others. Here are 5 quick win tests to give you some inspiration.

1. Increase first time visitor sales with exit intent messages

First time visitors are, unsurprisingly, the hardest to convert.

They have no loyalty to your brand. They have no past purchases to benchmark for quality. They’re hesitant to buy from you, and are likely to shop around. An exit can often signal the last time you’ll ever see them.

How can you make an impression on these visitors?

A great way to engage first timers and give a little nudge to stay, is to trigger an exit-prevention light box. This message will trigger when visitors attempt to leave the store with an incentive of your choice.

As an example, WallPops.com engaged their first time visitors with an incentive-to-stay pop-up. It increased orders by an impressive 12%.

How to do this

With a tool like Bunting, it’s really easy to set up this test. ‘Increase first time visitor’ is a pre-made template, that can be clicked and installed straight away. You can choose what kind of incentive to use to pique your visitors’ interests, such as free delivery, or a % off discount (NB: your store must have a coupon code to do this). Or even better, split test both, to see which incentive works most effectively.

Don’t want to give out discounts or free delivery?
Worry not. An alternative here could be an ‘email me my cart’ message, or ‘sign up for our newsletter before you go’. This gives you opportunities to re-market to these visitors with personalized emails based on their browsing history.

2. Raise average order value with triggered messaging

A common way to raise order values is to offer an incentive to raise the value of a customer’s cart. One that works well is to offer something when a customer exceeds a certain spend. This could be a free gift, or free delivery.

This can be targeted to specific users – for example, you might only want to target visitors who have purchased from you several times, to reward them for their loyalty.

In addition to displaying this offer on your homepage, you can also trigger a reminder message to your visitors when their cart reaches a certain amount. It will then ask them to increase their order value in order to get free shipping. Saltrock surfwear did this well. They triggered a message when the value of a visitor’s cart exceeded £20, letting them know that they would be entitled to free delivery if they increased their order to £30.

How to do this

With Bunting, you can easily set up this test by creating a pop-up light box. Once the content is created, you can set the trigger to target visitors that match a certain criteria.   You can select the condition type ‘value of cart’ under ‘shopping cart metrics’. Then, specify the order value you would like to target, such as $20. Finally we recommend you run a split test, and then you can measure precisely how well the experiment performed.

3. Product recommendations on product pages

Recommendations are an indispensable part of any e-commerce store, and rightly so – machine learning algorithmic recommendations undoubtedly raise your conversion rate and average order value.

Of course, they help customers find what they really want. But they also help your team by freeing up precious time spent manually creating recommendations. A good tool will let you set up recommendations that require zero coding, so they can easily be set up by anyone on your team.

How to do this

With Bunting, it’s a case of drag and drop (and thankfully, no coding).Simply paste the URL of any product page, and the tool will generate accurate recommendations on every product page. Of course other pages such as the homepage or cart page can also be selected. Choose carefully where on the page you’d like the recommendations to be. We recommend above the fold, and in the case of product pages, we suggest the closer to the main image the better. 

4. Raise visitor sales based on geolocation

Research frequently shows that many retailers are missing out on opportunities to attract and convert visitors from certain regions.

Your international visitors are less likely to trust your store than a local website, so it’s essential to earn their trust through your site’s offering. Have a look through your site – are any areas displaying messaging that is not relevant to your international visitors?

Looking at the Adventure Direct site, we can see the messaging is aimed at the UK market, and is presented to every visitor regardless of location. This may actually damage overseas orders. With Bunting you can dynamically change the website text to show different messaging to your overseas visitors.

How to do this

Any part of your website can be changed to display messaging and imagery that is relevant to that particular audience. With Bunting, you can change any part of the page for this segment. For example, it will let you edit website text and even include a merge tag, which will display the visitor’s country/region name, wherever they are.

Welcome pop up for overseas visitors Another great little feature to impress your overseas visitors is to trigger a welcome pop-up. This can assure your visitors of your custom, that you deliver to them, or can display your international contact details.

5. Cross sells on the cart page

The recommendation best known to raise order values is the mighty cross-sell. These are algorithmic recommendations for products that complement the product/s in the cart.

Cross-sells are based on real time order data, meaning they’re the products statistically most likely to be purchased in conjunction with the item/s in the cart. They help visitors find useful or desirable products and, in doing so, not only raise orders but help you build better relationships with your customers.

How to do this

To start with, it’s worth trying cross sells out on your cart page. A good tool will allow you to drag and drop your recommendations into place. Importantly, we recommend for your first attempt at cross selling to target visitors who have converted at least once before. This is because sometimes cross-sells can take first time buyers out the flow of purchase and serve as a distraction.

 

Measure your results

We cannot stress enough – when getting started with personalization, test everything.

Many tools don’t allow for split testing, meaning you’re left without the important insights you need to build on and improve your personalization campaigns. So, run an A/B test with each experiment, and look at  the impact on conversion rate, but also revenue increase, abandoned cart rate and the number of page views.

We hope some of the tests in this article have given you some ideas for your own campaigns. Good luck!

Want to know more about personalization, and how to get started? Contact Bunting for a free review of your website, and to chat with an expert.

Power of Personalization in 60 seconds: Bunting’s world first interactive demo

Personalization. Every marketer is talking about it. 91% of them are now prioritising it. So it would be safe to assume that they’re all doing it – right?

But surprisingly enough, a large number of retailers have barely started personalizing their stores.

A one-size-fits-all site means a huge loss of potential revenue for the vendor. But despite this, many are daunted by the seemingly huge task of wrestling with data and segmentation – and many don’t even know where to begin.

We want to change that.

Today Bunting has launched a world first interactive demo, allowing you to easily and quickly implement personalization on your website. No hassle. No techie knowledge needed.

bunting demo
By clicking on the demo, Bunting will show you how its set of powerful features would work and look on your online store, and guide you through each stage with helpful tips along the way.

Take a browse through Bunting’s ready made templates for a host of proven ideas to help increase conversions and visitor engagement.

person demo

Got 60 seconds to spare? Have a go at Bunting’s demo here and see what it can do for your online store.