Reaching your business goals in online and mobile spaces is getting more and more difficult as competition increases. Even a decade ago, most businesses were still fumbling to figure out how best to build and maintain an online presence and Google’s algorithms weren’t nearly as restrictive.

That has all changed so that now even business owners willing to pay experts for SEO and marketing services have to work hard to gain a competitive edge. However, there are still ways to generate leads and engineer conversions. One of the best options for many businesses is to customize the consumer experience, and there’s a lot of room for growth here.

You can certainly do this through traditional advertising, but lately content personalization has become a more popular alternative, focusing on the wants and needs of customers rather than pursuing a blatantly self-serving sales agenda. By proving that you know your audience and avoiding the hard sell, you can garner greater support, build relationships, and ultimately, increase traffic and sales through your efforts.

The only real question is: how can you personalize content to improve the customer experience? Here are a few tactics you might want to try.

1. Recommendations Based on Previous Purchases

This is one of the best ways to personalize advertising, emails, and other content for customers. Since you can track past purchases and account activity, there’s no reason not to use that information to recommend targeted products that specific consumers might be interested in, as opposed to the blanket approach of offering everyone your latest or greatest products and hoping someone likes them.

2. Recommendations Based on Peer Preferences

Another option that many businesses have successfully employed is offering recommendations based on what others have viewed or purchased in relation to items a particular customer views or purchases. A good example of this is Amazon.

When users log in to accounts, they’re not only given recommendations based on their own browsing and shopping history, but when they look at products, a bar on the screen shows them products that others have viewed or purchased in addition to the product in question. In other words, “Others who purchased this product also purchased these other products”. It’s a subtle way to use the inherent trust of peer recommendations.

3. Shopping Cart Reminders

It’s hard to know why customers make it as far as placing items in a shopping cart only to abandon these products without making a purchase. Regardless, you may be able to bring them back to complete a purchase by simply reminding them what they left behind.

4. Customized Emails

What’s in a name? Well, a personal identity, for one thing. However, your personalization in emails needs to go beyond adding a customer’s name to a standard form letter. Your email communications should be customized in other ways, as well.

This isn’t to say you have to deliver handwritten notes to every customer; it’s not the Victorian era, after all. What more can you do to personalize emails? It depends on your reason for communication.

Automated emails are sent for a number of reasons. You may be welcoming new members and giving them a reason to return to your website.

In this case you can customize messages based on answers to questions included in your sign-up form. If you’re smart, you’ll ask them why they’re signing up and what they’re interested in so you can send them one of several pre-made welcome emails that is most likely to match their interests.

You might also send emails confirming purchases. Make sure to thank customers for their purchase and offer incentives to share what they bought or make future purchases, just for example.

Metrics can do a lot to help you personalize the customer experience, but you also need to communicate with customers. Asking the right questions can yield information that allows you to personalize in unexpected ways and improve the customer experience in the process.

5. Send Emails at the Right Time

Personalization isn’t only about a person’s name and what they like to buy, it can also be related to where they live. Location-based data can help you to improve your performance in a variety of ways.

For example, you might need to translate emails into other languages for your international customers or use marketing techniques designed to suit their preferences, cultures, or histories. You can also send emails at optimal times based on location, and especially time zone. This should improve both the customer experience and conversions.

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