Personalization Guide
The 2020 Edition

The Marketer's Guide to Website Personalization

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Summary of The Marketer's Guide to Website Personalization

We get it — there are only so many hours in the day and this guide is a lot to fully digest. We suggest pouring a glass of scotch, lighting a fire, and putting on a nice Miles Davis record to fully appreciate the guide.

But if you’re rushed for time or want a quick recap of everything we talked about in the previous 6 chapters, we’ve got you covered!

Here’s the TL;DR on personalization:

Proof Experiences, our new personalization software suite, has blown our minds over the past several months as we've tested it on sites like Proof and Buildfire.

What are the results?

Why does personalization work?

  • Humans are psychologically wired to enjoy personalized marketing. This form of marketing recognizes that and  is increasingly becoming a key differentiator of successful B2B marketing teams in 2019.
  • Personalization happens online, offline, in emails, on landing pages, on mobile, and in ads. We’re most excited about its application on-site for B2B SaaS companies.

What is web personalization?

  • It is the concept of building a customized web experience for each visitor. Rather than displaying a one-page fits all page, a personalized website displays a unique experience based on a visitor’s known characteristics.
  • Today’s marketer is seeking out personalization because plain & simple: it works.
  • Can lift revenue by 15%, increase consumer spending by 500%, and 87% of companies see a lift by implementing personalization.
  • 60% of marketers still think it’s a challenge to execute.

If it works, why have marketers not deployed personalization in the past?

  • There was simply not enough usable data to accomplish the task.
  • It was difficult to track the customer journey across different channels.
  • There were (and still are) constraints in time & resources for B2B marketing teams.
  • Personalization and customization were confused by consumers because software companies sold customization as personalization.

The market is undergoing a shift. What does it look like?

  • The MarTech 5000 shows the sheer number of integrations that are available to marketers in 2019.
  • It’s indicative of a changed market — now, there are countless data sources and endpoints where you can deploy personalizations on your site.
  • We believe 2019 is the right time to join this rocket ship.

What are the four main types of data you need to know for personalization?

  • Demographic
  • Firmographic
  • Behavioral
  • Contextual

Audiences are the way you deploy personalization on-site. How do they work?

  • Can include anywhere from 1 to ∞ people.
  • Use matching logic to include or exclude people from an audience.

How do you collect data for personalization?

  • You should think of all user behavior on-site like filling out a form. You go to one page, fill out a form field, digest a piece of content, read a certain case study, look at one specific pricing point, you are providing info. You can use that info to personalize.
  • Collect demographic data by including form fields on your site & enriching data with 3rd party data (Clearbit, FullContact, Datanyze).
  • Collect behavioral and contextual data with a pixel installed on your site. You can accomplish that through Proof Experiences or Segment.

What tools do you need to personalize your site?

  • Data Integration Tools (such as Segment and
  • Data Enrichment Tools (such as Clearbit, FullContact, and Datanyze)
  • On-site Surveying tools (such as Hotjar & Proof Surveys)

Where do you store your personalization data?

  • Your best first bet is your CRM.
  • It allows you to use the data across your sales process and launch campaigns with the data you’re collecting from visitors.

How should you create a tracking plan for your data collection?

  • Intentionally thinking through a central plan of what events need to be added, why they are being tracked, and where they go is incredibly important.
  • Here’s a link to the tracking guide we use internally at Proof.

How do you name your data?

  • When naming your data, choosing one method and sticking to it is imperative.
  • It creates data consistency, prevents casing confusion, and speeds up the time it takes to look up data. It also saves time by not having to rework data in the future, and makes data easier to understand and searchable by all team members.

What are the different data items you can name?

  • Events, Traits, and Properties
  • Object/Action framework is what we recommend for naming events.

What are the common casing conventions?

  • all lowercase
  • snake_case
  • Proper Case
  • camelCase
  • Sentence case

Where can you deploy these experiments?

  • CTAs
  • Headlines
  • Subheadlines and copy
  • Testimonials
  • Logos
  • Images
  • Anchor Tags
  • Headers
  • Chat

Great, I want to personalize. Give me some ideas!

What's are the two most important things to do when personalizing?

  • Collect as much data as possible on your visitors
  • Identify all points where you can make an on-page element more delightful for your visitors.

Personalization and A/B testing. What's the difference?

  • AB testing's goal is to improve the site for everyone and build a better performing page. It’s a global experiment.
  • Personalization is done with a particular audience in mind. It's a more specific approach.

What are the two ways you'll most often see A/B testing and Personalization in unison?

  • A/B testing personalization vs no personalization
  • A/B testing one personalized experience vs another

When should you start personalizing your site?

  • You’ve reached Product Market Fit, and you’re geared up & ready to grow
  • You’re using A/B testing, analytics, and data integration tools
  • You get 30+ conversions a day on your site
  • You have 3+ marketers on your team & have the time to dedicate for experimentation
  • You have 1 marketer solely focused on growth, CRO, or experimentation
  • Your company is ~50+ people and in B2B SaaS

How do you measure success?

  • Find a metric you want to improve. Most times, it's revenue.
  • Find a secondary metric more up-funnel.
  • Setup an Amplitude dashboard to measure your success — find out how here.

What team do you need to personalize?

  • Data-driven and able to understand the concepts covered in this guide
  • We’ve found that growth marketers, CRO analysts, marketing managers, VPs of marketing, and other data-driven roles pick up these concepts quickly.

Our team truly believes everything we’ve covered in this guide is essential when establishing a personalization program at your company. We hope you’ll come back and read the whole thing when you have the time.

Until then, happy personalizing marketers!