Here’s How to Make Your Website As Personalized as Your Email

Here’s How to Make Your Website As Personalized as Your Email

Your customers are multi-channel and multi-device users, cruising from your website to your mobile app to their email inbox. And they expect your marketing messages to cruise right along with them. But while email marketing professionals have gotten really good at connecting with their audiences one-to-one, the next frontier involves real-time personalized content on the web and on mobile devices. Put simply, your website should be just as personalized and targeted as your emails.

The technology exists to customize experiences, messages, and calls-to-actions, regardless of what content management system (CMS) you use. Once you’ve decided to make your website as personalized as your email, you’ll have to determine how you will segment and target visitors. Here are some common ways you can try—what works for your business?

Visitor Information

As website owners, we’ve long had access to data about where our visitors come from. For example, you can tell whether a visitor came from Facebook, an organic search, or an email link. Today, we can react to that data in real time, and serve up customized content accordingly. Similarly, we can customize our websites based on whether someone is a first-time or repeat visitor. For example, you might show a first-time visitor your “How to Get Started” screen; a repeat visitor might be presented with more in-depth information.

Content Recommendation

You can also use the specific content visitors engage with to guide them to the next appropriate experience. For example, say that a travel company has a blog with well-tagged content that spans many topics. Visitor A clicks on the category “iceberg cruises” periodically, so it makes sense to show him your Alaskan cruise offers on the home page. Visitor B, on the other hand, searches for flights to Oahu. When she opens the company’s mobile app, Hawaiian ticket offers are what she sees.  With today’s big data personalization solutions, creating these kinds of real-time content recommendations is easy.


Analyzing a visitor’s IP address can give you his or her physical location, and you can personalize the experience based on that. For example, Marketo uses location to personalize the currency we use to display our prices and to customize the information we ask for on forms. As another example, a clothing retailer might offer board-shorts to a visitor in San Diego, a sweatshirt to one in San Francisco, and a winter coat to a visitor from the frigid East Coast. Going further, they can dynamically present pictures of jackets and umbrellas if it happens to be raining in the visitor’s location.

Account or Industry

If a visitor is surfing from work, you can use their IP address to look up their company, which allows you to match your visitor to an industry. Understanding which industry an individual works in can determine the images you use, the products you highlight, and the type of case studies you offer.  As the simplest example, visitors from the healthcare world could be shown images of doctors and medical labs; those from financial services might be shown large buildings and currency.

You can also use this technology to engage with specific target accounts. Create customized marketing content for a company you’re targeting, and then deliver that specific content to anyone visiting your site or mobile app via that company’s IP address.

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