Rule-based Personalization: Unlocking Higher Website Conversions With Data-Driven Experimentation



The first thesis in The Cluetrain Manifesto says that markets are conversations. With the advent of the internet, cutting-edge technology, and big data; a virtual marketplace has been established where a marketer connects with prospects/leads/customers to convince them that his/her product/service is the best. 

In this huge virtual marketplace where a customer is drowning in information and options, if a marketer does not personalize his/her conversations to show the customers that they run a business that recognises every individual and loves to cater to their individual needs, they are running a huge risk of being ostracized. 

The Goldmine

A magnetized piece of steel will lift about 12 times its own weight, and if you demagnetize this same piece of steel, it will not even lift a feather. Similarly, there are 2 types of marketers:

  1. There is the magnetized marketer who realises that their customers’ behavioral and onsite data is his/her goldmine, extracts insights, uses them to curate winning personalized website experiences, and benefits from skyrocketing conversion rates that add to the bottomline
  2. The demagnetized marketer who is sound asleep because he/she doesn’t know how to put this goldmine of infinite customer intelligence to use. He/she curates generic website experiences, waits forever and a day to increase conversion rates, and dabbles in speculation

The difference is as stark as chalk and cheese.

So, wouldn’t you want to be a magnetized marketer and unearth the secret sauce to higher conversions through Rule-based Personalization?!

Before we dive deeper into the fundamentals of Rule-based Personalization and how you can benefit from its magic, let’s understand the basics:

What is Website Personalization?

Essentially, it is the real-time individualization of your website to suit each visitor/customer’s unique needs and guide them through your conversion funnel. 

What are the Types of Personalization Strategies?

Depending on factors like the amount of accessible and trackable customer data, scale, and privacy concerns; personalized customer experiences -through Smartech – can be delivered through two approaches:

  1. AI-led Personalization
  2. Rule-based Personalization

Let us understand what each type means and the differences

It is hard to definitively say one method is better than the other, as they are both unique and powerful when leveraged effectively.

Let us dive a little deeper into Rule-based Personalization now.

What are the Building Blocks of Rule-based Personalization?

  1. Customer Data Collection
  2. Creation of a Unified Customer View
  3. Customer Segmentation

Customer Data Collection

The effectiveness of your Rule-based Personalization strategy is directly proportional to the quality and quantity of customer-level data-points you capture and continuously track.

There are three types of data attributes that you need to focus on gathering and tracking, in real-time:

  • Web Attributes: These attributes can be detected as soon as your customer lands on your website like geolocation, time of the day, dates, acquisition campaign source (social media, app push notifications, email etc).
  • Database Attributes: These attributes are not from the website, but are rather pulled in from a database-driven system such as CRM, email marketing solution, or a data warehouse. 

This can include anything that you store in your database like whether the visitor is a prospect or a customer, a high-value customer, belongs to a particular category, etc.

Note:This mapping can be done with the help of a primary key for that customer such as an email address or mobile number.

  • Customer Behavior Attributes: Any action that is taken by the customer when he/she visits your website. This data can be broken down into three main buckets:
  • Site-wide Behavior:  Simple behavioral analytics such as number of visits to your website, average time spent on your website, visit recency etc.
  • Page-visit Behavior: Data about specific page views for an individual visitor, such as which pages he/she has visited, number of pages visited, and the frequency of visits per page
  • Deep Behavior: This considers in-page customer actions/inactions and the level of engagement for each individual visitor based on mouse movements, scrolling, inactivity, data-filled etc. This provides the most accurate indication of affinities, interests, and true intent

Creation of a Unified Customer View

Smartech enables you  to collate all the rich, real-time diverse data-points on every single prospect/customer that visits your website and develop individual profiles with a 360- degree consolidated view of a prospect/customer. 

Enrich these profiles in real-time based on every single visitor interaction with your website and effortlessly create dynamic segments based on the rules you – as a marketer – would like to define.

Customer Segmentation

The most effective segments that you can create are:

  • Anonymous prospect/new visitor
  • Lead: A visitor who fills a form but drops off without completing all the steps
  • Existing customer
  • Visitor segmentation based on acquisition campaign source: A visitor who has landed your website from a social media ad, email marketing campaign etc.
  • High value customer 
  • Visitor/Customer segmentation based on geographic locations

Now that you are equipped with a  360-degree unified view of your customers and a strong segmentation strategy; the power lies in your hands to create meaningful rules for your personalization strategy. 

On Smartech, you can create simple yet impactful rules like these, IF condition A is met, THEN perform action B, ELSE perform action C.

For instance:

  • IF a visitor visits the car loan page (condition A), THEN show car loan offers on the homepage banner the next time he/she visits the website (action B), ELSE show savings bank a/c interest rates (action C)
  • IF a customer from list-X visits my website (condition A), THEN show his/her name and these offers on my homepage banner (action B)

How Does One Measure Rule-based Personalization Efforts?

Conversion Rate, is the main measure for your personalization success. 

For an e-commerce website the conversion event is usually a sale. For an OTT platform, conversion could mean a fixed number of videos watched, playlists consumed, or turning an unpaid user into a paid subscriber

In the media and publication business, conversion can be identified when a visitor consumes a fixed number of articles or subscribes to receive monthly newsletters

For a BFSI brand, conversion could mean the CLTV of a customer is increased by upselling or cross-selling loans, credit cards, insurance policies, etc.

As you follow the simple rules and use cases set forth, you will be able to gain a deeper insight on how you can optimize your conversion rates through Rule-based Personalization.

Here are some powerful use cases to leave you with marketing food-for-thought and to help you get started:

Lead to Prospect Conversion: Be more convenient than anyone else!

Use Case 1: If a visitor visits your website and shows interest in your product offering. He/she fills a form for it (becomes a lead), but then drops off without completing all the steps.

Smartech Solution:

  • Monitor and collect data given by the lead: Name and other contact details
  • Use this data to personalize your Homepage banner with the lead’s name and CTAs redirecting to the forms page – where he/she dropped off last time. This nudges the lead to convert into a prospect seamlessly

Use Case 2: Customer visits your Savings Bank Account page or viewed a particular item on your e-commerce website or consumed a particular video content on your OTT platform or viewed a particular travel package on your website and then dropped off without converting into a prospect. 

Smartech Solution: 

  • Monitor relevant data-points and use this lead data to personalize your Homepage banner redirecting the lead on his/her next visit to a Savings Bank Account page or the last viewed item on your e-commerce website or the video he/she last viewed on your OTT platform etc. This helps retarget these leads based on their page browse data to convert them into viable prospects

67% of consumers say it’s important for brands to automatically adjust their website content to provide a real-time personalized experience.

Increase CLTV: Personalization befitting a King!

Use Case:  Based on past interactions (offline and online) with your brand you know the customers who are actively engaging with you. Use this data to create segments for loyal customers, high value customers, etc.

Smartech Solution:

  • Based on these segments personalize your Homepage banner and CTAs for these segments only. 

For instance:

Create a personalized Homepage banner to show a certain segment of customers a product they haven’t tried before or offering a discounted or free subscription on your OTT platform etc (Psst…Netflix in its infancy offered a free upgrade to existing loyal customers for a limited period!). 

All this results in increasing CLTV.

Lead Generation: Show that you value their time!

Use Case: As an active digital brand you are bound to use social media ads to generate leads. You might have an ad for a certain product – let’s say a perfume or a travel package to Hawaii. 

The visitor clicks on the ad and lands on your website with the same generic homepage banner. 

Here he/she is lost and is forced to navigate by themselves – to find what they saw on the ad. Imagine the visitor’s disappointment for he/she will drop-off and is unlikely to convert into a lead.

Smartech Solution:

  • Show personalized Homepage banners, images, or text based on the social media ad. 

For instance:

A visitor clicks on an ad for travel packages to Hawaii and lands on your website. Show a personalized homepage banner with deals on the same. This will ensure platform stickiness and increases the probability of a visitor converting into a lead or even an actual sale! 

Yes, it’s that simple!

Increase Customer Retention: Brand affinity is the key!

Use Case: A visitor lands on your website and you have no idea if he/she is a prospect or an existing customer. You show the same boring, generic landing page, making it very inconvenient for repeat customers. 

Smartech Solution:

  • Create dynamic segments of prospects or existing customers 
  • Use this data to identify them and show personalized Homepage banners and relevant CTAs. By showing your customers that you know and recognize them, you lay the foundation for a strong customer relationship leading to higher customer satisfaction and retention

For instance:

Increase Sales: The key to high ROI!

Use Case 1: You want to increase sales on specific products/product categories such as sunglasses and night-wear

Smartech Solution:

  • Using Smartech’s time of the day feature, personalize your Homepage banner to remind a customer during day time to buy sunglasses and night-wear towards the end of the day. Thus, by making it relevant for the customer, nudging him/her towards a conversion
  • Use our IP-based location tracking and personalize the website experience for customers visiting from different locations
  • A customer adds a product to a cart, but does not complete the transaction – leading to cart abandonment. Use this data to show a personalized Homepage banner with CTAs offering a discount or show personalized web pop-ups with a coupon code. This gives an extra push to the customer to perform that conversion action – a purchase.

Remember that personalized homepage promotions will influence 85% of customers to buy from you.

Rule-Based Personalization: The Marketer-led Experimentation Flywheel

As a marketer, it is now up to you to experiment and test which rule, which segmentation strategy – is the golden combination that helps you yield skyrocketing conversion rates.

Don’t forget that contextual customer engagement is the gateway to higher mind-share and wallet-share!

Which means, you :

  • Increase your revenue by 10-13%
  • Increase website lead generation by 8-10% 
  • Reduce your website bounce rates by 20-22%

88% of US marketers have seen higher conversion rates due to personalization, with more than half reporting a lift greater than 10%.

Be a magnetized marketer, get in touch with us now and show your customers that you  know them and that your message to them, or conversation with them, isn’t just a shot in the dark. But, is instead based on a deep understanding of their past and real-time actions, inactions, needs, and intents.

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Medha Kumar

Medha Kumar

Medha is a Marketing Executive at Netcore Solutions. She is deeply interested in Martech , with a slight bias towards Psychology and the works of Kahlil Gibran.

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