Personalizing Your Website for Anonymous (Top of Funnel) Visitors

By Brennan Dunn

We usually think of personalization as being something that we do when we know something definitive about someone.

For example, you bought my basic course and you're a web designer. I should probably now promote my premium course to you and niche down the product's marketing to appeal to you. (The testimonials you'll see will be from other web designers, the language will be web designer-y, and so on.)

But what if we don't know who someone is yet?

What if they aren't in our system?

This is something we've been thinking a lot about lately. Many of our Early Access Customers aren't on Drip, which means that version 1.0 isn't going to be able to integrate with their email service provider (ESP).

However, rather than having them hold off until we integrate with their ESP, we've been actively encouraging them to get started with RightMessage. Here's why.

"Top of funnel" optimization

Everrryyonnee wants more subscribers. We go to great lengths to get more people to join our list: exit popups, content upgrades, paid ads, remarketing, ... If sales primarily come from within our audience, expanding our audience is high on our list of priorities.

Most websites that have some sort of lead generation in place make one of two types of mistakes:

  1. They overdo it. They offer a ton of lead magnets, and new visitors need to go through the mental gymnastics of trying to figure out what (if anything) they should opt-in to. Too many decisions can quickly lead to paralysis and, thus, inaction.
  2. They try to speak to everyone. By having call-to-actions that are vague and appeal to everyone, which means they appeal to no one. This is why content upgrades work so well - people want content that's hyper-relevant to them.

The single best opt-in strategy a website can have is to promote a lead magnet that's designed for the person viewing.

RightMessage can help you create dynamic, personalized call-to-actions. A call-to-action designed specifically for the viewer means that they're more likely to act on it, which means you're going to get more subscribers.

If a visitor is anonymous, how can you know enough to personalize?

This is a topic that has come up throughout most of our sales calls.

It's also a topic that the marketer in me is extremely interested in.

We can make assumptions based off of how someone showed up on our website, where they came from, and what they're engaging with.

Organic traffic

While Google doesn't provide us with keyword data any longer, we can make a few assumptions based off of the original landing page.

Many companies create industry-specific landing pages (see HelpSpot). If a visitor lands on a page that speaks to how they can help companies in the higher education space, we can make a pretty good assumption about the kind of company that employees the current visitor.

Likewise, traffic that originally arrives at a blog post that explicitly targets stay-at-home moms should be assumed to belong to that segment.

Referral traffic

If we run a website focusing on freelancers in general, we're probably going to get inbound traffic from websites that are more niched than others. So when a website on marketing writes a post targeting freelancers in their audience and links to our freelancing website, we can assume that this traffic is made up of freelance marketers.

Or if we're running ads on Facebook that are targeting people who like the Leadpages Facebook page, it's safe to say that any traffic that arrives from that ad is from a fan or user of Leadpages.

Key pages

Did someone view your sponsorship page?

Have they spent a lot of time looking over your product pages and haven't spent much time reading your free material?

Again, these are all opportunities to draw some assumptions. The person who came directly to your product pages and is painstakingly researching and reading over everything you have to offer was probably referred to you by a customer of yours. They already know what you have to offer and they're interested in learning more.

We can change the way we communicate and the call-to-actions we present these visitors accordingly.

Content interests

Finally, we can also look at the types (categories and tags) of content someone is consuming.

Are they reading all of your material on dieting and totally ignoring your articles on advanced strength training? Let's face it: the visitor is probably overweight, and we should personalize what we present to them with that in mind.

Likewise, another visitor who's viewing your website at the same time and is binge reading material you've written on strength training is probably looking to get stronger. An high-contrast, muscle-heavy ad showing off your latest protein powder is going to work much better than a diet pill ad here.

RightMessage as a Rules and Templating Engine

Out of the box, RightMessage tracks all this.

This means that when you setup your personalization campaigns, you can explicitly target segments based off of referrer, original landing page, and more.

And since we preserve this information across a viewers entire experience on your website, you're able to customize someone's entire experience.

So if you're HelpSpot and you've created a number of industry-specific landing pages, you can speak directly to people who work in higher education beyond the confines of a single landing page. Your homepage can now speak to higher education organizations, and feature case studies from clients of yours in that space. Your pricing page can showcase a testimonial from someone in higher education. See where I'm going with this?

And no matter your traffic volume, you're going to see immediate benefits by personalizing the pre-optin experience someone has with you.

Because even if you only get a few dozen visitors a day, if you're selling a high-touch, high-priced service, aligning your service to speak directly to the human being viewing your website is going to result in more leads and more overall engagement.