Personalization is one of the most popular and most talked about trends in content marketing today. A more personalized experience can be very beneficial for your users, but asking for personal information can also make your users suspicious. It’s important to walk that fine line between a personalized experience and an intrusive one. We’ve broken down the pro and cons of personalizing your users’ experience and compiled a list of tips to help you walk the line and improve personalization without being intrusive. Check it out below!
The Positives of Personalization
Personalizing your content leads to a better experience for your users. It allows you to gain information in order to figure out what they want. Personalization leads to a more relevant experience for your users, which leads to more leads, conversions, and sales. Personalization ensures that users care about the content you’re sharing with them, which increases customer satisfaction. A more personalized experience can lead to a happier, more satisfied user.
The Negatives of Personalization
Although personalization can be very beneficial for users, it also raises privacy concerns. In this day and age, people are worried about protecting their information and data. Most users have concerns about the security of their data and don’t always trust websites asking them to disclose personal information. This suspicion increases when users don’t feel that disclosing this information is necessary to their experience. Because users are worried about the security of their information, being watched or tracked, and unauthorized people and companies gaining personal information that was not offered willingly, personalization can feel intrusive and make users suspicious of your company.
Tips for Personalization Without Arousing Concerns
Although users’ privacy concerns are valid, it’s possible to walk the line between a personalized experience and an intrusive one. Follow these tips to help you protect your users and make them feel comfortable.
1. Be Transparent
2. Give Users a Choice
Communicating with your users is an important part of the personalization process. However, it’s important for users to be able to opt in or out of this communication to feel protected. Be sure to always present “opt in” and “opt out” buttons for communications including newsletters, texts, or push notifications. You should also provide the opportunity for users to opt in or out of location services if your website aims to track location to provide localized offers and information. Gaining this information and communicating with users is important for personalizing your users’ experience, but it will feel intrusive if this communication is not optional.
3. Know Your Audience
Part of the personalization process involves getting to know your users, but it’s also important to have an awareness of your audience before beginning that process. Younger generations are more comfortable with personalization than older generations, and older generations are less comfortable sharing personal information online. Additionally, younger generations expect at least some degree of personalization of their experience to be fully satisfied with a brand. For these reasons, it’s important to know who your target audience is to know how much information to ask for and to what extent you should be personalizing your experience. What might seem intrusive for the 50-65 age demographic might be ideal personalization for 18-30 year olds.
4. Consider Context
One of the most important things to consider when changing your messaging for personalization purposes and when asking for information is the context in which it is received. Users feel uneasy when the information you ask for doesn’t seem necessary. The more personal the information, the more uneasy they are likely to feel. It’s important to consider the context and the degree of communication you have had with users before asking for hyper personal information such as a phone number. Consider what your users want, which page or channel they’re visiting, and what their previous communication level was before communicating with users to make sure your communication is contextually appropriate. This idea also applies to retargeting. Users don’t want the same ad following them around the Internet. Instead, present an ad when users visit pages that are relevant to the concept of the ad.
5. Personalize in Stages
One of the most important things to remember when personalizing your content for your users is to do so in stages. During the first stage, you should present the same content to everyone, presenting information about cookies. During the second stage, you can apply some messaging variation, and more importantly, introduce elements for future personalization, such as general communication that will help segment users into buyer personas. In the third stage of personalization, you can create model-based campaigns based on these segmented buyer personas. Users will see different content relevant to them based on their buyer persona.
After this segmented stage, you can further personalize the experience to the individual. In the fourth stage of personalization, introduce integrated interactions, where certain users who show interest and/or display certain traits or interests can interactively communicate with your brand. They will present information that can lead into the fifth and final stage of personalization. In this stage, users receive hyper-personalized content based on interest and prior interactions. These users have already interacted with your brand and provided information, so you can feel confident that they’re comfortable with that level of personalization. By personalizing experience in stages, you will alleviate privacy concerns and allow users to provide only the information they wish to provide. Their level of personalization will entirely depend on their comfort level, alleviating any concerns of intrusiveness.
ImageWorks, LLC | CT Content Marketing
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