How to Get Better Conversions through Personalised Content and Behavioural Targeting

In Adobe’s recent campaign, its slogan went “Customers are individuals. Campaigns should be, too.” This statement has summed up personalised content and behavioural targeting in one powerful statement.

ADOBE2                        screenshot from adobe

This guide will consist of three parts. First, the basics on Behavioural Targeting. Second is the basics on Personalised Content and, third, how to use to two to get better conversions.

Part I. Behavioural Targeting

The average attention span today is at 5 seconds. Now imagine people who have this average attention span also receive 20 marketing messages. Or 3,000. Or 20,000 marketing messages a day. Now, how will behavioural targeting narrow down this surging numbers and get viewer’s attention?

Behaviour targeting makes use of the word “relevance”. Marketing relevance may need a consumer’s behaviour, interests and preference as the key to present the perfect marketing offer to the customer. Therefore, behavioural targeting aim is to translate the consumer’s online behaviour into something that is “actionable”. Behavioural targeting investigation intends to create a personalised experience for the users and consumers and turn them into profit.

How the Behaviour Targeting Works

wpid-Featured_Picture120-620x412photo: a4gpa

Behavioural targeting is both easy and hard. Easy because you only need three things, hard because you have to undergo a serious process to execute the whole thing. Now, what are these three easy components?

  1. Tracking and data collection
  2. Online behaviour segmenting (based on interests, intent and preference)
  3. Linking data-driven(personalised) offers to the target customers profile that converts.

Interpreting data comes first. Organisations and businesses need to understand three principles will make it work ,which are the intent, the conversion traction and of course, the action.

Organisations need first to understand the intent of web visitors. Their intentions should be categorised through their online actions. These current and past online actions will help predict future web actions. Once these actions are subject to predictability, the marketing strategy can be optimized therefore conversion goals can be achieve. Conversion later on will lead to profit.

Understanding Past Intent and Predicting Future Intent

Most web visitors may have three goals in mind why they visit your website. It can be for research, to participate or to purchase. The research can be related or unrelated to the products you sell. The participation the visitor seeks may be due to your site’s comment, forum or rating options. And for the purchase, this is the ultimate goal.

At this point, knowing the intent and segmenting will be your goal. The actions that led to the purchase should be documented. After this, action is the next goal. The action is in form of ads, message offers and emails addressed to the categorised users.

How Behaviour is Targeted and Recorded?

Cookies are the main way to know your readers. Cookies are small data piece on ones computer. Once a consumer visits a website, the user will receive a cookie. The cookie is used to take note of the user’s behaviour i.e. his site visits, number of page views, the number of clicks, searches, first time and return visits, etc.

These cookies can render data to be compiled, sorted, segmented to create profiles that are categorized by interests and needs of the user consumer. The users or the visitors will then be segmented and profiled based on the following:

  • Number of pages the consumer viewed in one visit
  • Geographical location of user
  •  Device where the website is accessed (i.e. mobile, PC, laptop and can be further categorized based on the user’s OS used)
  • The specific page visited
  • Time spent on the website
  • Time of the day
  • And the keywords used or the sites that referred the visitor

This segmentation can be done through the above recommended measurement. For example, you have a website selling clothes, one user viewed your Dress and Shoes page, she’s from Sydney, accessed the site through her Mac Pro at 7 in the evening through Firefox. The different pages viewed and all other data that can be gathered can be used to map out the behaviour of the user and help the future marketing campaigns you may send out.

Multi-variate tests can be then used to users that is segmented through various categories.

Predictive campaigns are usually one step that most companies may have. It makes use of Mathematical model that adjusts automatically the content displayed to a visitor based on the user’s profiled data. These can be done through email, ads displayed or even the landing page and the homepage.

Since most users and visitors today have the ability to ignore irrelevant marketing spiels, the only way for marketers to get through barriers is to connect through personalised content, remove clutter, and predict actions and intent.

Part II. Content Personalisation

wpid-Featured_Picture93-620x414photo: Thomas Leuthard

A lot of information about content personalisation has already been covered in part I, in the behaviour targeting since both have overlapping definitions and content. In a survey conducted by Adobe and Econsultancy, 52% of digital marketers agree that the ability to personalise content is fundamental to online strategy.

As said, different people have different intent as to why they visit your site. They may be looking for things to buy, looking for information or looking for jobs. Although there are different intentions the website you have may still look the same. You send out same email pitches and show ads in same way.

Content personalisation though will address this. Different content and different call to actions? Personalisation can do it.

How Content Personalisation Works

It works by targeting behaviours. We already mentioned some above. Content personalisation before it can be personalised should first include different variables such as the location, device, frequency of visits, search keywords, time and day, user history and the user behaviour during the session. It can also include things such as age, gender and others.

Types of Content Personalisation

There are three types of broad content personalisation.

  1. Digital Body language. These include the countries that the users show interest in, past purchases, where they look in your site and the way users used your CRM.
  2. Digital finger print. These are mapped through the keyword search used by the users.
  3. Marketing automation. It makes use of software platform in marketing to varied marketing channels such as email, social media, and websites in automated and repetitive task.

Three Examples of Content Personalisation

Location Targeting. Location targeting may more than double the performance of mobile ads. Experiences that are personalised tend to be better for conversion. Different websites use this technique. For example, a web page containing a product may look different when viewed from Sydney compared when viewed from New York. Location targeting can even personalise the currency shown in the webpage saving clients time in converting.

Ad Targeting. Ad targeting works as behaviour tracking. When users search for example for iPad and has already navigated away from it, one may still see banner ads about iPad from other sites visited.

Personalisation Software. One example is marketing automation tool mentioned above.

Tips in Implementing Good Personalisation

Choose Variables. Different variables need to be considered first. The incoming traffic may yield good information. Choosing variables is like segmentation based on the variables mentioned above such as the device, the location, page viewed, etc.

Configure Rules and Create Segmented Content. Now is the time to use the personalisation software. Choose variables and create content to send off.

Run. Run the personalised segments and contents. Run it for some time, make adjustments if something went wrong. Tweak if necessary until you see one that works.

Part III. Using the Two to Get Better Conversion


DeathtoStock_Desk5photo: deattostockphotos

Tips for Better Conversion

  1. Ask for consent and allow user control. Always give user and visitors the full disclosure about the data your website will be collecting and how it will be used. Allow users to control the amount of data they want to share. Opting out is an option. Be careful when personalising based on sensitive topics.
  2. Target visitors that are brought onsite from search engines. Usually, they are more inclined to buy. Just make sure your landing page is relevant or may redirect user to the appropriate page.
  3. Decrease cart abandonment. Put together pieces of information about a user and retarget once he or she has navigated away after a potential buying. Use data to restart buying process.
  4. Make communication with customers last. Write newsletters and reach out campaigns good yet relevant. This way, users will still be coming back in the future. Personalise these newsletters too, based on the users location, age or preference.
  5. Catch potential yet indecisive customers. Many users area always interested but sometimes, they may lack a certain push. As a marketer, a little push or a tiny motivation based on the user’s needs. There are many telltale signs that a user is interested but are indecisive. Special offers or special products mores suited to the user.
  6. Study behaviour targeting reports. Although personalising software is always careful in mapping out consumer behaviour, a good study of it personally can help. Check where you’ve gone low or where you’ve achieve a milestone.
  7. Try a little Psych 101. Connect users in emotional but in professional way. For example, put a spiel where subscribing to your site’s newsletter will make visitors life better or will solve their current dilemma.
  8. Educate users. Some visitors are wary of cookies. The best way to lift off these worries is to educate users and present short yet direct information regarding how cookies are not gathering user identifiable information or names, or privacy related info. Declaring that users can reject cookies can help.
  9. Increase Average Order Value. Help users discover more products by their patterned navigation. Put better product association and make everything interesting.


Behaviour targeting and content personalisation is a powerful tool to help marketers and business owners. When used properly and done with proper technique, it may help marketers create personalised campaigns to segment visitors and finally be converted into profits.

featured image: deathtostock


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