Don’t Forget: Sometimes Personalization Means Removing Content, Not Adding It

By Andy Zimmerman

removing irrelevant content

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As marketers, we typically have a lot we want to share with our customers and prospects. With every new promotion, product launch, eBook release, etc., we have a new message to share across our websites, emails, mobile apps, and other channels. Sometimes that message is broadcast widely and indiscriminately, or, hopefully, it is targeted to relevant audiences and individuals using personalization. But such messages are almost always additive – contributing to the noise and clutter people face. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Personalization can and should also be used to remove content on your site and elsewhere that isn’t relevant to someone, to improve the customer experience.

How does that work? Perhaps you have a version of your site that is hardcoded and generic for all visitors. You may use a personalization platform like Evergage to add or modify elements of that site for different segments or individuals that visit. But you can also use a personalization platform to hide elements of your website for different visitors. Those areas are, of course, still a part of your site and anyone who qualifies to see them (based on the rules you define) will see them. But those who do not will see nothing in that space. This tactic is particularly well suited for removing irrelevant messages, calls-to-action (CTAs) and navigation menu items.

You can always add more to your site. We’re all good at that. But sometimes, the best choice is to eliminate content. Let me share some examples.

Location-Based Content

The first example for removing irrelevant content is for location-based messages. A common use case we see among online retailers is for shipping information. Many sites prominently feature shipping details or offers to shoppers to serve as an incentive to purchase. Such messages may promise free shipping if a purchase is within a certain period of time, free shipping once a minimum order size is reached, fixed rate shipping, etc.

The challenge with displaying shipping information prominently on the site is that location-based restrictions usually apply. A site may offer free shipping only to domestic visitors, or visitors within certain countries. So when a site offers free shipping for all domestic shoppers, for example, the site can remove any mention of free shipping for international visitors. That way, an international visitor won’t see a message that doesn’t apply to him, resulting in confusion or annoyance that he is ineligible for free shipping.

Hiding Offers from Existing Customers

Many service-based companies offer regular promotions designed to bring in new customers. These promotions are generally not applicable to existing customers — who are likely paying more than the promotional price. When an existing cable/internet customer, for example, who is paying $179/month for your service comes to your site and sees a message giving new customers an offer for the same service at just $99/month, you can expect he won’t be too happy about it. To avoid such ill-feelings, you can use personalization to remove any mention to the new-customer promotion for existing customers.

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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