HubSpot’s COS definitely has some cool new features. And to take advantage of what the new platform had to offer, we decided to redesign our site, lyntonweb.com.
One feature that we were particularly excited about was the personalization. We are firm believers that context is going to get more important in every digital space. And by context we mean getting the right message to the right person at the right time.
This feature was a large part of why we moved over to the COS, but with all that goes into a website redesign we decided to not begin utilizing this feature in the initial implementation. Over the past 2 months we have been working on building a strategy to integrate this new functionality into our site and are excited to show you some of our strategy for implementing personalization.
Example 1: Our Homepage
On the original version of our homepage, we use much the space above the fold to show our company’s vision and offer our primary bottom of the funnel CTA - Start a Project. While starting a project is likely relevant to a significant portion of our visitors - customers, vendors, and first time site visitors probably aren't going to be chomping at the bit to click a CTA to start a project with us. We decided this was a great place to start our implementation of personalization.
Our Original Homepage Copy
In our first personalized version, we changed the Call-to-Action to a softer offer, Learn About Inbound, for first time visitors. We wanted to encourage new visitors to take some time to educate themselves. We also wanted to build our credibility with them through thought leadership credibility before beginning to move them down the sales funnel and ask for a sale.
For anyone we knew was a HubSpot customer. We changed our copy to be directly applicable to what they are trying to accomplish with HubSpot.
Our Homepage Copy for HubSpot Customers
And for fun, we set up a special message to people who work at HubSpot, HubSpotters, letting them know we are ready to help.
Our Homepage Copy for HubSpot Employees
The goal with all these variations is to get the right message to the right people at the right time.
Example 2 - Our Services Page
Another area that we implemented personalization is on our services page.
Have you ever received an email that you know is automated but it is filled in with your name? HubSpot’s COS allows you to use that exact functionality on your website. Since we thought it might be a little too creepy to use someone’s name, we decided to integrate their company name into a couple places on the page.
Service Page Personalization
You can also see here that if the COS doesn’t have the name of the company in its database it fills this in with relevant generic copy.
Limitations of Website Personalization
While we are excited about the possibilities of websites being more relevant and personalized for users, through our experience we also found a few things to watch out for when implementing this new technology.
Too much content to keep track of. When you take personalization to the extreme you will end up with an exponential amount of content on your site. Not only is this content that you have to produce, it is also content that you have to keep track of. Make sure it is all proofread and remove it from the site when it is no longer relevant. With this in mind, we recommend taking small steps towards implementing this feature. Implementing it too fast could end up with a big mess in the long run.
Creepiness Factor. Make sure to keep in mind that this is relatively new technology. Customers are used to seeing their name on an email. They are not used to seeing their name on a website. Always keep the customer in mind and make sure you are implementing this in a way that is helpful to them.
Personalization is limited by the information the platform knows. The only way HubSpot’s COS is able to personalize your content is by using the information it has about your leads and customers. This information is primarily collected through website visitors filling out forms on your site to become leads. This means that your site still needs a generic enough version so that users can get value out of your site when you don't know who they are.
This is still a new technology which means there is much opportunity and many places to learn. There's also a high likelihood of making mistakes along the way. We look forward to these growing pains as our industry continues to learn what works best as a strategy for personalizing websites. Do you have any clever ideas on how to use HubSpot's COS nifty personalization feature?
Also, if you want to learn more about building a website on the new COS, you can read about the strategic approach we took for our website redesign.