What Is Anonymous Personalization and Why Does it Matter?

November 5, 2014 Aly Schweigert

113053402We’re marketers. And we love personalization.

When we send out lead nurturing emails, we customize our message with the contact’s first name. We send follow-up emails with content that’s relevant based on which industry, pain point, or need the prospect indicated on the contact form.

We even create workflows based on which offer the prospect downloaded first and change our future relationship based on the his/her needs.

Heck, if we could snail-mail handwritten cards thanking people for dropping by our website, we would.

We love personalization because it allows us to be more relevant, it gives visitors offers and lead nurture emails that provide value, and it enhances customer experience. And that’s a good start. But we also want to offer CTAs and website information tailored to their needs before they’ve told us who they are. And that’s why we love anonymous personalization.

What is Anonymous Personalization?

Wait. How does anonymous personalization work? How can we tailor content or information without our visitors filling out a form and telling us what they need?

It’s actually genius. We can know a lot about our visitors, even if they haven’t given us their name or email address.

Anonymous personalization allows us to use anonymous information — such as the devices visitors are using or the referral source they clicked through to get to our site — and provide visitors with content and opportunities that are most relevant. By taking factors like device, country, referral source, and location into consideration, we can tailor our content — right down to customized email workflows and more relevant CTAs.

How Does it Work?

On the technical side, anonymous personalization works via software. Simply install real-time personalization software, using your website CMS. Your marketing automation software does the rest of the work, allowing you to set rules and go.

HubSpot now offers anonymous personalization tools as well. These tools can allow you to gather anonymous information and personalize your content and workflows based on your audience’s needs. Some examples include:

  • Showing mobile users mobile-friendly content
  • Customizing CTAs
  • Using location to highlight different offers
  • Customize content based on referral source, such as social media websites/apps

Anonymous personalization can also be combined with customer information gained after a visitor becomes a contact. If a user comes to your site via Twitter and is on a mobile device, and he/she downloads an offer, then your lead nurturing emails should include links and options to tweet information.

If a visitor comes to your site from another country — one where your product or service isn’t available — combine that information with answers on the contact form to put the contact in a workflow for non-ideal prospects. If your product or service does become available to these contacts, you already have a segmented list to warm-call.

Why Does Anonymous Personalization Matter?

But why do these tools matter — as long as your website is mobile responsive, why do you need to modify CTAs or personalize emails with Twitter links just because someone visited your site on a mobile device? Does changing location really have a positive impact on lead generation?

Research says yes. Tailoring content seems to have a fairly significant impact, too. According to Monetate.com, in-house marketers who personalize web experiences see an average of 19% uplift in sales.

But beyond sales, anonymous personalization matters for one simple reason: Context. For inbound marketers, content and context are everything. Being able to modify content to match context is incredibly useful. Changing currencies to match your visitor’s location can remove barriers to purchasing your product.

Simply put: when done right, anonymous personalization helps move your visitors toward the most relevant content. It helps you be helpful.

And it’s almost as good as mailing out a handwritten card. 

This post originally appeared on Cleriti's blog. Cleriti is a HubSpot Partner located in Cincinnati, OH.

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