How to Convert First-Time Visitors Using AI-Driven Personalization

It’s a norm for marketers these days to drive meaningful engagement with returning customers through personalized marketing campaigns and content. However, with marketing automation tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI), you can now personalize your website content for first-time visitors to turn more traffic into conversions.

In today’s noisy digital space, brands place high premium on personalizing their content and services to their audiences. Tailoring the content on an app or a website to match visitors’ interest can be a powerful way to convert them into leads or even buyers.

According to the 2018 Personalization Pulse Check from Accenture Interactive, 91 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.

How Far Can Traditional Methods Go?

Marketers have so far approached personalization by researching the existing customers and refining target personas to create more tailored content over time. As you get more data on the type of visitors who return to your site or app, you get a better understanding of the creative that should be produced for these visitors.

While this helps in delivering personalized experiences for returning customers, a major portion of visitors convert on their first visits. According to a recent research, 84 percent of conversions happened during visitors’ first-time visit. This means you might be missing out by not personalizing experiences on your site to new visitors.

There are some visible attributes of new visitors you can use to personalize your site’s user experience. Traditionally, data points like IP address, location, device used and source of traffic can provide marketers some insight into what new visitors expect to see.

Geolocation filters, for example, can help clothing brands personalize their online stores to show season-themed clothing in local languages based on first-time visitors’ IP addresses. Similar first-party data points can also help surface promos, time-sensitive discounts and freebies on popular purchases from your store exclusively for first-time visitors.

How AI-Driven Personalization Can Do Better

However, these traditional methods still have limitations as they are based on information collected from user behavior within your website or app. They are also incapable of distinguishing behaviors from the same user across devices, thus losing out on opportunities for device-specific personalization.

Today, with the help of AI, you are able to understand consumers interests and behavior outside of your own online channels, which means even before visitors make their first visit to your site. So, you will have a better chance to personalize experiences accordingly.

  • Cross-device personalization

Despite the explosion of marketing automation tools in the last few years, marketers still struggle to track consumers across touchpoints like devices and channels. For example, a new visitor may browse a fashion retailer’s site on her tablet on Sunday afternoon, bookmark her favorite dress on her PC the same night and decide to check out only on her mobile later. These three interactions would traditionally be attributed to three separate users.

With a proactive marketing automation tool powered by AI, you are able to map the user journey and gain a single customer view across all possible screens, which enables you to deliver relevant messaging at the right time, such as a push notification remind her to check out on her way to work on Monday morning.

  • More accurate profiling based on interests from third-party data

In addition to this first-party data, marketers can also benefit from leveraging third-party data about a potential future visitor’s behavior and preferences on external sites. While some platforms provide syndicated online consumer data, they are usually collected from the behavior of logged-in users or through surveys conducted by a panel of selected users.

What is more powerful is an AI-based tool that can analyze billions of data points to identify patterns from across devices, to model how users behave and move between different screens. For instance, Appier’s AIQUA manages to do just this by analyzing more than 2 billion data points from its thousands of campaigns to identify user interests and keywords. You can layer such data on top of first-party data to segment audiences more precisely and personalize content for each segment on their first visit.

More importantly, such AI-powered tools go one step further and analyze the keywords within the offsite content consumed to reveal more specific interests like “basketball” and “FIFA”, instead of “sports”, or “bitcoin” and “virtual reality”, rather than “technology”.

Considering a first-time visitor to your travel site might have varying intents based on the articles he read on external sites – mere exploration, planning a safari in Kenya or a wine tour in Tuscany. Based on his interests, you can categorize him into “outdoor adventurist” or “wine lover”, and tailor the web content or offers accordingly when he first lands on your site.

While you can’t always expect your online or app visitors to convert on their first visits, it doesn’t mean you can’t increase the chances of this happening by using AI-power marketing automation tools to deliver a hyper-personalized experience.