3 Ways to Turn Your Website into a High-Performing Digital Marketing Channel

August 28, 2018
Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema

August 28, 2018

Shaw + Scott is excited to continue bringing you insights from the voices of partners and friends. Lindsay Tjepkema, Global Head of Content for Emarsys has written a special guest post to share ways brands can turn their website into full-throttle, high-performing marketing channels.

So, I’m a vegetarian. And I am a bit of a health-food junky. I love my green smoothies, kale, flax seed, and sprouted grain bread. This makes it a bit hard to dine out at times – or at least enjoy dining out, but I have found one little cafe near my house that makes it easy.

This place asked me during my first visit a couple years ago – when they first opened – about my preferences. I told the server (who is also the owner) about my likes, dislikes, and limitations ...and then smiled apologetically for being what I felt was difficult. He met my sheepish expression with a comforting grin, grabbed my menu, and told me he and the chef would create something awesome just for me.

And they did.

This dish they made for me – a mix of fresh and sauteed veggies with hummus and quinoa with impeccable seasoning – is what I now order there each and every time I visit. I crave it – and the service that comes with it.

But wait… there’s more. Because this place got to know me so well and wanted to provide me with a great experience, they added more “Lindsay-esque” options to their menu so other health-centric vegetarians would have more options. And they recommended them to me with each visit so that I would be aware of them and consider trying new things.

This place gets me and makes me feel valued.

Now, this restaurant is my go-to spot each and every time I get the chance to dine out in that area. It’s to the point where my husband and friends are a bit tired of me always requesting my favorite place, but still I persist. I love it.

And I’m loyal to it.

In the pre-digital era, many local eateries, boutique outlets and stores, and service providers were able to provide this kind of personalized treatment because they literally did know each customer.

Today, consumers’ expectations for personalization have only grown, and the medium by which brands need to respond has largely shifted online.

If you’re trying to create personalized experiences in the digital world, you can use your website to capitalize on this promise.

Tactics that can help achieve this include:

  • Using modal overlays to get opt-ins on entry or exit intent;
  • Embedding custom messages within your website; and
  • Presenting relevant product recommendations for each individual

Recently, 89% of U.S. marketers said that personalization on their websites resulted in a revenue increase. Let’s dive into how to leverage each of these tactics.

Using Modal Overlays to Capture Opt-Ins

Pop-ups are already a popular method of email collection. But most marketing teams still use “old school” pop-ups – which typically show a one-size-fits-all message that isn’t geared toward any particular individual. Additionally, most pop-up tools work from “point” solutions which inhibit an organization’s ability to leverage CRM data about who customers really are.

But it’s possible to take what you think of as a standard pop-up into a conversion machine by adding a little personalization and strategy behind it – especially when they can be created and executed from a single marketing automation solution.

Modal overlays that are shown on entry and on exit intent work as a value exchange: they aim to offer website visitors something in exchange for their email address so that you can turn unknown visitors into known contacts.

Advanced marketing technology enables you to automate the execution of exit intent popups in a variety of formats, shapes, sizes, and with dynamic content for each user.

Embedding Custom Messages

One of the biggest hurdles for today’s marketers is the inability to unify interactions for individuals across multiple channels and across giant databases.

Artificial intelligence marketing and machine learning gets us closer to addressing that problem.

Now it’s possible to ensure consistency and relevancy throughout the customer journey and across channels for known contacts. You can do this by embedding custom website content – like sidebar ads – that is consistent with the messages a customer has also seen on other channels.

This works best once you’ve actually collected information about who someone, making them a known contact (e.g. using the tactic above).

Then, once they navigate to your website, you can show them messages or content they’ve seen elsewhere – like from an email, social media, or mobile push message in the past.

And chances are, since they’ve seen it before, they’ll be more aware, more interested, and more likely to engage.

Show Personalized Product Recommendations

Product recommendations are meant to optimize the experience for website visitors, especially when they’re browsing items on your site. Rudimentary “Also liked” product recommendations are easy to implement and are a dime a dozen. Product recommendation engines are built into your marketing automation solution and can actually tailor recommended content to each individual based on previous behavior. Those which run on an underlying layer of AI are that much more effective.

AI-enabled product recommendations leverage previously-collected data about customers and use it to inform intelligent outputs most likely to capture interest and drive action for each individual. Recommendation engines also allow you to automate this process across your database, eliminating the need for manual “if-then” rule setting and drag-and-drop.


Your website may be your biggest untapped marketing channel. You own and control everything you disseminate on your website. As marketers, we finally have the ability to use technology to our advantage to gain information about who is visiting our website, and respond accordingly.

Personalized website experiences will cater to individuals – helping, guiding, and moving them through the customer journey by using new and innovative techniques.

The key to achieving the full potential of a personalized website is using AI-enabled marketing automation technology to connect real-time session data and historical CRM customer data to enable hyper-personalized content. Then you can begin to reap the rich rewards that come from delighting customers with content they want when they’re already on your land.

Interested in learning more? Connect with Lindsay on LinkedIn or Twitter @blueprintmkt. You can also reach Shaw + Scott at +1.520.762.4842 and press option 1, or through our simple contact form on the website.


Tags: Digital Marketing, personalization, website, emarsys, Partners

Lindsay Tjepkema is the Global Head of Content for Emarsys. She and her team deliver resources that empower marketers to seek out solutions and strategies that will allow them to thrive by focusing on what they love - strategy, content, and creative - not the technology, itself. Although her true love is tech marketing, she has worked in a range of industries, from life science to talent management, economic development to software development, eProcurement to social networks and more. She has crafted and executed B2B and B2C strategies for brands like Intel, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, OfficeDepot, SalonCentric, Ashley Furniture, and more. Her experience is built on time spent leading in-house teams, in agency settings, and independently running her own marketing consultancy.

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