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Answering Questions about Personalizing Content in Episerver

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#Digital Marketing, #CMS, #Episerver, #Inbound Marketing
Published on November 17, 2015

We look at some common questions about Episerver's content personalization capabilities and how best to use them to meet the needs of your site's audience.

Episerver_plus_Content_PersonalizationHaving recently attended the Episerver Ascend ’15 conference, the staff at Diagram is excited about the possibilities of what can be done with the Episerver CMS. We learned a lot about the future of the platform and spoke to plenty of people about how it can be used to create exciting, interactive online experiences. One topic that seemed to be on everyone’s mind was content personalization, so we wanted to answer some of the common questions that have come up about the personalization capabilities that are available with Episerver.

Can I personalize the content on a webpage based on things like geo IP lookup?  

Yes. Episerver offers a fair amount of personalization options right out of the box, including site criteria (number of visits, language, user profile, page views, etc.), technical criteria (display channel, IP, OS, Browser, etc.), time and place (event, geographic coordinate, geographic location, time of day, time on site, etc.), URL criteria (landing URL, query string parameters, referring, search keyword, etc.), and more. Site owners can create visitor groups and use them to target content to users that fit any number of these criteria.

Can I personalize content on a webpage using data from my CRM or MAP?

Yes. Episerver offers premium add-on connectors from several CRM and MAP platforms which can be used to personalize content based on the information from those systems. Diagram’s HubSpot-Episerver Connector is a great example of this type of integration, allowing you to use the valuable analytical data gathered by your MAP to create visitor groups based on your marketing personas, import forms and blogs into your website, and integrate with social media.

Does Episerver offer anonymous visitor tracking and reporting?

Yes, to an extent. Episerver does track website visitors in order to personalize content to them (e.g. a certain visitor viewed three pages in a site’s blog section that were categorized as “mobile”). However, this tracking should not be confused with the robust level of visitor tracking provided by MAP systems like Marketo and HubSpot.

Can I A/B test content?

Yes. The Episerver CMS offers the ability to A/B test entire pages, and the Self Optimizing Block add-on allows for A/B and Multivariate test content at the block level.

Can I personalize the words in a sentence based on a visitor's persona?

Yes. After defining visitor groups to fit marketing personas, content on any page can be personalized at a very specific level, including which images are displayed, what calls-to-action are (CTAs) included on the page, which related blogs are linked to, and even the text that is included in headlines or the bodies of articles.

Can I combine the personalization from the CRM or MAP with the A/B testing from Episerver?

Yes. When integrating a CRM or MAP into your Episerver site, you can use the data imported from these systems to personalize the A/B tests that you create in Episerver, or you can import A/B tests directly from these systems. Depending on what best meets your needs, you have several options for how to best implement your inbound marketing strategy.

Can I use a multivariate test and have the options go to different goal pages?

Unfortunately not. The end goal for all options in a multivariate or A/B test must be the same. The purpose of these tests is to determine which variation of a lead capture landing page results in more conversions, which means that they must direct their users to the same goal. If you are looking to direct users to different goal pages based on their persona, it would be better to use visitor groups to display the CTA that is most relevant to them, pointing them to the landing page that will best meet their needs.

Keep it Simple and Effective

As website owners gain more and more tools for personalizing their website, we want to encourage them to use these tools while reminding them not to overdo it by creating too many visitor groups or crafting complicated, highly specific scenarios. It’s best to keep things simple, matching content personalization to your buyer personas and providing them with the information that they are looking for. This will help you create the content that is relevant to your site’s visitors, encouraging them to convert and increasing your ROI.

Do you have any questions for us about how to implement personalization in Episerver, how to integrate data from your CRM or MAP, or how to formulate the strategies that will bring you the success you deserve? Please contact us to speak to a Solutions Engineer, and we’ll work with you to create a successful digital strategy. We look forward to helping you make the most of your investment in the digital future!