Bound Blog

6 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Personalization Vendor

Picture of the author, Mary Clare Davis
By Mary Clare Davis
M06 13, 2018

Your team has explored all options for improving conversion optimization. You’ve identified that a website personalization tool is the best option for streamlining your customers’ digital experiences. But how do you choose a personalization vendor that will help you get the impact you are planning for?

We’ve put together a list of questions to ask your website personalization vendors to evaluate how well they fit with your strategy.

Does this vendor specialize in my industry?

Sure, every vendor wants to help you, but are they really built to? There are a few ways specialization benefits you: the tool with have the right set of features, the team will have the right set of experience, and the ecosystem (data options, tech connections, agency relationships, etc.) will fit your needs. If your industry does not fall within a vendor’s specialization, evaluate how much of their time and attention they will spend to learn your needs and act on them.

How does the solution personalize for first-time visitors?

This is a big one! Log into your website analytics platform right now. Look at your first-time vs repeat visitors. Which number is bigger? A good personalization vendor has both the data and the methodology to identify anonymous visitors. Listen closely to the attributes they list (hint: it should go beyond geography, industry, or account) and the approach they take for identifying as much of your anonymous audience as possible.

What is the vendor’s approach to personalization?

Let’s face it: you’re not looking into personalization for the sake of personalizing…or at least you shouldn’t be. We recommend looking for vendors that take an outcome-based approach. For example, you might be looking to grow traffic to targeted sections of your website, increase form submissions, or boost inbound contact requests. Have your goal in mind and ask how your vendor plans to support you in reaching it. Remember, strategy comes from people, not platforms.

What is the total cost of investing in this solution?

Vendors differ by what they include in the quoted price. Here is the laundry list of items to consider: platform access, data connections, technical support, initial implementation, training, strategy development, reporting, ongoing management, and ongoing strategy optimization. Be sure to ask about the scope, limits and in-house availability of these items.

How does this solution fit with the rest of our tech stack?

No technology is an island. Understand the flow of information and actions between this vendor and the rest of your stack. You are not looking for a vendor that connects with everything, just with the things that are necessary to meet your goal. If a vendor doesn’t connect with a technology you think is relevant, talk with the vendor about why you think this connection is relevant to your goal and ask if there are other ways to meet this need.

How long does it take to get started?

This question is fairly straightforward; however, make sure to clarify what “get started” means. Does it include time to configure the software, set a strategy, launch a campaign, and report on results? For example, with Bound, you could turn on your first campaign in less than 15 minutes. But do you really want to start fiddling with your number one marketing asset without an informed strategy? We didn’t think so.

We hope you find these questions and considerations for choosing a personalization vendor to be useful. If Bound isn’t already on your personalization vendor shortlist, please request a consultation to see if we are a fit.

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