Episerver Personalization Tools Webinar

Yesterday we were delighted to have Episerver’s Jeff Cheal, Director of Personalization, Campaign and Analytics Strategy and Chris Sharp, Partner Solution Architect present a webinar to our 35+ Episerver / Tessitura client organizations about getting the most out of their websites with Epi tools. In case you missed the webinar—or attended and want to revisit—I’m sharing a brief overview of the highlights!

Episerver Personalization Webinar for Arts

Demographic and Behavioral Data Overview

Jeff kicked off the event by explaining the difference between Demographic (“why and what” like donor level, gender, age, etc.) and Behavioral (“when and where” like signing up for the email list, purchasing a ticket, etc.) Data. Tessiturians are kings and queens of data, especially demographics. But when it comes to using the data in an automated way to drive conversions across the digital landscape, there is of course so much more that we could be doing.

Jeff explained that through demographics we establish user personas, and then through behavioral data we can help guide our users through their journey. This webinar focused on using the behavioral data to guide the journey.

There are all types of user journeys and behavioral data that can be used to continue to move patrons along their path to conversion. For example, if someone hasn’t opened an email, sending them a triggered second email three days later can provide a nudge. Or if someone searches for a specific term on google to get to your site, like the name of a production, show them specific content to that production on their landing page when they arrive at the site.

Episerver has a number of tools that can help create and automate this process. Jeff and Chris walked us through three, Visitor Groups, Advance, and Insight:

Visitor Groups: Out-of-the-box Functionality

Visitor Groups are an Episerver personalization tool included with your Episerver CMS instance today. Hopefully you’re already well aware of their power and how to use them. In addition to the standard capabilities, Adage also tied the Tessitura API into Visitor Groups. This means any information you can get through the API about a patron or their active session on the site—such as constituency or what they have in their cart—you can also use to create a Visitor Group.

Jeff and Chris discussed a few examples including:

  • How to target users who found your website from searching for specific keywords: if someone searched for a specific term to get to you, the place they land on your site should reference that term, plus related content or offerings
  • Targeting users who reach a specific lead score: you can set up Visitor Groups so that someone who has a lot of different interactions with your org can reach a specific score and then get content specifically for them
  • If you have offerings or important information for people who are coming from out of town or a specific location, use Visitor Groups to highlight the offerings / information

Of course, once a user is logged in, you can also use Visitor Groups to auto-show relevant events based on their purchases and behaviors on the site. However, Jeff made a point that really stuck with me:

If you walk away from this event with one thing today, it should be to ask yourself “Do we have a strong plan for anonymous users on the site? And what can Episerver do to help us with this plan?”

I think we’re getting really great as Episerver / Tessitura users at catering to the known users on the site—upselling single ticket buyers to buy multiples, showing members their benefits in their account, suggesting custom donation amounts based on past giving history. But how are we proactively working to understand who our anonymous users are on the site? And how do we best serve and convert them too? With the capabilities of Visitor Groups, we’re off to a great start—but it’s time to start doing more!

Episerver Advance: Serve More Relevant Content and Increase Conversions

Episerver Advance is an add-on to Episerver CMS, designed to help marketers understand which content will have the best impact on users, driving conversions and lowering bounce rates, by dynamically serving related content to users. The main purpose of Advance is to determine the best content sequencing for conversions. It’s basically like Visitor Groups…only automated…and on steroids.

In addition to suggesting related content to your users, you can also use the results from Advance to guide what types of new content to make based on what content is most successful on the site.

In the demo, Chris walked us through the product, sharing how it allows us to easily see visually how users overall are entering, navigating through, and leaving the site. You can also see users individually: either users who have logged in or the Anonymous “unknown” users. And once someone logs in, Advance is able to take their anonymous profile and assign it to their account. You can also import data from other sources—like Tessitura or social media—into Advance to further flesh out users’ profiles. All of this data can be filtered into different segments and then used to create Visitor Groups.

Episerver Insight: Leverage Analytics to Customize Patron’s Digital Experience

Episerver Insight is another Episerver CMS add-on, designed to further help you understand your site visitors and their journeys. Insight uses data reporting to dynamically create profiles and then aggregate or segment personas from these profiles and identify their user journeys. Insight is basically like Google Analytics…only also available on the individual account level…and on steroids.

Chris showed us how Insight works to create the profiles, personas, and user journeys. This included how we can filter profiles by attribute and then create dynamic segments, to be exported into Visitor Groups, as well as other offerings like Campaign, Episerver’s email marketing automation tool.

Moving Forward Incrementally

Many thanks to Jeff and Chris from Episerver for their excellent presentation!

I have to admit, in addition to being super inspiring, the webinar left my head spinning—just a bit 🙂 There’s so much that can be done, but how to know where to start? And where you’ll get the most return? And how to best serve the users on our sites, both known and anonymous?

The cool thing about these tools that I have to remind myself is that all of the above can be done incrementally and grow as time and budget allows. AND, Adage is here to help! We can work with you to develop a plan to set up new Visitor Groups, Advance, and Insight, then make sure you actually maintain and use what we’ve set up, adjusting as necessary to maximize outcomes with all of your users, throughout their journeys.

Are you interested in discussing further? We’re excited to hear your thoughts and start planning together how to put Episerver tools to work for you. Reach out to me and/or your Adage team to continue the conversation!

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Sarah Bordson

Author Sarah Bordson

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