Personalization is an imperative for marketers across all industries, including financial services. But the financial services industry has its own unique challenges and opportunities. To start, financial services products are not impulse purchases — they are products with a longer research cycle in which prospects will likely engage with a company across many different touchpoints throughout their journey. And educational content plays a critical role in that journey. Thus, being able to match each person with the content that will help him or her in their research is critical. Additionally, it is essential that financial services companies build trust with their website visitors, because consumers are taking a bigger risk when agreeing to do business with a new bank or insurance company than when buying a new shirt or pair of shoes.

To address the unique concerns the financial services industry has around personalization, Andrew Dorris, Customer Success Director at Evergage, recently presented a webinar entitled “Personalization for Financial Services.” In the webinar, he discusses how to get started with personalization and build momentum within your organization, what data to use for personalization, and how leading financial services companies are already putting personalization in practice.

In this blog post, I’ll review how to get started with personalization for financial services. This topic is just a small fraction of the information Andrew covers in the webinar. For more detail, be sure to check out the full webinar on demand.

With that in mind, this is the diagram Andrew shared for how to get started with personalization:

personalization for financial services
Step 0: Planning

As with most marketing initiatives, it’s a good idea to have a strategy in place before you begin. You’ll want to ensure that you have cultivated internal alignment, that you have the right team to manage the strategy, that you have developed a personalization strategy and campaign roadmap, and that you can measure your results. There are several areas to consider when planning for personalization, so for more detail, download our recently updated and ungated eBook, The Ultimate Personalization Planning Guide.

But keep in mind that you don’t need to have everything figured out before you dip your toe into the waters of personalization. All you need is a good personalization platform that lets you set up and execute your campaigns. You can start learning the ropes with a campaign or two before you have everything firmly in place.

Step 1: Get One Campaign Set Up

To begin, you have to set up an initial personalization campaign. Don’t feel as though your first campaign has to be anything revolutionary to your customer experience. You just want to get a feel for it. Pick something straightforward and simple to set up that will show some immediate impact — which means it will reach a large portion of your audience (rather than a narrow segment).

This could include a welcome message to first-time visitors, a message targeted to visitors who have abandoned a transaction, or an exit mitigation campaign (as shown below).

personalization for financial services

Step 2: Analyze and Optimize

As part of your first campaign (and most, if not all, of your campaigns after the first one), you will want to set up a control group — a group of visitors that does not see the campaign. After the campaign has seen enough traffic to establish statistical significance, you can compare how visitors who have seen the campaign have performed against those who have not. Ideally, you will see an impact to KPIs such as an increase in conversions (e.g. a form completion, “get a quote” submission, etc.), an increase in time on site or pages viewed, or a decrease in bounce rate. In some cases, you will want to optimize the campaign based on what you have learned about how it performs.

In particular, take a look at how the campaign is performing for several key segments on your site. The campaign may be able to be further refined based on which segments it is performing best with. For example, if your exit mitigation campaign targets all visitors on the site, you may find that it works best for returning visitors rather than first-time visitors. Based on that information, you may want to set up a second campaign to deliver a different message or CTA to the first-time visitor segment instead.

Step 3: Assess the ROI Impact

Next, you need to measure the ROI of the campaign. This will vary depending on the goal of the campaign and how you define ROI. But, for example, if you convert X new customers with your exit mitigation campaign, assuming a lifetime value of Y, you can calculate that you generated an additional revenue of Z from your campaign.

Share the stats and ROI analysis with your management team to demonstrate the success of the first campaign and your personalization strategy. If personalization is completely new to your organization, it’s important to make sure the team is aware of the positive benefits.


Finally, of course, you need to repeat the previous steps with additional campaigns. If you have a strategy and a campaign roadmap in place, this should be easy. If you haven’t developed these yet, now is a good time to start working on it so you can be more strategic in the execution of your campaigns. If you need help coming up with and prioritizing ideas, check out the blog post Tips for Planning and Executing Your Personalization Strategy.  

And, of course, for more details on getting started with your program, check out the on-demand webinar Personalization for Financial Services I mentioned earlier!

Final Thoughts

Delivering personalized experiences requires a new way of thinking. For example, rather than planning your website content around what you as a marketer want to tell your website visitors, you must shift to thinking about what each group or individual needs to learn from your website. That is not a shift that can happen overnight within an organization. But if you have a plan in place and take it campaign by campaign, you can make personalization a key component of your customer experience.

To learn more about how Evergage can help you get started with personalization, request a demo today.