In my last post, I talked at a high level about the steps involved in planning a personalization strategy. Today we get more specific and closer to implementation.

Let’s imagine that we’re following the personalization team at an e-commerce company as they go through their planning process. Based on the company’s corporate and financial goals, the team identified a key challenge – high bounce rates on initial engagement – they’d like to address.

They huddle to develop a few ideas (aka “plays”) for how to use personalization to reduce bounce rates, including:

Play 1: Personalizing experiences based on a shopper’s geography (e.g., suggesting air cleaners versus air conditioners depending on season and location).


Play 2: Improving product discovery by presenting trending products when the visitor reveals more of his or her interests – by engaging with the site or through actual purchases – so product discovery can be more personalized.


Play 3: Welcome the visitor based on referring source (e.g., someone coming to the site from Pinterest sees a different message than a visitor coming to the site organically).


Play 4: Presenting shoppers with an offer upon exit, to re-engage them by reminding them of an offer they haven’t used.


After the team comes up with these plays to address key challenges, they think about the pages that are most relevant for each play and decide on the type of testing they’ll conduct. This matrix helps to organize the plays.


To determine which plays to implement first, the team prioritizes and ranks each play based on difficulty of implementation, importance and impact as criteria:

Plays ranking matrix

If the team finds that they have too many plays in their plan, they can eliminate those that rank lowest and keep them in an “ideas backlog” list to revisit later in the year.

Using the planning framework, the team identified and agreed on the challenges to tackle, developed actionable ideas related to each challenge, and decided on priorities. This approach not only helps them plan effectively, but it also helps the team communicate with each other and other departments and clearly set expectations.

The next step is to run the campaigns, then test and iterate against the goals that were defined at the beginning of the planning process. We cover the basics of those steps in our on-demand webinar, Planning for Personalization in 2016. Also, check out our eBook, The Ultimate Web Personalization Planning Guide.

Do you have best practices for planning your personalization strategy or any tips that have worked best for your team? Drop us a line and we’ll share your thoughts with our team and readers.