At Evergage, we frequently highlight the importance of being a true real-time platform – hence our tagline, “The Real-Time Personalization Platform.” Only a solution that factors all current session and past session data and responds “in the moment” with the most relevant information, offers and recommendations at the 1:1 level enables you, as a marketer, to optimize your chances of engaging and converting each visitor. Relevance is critical at all stages of the customer journey, of course, but in this post, we’ll examine why real-time is especially important when trying to convert first-time visitors.

The Importance of the First Visit

Like many of our clients, we rely heavily on our website for demand generation. One of our top goals is to provide value to our visitors in exchange for their contact information. To help us accomplish this, we strive to be immediately relevant to each visitor, even on their first visit.

We all know the value in making a good first impression, but when it comes to lead generation, it is essential. As the following Time Lag report in Google Analytics shows, nearly 80% of visitors that convert on our site (meaning they fill out a form in exchange for a gated asset), do so on their first visit.

first-time visitors

So if the vast majority of visitors who convert – if they convert – do so on the day of their first visit, we better figure out what each visitor is looking for and provide it...immediately! If we deliver an experience or present information or offers that aren't relevant to a visitor, he will bounce and move on in his search before giving us a chance. This is quite typical for B2B technology websites.

The pressure is certainly on! We cannot miss our opportunity to capture lead information from our first-time visitors, which is why personalization has to be real-time, not “next time.” As the data above shows, there may not be a next time.

Making the First Visit Successful with Real-Time Personalization

Being relevant to first-time visitors is absolutely critical. And being relevant is only possible with personalization that is truly real-time. Multiple steps need to occur from the moment a visitor lands on the site to the delivery of an individualized experience. True real-time personalization means the ability to do all these steps in a fraction of a second (actually, in Evergage’s case, in less than 20 milliseconds). The platform must:

  • Track visitor source and behavior for the current session and across all sessions to determine a visitor’s interests and intent
  • Combine all data with historical behavioral data and any known visitor attributes
  • Determine personalization logic to apply (rules and/or algorithms) in each visitor situation
  • Seamlessly move the visitor in and out of segments according to any rules established and determine corresponding experience
  • Apply appropriate algorithms and determine appropriate experience
  • Instantly deliver the personalized experience to the visitor – without flicker or any detectable trace of the page changing
  • Provide immediate access to the visitor data and personalization statistics (impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.) for testing, analysis and attribution purposes

All of these steps need to take place in milliseconds in order for you to provide a true real-time experience on your website. If you aren’t able to process the data on each of your visitors and act on it in the moment, you will miss the opportunity to maximize your relevance for each visitor.

Final Thoughts

If you want to make a good first impression for your first-time visitors, the “real-time” in “real-time personalization” is essential. To learn more about true real-time personalization and access a checklist to help you determine if a solution’s “real-time” claims are accurate, download our whitepaper, True Real-Time Personalization.