How Personalization Won Mindbodygreen a 77% Lift in Pageviews

sailthru-mbg-success-personalization

Mindbodygreen is a lifestyle media brand devoted to helping its site visitors live a happier, healthier life. Of course, everyone wrestles with their own unique obstacles to a better lifestyle. So mindbodygreen began personalizing its email communications to reflect each person’s interests. Each email, rather than being sent to a segment of customers, was tailored to contain exactly the content most relevant to each reader. A reader who consistently opened stories about yoga, for instance, would, over time, see more stories about mindfulness and yoga tips and fewer about, say, crossfit.

That initiative was so successful that mindbodygreen was eager to pursue personalization further. The next logical step was to personalize content on its website, just as it had with its email communications, and to tie the two channels together. When website personalization was fully up and running, each visitor would be presented with the content most likely to engage and retain them individually. Specifically, mindbodygreen was looking to:

  • Increase visitors’ time onsite
  • Increase the average number of pageviews per session
  • Highlight its evergreen content library

To say that it worked is an understatement. Mindbodygreen achieved:

  • 77% increase in pageviews by using personalized articles rather than non-personalized ones
  • 25% increase in pageviews by using personalized videos and articles rather than non-personalized videos

Here’s how they did it.

Keeping it Relevant and Tailored with Sailthru’s Site Personalization

One of the keys to mindbodygreen’s success in improving its site experience was Sailthru’s Site Personalization Manager, which ensures that every site visitor sees the content most likely to be compelling and relevant to him or her personally. Based on a customer’s history with a website, SPM combines interest data, collaborative filtering and predictive technology to build an individualized site experience for each user.

This experience looks different depending upon how a customer has been using the site, and for how long. If a customer has never been to the site before, and there is no profile for him or her, SPM uses the wisdom of the crowd to serve up content likely to appeal. As a reader spends more time onsite, interest and behavioral data are combined to create a single profile across all channels, and the user sees progressively more- tailored content.

With SPM, even subscriber sign-up prompts, delivered as an overlay pop-up, identify user preferences. And by automatically suppressing previously-read content, SPM ensures that a site always appears updated and relevant. Throughout, a publisher can maintain full editorial control by curating important stories and ensuring their special placement.

Here’s how mindbodygreen rolled out the onsite personalization program that produced such stellar results:

  • Mindbodygreen used both personalized content recommendations and hand-picked articles to create the best experiences for its readers.
  • Mindbodygreen tested personalized articles against non-personalized video to determine click-through rates and purchases
  • After seeing the results of the tests, mindbodygreen made personalized articles more prominent on the site, moving them higher up the page. This resulted in longer engagement times and stronger conversion metrics.

It’s especially interesting to note that mindbodygreen tested different types of media against each other – personalized articles vs non-personalized video. That’s something most publishers wouldn’t think to do. Premium video costs much more to produce than most written stories, but at many sites, it’s in high demand from advertisers.
But mindbodygreen doesn’t use display advertising to the extent that most publishers do. Sure, there are some ads, but the mindbodygreen homepage is mighty clean. In that sense, mindbodygreen is more like an ecommerce site, using both its content and more traditionally-formatted ads, to urge readers to buy products. So for mindbodygreen, when it comes to content, engagement really is everything. And as we’ve seen before, nothing drives engagement like true 1:1 personalization.