Why Investopedia Invested in Personalization & How They Achieved 114% Lift in EngagementMay 2, 2017 - by Elizabeth Trombino
Last year, the folks at Investopedia faced a series of challenges that may sound all too familiar.
- The email team was wasting time managing and tweaking different templates, manually curating content for multiple email newsletters.
- The structure of the website was outdated, and the site’s tagging was inconsistent. Together, these two things made it hard to manage content.
- First-party data was languishing.
The email team was spending so much time attending to detail that they weren’t able to step back and take a fresh look at their big-picture strategy. Worse, email performance was flat.
We’ve seen this malaise before. Fortunately, we’ve also seen the answer: Focus on engagement, across the organization. Revamp tagging, if necessary. Start leveraging your first-party data. Use technology to address each of your subscribers as an individual, and let technology do the grunt work and analysis that can get you there.
That may sound like a tall order, but just one year after beginning to make these changes, Investopedia is already reaping important results, with a turbo-charged email newsletter program. Just a year into its partnership with Sailthru, Investopedia has seen a 114% lift in page views and 81% increase in sessions from email.
Those numbers are enough to get digital marketer’s attention. What’s even more impressive is how Investopedia achieved them:
- Dramatic decrease in the number of newsletters. The editors and producers at Investopedia had been manually assembling six different newsletters. Each newsletter required its own tweaks to the template and its own content selection process. Now, Investopedia uses a single, tested template and dynamic content to populate each newsletter.
- Personalization. Each of Investopedia’s six newsletters was roughly targeted to appeal to a known audience interest. Now, Investopedia’s first-party data is used to power an extensive library of reader profiles. Those profiles allow every single newsletter to be dynamically populated based on a subscriber’s personal interests and behaviors. Investopedia segments its audience based on interest and engagement levels, then personalizes using individual interests and personalized send time, to reach subscribers when they are most likely to engage. The result: every single newsletter is exactly tuned to each individual subscribers interests, behaviors, and habits.
- Improved insights. Despite the fact that Investopedia has approximately 27 million monthly unique visitors, it didn’t know much about its subscribers as individuals. Instead, it relied on segmentation. Now, Investopedia’s first party data contributes to comprehensive individual profiles. Investopedia can now access data about engagement, behavior, and interests –even predictive data — necessary to generate powerful customer insights.
By combining their editorial chops with Sailthru’s personalization technology, Investopedia has succeeded in establishing a virtuous cycle. The publisher sends both fully personalized and editorially curated newsletters. Within personalized sends, the team is able to pin certain content in specific positions, sometimes using Sailthru’s recommendation manager to do so. But perhaps the best part is that the interest data generated by viewers interacting with this content gets fed back to the editorial team, helping them develop a more effective content strategy.