Our company is a little bit behind the curve when it comes to testing, targeting, personalization, and true customer optimization. We finally just got started with our first testing vendor, but now we can’t figure out where to begin. Do you have any recommendations? —Michelle L., director of ecommerce.

Personalization is a marathon, not a sprint

While we constantly compare ourselves to personalization and optimization gurus like Amazon, it’s important to remember that you have to learn how to walk before you can run.

Picking your first few campaigns to run can be complicated. You’re probably thinking that you have to see a serious ROI to validate these campaigns—and turn some internal naysayers into optimization champions in the process. You’re probably also hoping to see results quickly, so you think you need to test to a large audience on a high-traffic portion of your site. I get it, there’s so much to consider when prioritizing those first few campaigns that it can be overwhelming. But no worries, I have a couple of suggestions for you.

To start, try spending some time determining the value of existing features, programs and content on your site. Do you know the impact of live chat? How about product reviews, social widgets or security images on check out? Many of these features do help drive conversion, but maybe not for every customer segment. By initially creating a few campaigns that don’t require new assets or features, you can quickly start offering up optimized site experiences for your key customers.

If that’s not an option, try sorting out your top priorities by creating a strategic test plan that evaluates expected return, level of effort and potential level of buy-in needed for sign-off. Look for campaigns that require minimal effort, have high expected return, and little buy-in necessary.

And of course, you can always ask a Monetate Client Success Director for some more guidance.

Ask Abby is penned by Abby Dineen, a Strategic Services Director at Monetate. When she’s not busy working with clients like DestinationXL, DrJays, Nike, Verizon Wireless, and CVS, you can find her running 12 miles to work or corralling her puppy Franklin through Monetate’s HQ.

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