It takes deep customer insight to provide a truly personalised online experience. And customisation of every touchpoint and throughout every channel is the key to keeping customers engaged – and coming back for more. Your customers need to feel like you know exactly what they want, when they want it.

Of course, that’s not easy. But there’s a wealth of data available to you that customers have been giving you all along. They’ve been showing you which ads enticed them to your site, what’s likely to make them click, how often they need incentives, and which offers are guaranteed to make them convert.

That insight makes it possible to tailor their entire experience and to streamline their journey through the conversion funnel. You can create custom landing pages, deliver hand-picked up sell messages and do everything it takes to make their online experience one that will increase their loyalty and at the same time increasing your profitability.

And that’s important because these days customers are taking a lot longer to buy. You need to anticipate how, when and where customers want to hear from you, and make those communications consistent across your business. Because one-way, push sales messaging doesn’t always work online – customers expect you to engage them in a dialogue.

The longer buying cycle means it’s critical to capture visitor behaviours across multiple website sessions in order to understand their motivation and intent. And it helps to have clear goals while you’re developing every campaign. When you deliver the right offer to them, make sure it’s the best (and most profitable) offer for your business.

Let’s take a look at the many ways you continually keep your customers engaged – getting to know them, talking to them, aligning your goals with their needs, understanding their buying cycle, and communicating with them on their own terms.

Guiding Principle 1: Get to know every visitor.

Gain a clear view of customer behaviour. Tracking every interaction with every visitor helps you formulate the best approach for each unique customer. You can track each customer’s behaviour over multiple visits and sessions, and gain a deep understanding of how their behaviour matches that of other visitors.

Guiding Principle 2: Hear what they’re saying.

Think of your online engagement as an ongoing dialog with customers. Developing a deeper perspective of visitor behaviours based on their actions and content preferences across multiple website sessions means you can listen to their actions and respond appropriately.

Guiding Principle 3: Promote what’s right for them and for you.

Align your business goals with your customers. Incorporating business metrics such as margin, profit and inventory into your metrics ensures that you match each customer to the products you’d like to sell most – the ones that match your broader business goals.

Guiding Principle 4: Understand their behaviour over time.

Match the buying cycle to your marketing approach. Understanding customer behaviour over time, and matching your engagement processes to meet the needs of your customers as well as your business, means that you can deliver the perfect message at the right time in the customer lifecycle.

Guiding Principle 5: See what’s in store.

Anticipate how, when and where customers want to hear from you. Developing ever-increasing layers of personalisation means customising at every stage of your relationship. It means attracting customer to targeted areas of your business, accelerating conversion, increasing average order value, bringing back prospects who failed to convert, turning one-time visitors into loyal customers, and rewarding your most loyal customers of all. Once you understand the objective, you can find a message and approach that will resonate with each individual, demographic, and segment based on their unique relationship with your business.