Let’s start with a basic fact of life in business: Attention is expensive.

With everyone getting Tweeted at and Instagrammed and Facebooked and advertised to and inundated with all manners of promotion and entertainment all day every day, your prospects’ attention has become an increasingly expensive commodity.

That’s a bummer because to sell more and grow your business, you need more prospects looking at and considering your offers.

To get people looking at your offers, you need to somehow capture their attention for a few moments. There are lots of ways to do that in business, but none of them are cheap. You’re either:

  • paying in cash (advertising, affiliate marketing, etc.) or
  • paying in time (content marketing, networking, etc.)

Because getting a prospect’s attention is always expensive, you have to carefully maximize every effort. That is, you absolutely must get every ounce of value out of every dollar (or hour) you spend.So, how do we maximize our efforts? Well, lots of ways. Split-testing is one tactic that will certainly bear fruit. By improving the response rate you get with every interaction (every email, web page visit, order form, etc.) you’ll end up with more leads and more buyers with the same amount of traffic (and the same amount of money and/or time invested).

Another very important tactic is personalization, which is proven to be one of the very best ways to improve marketing results.

There are two kinds of personalization:

1. Use your prospect’s name in marketing materials such as emails or on Landing Pages like this:  

This works because people’s eyes are naturally drawn to their own names in the same way you hear your name when someone calls it out in a crowd. It’s simple, but it’s proven to work.

By the way, we call these  PURLs, or Personalized URLs, and you can use them in emails, on Landing Pages, on postcards and in SMS messages to increase clicks.

2. Adjust your messaging based on user data.

This is a far more sophisticated strategy and very powerful.

The simple insight here is that people give their attention to what they’re interested in, and different people are interested in different things. For example, some people are more interested in getting the best price while others are looking for the highest quality.

It makes good sense to communicate with each prospect about what they’re interested in. And it works. Marketing types call this “being relevant,” and it’s one of the keys to success in getting the most out of your investment in marketing.

When you’re speaking to a prospective client in person, you do this naturally. You ask questions, and respond to their answers in ways that make sense. When you get the feeling that the person you’re speaking with isn’t interested, you’ll simply change your approach or move on.

Unfortunately, when you’re using automated tools to communicate your value proposition, this doesn’t come quite as easily. Too often, people don’t care about what you’re sharing, but your marketing machine keeps blabbing on as if it had a rapt audience.

This leads to all sorts of bad outcomes for your business, such as fewer sales and poor email delivery.

But, if you’ve got the right tools, you can adjust your messaging to each prospect based on what you learn about him or her over time.

To do this, you’ll use different bits of data that you capture and store about each prospect. In general, there are two categories of data you’ll use:

  • stuff they tell you in forms (their title, gender, age, budget, timeline, etc.) and
  • stuff you gather based on their behavior

For example, if we want to find out what’s most important to you when selecting a software vendor, we can simply ask for a click like this:

When considering technology for your business, what’s most important?

  • Best Price
  • Most Powerful Features
  • High Security and Reliability
  • Best Usability and Support

We’d consider that button-click to be interesting information about you and your business and, based on that, we could follow up with you in the future with more relevant content and offers. For example, if you are most concerned about price, we might share a comparison table of what you get as an Ontraport Basic user vs. choosing several other tools. If your main interest was having the most powerful features, we’d probably want to share more details about all the fancy things you can do with Ontraport.

Of course, a “click” is only one example of the kind of behavior you can track in Ontraport. For every contact in your system, you’ll have a complete history of every email opened, clicked or responded to, every page visited, form filled out, purchase made, SMS sent and much more.  

Whatever data you use, once you start speaking to prospects according to their own interests, your results will dramatically improve.



About Landon Ray
Ontraport Founder and CEO Landon Ray is a serial entrepreneur whose personal mission is to educate, motivate, and enable others to realize their goals of starting and growing their own business. At the age of 25, Ray transformed himself from a street-corner flower vendor into one of the nation’s top securities day traders in only twelve months. After beating the odds on Wall Street and again during the great recession, Ray has taken his research and personal experience and created Ontraport, a small business automation platform and related family of services, which reflect his passion for educating and supporting entrepreneurs.