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Personalize Headlines and Landing Pages with AWeber

15 February, 2008 (11:01) | Tools | By: Nick Dalton

I was listening to to Eric Graham’s excellent Headline Testing Secrets Webinar the other day. One thing he pointed out was that personalizing a headline or a landing page has a very positive effect on your conversion rate. That got me thinking. It’s easy to use the personal information recorded by AWeber combined with some code on your landing page to create a personalized page. Here’s how you do it.

This is an example of an AWeber link with several personal information fields added as parameters:
http://www.tipstrickstoolstechniques.com/aweber/personalize.php?n={!firstname_fix}&e={!email}&c={!geog_city}&r={!geog_region}&o={!geog_country}

Use the “Personalization Field” drop-down in AWeber when you’re composing your message to insert the special {! } codes. The exact spelling of these codes is important. But the names of the URL parameters are arbitrary. I like to keep them short, hence the “n”, “e”, “c” and “r” in the example above. If “name” makes more sense to you, then use that. Just make sure that the names you use in the email match what your landing page is expecting.

Since this link is pretty long an unsightly it’s best used with HTML emails. The complete HTML link may look like this:

<p>Check out <a href="http://www.tipstrickstoolstechniques.com/aweber/personalize.php?n={!firstname_fix}&e={!email}&c={!geog_city}&r={!geog_region}&o={!geog_country}">this page</a>.</p>

On your landing page you need to grab these URL parameters and insert them into your text. Here’s an example using PHP:

<html>
<head>
<title>Welcome <?php print $_GET['n'] ?></title>
</head>
<body>
<h1><?php print isset($_GET['n']) ? $_GET['n'] : 'You' ?> may be missing sales every day...</h1>
<p>Internet business entrepreneurs in <?php print isset($_GET['r']) ? $_GET['r'] : 'your state' ?> are already using our system to improve their business.</p>
<p><?php print isset($_GET['n']) ? $_GET['n'] . ', will' : 'Will' ?> you be the first in <?php print isset($_GET['c']) ? $_GET['c'] : 'your city' ?> to take advantage of this new system?</p>
<p>Thousands of customers all over <?php print isset($_GET['o']) ? $_GET['o'] : 'your country' ?> cannot be wrong...</p>
</body>
</html>

And this is what the customer would see when they click on the link in the email:

Nick may be missing sales every day…
Internet business entrepreneurs in CO are already using our system to improve their business.
Nick, will you be the first in Denver to take advantage of this new system?
Thousands of customers all over United States cannot be wrong…

The isset code is used to display a default alternative should the parameter not be set. This way you can use the same landing page for other traffic sources than emails sent by AWeber. Here’s what the page looks like without any URL parameters:

You may be missing sales every day…
Internet business entrepreneurs in your state are already using our system to improve their business.
Will you be the first in your city to take advantage of this new system?
Thousands of customers all over your country cannot be wrong…

You can also use this technique to pre-populate a form. The code looks like this:

<form method="POST" action="#">
<table>
<tr><td>Name</td><td><input name="name" value="<?php print $_GET['n'] ?>"/></td></tr>
<tr><td>Email</td><td><input name="email" value="<?php print $_GET['e'] ?>"/></td></tr>
</table>
</form>

Now all the customer has to do is click the submit button to sign-up to whatever you’re selling. Some customers may find this level of personalization too creepy. So you’d have to test it to make sure it doesn’t hurt your conversion. Or you can take it even further. Add a little bit more code to the page and you can have it autosubmit if the right parameters are passed in on the URL. The customer would see a link in the email like “Click here to sign-up to this free webinar”, and when she clicks on the link, the page shown would be the thank you page saying “Thank you Jane for signing up”.

Note that there are a couple of drawbacks with this technique:

  • You cannot combine personalized links with AWeber’s link tracking.
  • If you add an email address inside a link, that gives you a 0.4 penalty in Spam Assassin.
  • Always test any changes against a control. Personalization is no exception. In some markets it will likely increase your conversion, but in others it may very well turn off some of your customers.

This was the second preview from the upcoming special report on AWeber Tips and Tricks. Sign-up to the blog notification list (by the big pointing hand in the top-right of this page) to receive a special offer when the report is released.

Comments

Comment from Mitch
Time: February 21, 2010, 03:08

I’ve tried everything I can think of to make this work on a Wordpress blog, and all I get are 404s. The answer I got from Aweber is unacceptable:

…you would have to confer
with a web developer or web designer to pull that information from the URL
onto your page. AWeber does not have a feature like that we can only
pass the information to the URL. The designer could build a script
for you to pull that information from the link to place onto your page.

Do you know how I can get it to work?
Thanks,
Mitch

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