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Nov 27, 2007
How To

Follow 5 Simple Steps to Quadruple Conversions by Targeting Repeat Customers

SUMMARY: If the majority of your site traffic comes from returning customers, you need a system to respond to their needs differently from those of browsing visitors.

See how a manufacturer created a section of their site solely for repeat customers – with pleasing results. The personal pages are leading to a conversion rate that's four times higher than the one on their standard site.
After analyzing Web site data and user surveys, Michael Klazema, Director Web Marketing and CRM, DYMO, a manufacturer of label printers, noticed a striking similarity in their traffic.

“A very significant percentage of site visitors were owners [of DYMO products], not new visitors or people contemplating to buy a new label printer. Nine out of 10 cases, going through our customer support calls and our online support section, were all related to the printer that they own or use,” he says.

Armed with this knowledge, Klazema and his team launched a specialized portion of the DYMO site, My DYMO, based on a customer’s past purchases. My DYMO requires customers to register with an email address and password. It then centralizes information on past purchases, suggests tips on product usage and offers related products, such as label refills, that customers may be interested in.

“For us, it was more about making it easier for consumers to continue to use their printer, as well as to improve the experience they have, and give them additional ideas of how to use it once they’ve made an investment in the product,” Klazema says.

A year and a half after the launch, visitors to My DYMO convert four times as often as visitors to the DYMO site. Returning customers are also twice as likely to purchase from their My DYMO page as a regular page.

My DYMO’s personalization is based on three simple factors:
o Purchase history
o Where the label printer is used
o Time spent on other areas of the DYMO site, such as the home or office sections

“Every indication was that, based on a very small set of personalization variables, we could already achieve a very high degree of relevance with our customers,” Klazema says.

My DYMO has the following features:
- The top of the page features a drop-down list of the printers a customer owns.
- Label refills for the selected printers are offered for sale.
- “Solutions” or helpful ways to use the printer are listed.
- The bottom of the page features recommended printers for sale.

Here are five steps Klazema and his team used to create a more personalized experience for returning customers:

-> Step #1: Determine how to personalize the pages

First, decide initially how your pages will benefit your customers and your business. Have your team answer these questions:
- Do you want to offer products related to your customers’ purchase history?
- Do you want to alert them to sales in their area?
- Do you want to wish them a happy birthday or give them a daily horoscope?

-> Step 2: Determine required data

The features you want to personalize will determine the information you need from customers.

This information could include:
o Name
o Age
o Region
o Purchase history
o Work environment
o Web site visit frequency
o Favorite color
o Any variable, depending on how you want to customize

“We like to keep the number of personalization variables low to make it easy and, hence, we’ve also limited the amount of personalization options, in terms of what we display to the consumers,” Klazema says.

-> Step 3: Allow users to register products

If you’re going to monitor your customers’ purchases, then you want to allow customers’ to tell you, “I also have this product.” This is especially important if you’re a manufacturer because many of your customers likely purchase from retailers -- leaving you no clue on their true order history with your company.

Letting customers register products at your site will tell you which products they own. It will help your pages deliver more relevant information to the customers and increase their overall satisfaction with your service.

-> Step 4: Use timely information

Users respond best when their pages are adjusted for actions they made recently. Always aggregate more information about customers and use it to offer them a more personalized experience.

“There is still value for us in a year after someone registers [a product] to suggest a certain solution, if it’s applicable to [their] environment and [their] printer, provided we haven’t discussed that topic with the consumer yet. Of course, there are diminishing returns, but we have not found the zero point yet [after 18 months]. I’m sure we will one day,” Klazema says.

-> Step 5: Don’t force users to provide information

Let a user experience some, but not all, of the benefits of a personalized page without having to volunteer information. Not all users are comfortable telling you where they live and what products they buy. After they see a sample of how great the customized page is, there’s a good chance they will decide to register an account.

“I think that it’s generally becoming an accepted standard that you want to give people almost a little sneak peek of what is possible without having to go through some hurdles of providing information,” Klazema says. “That can take a lot of anxiety away from people about ‘what are they going to do with my information?’ ”

Klazema and his team also offer users who want to remain anonymous a limited version of My DYMO. This is served on the page as a default. Users can select a product from a lengthy drop-down list and receive information for that product.

Without registering, however, users cannot benefit from targeted suggestions based on personal information.

Michael Klazema of DYMO will speak at the eTail conference in Palm Desert, CA, which runs Feb. 11-14. For details on upcoming conferences, go to

Useful links related to this article

Creative samples from DYMO's My DYMO site:

Past Sherpa articles -
Survey Says: Shoppers Would Sacrifice Privacy for Personalization:

How Reader’s Digest Mined Purchasing Data to Personalize Catalogs & Lift Conversions 74%:


See Also:

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