Maintaining a digital marketing strategy along with the accompanying website has been a tremendous challenge for marketers over the last 10 years (or at least, that’s what you and our own marketing department have been telling us 😊). Consequently, Sitefinity has tried for years to build a solid set of features that empower marketers to be more productive.
Whether you have been using Sitefinity for as long as you can remember or are just starting out, I have great news! There is a simple tool that you may or may not be familiar with, called Sitefinity Digital Experience Cloud (DEC), that can take your marketing effectiveness to a whole new level. Also worth mentioning that it is part of the Sitefinity offering.
DEC is a full-blown SaaS solution hosted in the cloud that handles over two million requests on a daily basis (and it is easily capable of handling even more). Using machine learning to intelligently pull from a large pool of data, it recommends the best possible content experience for users based on previous interactions. The technical details around its engine are amazing and the bottom line is that DEC abstracts this complexity and does the heavy lifting under the hood, so marketers can do their job better with the help of insights and dashboards.
My point is, you can use DEC to easily boost the personalization, marketing and tracking features of your Sitefinity website in no time. So enough talk, let’s jump right in and take a look at what it brings to the table.
Remember how in Sitefinity you can create user segments, which you can later use to personalize a whole page or just some of the content in it? Well, with the help of DEC, you can create segments based on marketing campaigns, scored leads and personas. And there are no complicated steps or complex settings that you need to configure—it is all there on the same Create User Segment screen you have been using. Sitefinity will automatically load all the campaigns, personas and scored leads you have defined in DEC and display them on the screen.
Picture 1: Create User Segment Screen with DEC (on the right) and without it (on the left). The options added to the screen with DEC turned on are highlighted in green.
Those three additional options give you an excellent opportunity to further personalize your website to your visitors, enabling you to deliver truly meaningful and engaging user experiences.
Another great feature of DEC is the personalization report. These reports come with DEC out of the box and track total visits to your personalized pages, as well as providing daily statistics for each segment you have defined. These personalization reports enable you to improve your campaigns even further, as they can easily be setup to measure the attribution your personalized pages have on the conversions you already configured in DEC.
Picture 2: Details page of a personalization report with three segments and calculated attribution to several DEC conversions.
Tracking is another awesome feature that DEC adds to Sitefinity out of the box (without the need for any complicated setup). As the name implies, this capability enables you to track visitor actions as they enjoy your entire website, including pages, forums, files, forms, etc. For a full list of tracked activities, please take a look here.
All of the reported data is stored and aggregated in DEC and can be used to perform essential marketing tasks. This includes:
- Precise profiling of your website audience (by using DEC personas)
- Optimizing the customer journey (using campaigns)
- Aligning your marketing and sales efforts seamlessly (with lead scoring)
- Measuring key conversion rates (by utilizing DEC conversions)
- Evaluating the impact of vital engagement touchpoints (through the attribution of DEC touchpoints)
You also can’t forget the ability to build 360-degree contact profiles of your known visitors, which helps you get to know them even better and enables you to more easily understand their needs and motivations.
A/B Testing was Sitefinity’s top requested feature for some time and after long last, it was finally introduced in version 10.2. As per our own release notes, it offers the ability to “setup, monitor and finalize experiments while measuring their success by utilizing customer journey analysis capabilities.” Put simply, you can choose different variants of a page and measure how people respond to them based on your goals. For example, you can test:
- What was the next page visited after a variant of the page was seen?
- Were there any form submissions on the page being tested?
- Has the visitor completed any DEC conversions after he/she saw a particular variant?
The thing is, the whole “monitoring” and “success measuring” is done by DEC. All the interactions performed by website visitors with the A/B tested page is reported to DEC, which aggregates these interactions into daily statistics. These statistics enable you to evaluate completion rates, the improvement against the original variant of the page and the statistical significance of the collected data for each goal against each variant of the page you have defined. Once enough statistics have been gathered, DEC suggests a winner for the primary goal, which can be easily set as the new way the A/B tested page looks back in Sitefinity. As for the monitoring part, take a look at the screenshot of a details page of an A/B test in DEC below, which (as the saying goes) is worth a thousand words.
Picture 3: A/B test details page in DEC, showing the daily statistics of the data reported by Sitefinity.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: if you want to use A/B testing, you will need DEC. This makes testing another great and useful capability that DEC brings to Sitefinity.
Give DEC a Try
So right about now, you might be asking, “Now what?” Well, my personal recommendation is to go ahead and give DEC a try. Read up about the product, check out the different licenses options and then go get started on a free trial so you can experience for yourself all the cool features I just discussed.
You can also check out the complete DEC documentation if you need to take a more in-depth look at any of the features mentioned here. Of course, the documentation goes over a lot more as well—I can only talk about so much in one blog!