To personalize messaging, you first need to know about the person. But what is a person? Are they a line item on a purchased list, an anonymous website visitor, a contact in your CRM, a prospect who just walked in the door, or somebody else? Your knowledge of each of these types of people is very different. 

Data used for Personalization 

Let's consider the common marketing scenario of personalizing both website content and outbound emails. To start, we need to learn as much as we can about each prospect. The epitome of personal data is a combination of essentially static data e.g. name, address, marital status, profession, and dynamic data e.g. an individual's physical location, budgetary constraints, product interest, and stage in the sales funnel. To personalize outbound emails and web content effectively, the personalization engines in these systems need access to all this information. 

Personalization Data

Since your CRM is designed to store personal data, it makes sense to use it as the personalization data source. Handily, when this data is in the CRM, it is invaluable for sales reps who use it to prepare for sales calls. Moreover, CRMs have excellent APIs that allow external systems to push personal data to the CRM. Most CRMs also have strong integrations with email automation systems so the data can be used to personalize outbound emails. Salesforce, for example, can easily share data with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Pardot, Marketo, and a host of other marketing automation systems.

Website Personalization

It is possible to personalize web content based on the behavior of an unknown visitor (Sitecore is a leader in this field). This approach tracks a visitor's movement around the website and allocates them one or more profile keys e.g a "Profession" profile might have "Accountant", Lawyer", "Loss Adjuster", or "Executive" keys. An algorithm looks at a visitor's behavior and matches it to a key then the personalization engine renders the right web content for that key. The tracking data is perfect for determining the visitor's current state of mind but, until an email address is provided, the individual cannot be targeted with true one-to-one personalization. Ideally, the tracking data is pushed to the CRM, along with the email address, when a form is submitted.

Using the CRM as the personalization data source enables up-to-the-minute email and website personalization. For example, consider augmenting the website personalization based on data in the CRM:

  • Welcome the visitor to the website using their name
  • Show contextual information based on the visitor's CRM opportunity stage status
  • Remind the visitor of the sales rep's contact details
  • Promote cross-sell or upsell products that relate to the current product of interest
  • Promote a reference from a satisfied customer who purchased the same product
  • Showcase the value proposition and how it supports their specific needs
  • Display a "Hope you are enjoying your widget" message for a product previously purchased

Real One-to-One Personalization

Real one-to-one personalization (to a segment of one) using integration is already happening across many technologies. At FuseIT, we achieve one-to-one website and email personalization by sharing the data between Sitecore, Salesforce, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud (or Pardot, Marketo, etc). The sharing is bi-directional so adjacent systems have control of named individuals in the other:

  • Website content is determined by
    • Native Sitecore personalization
    • The values in the visitor's Salesforce lead or contact record fields
    • Click-through links in emails from Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • Website personalization data is pushed to Salesforce lead or contact records at web form submission time. This is invaluable information for reps preparing for sales calls
  • The individual's website personalization data, now in Salesforce, is mapped to their subscriber record in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This is used to personalize outbound email messages
  • Website visitors arriving from email-clickthroughs or returning to the website have their behavior updated in their Salesforce record (in real-time or via a scheduled task)


Real one-to-one personalization makes it possible is deliver truly unique content to individual prospects via email or website personalization. To achieve this, the website behavior to passed to the prospect's CRM record, then mapped onto the email automation platform. By using the CRM as the master data source, it is possible to drive personalized content to each website visitor and/or send highly tailored campaign emails throughout the sales cycle.

I encourage you to learn more about how to add value to your business in this way. Please contact us for more information or a demo of our technologies in action.