Marketers have their work cut out for them in today’s hyper-connected world. That’s because consumers have so many more options (and distractions) that create an increasingly competitive and unpredictable market.
Forbes notes that according to recent surveys, over half of Fortune 500 companies have plummeted in the last five years!
Why behavioral data is key
In order to keep up with consumer expectations and stay relevant, marketers need to get right into what’s driving consumers to pick certain brands. And if you observe industry leaders like Amazon and Netflix, you can see the common strategy: use personalized marketing campaigns that deliver exactly what consumers want.
It’s a big shift from demographic and other forms of targeting. Before, businesses made assumptions based on where a customer was located, their age group, and other characteristics. But that doesn’t cut it anymore. A 20-year-old female backpacker from Australia can certainly shop in a similar way as a 40-year-old male backpacker from the US.
Now it’s all about targeting consumers based on their preferences and behavior. With the right target market, you can get your product development, marketing, and timing right. And big data enables brands to be privy to what individual users might like based on their unique pattern of behavior.
Indeed, quantitative data about what customers do instead of who they are enables frontrunners to gain a more accurate picture of important consumer insights and stay ahead of their competition.
The good news is you don’t have to be an industry giant to be able to implement customer behavioral data analytics. With the right approach and tools, any organization can pursue it.
Tools for collecting behavioral data
Here are some of the common data collection methods you can use:
Tools like Google Analytics and Crazy Egg give you an overview of what your site visitors are actually doing while on your website pages. From what content drives the most traffic to where people are clicking, how far they are scrolling, their mouse movements, and more, you can analyze your site visitors’ activities via easy-to-understand reports and visualizations
Included in Crazy Egg and other analytics suites, heat maps let you visualize where site visitors hover, scroll, or click the most. It gives you an idea of what type of content is attention-grabbing for a particular consumer.
Tools like Hotjar enable businesses to watch recordings of actual visitors navigating the website. Privacy issues aside, it’s undeniably useful for marketers who want to see how individual visitors interact with their site. Furthermore, such tools generate customizable surveys, polls, and heatmaps for further engagement with site visitors.
This provides an even wider array of information about your site visitors because it includes where they were before visiting your site and where they go afterward. That provides a rich context to their motivations and how your website fits into the specific browsing session.
How to improve your conversions using behavioral data
Now that you have an idea about what tools are out there to incorporate behavioral data into your process, let’s look at different ways in which you can use such data to actually drive results for your bottom line.
1. Personalize experiences for both new and existing customers
How you interact with your new visitors should be different from how you are with existing ones. A new visitor is still weighing whether your site is a good fit for what they need. On the other hand, your returning customer is already familiar with your brand and is likely there to repurchase.
With behavioral data, you can easily make this distinction. The next move is to actually use the information!
When it comes to first-time visitors, you need to encourage them to join your mailing list. Provide a starter offer, discount, or a perk in exchange. To make sure that you only engage with relevant visitors, you can even set a certain amount of time or pages visited before the site shows such offers.
Billabong displays this offer when first-time visitors click on a link to their product page. The brand sets opt-in for gender-segmented offers. That’s another layer of information they can gather from individual visitors.
2. Customize emails based on user behavior
Email marketing entails a strong message that’s relevant to your customer. Like the website experience, the same email may not necessarily be relevant to each and every person on your mailing list.
What’s the point in sending an email offering 5% off first purchase if your customer has been loyal for months now?
You want to be consistent and accurate with your email campaign, and this is where behavioral data comes in. By segmenting your customers based on behavior patterns, you can send the most engaging personalized emails to each one. And to help you manage all the customer touchpoints, there are tools like easy-to-use CRM for small businesses.
MailChimp data suggests that segmenting your emails can result in key advantages: open rate becomes higher by 14.31%, unique opens increase by 10.64%, and clicks are 100.95% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
You want to look for past purchases, past browsing history, as well as the time it takes a customer to make a decision. Cart abandonment rates, which are generally high for mobile viewing, can also help you know who to send an email reminder to for any price drop or stock change in items they placed in their cart but did not check out.
Once you’ve segmented your email lists, you can follow this useful guide on how to craft standout emails. Or take a page from Amazon’s email strategy, which uses information about what you buy beforehand to suggest other products you may be interested in next.
3. Personalize product recommendations
As emphasized earlier, products that seem relevant for one customer may not be so for another. If you can make your customer’s time on your site personalized, you can provide a more meaningful experience for them, that will increase your chances of conversion.
Invesp suggests that 56% of shoppers are more likely to make repeat purchases on sites that offer product recommendations. And look no further than Netflix, which drives three-fourths of viewer activity from recommendations.
The key is to recommend the right products. To do this, look at your visitors’ browsing and purchasing behavior. Compare this data to the performance of your different products. That gives you an idea of what best-selling products to recommend that a particular customer will be drawn to.
Aside from that, you can determine related items that go well with the products they have purchased. Say you are an e-commerce company selling beauty products. If a customer purchased a foundation, you may want to show them your best-selling facial primers.
Product recommendations aren’t only limited to past customers. Obviously, it’s trickier to gauge what new visitors will want, but you can still display top-selling items (highest conversion rates) on your homepage. Returning customers can also be enticed with top sellers, but always factor in items they’ve viewed in the past.
Product recommendations can also help you up-sell or cross-sell items. Ever had that moment when you were ready to buy a pair of shoes only to choose something sleeker and more popular in the end?
That’s exactly what you can do when recommending other items. Check out this Nike product page to see how up-selling is encouraged.
4. Make landing pages specific to referral traffic
Landing pages are so important in guiding a customer further into the sales funnel. And you can optimize how you design landing pages according to the referral traffic you receive. Track the referral traffic for your site visitors, and then make landing pages accordingly.
For instance, if a customer clicks on an ad promoting a certain product, direct the landing page straight to that product page. Or if a customer clicks on a discount promo published by an influencer, you could have a landing page that displays the blog title and discount perk. That will make it more convenient for the visitor to fulfill the transaction and, in turn, increase your conversion rate.
If you’re not too savvy with coding, there are WordPress landing page plugins you can use no matter what technical level you’re at. These will help you build pages for your different campaigns.
5. Improve your site navigation
Looking into how consumers spend time on your site is important, but equally so is observing how they leave.
How much time do they spend on your homepage? On your landing pages? Do they visit many pages before leaving? What do you think they are looking for based on their path?
Behavioral data gives you an idea of what enhancements you can test on the site. Even simple details like images, the size or color of a CTA button, or the placement of a contact form, can impact your conversions.
Content marketing can also be tracked. Are you using the right keywords for both consumers and search engine crawlers? Do you have relevant and up-to-date content? Dwell time allows you to see if visitors are finding what they are looking for.
It doesn’t matter how high your click-through rates are; if users can’t navigate the page or find your checkout cumbersome, you may not end up with purchases in the end.
6. Find new customers
Behavioral data can also help businesses find new customers. You don’t have to wait for a visitor to enter your site. You can either target cohorts or individuals who openly declare that they are loyal to your competitors.
Exploring cohorts means you look into consumers who support a certain brand that’s not directly your competition but has products and services that relate to yours. For example, if you’re a seller of health products, you may want to check out consumer data on fitness sites and platforms.
Meanwhile, you can use targeting options, like Facebook’s interest-based targeting, to see which users are
Behavioral data is a powerful arsenal that can get you the results you are aiming for. While it can be intimidating to initiate, using the right tools can help you simplify your process and improve
And that is the way you turn visitors and leads into paying customers.
Marcus is responsible for the Growth of Albacross, a B2B lead generation platform, with previous experience as a founder and background in Mathematics from Stanford. Albacross is one of the top lead generation tools in Europe today and growing with hundreds of new companies every day.