Buyer behavior is a goldmine of data for ecommerce marketers.
Every time someone browses a page on your site, clicks a link in an email, or engages with an Instagram post, you should know about it instantly and act on it immediately. These behaviors are key data points that can help you understand how your customers behave, what they respond to, and how you can drive their next purchase in real-time.
By using behavioral data, your campaigns will see higher conversion rates because they will respond directly to your buyers and what they’re doing right now. In fact, we have seen 28X revenue per send on behavioral targeting campaigns vs. one-time blasts; and 2% of list volume can generate 42% of email revenue in some cases.
So how do you actually execute a behavioral marketing campaign? You not only have to collect all of the data about your buyer’s behaviors, you also have to centralize it, analyze it, and use it to trigger specific and thoughtful marketing campaigns.
Sound tough? This marketing strategy isn’t too complicated, but you have to put in the work. Here we will outline the steps to follow so you can create triggered behavioral marketing campaigns that will drive real revenue for your B2C brand.
What is a behavioral marketing campaign?
So what exactly is a behavioral campaign? It’s a marketing campaign that is triggered based on someone’s behavior or actions in that moment or at some point in the past. This could be a marketing message sent out via email, paid ads, or even push notifications (both web and app push). Some behavioral campaigns are triggered in real-time as the person takes a specific action and your campaign responds directly to that action, while others are well-timed campaigns based on historical data.
The most common examples of behavioral campaigns are:
- Shopping cart abandonment
- Browse abandonment
- Search abandonment
- Post-purchase campaigns
- Lifecycle nudge campaigns
- Wishlist campaigns
- Cross-sell and upsell campaigns
All of these campaigns can be highly personalized, hyper-targeted, and often, incredibly effective at driving a purchase. You can even add behavioral targeting content like product recommendations to simpler campaigns like your newsletter to make it more than a batch-and-blast where everyone sees the same version and engagement is limited.
How do you create a behavioral campaign?
The very first step is simple: get your new customers’ permission to contact them, whether by email or another channel like web push.
Without an email address, you can’t completely confirm that the person who abandoned a cart on your site is the same person who clicked on your Instagram post, for example. The email address is the first step to resolving the buyer’s identity across channels and collecting behavioral data effectively.
You can use a website pop-up or other form to capture the email address, possibly by offering a small discount or another tantalizing benefit. Once you have their email address, you can then start to measure their behavior as they interact with your brand across channels. Then, you can use that data to drive your marketing campaigns.
Test out a variety of triggered campaigns
We won’t lie: creating behavioral campaigns requires a lot of up-front work. You first have to create a number of triggered campaigns based on the behaviors you typically see your buyers take. That means you need to set up detailed campaigns for each of those common buyer behaviors, like cart abandonment.
The best practice is to not only create one campaign, but rather to A/B test a number of variations to really optimize your marketing and get the most bang for your buck. Let your tests run for a while, measure click-through rates and conversion rates, figure out the winner, and then move forward with that specific behavioral campaign. Or perhaps your initial test sparked more questions and you want to run a second or a third test to learn even more.
We’ve seen brands do tests like:
- Including the product name or brand that someone abandoned in the subject line vs. not
- Including category vs. brand specific copy in emails or retargeting ads
- Doing a 3-touch abandon cart series with push notifications vs. no push notifications
- Changing the color of the button used for a CTA
You will really never run out of things to test. And with each new test, you can get better and better at targeting and personalizing your marketing content to exactly where your buyers are in their customer journey. And once you have your campaigns optimized, there’s good news! Triggered campaigns are completely automated, so you can just keep an eye on the performance metrics once you put in the up-front work.
Keep buyers fully engaged
Behavioral marketing campaigns have been proven to drive higher rates of engagement, which provides another benefit for your brand in addition to driving revenue. Today, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are getting a lot smarter about understanding who you’re sending emails to and will prevent you from reaching people who aren’t engaged at all. Google, for example, will proactively ask a customer if they want to unsubscribe from an email sent to them if they haven’t opened anything from that same sender recently.
Knowing this, you have to get smarter as a marketer when it comes to the email channel. You can’t wait until you’re getting penalized and your sender reputation has hit the skids. You must be proactive — comply with GDPR, get your buyers to opt-in, and then keep them fully engaged. Behavioral email campaigns are a great way to keep your sender reputation high and keep your audience opening and clicking. This will help keep your entire email list healthy, improve all of your vital email marketing metrics, and keep you out of spam folders and in your customers’ inbox.
Always have patience
The hardest thing about behavioral campaigns can be simply waiting. With these types of campaigns, you’re always waiting for someone to take an action before you can send out a message. While triggered campaigns ensure high engagement, many marketers often feel frustrated and powerless because they set up an amazing email marketing campaign and have little to no control of the volume of sends. You often just have to cross your fingers and hope that a buyer makes an action that triggers one of your campaigns.
One way to ease this anxiety is through retargeting across channels. You can increase your overall traffic volume by retargeting people who are unengaged to get them back to the site, or even having a winback campaign that helps people stay engaged with your brand. Once they’re back on the site, then you can use the fantastic behavioral campaigns to drive a sale. This will help you feel more in control of the process, and hopefully, lead to real revenue.
If you haven’t implemented behavioral marketing campaigns yet for your brand, what are you waiting for? Behavioral marketing works! These campaigns are highly engaging, super personalized, and proven to drive revenue for B2C brands. Once you get them running and start seeing the results, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.