Behavior-based marketing is one of the most valuable approaches that marketers can take to connect with their target audiences, specifically within email marketing.

 

So, what exactly is it?

 

Behavior-based email marketing is all about adopting a user-focused approach that allows the actions, or inactions, of members of your email list to dictate which messaging and emails they ultimately receive. It allows for customized and segmented journeys at every stage of the customer lifecycle, with messaging and touchpoints dependent on the user and not on decisions made behind the scenes by marketers. These actions can include visiting a specific landing page on the website, completing a form, opening or clicking within a previous email – the sky is the limit!

 

Creating marketing experiences that are as unique as each email recipient helps to increase the likelihood that the target audience will perform the desired action. It also allows better tracking and measurement from a lead nurturing perspective.

 

Despite its inherent value, roughly only 20% of marketers are actively using behavior-based marketing approaches as part of their overall strategy from an email perspective. This is due to the complexity of the technical aspect of implementation paired with the fact that crafting an entire strategy can be overwhelming and intimidating for even the most seasoned marketers.

 

Here are some tips to get your strategy started:

 

  1. Review and understand the data that you already have at your disposal.
    1. This will help you to determine the most meaningful actions that a user could take that you can add as a touchpoint within the overall customer lifecycle. Understanding your existing audience helps to anticipate what is yet to come.
  2. Craft messages that have a clear call-to-action based upon the data.
    1. Using a data-driven approach is key to creating the content necessary to carry out the execution of behavior-based marketing. With email being such an immediate resource that can connect to your audience seamlessly, making sure that the content is meaningful and personalized is critical in terms of creating lasting relationships and differentiating from competitors.
  3. Decide which messages fit best with individual tactics and which segments will receive each message and touchpoint.
    1. Behavior-based marketing can expand beyond email. Some marketers will pair direct mail with email for added value in higher-end campaigns and others will add retargeting once the audience interacts with the site but does not complete the desired action. Using the data to determine which audience will respond best to a specific message and ultimately uncovering which marketing vehicles that group is most responsive to will help to reduce marketing clutter and increase engagement. Starting with email and expanding is something many marketers do in order to further understand their audiences.
  4. Determine the cadence or frequency of all touchpoints across groups.
    1. Once the messaging is explored, the timing of each unique touchpoint needs to also be defined. Some audiences respond more favorably to a frequent touchpoint as it creates a deeper understanding of the brand or product, whereas others may think there is too much clutter if they receive more than 1-2 touchpoints from one brand or product within a given time period. Studying the data behind the behaviors for each group will allow for a better understanding of where certain audiences convert and where others may fall off in terms of engagement.
  5. Test and learn.
    1. You won’t get it right the first time – and that’s okay! Testing different messaging, touchpoints and timing with various user behaviors will allow for a second round of data collection. This will help to continue to evolve the strategy over time. Testing different messaging will allow for hard data on which message works best with specific demographics and audiences within your marketing arsenal.
  6. Evolve the strategy and approach often.
    1. Be prepared to shift focus as new data becomes available. Things change and the way that people respond to various messages and tactics will also change over time. Especially as new technology becomes available, users across various demographics will begin to shift focus and could respond differently as needs evolve. Having a CRM tool at your disposal helps with the collection of the necessary data to continuously evolve and optimize accordingly.

 

What needs of your existing audience could be met with a behavior-based marketing approach?