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How Behavioral Targeting Can Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy

Introduction To Email Marketing

Keyboard letters spelling "email".
Image source

It doesn’t take much experience running a website to know that online marketing is no easy matter. To find the right audience and engage it, you need to use various marketing tools and do your research. You also need to be creative and have a bit of luck. While we cannot help you with the latter, we can certainly give you a bit of info on the former. In this article, we will cover how behavioral targeting can improve your email marketing strategy and how to orient your efforts properly so that it does.

Why behavioral targeting can improve your email marketing strategy

Email marketing, as a standalone marketing tool, can be a bit tricky to implement. As a general rule of thumb, most people don’t read their emails. Even if they are bothered to open one, they will cease reading it the moment they think it’s a simple marketing offer. In that case, they will probably move the recipient to the spam folder, which makes further email marketing practically impossible. So, with this in mind, should you even bother with email marketing?

Well, when done correctly, email marketing can be a terrific tool. If you manage to send the right email at the right time and catch the recipient’s interest, you will quickly establish a conversation with a high chance of a conversion. As you may have already noticed, the trick is to send the right email at the right time. And since you cannot see into the future, you may be wondering how to accomplish this difficult task. Well, that is where behavioral targeting steps in.

Why you should use behavioral targeting

In a nutshell, behavioral targeting is using your customer’s (target) behavior to present your idea in the right way. By knowing what your target likes, wants, or does, you can figure out how to formulate your ideas and present them so that they are more alluring. Furthermore, you can pick the right time to offer your vision, and thereby significantly increasing the chance that your target will go for it. The personal nature of email marketing is one of the reasons why behavioral targeting is often applied to it.

A laptop and a tablet showing different statistics.
By using behavioral targeting, you increase the chances of your leads converting into customers. Image source

Benefits of behavioral research

Proper behavioral research takes expertise in online behavior as well as basic knowledge of psychology and current marketing trends. Therefore, it is not uncommon for companies to hire entire teams of experts to correctly deal with behavioral research and orient their marketing strategy accordingly. Luckily, for the purposes of email marketing, you don’t need to have expert knowledge or teams of scientists working for you. You simply need to do a bit of analysis and come up with patterns that your visitors exhibit. Once you do that, you will have a much easier time coming up with a meaningful email marketing strategy.

Knowing what kind of an email to send

The practical application of behavioral targeting is when you track your users while they are on your website. Aspects that you can track are:

● Time spent on different web pages.
● Frequency of visiting certain pages.
● Revisited items
● Items that are on their wishlist (if you have one).
● Items that are in their cart.

By knowing these aspects, you can figure out how to properly formulate your email to seem tailor-made for each customer. You can recommend an item that they’ve been looking at for a while or give them further info on something they researched on your website. Either of these can be quite an effective way to engage your visitors through email. In turn, this often leads to either an email conversation (which is always a good thing for marketing) or good old conversions.

A Facebook page open on a laptop and a phone next to it.
Many prominent companies use behavioral targeting in their marketing campaigns. Image source

Companies like Orbitz do a great job at this, as they keep careful track of what their users spend money on. This allows them to formulate custom emails for each spending bracket and engage each audience group accordingly.

Knowing when to send an email

It won’t take much experience in email marketing to learn that your email’s timing is as important as its content, especially when it comes to conversions. Using seasonal sales like Black Friday is pretty apparent even to marketing beginners. But, by using behavioral targeting, you will learn more about when your customers need your items the most. All items and products have their high interest periods. By being aware of them, you will be able to time your sales and offers so that they yield the best results. Even something as simple as sending an email during the weekend instead of weekdays can make a world of difference.

An excellent example of this strategy is the one employed by Starbucks. They frequently use their app to notify their customers about happy hours, right around the time for morning and afternoon coffee.

Having in-depth knowledge of your customers

The final way in which behavioral targeting can improve your email marketing strategy is that it gives you in-depth knowledge of your customers. You can use this knowledge for email marketing, but it has plenty of other uses as well. With it, you can orient your online content and even design more complex marketing strategies. So, all things considered, there is no reason for you not to invest in it.

A page open on a laptop showing the Gmail homepage.
You can use behavioral targeting for many purposes. Image source

To see the benefits of knowing your market, you need to look no further than Amazon. When customers use their store, or even better, their app, Amazon can learn all about their shopping habits within a couple of purchases. Then they use that info to notify and entice them of future products.

Final thoughts

The whole point of using behavioral targeting in email marketing is to optimize your emails to the intended reader (target). If done properly, your visitors will get the impression that you’ve read their minds as you will approach them with the right offer at the right time. Therefore, it doesn’t take much to realize that researching behavioral targeting can improve your email marketing strategy, especially if you put enough time and effort into it.

Author bio:

Jared Whittaker has worked as a professional content writer and marketing manager for over 5 years. His main areas of focus are content and email marketing, as well as all aspects of SEO.


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