What is Behavioral Email and How to Get Started With it
what is behavioral email and how to get started with it

What is Behavioral Email and How to Get Started With it

Email marketing strategy has continually evolved. In the past, bulk email marketing campaigns were the norm. Marketers would send untargeted emails and hope for a conversion or sale. The strategies have been refined today to offer a better experience. Marketers segment the market to send targeted email campaigns.

They use automated email campaigns based on behavior. The marketer then creates messages and offers based on email user behavior. This helps marketers improve traffic, user experience, engagement, and ROI.

What is Behavioral Email?

Behavioral email is sending automated, targeted emails to subscribers based on their interactions with your emails, on your website, or social channels. For example, email a contact who has already bought something from you after they visited a product page. The aim is to create a personalized experience throughout the purchase journey.

For this you need to collect behavioral data and create targeted emails based on it. The emails provide real-time responses to important customer moments. It provides a higher value compared to an email blast. Because these emails are timely and relevant, they work better to increase conversions and sales.

A good example of behavioral email marketing is sending tips to users based on their FAQ. If you are a design software developer, for instance, one of the FAQs your customers could ask is about the lack of space on their Mac. Send an email with tips on how to clear a scratch disk.

Getting Started with Behavioral Email Marketing: The 3-step framework

Understanding how to start with behavioral email will help you achieve your goals. You will reach more customers and boost online store traffic.

understanding how to start with behavioral email

1. Track how people interact with your business online

Track your customer’s online activities. You must collect and analyze data to understand customer behavior online. Online customer behavior gives you a chance to create personalized messages. Your messages increase engagement while remaining relevant. 

Use tracking software

Analytics helps you understand the patterns of your website traffic. Choose an analytics software to track user navigation and interactions. Some marketing automation tools come with website tracking features.

Purchase history is an excellent way to understand user purchase behavior. Track the types of products or services the customer is buying. It helps you know the products your audiences purchase most. Based on that data, offer them similar product suggestions.

Install browser cookies

It’s common to see pop-up messages on websites requesting cookie permission. They are small files that help identify the browsing behavior of specific users. They provide an understanding of the websites specific users are browsing.

Tracking your sales funnel

Your sales funnel gives you information about specific users. It tells you what stage a certain customer is in your funnel. Using the information, you can suggest specific products. Make sure you messages fit the part of the funnel a contact is in: top, middle, or bottom.

Track devices

Use technology to know the types of devices most users are using. If more users are using mobile devices, create content for mobile.

Track channels

Customers interact with your brand through multiple channels. They use social media, your website, blogs, emails, and more. Understand which channels they are using most. This helps you create customized content for each channel.

2. Define the important actions a user might take

steps a customer takes before they decide to buy

Before customers decide to buy, they go through several steps. Email marketers must understand each step for behavioral targeting. An entire buying process with all the valuable data can be outlined as: 

  • A need develops: The customer develops a need that requires a solution. It can be because they want a solution to fix a door in their house or look fresh.
  • Information phase: In the next step, the customer seeks information online. The purpose of the information is to know what solutions are available.
  • Comparing information: The customer gathers information from different sources. They then compare it to see the best options they have.
  • Placing an order: Once the customer decides what to buy, they place an order.
  • Testing the product: The customer waits for shipment and tests the product. If they are happy, they keep it and might even leave a positive review. If they are not happy, they return it and can start the process once more. 

Email marketers must understand the actions a customer might take in each phase to make their behavioral targeting successful. Take the necessary actions to influence the customer’s next action. 

If the customer moves to the next phase, it’s harder to change their mind.  The actions a customer might take at each phase include the following: 

  • Click a link to open a website
  • Fill out a subscription form
  • Watch a product description video
  • Click the follow button
  • Write an email for further information
  • Compare products in your online store
  • Place an order
  • Share information
  • Refer someone
  • Install an app

It is important for any marketer to analyze the email and use the resulting information appropriately. Parse emails are an important element that will help to simplify the mentioned case.

3. Send emails based on behavior

Understand why each customer is engaging with your brand. Use automation to make quick product suggestions. Look for opportunities to offer discounts, free shipping, or more. Use your email marketing metrics to refine your approach. There are several strategies to help you start behavior-based conversations.

  • Suggest product options: If a product a customer wants is out of stock, give them alternatives.
  • Ask questions: Send a personalized email and ask what the customer is looking for. Be polite and avoid questions that sound salesy.
  • Engage the customer: Post content that will keep the customer engaged. It must be content that captures their interest.
  • Suggest links: Suggest links to websites with similar products

Behavioral Emails Examples

Behavioral emails increase engagement and sales. Research shows on average, 75% of emails go unopened. Your strategy must focus on email content that customers want to read. Don’t forget to edit and proofread each email to keep your email content quality high.

1. Send behavioral emails to remind customers to complete an online transaction

Abandoned carts are common in eCommerce. Research shows 80.68% of B2C customers don’t complete the checkout.

cart recovery emails to remind customers

Reasons why shoppers abandon their carts:

  • Technical errors: A site may freeze or slow down during checkout.
  • No relevant payment options: Customers don’t find payment options they are comfortable with.
  • Shipping policies: Shipping policies could be complex, expensive, or long.
  • Alternative options: A customer finds a better deal somewhere else.
  • Lengthy checkout process: When a checkout process is too long, a customer might change their mind.

Don’t send them an email immediately. Wait for some time, let’s say an hour. Send them an email reminding them to complete their purchase. 

Design the email content to win them back:

  • Show several shipping options
  • Suggest a simpler checkout process
  • Suggest a customized package
  • Offer several payment methods

2. Send behavioral emails that boost engagement

A customer has different needs at each stage of the funnel. Your behavioral email marketing campaigns must be relevant to influence their action. Determine where the customer is and send the right email for that stage. A sales funnel has several stages:

  • Awareness stage
  • Interest stage
  • Desire Stage
  • Action Stage
customer purchase funnel

Here’s a breakdown of what type of behavioral emails to send at different stages of the funnel:

  • Top of the funnel: Send engagement emails that create product awareness. Send informational emails describing the benefits of your products.
  • Middle of the funnel: Send emails that make your offer more attractive than competing products they are looking at.
  • Bottom: The customer is ready to buy. Send emails that help make a purchase.
  • Retention phase: After purchase, send engagement emails that help retain the customer.

3. Send behavioral emails based on recent purchases

sending behavioral emails based on recent purchases

A customer is likely to buy consumable products again. Let’s say, someone ordered a body lotion or cologne. They’ll order the same product again in a couple of months. Your competitor’s products might change their mind. With a relevant behavioral email you can stay top of mind, so they’ll buy from you. 

And if they bought from a competitor, the purpose is to win them back. Use their purchase history and website activity to suggest suitable products.

  • Offer incentives. 76% of retail customers are okay with receiving emails based on purchase history. Take this further with an incentive. Send them a discount code to use in the next purchase.
  • Send information about other similar products or accessories. If a customer bought a guitar, recommend accessories. Suggest guitar and microphone stands, amps, or headphones. 

Email marketing statistics show email ROI is $38 for $1 spent. 91% of consumers check their email at least once a day. Behavioral email is an email marketing tactic that helps you stay ahead of the competition.

Wrapping up Behavioral Emails

Behavioral email focuses on sending automated and targeted emails to contacts based on their interactions. To get started, outline your target audience, funnel, and the most important actions a customer takes. Trigger emails based on contact activity that moves leads down the funnel toward a purchase.

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