With the proper website tracking in place, you can monitor who is visiting your site, then leverage that data to power your personalized marketing. As an example, you could:
Website tracking allows your site to identify who is visiting and react to those contacts in real time. You can use this technology to send the right message to the right person at the right time, and ultimately increase conversions. This is exciting tech!
Website tracking vs. Analytics
First, let’s separate website tracking from analytics. Analytics software, such as Google Analytics, shows you aggregated statistics about activity on your website. The type of site tracking we’re talking about, on the other hand, gives you data at an individual level. It isn’t necessarily meant for you to browse through visit by visit (though that’s usually possible), but it’s absolutely meant for you to set up individualized reactions and create personalized experiences.
What about privacy?
The first thing to know about website tracking is that it’s anonymous by default. Although we are identifying individual users on the website, we’re identifying them relative to other users by using a token number, not identifying them based on their actual name. We can use this token number to tie together the same person on different devices, for example, but we cannot use it to find the contact’s name or other personally identifying information that they don’t explicitly provide.
How does this work?
Site tracking works by installing small snippets of code to your website. For example, Facebook refers to their snippet as the Facebook Pixel. You’ll likely want Facebook and/or Google’s snippets if you’d like to trigger ads to appear on other sites in front of people who have visited your site. To trigger emails, we recommend Active Campaign or Klaviyo. Many other services that you may use also offer such code snippets. Each snippet works a little bit differently, but the idea is the same: Identify “who” a user is, then react to what they do.
You receive an email advertising a 20% off sale from your favorite store. You know you’re a little tight on cash already this month, but you decide to take a quick peek anyway. After all, as long as you just look and don’t actually buy anything, it can’t hurt your budget, right?
As you click through on the link from the email and land on the page of your website, Active Campaign tracks that you clicked on that specific link and were directed to that specific page. Your user token is tagged with this information. Since your link click came from an email generated by Active Campaign, that system also knows your email address, so you can receive follow-up messages later based on the actions you take while browsing.
At the same time, the page you clicked to has finished loading. The Facebook Pixel is installed on this site and it receives information about your incoming site visit. It ties it to your user token created by Active Campaign, so both systems have the same data about you. You start to look through the various 20% off offers, but there’s one specific product that seems to stick out to you. Even as you browse several different categories, you end up visiting the product page for that one specific product three times during the course of your visit. Eventually, you decide you really can’t afford this splurge and close the tab before making a purchase. The Facebook Pixel has logged all of this data.
The next day, as you scroll through Instagram on your phone, you notice an ad not only for the same store but for the exact product that you had X’d out of. Shocked to see it again and reminded while your guard is down, you pull the trigger and order your new goody.
In the background, Facebook had picked up on your activity on the site the previous day. It monitored you as you clicked across the site and noticed that you visited one product page three times. Facebook picked up on all of this and, with this information, it was able to add you to an “advertising audience.” This materialized for you when you were scrolling through Instagram and scrolled past an ad for that exact product that you had viewed three times. Caught off guard, you decided to make the purchase then and there. You just became an example of the site tracking working.
What if your company could leverage this same technology when people visit your website? Today, marketing like this is easier and cheaper than ever before!
How can I do this?
It’s important to begin by determining how you want to react to users’ actions on your site. That’s because you’ll need to pick which platforms you’d like to use and different platforms support different types of activities.
In our example above, we mentioned four potential platforms: Google, Facebook Pixel, Klaviyo, and Active Campaign. Google and Facebook Pixel allow digital ad “retargeting,” which is the act of advertising to a select audience of users who have previously visited your website. Klaviyo and Active Campaign are different flavors of email service providers, so they can reach out to your customers by email based on some event occurring.
You might also consider other ad platforms, such as bing, Amazon, Criteo, Snapchat, or Twitter. You may want to connect a CRM such as Hubspot or Salesforce. You could even consider platforms for shipping or charging if you wanted to send a physical gift or create a frictionless checkout. Another type of platform is loyalty and referrals, with systems such as Smile.io, Swell, and LoyaltyLion. Finally, you could integrate customer service platforms like Zendesk so that your customer success teams can follow up personally or automatically.
If this all seems a little bit overwhelming, that’s because the possibilities are endless, and that’s why it’s so important to consider what actions you’d like to be able to take for customers browsing your site as a starting point. It may be helpful to create a flowchart where you can visually map out if something happens then the system will follow up with x event. Another option is to start small, think about a single action that would be most beneficial, such as an email follow-up message, and begin by implementing that platform.
If you have many actions, you may want to consider a service such as Glew.io, which works as an intermediate layer to connect all of these disparate services together. Glew goes even further, calculating the optimal time for recipients to see your communication based on what it calls your company’s “lapse point” which is the average number of days it takes a customer to return to your website and place a new order.
If you still feel uncertain of how you can make website tracking work for your site and business, we can help. Our team is able to help conceptually with figuring out what tracking actions to set up, as well as practically with implementing and integrating your chosen solutions. Just reply to this email with your goals, or set up a call with me here: go.oncehub.com/samruedinger and we’ll work through the nuts and bolts together.