Target your audience more effectively with behavioral marketing + automation

By Chris Erickson | August 2017

behavioral-marketing-3.jpg

Hundreds of years ago, monk and poet, John Lydgate once said,

"You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time." 

This quote is still very relevant in the modern marketing world. Material that resonates well with one audience, will not with another. This is a common struggle when it comes to something we call behavioral marketing, or behavioral targeting.

Behavioral targeting is the use of web analytics, cookies, browsing/search history and IP address to create unique profiles for each user. Using the collected information, users are targeted with content and advertisements specific to their unique profile.

Here's a quick rundown of behavioral marketing in advertisements and how to effectively combine behavioral marketing with your marketing automation software.

Find more on choosing, managing and optimizing your marketing automation software »

Behavioral marketing in advertisements

Think about this scenario: You are searching for new sunglasses to purchase on Amazon. You find a few pairs you like, but don't feel quite ready to commit to the purchase. You continue to go through your daily routine on the internet—checking Facebook, YouTube, your favorite marketing blog, etc. At a certain point, you notice one thing in common on these sites: advertisements for sunglasses you were just looking at. It is almost like they are following you around saying "Buy me! Buy me!" This is not a coincidence, this is behavioral marketing.

I'm sure all of us have been annoyed of this at some points, but would you have really noticed or looked at that advertisement if it wasn't something you previously searched for? Or something completely irrelevant to your interests? I know I wouldn't. It's the fact that it's personal to your history that makes the difference. And if these ads hit you at the right time and cause you to make the purchase after all, they're a worthy investment. 

Behavioral marketing makes the advertisements we see more relevant to us based on the actions we take online. Campaign Monitor points out how behavioral targeting allows marketers to create better advertisements in multiple ways traditional ads don't.

Benefits of behavior targeting include:

  • Higher relevancy
  • Higher engagement
  • Higher click-through rates
  • Lower CPC and CPA
  • Higher ROI

Optimizing behavioral marketing with automation

Let's take a look at three ways behavioral marketing and automation can be used to create tailored content for users.

1. Drip campaigns

Setting up drip campaigns when a user completes a certain signup action on your site can be a helpful way to educate those users, but what if you could make those emails even more helpful and specific to each user? Similar to the behavioral targeting seen in advertisements, you can email tailored content to first time users based on their historical information and an action they take on your site. The use of historical information on each user allows marketers to tailor the message in different ways, even though they are all completing the same action. 

2. Identify negative behaviors

Bugs in your software or incomplete trial signups can be a nuisance. However, you can capitalize on this with behavioral marketing and automation to increase retention. Identify the negative behaviors from users on your site, then create triggers that send tailored content to users in the offer of support, reassuring them you'll be in touch. This strategy can be an effective way to retain users who have an initial bad experience.

3. Positive reinforcement

Review where the user is in the buyer journey and send tailored content highlighting certain features of your product or educating them on common user concerns. You can use their behavioral data to help you understand each step a user takes in their behavior journey. Providing additional content and education throughout their journey can be helpful in increasing satisfaction and can lead to conversions.

Check out 3 examples of behavioral marketing and automation that Segment helped implement for a few of their customers.


Finding the right blend of automation and behavioral marketing can help you create more personalized messaging and content for your users. Although this is not a new idea, effectively using behavioral marketing can play a key part in increasing user satisfaction, retention and conversion rate.

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Digital, Marketing Automation

Web-design-marketing-consultation