Behavioral Email Marketing: Short Introduction

Behavioral email marketing is an important part of a successful digital marketing strategy. It involves designing effective email content based on the recipient’s actions and behaviors. This automated approach streamlines email personalization and yields excellent benefits.

To create an effective marketing email, you can gather information about your target audience’s interactions without your company across multiple channels. These channels can include social media, websites, apps, and others. The more information you can gather, the easier it is to design a successful behavioral email.

Let’s take a closer look at behavioral email marketing.

Types of Behavioral Emails

Depending on your company’s needs, you can come up with a wide variety of targeted emails that fit into the behavioral category. The main types you are likely to work with include:

  • Registration emails – emails you send when a customer leaves their email address in a form, on a website, or on social media. Examples of these messages are welcome emails and onboarding messages.
  • Conversion emails – these emails go out when a customer signs up for something, downloads content, or makes a purchase. The message notifies the customer about the action they’ve just taken.
  • Activity emails – these emails go out when a user takes action on social media or websites (e.g. views a product, abandons a cart, or shares your post).

How does behavioral email marketing work?

Behavioral targeting allows you to base your marketing tactics on user behavior. Instead of taking action according to your team’s studies and calculations, you allow the user’s actions to trigger emails.

AI-powered marketing tools help you determine the right time and opportunity for sending a message. Then, you use the gathered data to create the contents of this message.

Successful behavioral email campaigns include these important steps.

1.     Gather Information About Your Target Audience

The first step is to gather as much information about your recipients as possible. Since you already have their email addresses, you know at least something about them. However, demographic information isn’t sufficient. You need to go further and track these users across multiple channels that they leverage to interact with your business.

The key to creating a successful email is identifying what behaviors may act as triggers for sending these messages. That’s why you need to figure out what actions can turn into triggers.

The main information-gathering tools and channels can vary from business to business. For example, if you are in e-commerce, you need to pay more attention to the user’s behavior on your website. If you are a SaaS company, you need to study how users take advantage of your product.

The most important channels to pay attention to include:

  • Website– you can analyze how often a certain user comes to your website, which pages they visit, and what actions they usually take.
  • Application – if the recipient installs your application, you can track all their activities and analyze their behavior patterns. This can produce a wide variety of information for email marketing strategy.
  • Social media – you can follow your customers on social media, examine their interactions with your account, study their behavior in groups, and much more. Social media platforms offer impressive analytical tools that can improve your email marketing campaign tremendously.
  • Surveys – to learn more about your audience, you can conduct short email or social media surveys. It’s an excellent opportunity to receive direct answers to your questions and collect valuable data for behavioral analytics.
  • Email – study how people on your email list interact with your emails. How often they reply or click internal links.

Once you have all of this information ready, you can use it to evaluate common customer actions and use them as triggers for creating personalized messages, which become a part of a comprehensive email marketing campaign. The best part of behavioral email marketing is that users themselves “choose” when to get the email.

Studies demonstrate that over 70% of consumers demand personalization from brands. Failing to provide personalization could cause customer churn. Behavioral emails streamline personalization. Since customer activities trigger emails, they are less likely to end up in the spam or trash folder.

While you are gathering information about the target audience, you need to check your email list. Having invalid addresses or uninterested consumers on the list can affect your sender’s reputation and increase the bounce rate.

To ensure email list hygiene, you can take advantage of email validation tools. They check your list and identify addresses that may not provide value during a behavioral marketing campaign.

2.     Figure Out What Actions Can Be Triggers

Once you finish studying the information about your recipients, you can have a list of actions that can serve as successful triggers. Triggered emails don’t take the recipient by surprise. In fact, they provide valuable information and encourage the user to take new action.

Here are a few examples of actions that may trigger an email.

  • Product views –  a customer looks at a certain product but doesn’t buy it. It can trigger an email that either reminds them about this product or offers a list of similar items that may interest them more.
  • Product purchases – a customer purchases a product, you send a follow-up email to find out how they like it.
  • Content views – a visitor views informational content on your website, you follow up with an email that contains relevant and valuable content.
  • Comments on social media -a user comments on your products, services, or posts on social media. You send a follow-up email with relevant information.
  • Reviews – a customer leaves a review on your website or social media. You follow up with a thank you email.

The lack of action can always be a trigger. If an existing customer or client hasn’t interacted with your brand for a certain period of time (you choose how long), you could send a re-engagement message. While these messages aren’t triggered by an action, they could come as a surprise. However, they are still a big part of behavioral targeting.

It’s up to you to identify the most important customer behavior triggers for behavioral emails. However, you have to keep in mind that overwhelming a user with messages can have the opposite effect. In fact, 69% of users unsubscribe from brands that send too many emails.

The majority of email marketers agree that sending two or three emails a month is more than sufficient. However, each industry and brand are different. You can figure out the perfect number according to your customer research. However, going over two messages (even if they are highly personalized emails) a week is ill-advised.

3.     Create a Behavioral Email

The entire behavioral email marketing strategy can be automated. Once you identify all the behaviors, you can design a message, and launch the campaign. Even though the majority of behavioral marketing campaigns are fully automated, they don’t lose their personalization component due to the hard efforts of marketers.

You can take the time to design email templates and use AI-powered email marketing software to make sure these templates are highly personalized. While you still have to work on subject lines, content value, and various message elements, email automation can save you significant time and money.

Common Issues With Behavioral Marketing Campaigns

Once you launch your behavioral marketing campaign, it’s important to monitor key metrics. If the recipients aren’t taking the desired action, or worse, sending your emails to spam folders, you need to rethink the approach.

Common behavioral marketing campaign issues include:

1.     Lacking Value

While you may spend a lot of time studying behavioral data and identifying triggers, you can’t ignore the value of the message itself. You need to make sure that it contains valuable and relevant content that addresses the customers’ pain points.

The more value your automated email provides, the more likely the recipient is to take the desired action. Otherwise, the message may be ignored.

2.     Ignoring Other Email Tactics

While behavioral marketing campaigns are highly useful, they are hardly the only part of your email marketing tactics. Marketers often make the mistake of leaning on one strategy too heavily and ignoring the rest.

Even though automation is highly appealing (after all, it’s mostly responsible for email marketing’s impressive ROI), you still need to do some serious manual work. Especially, when it comes to creating content.

3.     Not Paying Attention to the Time

Even if you have a perfectly designed behavioral email, it could go to the trash folder if you send it at the wrong time. While studying customers’ behavioral triggers, pay special attention to the time they are more likely to react to your behavioral message.

And, yes, even if they just took action that triggered your email, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are open to receiving messages immediately.

Get Feedback

After launching a behavioral email campaign, it’s imperative to source feedback. Find out what customers think about your targeted emails by offering them a short survey.

Keep in mind that consumers don’t have time for long surveys and many open-ended questions. Try to make the survey as short and intuitive as possible. Use multiple-choice or yes/no replies.

Implementing Behavioral Emails into Your Email Marketing Campaign

Behavioral email marketing is a highly effective form of an email campaign. Its main advantage over other tactics is the immense personalization that comes with customers dictating email-related actions.

By implementing a behavioral email marketing campaign, you don’t just engage and retain your target audience. You improve brand awareness and position your company as an industry leader.

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