How to Increase Your Conversion Rates with Behavioral Targeting

Martin Zhel
Martin Zhel

Last updated on

April 5, 2023

The single best way to convert a visitor is with a relevant offer for something that he’s already interested in.

However, the difficulty here is that people visit your website for a variety of reasons.

Some are there because they’re interested to learn about a specific topic, others are searching for a solution to their needs and there are some who simply want to join your team.

If you put up generic content, you won’t appeal to anyone and your conversions will suffer.

Marketers have known this for years and that’s why they have created something called behavioral targeting.

In other words, it is much smarter to personalize your marketing for each type of visitor in order to increase the relevance and perceived value.

Types of marketing based on behavioral targeting

There are several types of marketing that use behavior data about your audience to increase conversions.

Content personalization – personalize the content of your website according to the specific needs of the visitor.

Now let’s imagine that you have an eCommerce store for clothes. Some people that visit you might be more interested in buying shoes, and others jeans.

Let’s say that both visit your homepage. If it’s a generic page – including offers for all kinds of items it will probably convert badly.

However, if you show offers for shoes to the first people and offers for jeans for the second – your conversion rates will skyrocket. Since you’re delivering exactly what your visitors want.

When you visit the homepage of Amazon you will see tons of product recommendations.

Content personalization Amazon

Surprisingly most of these items are something you’re interested in.

Retargeting – retargeting is a form of advertising that shows ads to your previous visitors with the idea to drive them to your website again.

Of course, personalizing this experience will skyrocket your results. So why not do it?

You can personalize your retargeting ads based on:

  • The last URL your visitors viewed – if they read a blog post on “how to grow an email list” you can use retargeting to promote an opt-in offer on “how to get your first 20k email subscribers for free”.
  • Location – you use this to promote a local event for people who live in a certain area and have visited your website.
  • Time-based targeting – you can promote certain offers for Christmas, New Year’s Eve or simply bring back visitors that haven’t browsed your site for a while.

Highly targeted opt-in offers – another way to increase conversion rates is to offer highly targeted opt-in offers to your visitors based on the current content they are viewing.

Now let’s imagine that you publish blog posts into several categories – content marketing, email marketing, conversion optimization, etc.

It makes sense that if you offer a different opt-in offer for each category you will increase your conversions. Because people who read a blog post about “growing an email list” will be interested in a free ebook on “How to get your first 25,000 subscribers”.

At the same time a generic opt-in offer like “How to grow your business with content marketing” probably won’t convert as well.

You can further optimize by setting up page-level targeting so that you offer different opt-in offers for each blog post.

Backlinko has experimented with the content upgrade and he found out that it increased his conversions to .54%. to 4.82%.

Highly targeted email campaigns – generic emails will convert badly most of the time. Simply because people have different needs and they subscribed to your list for different reasons.

Some did it because of that great webinar you made on “increasing conversions with A/B testing”. Others, because of your free “Get your first 5,000 subscribers” guide.

If you want to maximize conversions for both audiences, you can’t treat them the same way by sending them the exact same follow-up emails.

Instead, you should design a marketing campaign for each segment of your list depending on:

  • The initial and follow-up offers people subscribed to
  • Which emails people opened
  • Which links people clicked on in your email campaigns
  • Contact information (job position, company type, etc.)
  • Bought products or services

You can also use geo-location to send emails at subscribers’ local time.

How to execute content personalization

So how do you execute content personalization?

Decide how you’re going to personalize the content – the general rule of thumb is to display relevant content to the people who have recently been viewing.

To be able to do that you need to set up a cookie and track their browsing history. Of course, for that you need the right tools.

Choose your tools – unfortunately, you can’t run content personalization without the right software. This will greatly depend on the type of business you run, the things you’d like to personalize and your budget.

For an eCommerce business you will want to add things like:

The tool that you can use to implement this will greatly depend on your platform. So check your marketplace for platform-specific solutions.

A more advanced eCommerce solution is Commerce Sciences. With it you will be able to use functions such as:

  • Navigational personalization – personalized shopping experience, even for first-time visitors, based on behavior that brought them to your site and their on-site behavior
  • Third-party data – highly-valuable information about your visitors provided by third parties
  • Predictive personalization – use your data to predict what your customer will want next

For other businesses like SaaS, service-based businesses, online education you might use tools like VWO or Optimizely.

With them you can personalize the content based on multiple segments and criteria. For example: location, platform and traffic source.

How to execute retargeting

Facebook – almost 30% of U.S. ad impressions happen on Facebook. So if you’re using retargeting this is the one platform you’d want to advertise on.

What’s also good about Facebook ads is that they’re one of the cheapest forms of advertising online. Much cheaper than AdWords or banner ads.

At the same time, Facebook ads tend to be extremely effective.

Their effectiveness increases when you use them for retargeting.

Have you ever experienced a situation where you were browsing Amazon, found a product and later on you saw that product on Facebook?

That’s not a coincidence.

Straight from the Facebook ad platform you can create a pixel which you can place on your website to make remarketing possible.

Go to Power Editor -> Audiences.

Facebook PowerEditor Audience

Then choose Create audience -> Custom audience

Facebook power editor custom audience

Choose Website traffic as the type of audience you’d like to create.

Facebook custom audience website traffic

Then you will need to accept Facebook’s terms and conditions and create your Facebook pixel.

Facebook power editor customer audience terms

Once your pixel is installed and your audience is set up you will be able to target your audience using this specific custom audience.

AdWords – with AdWords remarketing you can show ads to people who have visited your website or app.

The standard remarketing shows ads to your past visitors as they browse websites as part of the Display network. You can also advertise to people who do a follow-up search on Google.

Another option is to remarket to people who have visited your YouTube channel, watched your videos as they use YouTube or other display network websites, apps and videos.

With dynamic remarketing you take things further by promoting the products, services or opt-in offers people viewed before leaving.

To use dynamic remarketing you need to create a product or a service feed that includes details about each item (unique ID, price, image, and more). These details are then pulled from your feed when the ad is being delivered.

Upload this feed in the Business data section of your shared library or in Google Merchant Center if you’re a retailer.

AdRoll – for more advanced retargeting solution you might want to use AdRoll.

AdRoll works with advertising partners like Facebook Exchange, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft allowing you to reach 98% of the sites on the internet.

Which means that you can control all your remarketing activities from 1 platform.

AdRoll also provides more advanced features for customer segmentation, geo-targeting, etc. With it you can:

  • remarket to people who have taken or not taken specific actions on your site
  • create groups of users based on purchase intent
  • set up advanced conversion tracking rules.

With their LiquidAds feature you can personalize each ad based on the product pages that the individuals visited.

How to offer highly targeted opt-in offers:

In theory it’s great to have a highly targeted offer for each visitor. We all know that this is likely to increase conversions.

But how do we execute that in practice?

Create highly targeted lead magnets for your blog posts – depending on your available resources you can go with 2 main options here: creating an opt-in offer for a category of blog post or creating a separate opt-in offer for each blog post.

Of course, the second one will be likely to convert better but at the same time requires much more time.

If you go with the first option – think about what people will want to learn in addition to the types of posts you already create there.

You can create a more detailed ebook guide, video training or a webinar that teaches people in further detail about how to get better results.

If you choose the 2nd option you can simply offer a content upgrade or a checklist so your readers can easily implement what they’ve learned from your guest post.

Set up your highly targeted opt-in offers with MailMunch – the next step is to set up your page level targeting offers.

You can do that very easily with MailMunch. Here’s how:

Go to MailMunch and click on creating “New Form”.

Mailmunch New form

Then choose your form type:

Mailmunch form type

And your theme

MailMunch theme

After that, write a form title and choose the list to which you’re going to add your subscribers.

Mailmunch basic info

Next go to the Behavior tab and from the side menu go to Display rules.

mailmunch behavior

You can target the form only to specific devices if you want to – like mobile, tablet or desktop.

To show the form only on specific pages click on “New Display Rule”.

MailMunch display rule

Then choose “Only show on” and “URLs exactly matching” to display this form only on the page that you want.

Don’t forget to fill out the URL in the last field and click “done”.

By clicking on new display rule you can make this form show to more pages.

To send your opt-in offer be sure to integrate with an email marketing automation tool like MailChimp or GetResponse or InfusionSoft.

MailMunch integrate

Then you can set up an automatic email to be sent with the downloadable link once someone joins your list.

How to create highly targeted email campaigns

There are 3 steps to using behavioral targeting in your email campaigns:

Segment your list – use the data that you collect about your subscribers to better understand their needs and the things they are interested in.

By collecting this data you can segment your list based on things like:

  • Location (city, country, etc.)
  • Device (desktop, mobile, tablet)
  • Visited pages and content
  • Past opt-ins
  • Past purchases
  • Emails opened and clicks so far
  • Additional data people have provided with the opt-in (job description, company type, etc.)

The data that you collect you can use to create different buyer personas and each one you can target with a specific campaign.

Create a different campaign for each segment – the idea is to create a different set of email follow-ups to different segments of your list to better fit their interests and needs.

For example: to people who subscribed to get your free ebook “how to get your first 5,000 email subscribers” you can follow up with related content such as:

  • How to grow your email list with blogging
  • How to use YouTube to get email subscribers
  • How to use affiliate marketing to grow your list

The idea is to educate your subscribers further on the topic they’re interested in.

You can also create a segment of past customers to upsell them additional products they might be interested in.

Automate your campaigns – for that you need a solution with options to create and send automatic emails.

You should consider options such as:

  • MailChimp
  • GetResponse
  • InfusionSoft
  • Aweber

Consider the features and cost of all of them to find the right one for your needs.

Set up your automatic campaigns for each segment and forget about it. With time you can simply go back to check on how they are working and optimize the process.

In conclusion

You want to offer to people what they want and need. Unfortunately, that’s different for different people.

That’s why you should spend the time to personalize your content, offers, advertising and follow-up emails with things that are relevant and interesting to your audience.

Target people based on their behavior and you will see a huge lift in your conversions and sales.

Have you used behavioral targeting before? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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