What’s behavioural marketing, how does it work and how can retailers use it most effectively? These were just some of the questions that Richard Austin, emarketing strategy consultant at Silverpop, tackled in a recent Internet Retailing webinar, Behavioural marketing: beyond email marketing.
It’s no secret that consumers are more likely to be interested in marketing emails that are relevant to them. Making them exactly relevant to the individual, based on their current actions and previous history, is what behavioural marketing is all about. In an hour-long Internet Retailing webinar, Richard Austin, emarketing strategy consultant at Silverpop [IRDX ISIP], explained how retailers could achieve this.
While recent marketing wisdom has focused on segmenting audiences and sending emails that are generally relevant to a number of different groups, behavioural marketing emails reflect all the information a retailer has about individual customers, whether that’s their Facebook data, previous downloads, purchases, and current behaviour on a website.
“Behavioural marketing is simply sending the right message, on the right channel, at the right time in response to their behaviour at that point in time,” said Austin. “It’s real time, it’s crosschannel and it is insanely relevant because it’s a one-to-one conversaion that automatically delivers content based on that user’s interests.”
He added: “In future I believe as marketers we’ll listen more and speak less. But when we do speak consumers will listen, find value and we’ll see a much greater lifetime value as a result.”
When asked in an in-webinar poll how many listeners were currently using behavioural marketing, 24% said they were, 33% said they weren’t but 42% said it was in the pipeline.
Data is at the heart of getting such marketing right. A behavioural database brings together information from a range of places. For a retailer that information ranges from the way a customer travelled through their website to the way they responded to an email campaign; from their current location to their interactions in-store as recorded in the bricks and mortar point of service. Other inputs could come from social media and the customer relationship management database.
Showing the example of an email from a coach company, Austin showed how current location and past purchases, for example, might be reflected in the geographical references in a new marketing email.
Many retailers already record much of the data that can be used in behavioural data. Asked in a poll whether, for example, they currently captured purchase date and product ID when making a sale, 76% said they did, while 24% did not. These are just two of the elements, said Austin, that are needed for successful behavioural marketing. But retailers can soon identify where they have gaps and plug them with the relevant marketing content.
Giving examples of why this was worth doing, Austin showed that of the email campaigns sent out by one client, S&S Worldwide, 4.1% of emails were triggered campaigns, while 95.9% were batch campaigns. But 40.2% of the total sales triggered by emails were generated by the triggered campaigns, in comparison to 59.8% from batch campaigns. “It’s not just about increasing contact with the customer. It’s actually building on that relationship to generate sales and really impact on the bottom line,” said Austin. He cited Silverpop research that show that behavioural triggered campaigns outperform blast campaigns by 325%.
So might this work in practice? Knowing that someone last bought three months ago might allow email marketers to automate an incentive or a reactivation campaign, with content based on the last purchase. A customer who has downloaded an ebook might trigger a message that invites them to an online demo of the software or service, or an invitation to an upcoming event.
Austin then talked the audience through a number of case study examples. Looking at a reactivation campaign for online betting company Samvo Group, he showed that one email targeted people who had registered on the site or placed a deposit but had yet to make a bet. It had effective rates of between 40 to 50%.
Other case studies explored during the webinar included a campaign for skin care-to-body products retailer VIE at Home. Striking statistics were that for every £1 VIE at home spends sending makeup refill reminders, it gets back £190 in sales, while for every £1 spent sending cart abandonment emails, it gets back £243 in sales. “These results and campaigns are based on some very simple pieces of data – the fact that the product has been purchased, knowing what the product is and knowing when the average refill time is for a product,” said Austin.
A campaign for online retailer Oki-ni sent out emails advertising specific brands based on how an individual clicked through its website. Their open rate was three times higher than average, while deliverability was at 99.8%. “This is a superb example of a retailer looking at simple interactions and basing new campaigns on that,” said Austin. Other examples came from Air New Zealand, based on flight purchase information, Shazam, operating a social sign-in and alerting users to upcoming music events they might be interested in attending, and the RSPCA, using information from a Facebook campaign.
Austin summed up the webinar. “Behavioural marketing is about automation, it’s about recognising a person’s actions, it’s about seeing that action in the context of previous actions and behaviour that they’ve taken with you, and using that not only to drive communication but to drive the right content in that communication.
“As we’ve seen you can get some quite phenomenal results from this type of practice.”
To hear this webinar for yourself, with more detail on how retailers can reflect, and to see the accompanying slides and hear the live question and answer sessions for free, visit our webinar page here.