Marketing automation systems track the visits and activities of both “known” visitors as well as the visits of “unknown” visitors on your site.
Tracking known visitors is important, but why track unknown visitors?
We refer to unknown visitors as “anonymous” visitors. Why would you want to track anonymous visitors? There are several important ways that shrewd sales and marketing folks use this information to gain a competitive edge. Knowing which companies are surfing your site can be key to early stage prospecting – you can work to find out who they are, and then convert them into known prospects. And then you’ll also get a full historical picture of what they’ve done once you do identify them.
- You’ll see what company they are at, the location and the phone number of the company
- You’ll have a record of all of their page visits and downloads
- You’ll see their complete historical record if and when they return to your site
- When they are finally identified as an individual you’ll see their complete visit record starting from their very first visit.
Knowing Who is Interested In Your Solution
Let’s look at a typical scenario. Prospect “A” and “B” both fill out a form on your site at the same time. But each has very different visit histories. Prospect “A” had visited for the very first time while prospect “B” had already visited 7 times in the last 3 weeks. You’d probably want to contact prospect “B” right away. They’ve demonstrated their interest with repeated visits. Most marketing software would have treated both prospects as equals, but that doesn’t make the most sense.
According to Sirius Decisions, up to 70% of product and company research is done online – and usually prior to contacting a sales person. And if that research is done at your website and you are tracking their anonymous traffic, when these prospects finally do become known their history can come with them. That’s a lot of activity folks are doing “anonymously,” and if you tracked that activity, you would know each visit made to your site, and for how long. And you’ll have instant access to that visit history from the instant they first came to your site up to the current day—right at your fingertips. If you don’t do anonymous tracking and just wait for prospects to self-identify before you start tracking their actions, you’ll lose out on their valuable history—and find yourself trailing competitors.
Once anonymous visitors become known visitors their entire activity history will be merged with their known visit data, creating a rich, full-visit history that gives excellent insight into what that person is interested in.
Anonymous visitors become known visitors by either:
- Filling out a form on your website that asks for their email or name, or
- Opening an email you send them directly from your marketing automation system
Commercially available bulk email systems don’t usually provide this kind of visibility into site visits or historical visits. They usually only measure clicks in response to outbound emails which only gives an incomplete view of prospect interest.
Benefiting From Anonymous Visitor Data
Sales teams can make great use of anonymous visitor data:
- You can typically see the location and company name of the anonymous visitors. That visitor knowledge is useful for finding a way to communicate with them.
- Anonymous visitor data helps you gauge how many individuals from an organization have an interest in your product or service. They may be part of team that is working with your prospect.
- When sales people have a full history of a prospect’s visits, they are able to engage in a more meaningful call with the prospect right away once they are identified.
- Marketing automation can help you score prospects as “hot” the minute they become known, and then automatically place them at the head of the lead flow. The anonymous record plus the identified record, automatically merged by the marketing automation system may indicate that the prospect is appropriate for sales contact.
With anonymous visitor tracking, you can:
- Identify and contact hot leads as soon as they fill out a form, rather than arbitrarily putting them in a long nurturing flow.
- Identify prospects that are active, but not ready to self-identify.
- Reach prospects at the right time with greater insight into each prospect’s activity level and area of interest.
- Empower your marketing team to nurture leads with a deeper understanding of your prospects visit history.
Anonymous history added to known visitor data can provide a clear benefit to sales especially in situations where the sales cycle can run many months. That history is priceless for understanding a prospect’s interests after they actually fill out a form or respond to an email offer.