Do you know what are visitors and leads doing on your website? If you have a SaaS, can you answer what actions users are taking within your product? In case you don't, a lead or customer tracking software might be the solution to your problem.
But let's take a step back: is it really a problem not to know what visitors, leads, and customers do within a website or product? Well, let's just say lead tracking is probably the biggest source of insights on customer experience.
Lead tracking is probably the biggest source of insights on customer experience.
In this content, I hope to show you how tracking leads is related to customer experience, the main benefits of using a lead tracking software, and how marketing automation can help you trigger specific actions according to the behavior of leads and customers.
Lead tracking and customer experience
For their Digital Marketing Trends report, Econsultancy asked companies to state the single most exciting opportunity for 2016. The results: 22% of them stated that customer experience was the digital marketing trend to watch, overcoming content marketing (15%) and mobile (13%).
Companies changed the way they look at their leads and customers. After all, they're not a string of numbers in an Excel spreadsheet: they're people. With interests, pains, and feelings. People that take their experience with a product or company as an important factor in the decision -making process.
The relationship between lead tracking and customer experience is simple. In order to provide an astonishing experience, you must discover how people are interacting with your company. It includes steps taken before, during and after the purchase.
To discover if they're having a good (or bad) experience, you must have the right means to analyze their experience in the first place. A good experience increases the chances leads buy from you, and even keep customers buying from your company.
How do lead tracking softwares work?
In resume, software that track actions within a website/product all works the same way. Usually, every time a new lead or user visits any page, they get a "cookie". This cookie is provided by a tracking code, generated by the software and installed in the website/product pages.
With the cookie in hands (or browser, in this case), the person can go anywhere. Click on a link or a CTA, visit new pages or fill a form. Every time they do something, they leave a trail of "crumbs" behind, where the tracking software can follow them wherever they go.
Although it's the perfect analogy, I think it's kinda messy.
In fact, I think it's best to say that users leave clues that'll eventually help marketing professionals profile them, just like a detective. By knowing a user's browsing habits, including from which site they came and even how they interact with a landing page, it gets easier to plan and develop future strategies.
New CRM tools often offer lead tracking functionalities, but in order to make it work properly, you need to define which steps or events will be tracked. Events are actions a customer takes along the conversion process. It can be a click on a CTA, a page visited, a video watched, and so on.
By defining these steps, you can define where each lead is in the customer journey. Come up with an initial list of important events and then adjust it over time as tracking data is analyzed. It'll certainly give you enough insights to build a proper customer journey map.
Many softwares even allow an automatic task to be performed after each step is completed. Given the user behavior - clicking or not in a link, navigating a specific page, choosing an option in a form - you can offer your potential customer a more targeted communication, leading to conversion.
11 benefits of lead tracking softwares
There are some great benefits of using a software with lead tracking capabilities. In order to understand each and every one of them, let's take a closer look to them:
1- Check the most viewed pages
No matter what you sell, whether you have a SaaS or an e-commerce, finding out what are your most viewed pages in order to optimize your conversions, thus increase your sales.
Tracking page views is maybe the simplest thing you can do with a lead tracking software. But after you discover which pages have the most traffic on your website, it's possible to identify what kind of content your visitors and leads are interested in reading.
A good tip is to cross the data between the time spent on your pages with the most viewed pages. With that, you can get a picture of what visitors are looking for when they come to your site, and if your pages have the content they're looking for. Here enter your detective's logical reasoning to turn this information into a strategy.
2- Find out which sources give the most traffic
Where are your customers coming from? Are your visitors coming from a social media site? Or is a certain link pushing a lot of traffic to your website? Is a backlink on another page giving you hits?
Regardless of where they're coming from, the visitors can give you enough information to use to your advantage. Usually, tracking softwares also inform the visitor's referrer, in other words, like a trail of footsteps that show from where that particular visitor has arrived in your website.
This information can help you discover which links, websites and social channels are bringing you more qualified traffic. More than that, you can identify which channels aren't performing well, giving you insights to strengthen them with a different content strategy or approach.
3- Discover the most clicked CTAs
The goal of creating quality content is to convert visitors into leads, right? Usually, a click on a call-to-action is how this process begins, and the reason it's so important to track click-through rates.
By analyzing your CTAs performance, you can make changes in size, text, position or color to increase its CTRs. Never stop making them better: A/B tests are a great strategy to get a clue about your audience's preferences. With enough clues, you'll certainly deduce which CTAs your leads are more likely to click.
4- Find out which landing pages perform better>
Can you answer how well are your landing pages performing? In case you don't know, your landing pages can make or break your business. A well-designed landing page can be the turning point between the "I'm just browsing this page" and the "I'm interested in this offer".
With a lead tracking tool, you can easily measure if your landing pages are effectively generating new leads. If many visitors are getting to a landing page but aren't converting, there might be a problem that needs your attention.
Also, since you can discover the visitor's referrer URL, you can find out the traffic sources that are bringing qualified visitors to your website. People that have more chance of converting into leads. With these insights, you can create new strategies based on what's already working, or adjust already existing strategies.
5- Map the customer journey with CJM
Sometimes, being observant and follow the steps can give you necessary pieces of information to help solve a mystery. In our case, the mystery is "what lead customers to purchase from you".
To provide a satisfactory customer experience, you must understand every aspect of the customer's journey as they interact with the product or website. That's why it's important to map your customer journey.
Lead tracking plays an important part in the customer journey mapping process. It helps you keep track of your ideal customer's actions before, during and after the conversion. By understanding every touchpoint between your company and customers, you can create strategies to make them relevant. You must be there for them throughout the journey.
Each interaction constitutes a moment of which the customer visits your product or website, and performs some sort of action. It's essential for the customer journey mapping the ability to track these actions and understand how the product or service performed during each stage of the journey.
6- Automatic lead scoring
One of the many benefits of marketing automation is automated lead scoring. With lead tracking, it's possible to define values for every user-generated event. Visiting the pricing page, filling up a form, clicking on a CTA, or reading a blog post awards points for each lead. Once they hit a certain score, they might be showing signs that they're ready to buy.
With time, you'll notice that your regular customers usually take certain steps as they travel through the funnel. By knowing these steps, you can award more points for them, because they're "following the same footsteps" from current customers.
We can say that an automatic lead scoring gives the ability to monitor a prospect’s online body language. Thus, giving insights on how and when sales reps should make a move.
7- Automatic lead management according to behavior
Once you track your prospect's identify and browsing behavior, it becomes easier to determine not only their level of interest in your solution but also how they fit your ideal customer profile (persona).
Does it need more nurturing? Is it time to hand it off to the sales team? These questions should be answered by the marketing team, through monitoring. The way visitors and leads interact with your website, email messages and in-site notifications help you manage them.
Let's say a lead subscribes to the newsletter, visits the pricing page and clicks a "Learn more" button of a SaaS website. With marketing automation, you can create a flow that'll immediately notify the sales team, with the words "Hey, someone looks interested!".
The same goes for a customer that visits a specific feature in a SaaS product but doesn't effectively use it. Like a spy, an automation flow spots this behavior and tells the customer success team that someone needs help using the product.
Instead of looking for evidence all around a place, you set a little alarm that rings right after someone go through a defined path. This is way more effective than deduce things based on a hunch.
8- Easier behavior-segmenting
With all the information given to you by the lead tracking tool, it becomes easier to create smart segments of leads and customer according to their behavior.
A behavioral segmentation allows you to deliver the right message at the right time, using their actions as a "filter". It's like sending a memo for leads that signed up for a newsletter but never visited the blog ever again. Think of it as a group of people with similar characteristics, who visit the same places and act the same way, all in the same setting.
By measuring and delivering messages based on their actions - or motives, since you're almost a detective by now - the effectiveness of these messages increase, bringing more clicks and conversions. That's because they'll be more targeted, made especially for them.
9- Create hyper-segmented nurturing flows
Although you might have similar customers (after all there is a persona to whom your product is aimed to), people may respond differently to the same message. What resonates with one audience doesn’t necessarily resonate with another. That's the reason why segmentation is so important to lead nurturing strategies.
Let's consider the case of a customer that already converted, and is already going through the funnel:
For hyper-segmented nurturing flows, you can add branches that'll create different actions according to the customer behavior:
A different branch can be created if leads don't click the email, and so on. By tracking their behavior, you can not only hyper-segment but develop fully personalized journeys for your base, without having to keep an eye on them all day long.
10- Identify active and inactive users
Who are your active users? What are they doing in your website or product? More important: what are the events that they should activate in order to be considered active to your company? The whole "active user" concept changes from SaaS to SaaS. That's why you need to have this clearly defined before creating the list of events that should be tracked by the software.
This definition of events is crucial since it allows you to use a customer engagement index for measuring how engaged your users are. After assigning values or scores to these events, each one will have an engagement value attributed to them.
It's like a lead score for who's already a customer, where you define the rules that'll tell who's an active user, and who's not. This metric can bring actionable insights to predict churn from users with low engagement scores with your product.
The Customer Engagement Index (CEI) will help you find the breakthrough piece in the puzzle of user activity. Even if you're an experienced investigator, next to evidence, a hunch is just a hunch.
11- Check how users utilize your app
To retain your users, you need to fully understand what are they doing in your app, and if they are using it to its fullest potential. Together with CEI data, it's recommended to compare the behavior of retained users against users who churn.
Look for common behaviors, lack of activity or patterns in which features they use less. Aim to answer the question "What are the common actions that retained users take, but churned users don’t?". Collect enough clues, and even interrogate them (I mean, ask them nicely) to discover what they like in your product.
The best way to find out what retain customers in your product is to implement a systematic process of experimentation. Start testing different ways to get users to take actions, preferably shortly after their first login, and you will soon generate results.
There you go. I'm sure you know by now that lead tracking allows you to better manage your leads and gives your a more accurate control of your marketing strategies. Besides, it offers a complete view of the prospects' sales pipeline.
Alone, a lead tracking software is a powerful tool for any lead detective. Together with marketing automation, it helps to identify trends, recognize prospects, increase productivity and reduce marketing costs with actionable evidence. By evidence, I mean data.
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