How to implement behavioral marketing campaigns

Marketers have been tasked with doing more with a lot less these days, making it even more critical to focus on tools and strategies that will produce both short and long term gains. In our guest blog post today, Elliott Smith from BounceX, soon to be Wunderkind, shares how behavioral segmentation is a smart strategy that can do just that. Read on to learn eight ways to drive better engagement and higher conversions while building a more foundationally sound messaging program for the long haul.

What is behavioral segmentation in marketing?

Behavioral segmentation uses the cues your customers are already telling you — what pages they browse, what they add to their cart, or what articles they read — to create a compelling customer journey. Rather than send out batch-and-blast emails and hope for the best, behavioral segmentation allows you to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time.

That means treating your email marketing campaigns less like a billboard and more like a conversation.

Unlike massive billboards that still dot highways all around the country (or even spray-and-pray digital ads), email is an inherently personal channel. It’s set up to tell a tailored brand story that converts your prospects and increases customer lifetime value (LTV). 

Unfortunately, most marketers send the same email to the same audience — over and over again.

And it’s killing your business.

In a recent analysis performed by BounceX, batch-and-blast emails generate only about $0.04 in revenue per send for the average ecommerce retailer. Behaviorally triggered emails, on the other hand, generate $0.95 in revenue per send while also posting a 4.1x higher conversion rate

With behavioral segmentation, your emails become part of an ongoing conversation with your individual website visitors based on their relationship to your business — both on and off your website. Here’s how you can start to build a behavioral segmentation strategy for your email marketing campaigns.

Customer data is everything

Understanding the qualitative is important, but in terms of tactics, it’s quantitative data that will tell you the most about your customers and potential customers. 

Segmentation is powered by customer data. Knowing exactly who your customers and regular users are, where they’re from, how much time they spend on your site, and where they’re browsing can give you a full understanding of how each customer navigates your funnel — and where you can best nudge them into making a purchase.

8 types of behavioral segmentation

Behavior drives behavioral segmentation (duh!), so you can slice your segments in different ways depending on how your customers behave. Experiment with these tactics when segmenting your customer behaviors.

1. Customer journey segmentation 

What are the key steps that need to be completed to make a purchase? Clearly define each journey stage. 

When you optimize for the journey, you can:

  • Let them know you’re there for any questions if they’re not ready to purchase
  • Offer softer asks like following on social or sharing an article
  • Keep them circling back on your website and browsing
  • Qualify them and push them to sales if needed

2. Customer-based segmentation

If someone has purchased from you before, they know much more about your brand and your offerings than someone who hasn’t. Purchase behavior is a great indicator of future intent and lifetime value. 

For return customers, you can:

  • Ask them for a review or rating on your site or a third-party
  • Encourage them to deepen their relationship with your brand, like through social media
  • Supply related products they may want to purchase based on past history
  • Give them a referral discount or bonus to drive more growth

…and that’s totally different from people who have never seen your product in action. Take a look at user status, too — whether they’re light users, heavy users, or something in between.

3. Problem-based segmentation

Everyone who comes to your site has a task they’re trying to accomplish, even if it’s under the guise of blowing off steam or just shopping around. 

Every purchase starts with a problem to solve. What are they looking for, and how can you solve it? 

To segment by solution, you can:

  • Focus on the action they need to complete a task
  • Connect your product to the pain point for top-of-funnel messaging
  • Create a sense of urgency with abandoned carts or abandoned pages
  • Provide a discount to tip them over the edge

The more you solve their problem, the more they’ll purchase, use, and recommend your product.

4. Traffic source segmentation

Prospects who discover you through social media have very different expectations than folks who clicked on an ad or came through an affiliate link. Divide an email marketing campaign by inbound traffic source so you can match your messages more effectively when retargeting. 

You can:

  • Offer the same discount to people who came to your site from an ad but didn’t purchase
  • Use the same imagery in a blog follow-up email as what’s on your blog
  • Include a video in a welcome email for fans coming in from YouTube

First-time buyers and customers who don’t know your brand as well need this continuity to feel comfortable about your business.

5. Customer location

Geolocation is easy to grab with IP addresses — and it makes all the difference. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to get a retail email advertising sunny spring days when there’s a snowstorm here in New York City. 

To segment by customer location, consider:

  • Location-specific holidays worth offering promotions for
  • Tailoring weather or seasonal messaging based on location
  • Encouraging customers to come to your brick-and-mortar store if they’re nearby

6.Sementing off of search data

If you have an internal search box on your site, use it to understand what questions your customers are asking. Ask yourself:

  • What questions come up again and again?
  • What products are mentioned?
  • What products do customers not know about?
  • What are their pain points within your products?

If there’s something they’re looking for — whether it’s a specific product or a thought leadership topic — you’ll want to surface that up to those people, especially if they don’t browsers in that session. 

7. Target browsing behavior

This is the best indicator of intent you have. If you know someone looked at your selection of lamps, for example, then don’t try to upsell them with rugs. You already know their customer behavior, so use it to your advantage.

Send them more pictures of lamps, especially if they haven’t purchased yet. Use where they’re looking to understand what other information they need to know. 


  • Sending related content to the products they’re looking at
  • Introducing your customer support team to answer any questions they may have
  • Giving testimonials or social proof around the products they viewed
  • Offering a discount or a “selling out soon” urgency message to tip them into purchasing

8. Using NPS® for segmentation

NPS, or net promoter score, is a useful metric most companies use to determine customer satisfaction. It’s the question you see all the time on the web: “On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to recommend this business to a friend?”

NPS tells you a lot about how well you’re doing as a business, but it can also tell you right away who your best customers are and who you still need to win over.

When segmenting by NPS, you can:

  • Request a review on your site or elsewhere to your 9s and 10s
  • Give a discount to your 6s, 7s, and 8s to get them back into your product
  • Escalate customer support issues from 1s – 5s to try and salvage the relationship

Your highest customer lifetime value are your loyal customers — those 9s and 10s — so make sure you understand who they are and treat them like gold.


Remember, you could have a list of tens or even hundreds of thousands of emails. But it won’t mean much if they’re full of addresses that consistently bounce or never sees any registered clicks or opens (likely meaning it’s ending up in a Spam folder). This will hurt your deliverability in the long run—affecting your ability to understand whether or not specific segments are actually effective. If you’d like to employ an email strategy that helps you avoid this pitfall, consider using a vendor like BounceX, who can help you effectively pair site visitors up with the emails they use most. 

Posted by Elliott Moore of BounceX