Personalizing link tracking in Social Networks to customize each visit

Whenever you share content with a person or a list, you can add tracking. You will then know if and when the web is visited. Prioritizing your funnel is key in any sales function especially for inside sales and SDR..

If they don’t open whatever it was you sent, better change the theme and focus meanwhile on someone else. But whenever you send a specific piece about your product and it gets read, that sounds like a sales prospect, ready to talk .

Another key to sales success is personalization. In the second part we will see how to have a specific message for each visitor, so that implies a need to identify and define what to do with each one.

Most marketing automation and mailing tools have a link-tracking capability when working with email. You can also use a number of other tools that work with Gmail and other personal mail services, such as Yesware and Docsend. My personal favourite is HubSpot Sales because it plays nicely with Gmail and has all the other cool features.

The problem is that email is a very saturated channel. It is harder to reach people with email than with social networks.

Linkedin claims that its messages have a response rate several times better than emails. There are a number of considerations on cold emailing and how to prospect in social networks but we are using content as outbound (as Jacco VanderKooij from winningbydesign puts it) instead of a sales pitch, we are good.

But tracking gets more tricky if you want to use direct messages in Linkedin or Twitter.

They don’t allow tracking pixels or any form of rich HTML so those services don’t work over there. So you have to do some workaround.

In reality, tracking is quite simple using Google analytics with UTMs. Those are just parameters inserted in the URL in order to know where visitors came from.

The point, if you are in sales, is that you usually don’t care about general visitor statistics but about your individual customers.

Google analytics work only with anonymous traffic, so how can you bridge that?

Well, you need to use some form of unique identification, inserted in the URL you send.That could be a customer ID or simply the customer email address.

Now, it depends on what tool you use to keep track of your customer interactions, and this could get a bit techie. So to keep it short: it can be done, and we have that tracking working in relevante.me and also with Intercom.io. So we are going to see now how to combine with personalization.

It is one thing to track opens and clicks, but wouldn’t it be cool if you could also identify who is visiting your site? Then you could react and truly personalize each piece of content.

57% of clients felt sites lacked relevant individualized content

Well, you can, if you combine it with Intercom. This allows you to react in a personal way to every visit and thus increase your sales chances.

Intercom is a chat and messaging platform that helps to personalize communications with your users and web visitors. It uses segmentations and events to help you define the messages that each of them should receive.

If you use Intercom (as with any automation platform), the visits to your content will be anonymous until they register or leave you their email address (with a download white paper or form).

But that will include your very own contacts, to whom you just sent that nice piece of content. So, too bad, especially for existing leads and customers that may never enter their data (and 98% of web visitors do not leave their email address).

But when you add the tracking email or ID to your Links, it will be recognized, and thus you could enable any specific behaviour defined for that group, tag, or specific user. Basically, in Intercom (and in relevante.me) you can use tags to segment your customers and then define the rest of the interactions all the way.

You can send several hundred messages and each one will be individually recognised, so at the website you could greet them with messages tailored to each of them. For example, you could invite the managers to a special event, redirect others to a webinar, and make sure the VIP gets a direct line to you or is redirected to someone predefined.

Now, a small detail. It does look weird to send a huge URL with all the tracking parameters in it, so you can use a link shortener to keep it tidy. There are lots of providers, from free ones to fancy ones. (Even Google has one: https://goo.gl.) The one we use at relevante allows us to personalize the short URL, so that’s cool for brand recognition and trust.

If you use the LinkedIn or Twitter message systems directly, you will have to do it one by one, but with relevante.me you can select a group and each addressee will receive the message with their own tracking.

relevante.me automatically gets the history of interactions, and tracking will be available both at relevante.me and at Intercom. If you use another system for content, such as HubSpot, you could still use their tracked URL and get them in relevante.me to send it over to a list of LinkedIn and Twitter connections, and still have the interactions in your CRM or marketing automation.

By the way, you can of course also use it to track the contents you send by email. You can use HubSpot Sales and create a template with the URL to be shared, plus the variable “contact email” at the end . But as it takes the email from the “to” field, it only works one at a time. (But I am sure it could be worked out. Let me know if this is your case.) To send one personalized tracking mail to many users at once, you can use the mail merge function. One very simple tool is Gmass, a Chrome extension. Each recipient receives a single unique mail with their personal URL that will allow you to know when they visit and react accordingly.

So with this system in place you can get in touch with your list of prospects via email, Twitter or LinkedIn and be confident that if they visit, the experience will be personal– as personal as you define it, and you will know. So you will be able to prioritize and to focus on those ready to talk to you.

Well, as a closing thought: Relevance is more Important than Personalisation. In order to generate some interest, so that they visit you in the first place, you have to share content that is related to them. So a very important previous step is either to know what your prospects care about, or to use a tool to find out, like relevante.me

The cool thing about the tracking discussed is that it will track every user, no matter what they use to see the content; web, mobile, etc. Once they are in your system they will be recognized, and a personal message will be delivered when they visit any piece of content across any of your domains. So, better focus on getting something that interests them at some point.

I am aware that in many organizations, sales outreach and the websites that belong to marketing are two different worlds, sometimes with different languages. And here we imply that they should talk to each other, at least minimally, to set up a basic tracking and sharing content. The alignment of sales and marketing is a larger topic than this post, but there are a lot of – yes – synergies when they work together. The transformation of the buyer is logically impacting the traditional boundaries, and agile organizations are already taking a new combined approach.

Also, the use of different tools and services may sound more complex, but digital life and sales are indeed a mix of channels, networks, and people. Leads can come from many different places. There is no single magic single tool for all, so a nice practice is to get your services to interoperate.

So, what is your sales stack? how do you scale and keep it personal ?

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