The Key Techniques Behind Successful Behavioural Email Campaigns

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For those of you that don’t already know, behavioural email involves targeting based upon customer’s website behaviour. This could be looking at what they have browsed, added to their basket or what searches they have made. Here are some key techniques of what to consider with your behavioural email marketing:

Be Timely

You need to be quick. With cart recovery emails we recommend an hour, and for any other activity follow-up we always recommend the next day at the latest. It is essential that you stay in the front of your customers mind whilst they are carrying out research on potential products.

Link with purchase history

We have all bought something on the web, only to continue to experience adverts showing the items we have just purchased on every website we visit for days on end. With all behavioural email campaigns it is vital to make sure you integrate them with purchase data to ensure that if someone has purchased an item you don’t keep sending them emails on the topic.

Don’t be Big Brother

Being able to see exactly what every customer has done on your website is fairly powerful – but customers don’t always like the idea that they are being spied on. Tone your copy down, avoiding terms such as ‘Recommended based upon your last visit’ or ‘we have seen that you…’ but instead using non-invasive copy such as ‘Recommended for you’ and ‘Perhaps you may like…’

Understand the customers intent

Most people think Amazon are brilliant at behavioural targeting. On the web they are, but in email it is not always so. I recently received an email after looking at some books – however instead of drilling down on what type of books I was browsing, they simply pushed me a generic books email. It’s not like I don’t know Amazon have a lot of books!

Compare this to a Jones Bootmaker email (right) received after browsing. Here they have understood my intent around the type of shoes I am looking for and sent me tailored recommendations based upon style and brand – plus an incentive to action right now!


Make sure you set-up some frequency controls so a customer doesn’t get this every single time they visit your website without buying something. We generally recommend no more than one of these emails within a 30 day period.


As with all email activity we recommend keeping a controlled group back of 10% who don’t get the email to measure the true effectiveness.

Suppression from normal emails

Adding a suite of behavioural emails can mean customers can get inundated with emails from you. As well as making sure there is no overlapping criteria like not suppressing those due to get your cart recovery campaign from your browse abandon campaign, it is usually sensible to ensure anyone due a behavioural triggered email is excluded from your normal weekly campaigns.

For more information about behavioural email campaigns get in touch with one of our experts or download our new Maxecommerce brochure.