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July 26, 2022

How to Identify Website Visitors - All of Them

Don Simpson

Knowing who visits your website — whether it’s hundreds or thousands of people a day — is every marketer’s dream. Imagine the improved CTR of your campaigns, the striking efficiency of your BDRs, and the growing sales exceeding the quota for the quarter. 

Over the years, marketers tried everything to learn more about those who come to their website, from cookies to analytics software to invasive fingerprinting scripts. 

Sadly, even with all those efforts combined, up to 98% of your visitors can remain anonymous — no email addresses, no indicative behavior, and no other trace to decipher their identity. At some point, the amount of effort that goes to identifying a mere 2% of your audience would seem Sisyphean in nature.

But there is hope. To offer you an effective way of identifying all website visitors, regardless of where they come from or what information they volunteer, let’s look at the most popular tools available to every marketer today, listed from the most fundamental to advanced. All of them, however, can be configured to work together in unison.

The Traditional Methods

Website Analytics

The most basic tool that lets you figure out who your audience is on a macro level is website analytics — Google Analytics being the most popular example.

With Google Analytics, you can see: 

  • How many visitors come to your website every day (and compare over time)
  • Where they come from (geographically, but also which websites refer them)
  • How they use your website (which buttons they click, which pages they go to, and for how long they stay)

If you turn on a few advanced tracking features (which often require disclosure on your website), you might be able to get a more detailed look into the demographics of your audience and their interests. 

Still, this level of insight is only the tip of the iceberg. While it gives you some general sense of audience awareness, these visitors might bounce without leaving a trace and there would be no way for you to contact or engage them later on. 

Email Forms

Ideally, everyone who comes to your website would be interested in buying (or at least trying) your product or service and leave their contact information. In reality, collecting emails is quite a struggle. 

That’s why, over the years, companies have resorted to various techniques to persuade visitors to give up their information, from writing extensive white papers to offering free demos, to running giveaways. 

Every SaaS company you visit today has a blog or a newsletter you can subscribe to, and every ecommerce shop greets you with an email popup, promising a  discount to first-time buyers. 

However, the typical conversion rate for a form like this is anywhere between 0.1-2.5%. That's leaving a lot of visitors on the table...

Data-Enrichment Tools

Luckily, email forms are not the only way to capture more information about your audience. In the last decade, there has been a proliferation of data-enrichment software, which digs deeper into who your visitors really are. 

To identify website visitors, data-enrichment tools source information from dozens of public and private sources, and then run it against IP addresses, cookies, and other trackers your visitors might have. All the newly found data then gets consolidated in your CRM, allowing you to devise truly personalized campaigns. 

The problem with data enrichment is that at its best, it’s able to de-anonymize only about 30% of your traffic, leaving the vast majority — 70% — still in the dark (and in some cases, up to 98%). 

What’s more, data-enrichment tools are mostly passive, adding information to your CRM instead of trying to capture visitors’ attention when they are displaying peak interest and are actively shopping on your website. 

Finally, most data-enrichment tools use 2nd or 3rd party data to help you deanonymize visitors. That means that the data could be outdated, irrelevant, and inaccurate. Additionally, it means your competitiors likely have access to the exact same data.

Real-Time Chat

It would be fair to say that finding out who your visitors are is only one side of the coin — engaging them matters just as much. This is how live chat for sales fits into the picture. 

Visit many websites right now, and you’ll see a chat icon in the bottom-right corner. Sometimes it’s just a self-serve FAQ directory, sometimes it’s a semi-intelligent chatbot, and sometimes it’s an actual salesperson. 

Real-time chat can tell you something about a visitor, so long as you ask them first. But, it’s better to be helping visitors with what they need rather than trying to perfect your CRM data on them. Visitors who hand over their email in exchange for information are considered qualified leads. Oftentimes however, a visitor will give you their email address because they are looking for support as they are an existing customer. At the same time, the small percentage of traffic that do provide their email doesn't mean that the remaining majority of traffic is not interested.

Something important to note here - a recent trend has shown marketers asking their visitors for their email address through online chat before connecting them with an agent. The line is usually "Please let us know your email address in case we get dropped during the conversation". However, asking visitors for their email address too soon sabotages your conversion rate by as much as 80%!

The Modern Method

AI-Powered Platforms

So far, all the solutions discussed above do add something positive, but they are incomplete. That’s because:

  • Even if they tell you who a visitor is (e.g. name, email address, IP address), they don’t necessarily tell you if that visitor is interested in becoming a sale / lead 
  • They usually rely on information that’s acted on after the visitor has left the website, not in real-time when the visitor is right there
  • The often rely on data that is external - meaning it could be untimely, inaccurate, or irrelevant

So how do you overcome this?

You would need a tool that can identify website visitors not by their demographic or firmographic details, but by their behavior - this is known as 'buyer-intent' . For that to work accurately and to large scale, you would need to take advantage of AI, as a human could not possibly calculate the necessary parameters to do so.

Meet Lift AI — the only platform that leverages the power of artificial intelligence and a proprietary scoring model to identify the buyer intent of website visitors under any conditions, with over 85% accuracy. Imagine every single user getting assigned a virtual score representing how likely they are to buy, in real time. 

Lift AI evaluates every visitor as soon as they land on your website and navigate through your content. Once the visitor meets a certain score threshold (e.g. "high buyer intent") you can trigger engagement tools to convert those visitors while they're on the site. For example, you could use live chat (such as Drift, Intercom, or LivePerson) to select an appropriate path. Low-scoring visitors might get an automated chatbot experience while high-scoring ones connect with your BDRs right away for conversion. 

This also increases your BDR productivity, as you can determine which exact visitors are worth talking to right now. You can filter out all of the low intent visitors so that your BDRs and sales team spend their time chatting with ready-to-convert visitors only. This is only possible using the real-time buyer intent data of Lift AI.

The unprecedented accuracy of Lift AI comes from more than 15 years of sales data across industries, with over a billion visitors profiled and over 14 million conversations analyzed. As a result, your sales team will gain instant access to your most valuable visitors and increase their conversion rate in no time. 

Moreover, Lift AI is the perfect layer on top of the rest of your visitor engagement stack, working nicely with website analytics, email forms, data-enrichment tools, and chat. Now you can know who a visitor is, and their real-time buying intent

Even better, Lift AI is completely free to try for 30 days. You don’t even need to have a credit card on file — just install a simple JavaScript snippet on your website and watch your traffic being demystified in front of your eyes.

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