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website visitor identification

Website visitor identification software

How to convert website visitors into leads

Using website visitor identification software and a simple process you can convert unknown, anonymous website visitors into leads. This method is best suited to business to business (B2B) selling because of the way the software works. And in my experience the higher the value of your products or services, the more likely it will deliver an impressive return on investment (ROI) for you. 

 

What is website visitor identification software and how does it work?

Each software solution is different but in general the principles are the same. You first add some tracking code to every page of your website. If you’re lazy/smart you use Google Tag Manager or perhaps a CMS plugin/module, if available.

Once installed, the tracking code then works in a similar fashion to Google Analytics, passing details of the visits to your site, including the IP addresses, pages visited etc.

The software maintains a database of IP addresses and associated companies. Typically you access the data either by receiving email alerts or by logging into a web based dashboard to browse your visitors and their visits.

The accuracy of the company/IP match will depend on the source data and how frequently the database is updated. Even the most highly rated website tracking solutions on the market today can sometimes give false results.

Top tip: From past experience I learned to check other companies at the same zip or postcode using Google. Often I would find a known prospect, customer, competitor or supplier in the same building as the unknown company the software had detected.

Some people think of website tracking software as ‘caller ID for your website’ but the reality is less illuminating. It cannot be stressed too highly: the software only reveals companies visiting your website and not individuals. Yes, it will show you the behaviour of an individual from that company but it won’t tell you who they are. Keep reading for more help on that.

 

Hey, what about Google Analytics?

Google Analytics does identify some but not all companies visiting your website. It only identifies larger companies who have their own IP addresses and seldom recognizes smaller companies. Combing through the network service provider report to find a hot prospect or nosey competitor is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Believe me, I’ve done it and much worse (don’t ask me about server log file analysis).

 

Turning suspects into leads? Yes, really.

So how do you turn visits from a company into leads? Remember, at this stage the individual visitor is still anonymous as they have not submitted an enquiry form or any personal data. All you may have is a list of companies you suspect have a need for your products or services and a list of the pages they visited. Many website visitor tracking solutions will enhance the basic company info with data including SIC codes, turnover, social media accounts etc. Some will even add ‘lead scoring’ to help you prioritize your time. None will tell you which employee visited.

Look at the visits from the company and ask yourself, what was the visitor’s intent? Where are they in their buying journey? If it’s a first visit perhaps they are doing research. If there are multiple visits this may indicate your business is being shortlisted or compared. Think about the job title of the person visiting your site. It’s likely to only be a handful of people, even in a large enterprise. And with smaller businesses it’s likely to be the owner or a senior manager. Use LinkedIn to find the company and people in that job role. Do you share any connections or groups you can use to connect with them? If you have a paid LinkedIn subscription it might be worth contacting with them via InMail. In any case, be honest. Tell them you saw someone from their organization visiting your site and you wondered if it was them. It’s a great way to get the conversation started. Have you ever been on a company’s website and had a ‘coincidental’ sales call shortly after, even though you didn’t submit an enquiry? Now you know how they do it.

 

Marketing automation or dedicated visitor tracking solution?

There are many different solutions available in the market for identifying anonymous website visitors. Most marketing automation software now includes this functionality as standard so it’s worth checking if you already have such a solution in place. I shan’t attempt to list all the marketing automation solutions here that do. There are just too many and in any case website visitor tracking should not be your top priority in selecting such a solution.

But if you are looking for a dedicated website visitor tracking solution, here are a few things to think about.

 

Visitor tracking software selection criteria

Features
Comparing respective feature sets can be helpful but until you try the software you won’t whether they are worthwhile to you.

  • Real-time alerting
  • Email alerting
  • Company data enhancement
  • Lead scoring
  • CMS integration
  • CRM integration
  • Social media integration
  • Referrer and campaign tracking (how they found your site)
  • Branding or white labeling
  • Data exports
  • Multiple users/departments
  • Lead routing to different users/depts
  • Reporting

Trial
Every standalone solution offers a trial, usually between 7 to 30 days. How useful the trial will be depends on the amount of traffic to your website. Don’t be afraid to ask for a trial extension – it’s a very competitive market! Trialling multiple solutions at the same time can give you an insight into which performs best for you.

Contract length
The industry leaders started out signing customers into 1- or even 2-year contracts. Those days are now gone. Like many SasS solutions, most now have no minimum contract periods.

Your location
Depending on where your business and your prospects are based you may find one solution has more data and better accuracy than others. Most will cope well with North America and European locations. However, emerging markets with rapid changes in business might be more of a challenge.

Solution maturity
How long has the solution been established? Who is behind it? How is the business funded? A lot of visitor tracking software solutions have closed down or been acquired within the last few years.

Market share
It is not easy to estimate market share unless you want to buy a very expensive sector report. Anyone in sales will tell you their solution is the best and the most popular (of course). Alternatively, you could use Alexa to see how popular their website is.

Cost
Pricing models vary. Most dedicated solutions offer tiered pricing based on the number of pageviews per month. A few solutions price by the number of companies or ‘leads’ identified.

Support
Some offer email support and online chat only. Other solutions have account managers and international support numbers. Once you are familiar with the dashboard and functionality no solution should require a great deal of support.

 

16 dedicated website visitor identification software solutions

Here’s a list of current dedicated website visitor identification software solutions. I’ve trialled and paid for some of these in the past but refrain from making any recommendations, as I don’t know your circumstances. I shall cry myself to sleep tonight just thinking about all the affiliate fees I’m missing!

 

Over to you…

Do you have any experience with this type of software? How helpful was it? How did you use it? Let me know in the comments below. Oh, and if you’re a vendor, please play nicely!

 

Guess Who? board game photo credit: Bethany Khan

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Founder & CEO

Paul is Founder & CEO of 47 Insights. He has been advising both software and publishing subscription businesses on growth strategies since 1995.