When it comes to marketing automation for the travel industry, if you’re using Act-On to send your monthly consumer (B2C) newsletter, you’ve hit one important target. If you’re now wanting to up your marketing game, we encourage you to work with your Marketing Automation Specialist to set up Act-On’s Beacon Tracker on your website and begin collecting data.
In fact, in just a short amount of time, your destination marketing organization (DMO) will have a lot of data! You can see who is visiting your website pages and when, but you’re wondering — what do you do with it now?
Together, we’ll explore:
- Known vs. anonymous visitors
- What information (data) is being tracked
- How users can opt-out
- Ways your destination marketing organization (DMO) can use the data to their advantage.
What is the Beacon Tracker, and Why Does it Matter?
Before we get into what data is being tracked, let's start at the beginning. Act-On's Beacon Tracker uses first-party cookies (not third-party) to track visitors as they navigate your site, including filling out forms connected to Act-On. The cookies usually expire after approximately 12 months (based on the browser defaults) or if the visitor clears their cookies. However, if a visitor clears just their cache (and not their cookies), the cookie will still be present. In special cases where a visitor visits your website on their laptop computer and through their mobile device, it'll result in different cookies being dropped on each location. As long as the same email address is associated with the cookies, Act-On will connect the data under one record.
Let’s talk about what information or data is being tracked. Most specifically, the main function of the Beacon Tracker is to track the page URL each visitor visits and when they performed this action. Act-On can associate any fields in your standard field list or custom form fields to the contact record in Act-On through the visitor’s email address.
Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) can now use this information to send their visitors targeted content that is personalized to their experience
Unknown and Known Website Visitors: How They Make an Impact
Why are we talking about cookies and data? That’s because when a visitor receives a cookie from a Beacon Tracker page, they are divided into two different categories within the Act-On application, Unknown and Known Website Visitors. A visitor who just visits your website is considered an Unknown Website Visitor. You can’t do much with this group in the way of contacting them because you don’t know who they are yet and don’t have permission. But, these visitors will become Known Website Visitors once they fill out a form on your website that is connected to Act-On or they click on a link to your website (where the Beacon Tracker is installed) within an email you’ve sent. It’s important to note that Act-On’s Beacon Tracker has a setting to work with your own cookie messages on your website, allowing visitors to opt out of being tracked. This function is set up through your Act-On settings.
For example, if Visitor A has visited your website, and you can see they’ve been to your events calendar, some listings, and things to do pages. However, since they haven’t made themselves ‘known,’ you are unable to follow up with them at all. On the other hand, Visitor B has filled out your consumer newsletter form. Since they’ve made themselves ‘known’ to you, it opens up a whole different world! You can see the pages they’ve visited on your website and can follow up with them based on their behavior. The same can be said for Visitor C, who received an email from you and then clicked on a link in the email that led them to your website. And what makes the known visitors so special is they consist of contacts who have already given you permission to email them. Making them the perfect segment to move through the funnel from awareness to interest to acquisition (or visit!)
3 Examples of How You Can Use the Beacon Tracker
1. Welcome Campaign
When someone signs up for your consumer newsletter, they are entered into an automated program. The first email sets expectations for future emails as well as introduces the visitors to your destination. There are links in the email that direct them to specific places on your website, including the events calendar, some listings, and things-to-do pages. When it’s time to send the second automated email (usually wait a week), the visitors are segmented based on their website activity. The content is then personalized for each visitor. For example, the email might have two main content areas that are dynamic based on the segment. You can also include seasonal promotions or discounts from your partners that correlate with the pages visitors are visiting on your website as a special treat for your visitors.
2. Cart Abandonment Email
Cart abandonment emails have been made popular by retailers (ahem, Amazon) who automatically send you an email after you’ve added something to your cart but did not make the purchase. How this translates to DMOs is through forms. When a visitor lands on your Request a Guide form but never fills it out, they are presenting you with a great opportunity and one that shouldn’t be missed.
The key is to create a segment based on a behavior that looks in the “last 1 day” time frame — contacts who did visit your Request a Guide form but did not make it to the form completion page. You’d set up your automated program to send an email to these visitors once a day reminding them how awesome your destination is! You also have the option of placing a link to the digital version for them to download. Make sure the guide is first uploaded to your Media Files so you can track the engagement. Your segment would look something like this:
3. Nurture Program
When a visitor signs up to receive a guide, it’s a good assumption that they’re planning to visit your destination soon. Why not create a nurture program and send them helpful information on ways to plan the perfect trip? If you have an app, this is an excellent place to promote it in one of your emails, too. You’d build your segment around visitors who completed filling out the Request a Guide form on your website. Be careful not to mix things up here if you’re already sending an automated email when they sign up for the guide. That can be replaced with this nurture program, adding a lot of value for your visitors.
Dig Into Your Data
Hopefully we’ve piqued your interest in Act-On’s Beacon Tracker enough to install it on your website. If you would like to learn more about Act-On's Beacon Tracker view the help article.