Anonymous users - did publishers miss a trick?

The predictions for 2016 digital trends all mention segmentation and personalisation of content to enable publishers to increase conversions and subscriptions.

As well as charging for content, Publishers are using sophisticated analytics to segment and build customer profiles for known users but are they losing opportunities with the anonymous user, which make up a large percentage of traffic on their sites?

"Somewhere between 57 percent and 98 percent of visitors are unknown."

Source: Venturebeat recent research report

To continue to grow revenue publishers are going to need to create more users, why not target the untapped gold mine of the anonymous users?

In order to overcome the stumbling block of user anonymity, it is vital to observe anonymous site behaviour and browsing habits but the key is to apply real time segmentation to learn about who the user is and keep them engaged and on the site for as long as possible in order to promote conversion.

How can this be done?

Publishers can use real time segmentation to apply metrics and rules to users in order to segment them and apply calls to action. Some examples of the metrics can be:

  • Frequency of visits
  • Content read
  • Metered articles viewed

Lets take a look at how we can mine anonymous user data through the use of cookies and real time segmentation using the above metrics in a real scenario:

Frequency of visits – capture how many times a user visits the site in the last 10 days - let’s say three times

Content read – capture what pages a user visits – for this scenario we will say the luxury section and two articles on designer shoes

Articles viewed– if a publisher has a soft wall how many times has the user exceeded the article meter limit – we can assume twice in the last 10 days

So what do we know about the user? They have visited the website three times over ten days, have read about luxury items and shoes and have exceeded the meter three times.

What would be the call to action with this user? Having exceeded the meter limit twice, perhaps a discount to promote registration or subscription. The user enjoys reading about shoes; will they enter a competition or use a discount on a particular brand needing to subscribe and authenticate? There are a number of mechanisms for grabbing emails, from subtle signup fields to rasping pop-ups. Provide an engaging experience, and they’ll gracefully opt in for more.

It’s crucial to bridge the gap from anonymous user data you’ve collected into that person’s identified profile, as that initial outreach to your new user is the most influential and impressionable. Take advantage of the opportunity and continue to build an extensive user profile around each person.

So many different rules and metrics can be applied to anonymous users to allow targeted offers, advertising etc. Publishers need to define the ‘toolkit’ to segment customer groups and pre-empt real time communications.

For Publishers customer data is the lifeline of your business, it needs to be accessible, flexible, and capable of driving real-time action. Its time to focus energy on uncovering the behaviors of unknown visitors, the competition are on it already!

For further information contact the Evolok team.

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