For years, I’ve had customers ask me how they can target people who visit their website, even though that person has not filed out any information, such as leaving their name and email address. In fact, only about 2% of website visitors will ever leave their name and email, so you don’t have a good way of getting back in touch with someone once they leave your website.

This is the reason why we see so many websites utilize an “exit-intent” popup. These are reminders that when you are about to leave a site, popup with a message that says, “Wait! Leave your email and we’ll give you a bonus!” It is also why retargeting ads are employed. I’ve written several articles about retargeting over the years, which explains the process, including “Getting Visitors to Return to Your Website,” and Marketing Like the Big Boys.” Both of these still contain highly relevant information today.

In those previous articles I created some tweets that said, “The best ways to get people to come back to your website is to capture their email address, then send them links to your most recent post on a weekly basis.” And, “Once you get them on your site, it is your responsibility to not let them leave until they give you their email address.”

The problem is that neither of those methods are what website owners really want. If someone visits your website, you want them to order from you. And if they don’t, you want your website to identify who they are so you can get back in touch with them. This is a process called website visitor identification.

Visitor identification, also called anonymous website visitor identification, is an account-based lead generation approach that helps organizations identify website visitors by matching the IP address of the visitor against a database of IP addresses used by companies. Visitor identification software provides:

  • Website Visit Information: Businesses that are visiting your website, the pages they have viewed, and the amount of time they have spent on your website.
  • Company Contact Information: contact details for key decision-makers in the visitor’s company. 

In other words, when someone visits y our website, the software captures their IP address, then compares it to a database that lists who is at that IP address and what their contact information is. Now we can target those people directly via email because we know who they are.

Of course, it isn’t quite that simple. For one thing, you must have a very large database that matches IP addresses with known emails. You must still adhere to privacy and SPAM protection laws. And or course, depending upon the size of the organization, you might have numerous people sharing an IP address. Imagine if the boss of a manufacturing company suddenly starts seeing emails for lingerie or diapers? (Unless that is what they are manufacturing).

The identification rate is typically between 20 to 30%. For example, if you have 2,000 visitors to your website each month, this means that the visitor identification software might match 400 people. When you send an email to those folks hoping to get them to return and buy from you, you are looking at about 10%, meaning that you would get an additional 40 sales. If you average order value is $100, this means that you can recognize an increase in sales of $4,000 per month. As you can see, website visitor identification can fill a very real void in how you market your products.

There are a number of softwares that perform some aspect of visitor identification, and the cost is all over the board, from about $30/month to $1,000 per month. Here are a few:

Of these, Leadberry seems to be extremely affordable for what you get.

Another company, AddShoppers, has a huge database of IP addresses (2 Million +) and they do the retargeting for you. This is done by using a proprietary shopping co-op called SafeOpt. You pay a one-site setup fee, then 20% of each lead they convert for you, so you pay for results rather than by the month. They do the actual work of sending out the emails to drive traffic back to your website rather than sharing their data with you (until a sale is made, then that becomes your customer). AddShoppers integrates directly with Woocommerce and Shopify.

The way most of these work is that you add a small piece of tracking software (javascript code) to the header or footer of your website. that is typically all that is required in order to start capturing leads. Then you login to your visitor identification platform to manage the results. Combined with an email program, this can become a powerful marketing tool for your ecommerce business.

After researching this for a client, I feel strongly enough about it that I am going to start using these tools myself. Think about how this can benefit your business.

Note: This article may contain affiliate links. This means that at no additional cost to you, if you click on a link and purchase a product or service, I may receive a small commission for my recommendation.