Behavioral Marketing Automation Guide For Product Marketers

Behavioral Marketing Automation Guide For Product Marketers cover

In a dynamic and fast-evolving world, understanding where you can leverage automation is important: behavioral marketing automation is quickly becoming a valuable skill for product marketing professionals.

In this guide, we’ll explore what behavior-based marketing automation is, how you can use behavioral segmentation to appeal to your target audience, and the right tools for the job.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of behavior-based marketing automation!


  • Behavioral marketing is a marketing strategy based on utilizing data about your users’ past behavior to deliver more relevant and personalized content (i.e. behavioral targeting).
  • Behavioral marketing automation is the concept of applying automation – triggering certain steps to happen automatically – to the behavioral marketing process.
  • Behavioral targeting and automation is a rapidly evolving space that brings several key benefits: to name a few, you can boost customer engagement, drive loyalty, and increase retention.
  • There are many ways to introduce behavior-based marketing automation in your product.
  • Start with showing personalized messages based on data you’ve gathered via survey. For example, you could show a welcome message referencing a specific ‘job to be done’.
  • You could also send automated emails with relevant content based on user behavior. This helps because it’s a way of directly appealing to customers based on where they’re at in a journey (i.e. a case study demonstrating value might help boost feature adoption).
  • Don’t forget about in-app messaging: contextually relevant tooltips triggered by key events can help show your users what to do next.
  • It’s much simpler to keep hold of existing customers rather than acquire new ones: an automated retention email marketing strategy can help prevent unnecessary churn by targeting disengaged users with bespoke offers.
  • As a product marketer, it’s your job to maximize customer lifetime value. You can automate upselling prompts at key points in the journey to increase the likelihood of a customer upgrading (i.e. once they hit a ‘free’ limit of a particular feature).
  • Finally, you can utilize product analytics to understand negative behaviors historically. By identifying patterns and trends, you can step in proactively before a customer churns and make sure you keep hold of your users.
  • Of course, none of this is possible without the right tool for the job. Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that can help you introduce automation in your app: web analytics for gathering data, in-depth behavioral segmentation capabilities, and the ability to trigger targeted messages based on custom events. Book a demo with us to learn more!

What is behavioral marketing?

Behavioral marketing is a strand of marketing that utilizes data about your users’ past behavior to deliver more relevant and personalized content to a specific audience. User data can be collected from various sources: website analytics, search history, and social media activity.

What is behavioral marketing automation?

Automation is the practice of looking at introducing repeatable steps that help simplify business processes.

Behavioral marketing automation is about applying that concept to behavioral marketing: identifying the key steps in a workflow (i.e. engaging with a feature) and adding in a layer of automation (i.e. upselling an upgrade).

“You’re either the one that creates the automation or you’re getting automated.” – Tom Preston-Werner

What are the benefits of behavioral marketing automation?

Behavioral marketing can be a very effective way to improve your relationship with your target audience and boost your conversion rates. Key benefits include:

  1. Improves customer engagement. Behavioral marketing automation allows you to deliver better-personalized content to your customers at a pace: that’s been proven to lead to increased engagement.
  2. Drive customer loyalty. By segmenting your audience based on their behavior, you can target your marketing messages more effectively – and deliver the right content to the right people.
  3. Increase retention. Create a more consistent experience for your customers by providing content relevant to their needs: it’s a great example of making things better for your audience. The smoother the experience, the longer they’ll stick around.

However, it is important to use it ethically and responsibly: if your users aren’t aware you are gathering data, they might feel shocked when they get personalized recommendations.

Examples of behavior-based marketing automation in SaaS

As automation becomes more and more commonplace, marketers are quickly getting up to speed with how it can be introduced in their products.

Next up, we’re going to explore some specific tactics for introducing behavior-based marketing automation in different contexts.

Showing personalized messages based on customer data

How do you implement it? First, you need a data source. You can gather it directly from customers via a welcome survey (asking about JTBD is a good example). Next, you can use that to trigger a bespoke in-app message based on user needs.

How does it help? It’s a clear and proven strategy for boosting engagement. A targeted message might encourage users to engage with the features that’ll help them with their ‘jobs to be done‘. Ultimately, you reduce time to value – and that improves the chance of retention.

Postify screenshot Behavioral Marketing Automation
A custom welcome message can be an effective behavior-based marketing automation.

Sending an automated email with relevant content based on user behavior

How do you implement it? Firstly, you need to conduct a mapping exercise: defining user behaviors, and which messages you’d like sent in which situation. Once you’ve done that, it’s just a case of setting up an automated email flow (i.e. a specific email set to trigger when a given event occurs).

How does it help? Rather than sending random emails, this approach is far more contextually relevant and likely to boost engagement. In the example below, targeted help is offered when a user has abandoned an Airfocus feature.

Screenshot of automated email
Influence user behavior with targeted emails.

Most tools will let you gather the data you need in-app: you can either use integrations, a separate email marketing tool or utilize a webhook.

Animation of webhook creation in Userpilot Behavioral Marketing Automation
Easily build a webhook with Userpilot.

Offering contextual guidance using a tooltip

How do you implement it? Start by monitoring how your customers are behaving. From there, you can identify patterns of behavior (i.e. a user is struggling to engage with a given feature). Finally, build a contextually relevant tooltip to help point a customer in the right direction.

How does it help? Tooltips build a sense of momentum, reduce friction, and create a more joined-up experience. By showing and explaining how a given feature fits into a flow, you’re guiding your users toward value.

Screenshot of flows in Userpilot
Tooltip created with Userpilot.

Launching celebratory modals when customers hit a milestone

How do you implement it? You need to set out clear product milestones, then align the celebratory messages you’d like to launch with specific actions and specific events. You can then use marketing automation to trigger a modal at the exact point they reach a given milestone.

How does it help? Humans are hardwired to respond to praise: this sort of behavioral marketing automation is all about positive reinforcement. This will create a dopamine hit that builds a sense of achievement and momentum and prompt them to take the next action.

Screenshot of celebratory message
A positive, relevant message can introduce gamification into your app.

Implementing a retention email marketing strategy for disengaged users

How do you implement it? First, you to identify the ‘disengaged’ user set. Of course, you need to set clear parameters for what ‘disengaged’ means (i.e. not using a specific feature for X period of time). Next, set up your automation: organize distinct mails to launch at different trigger points.

How does it help? Retention mails can help keep hold of customers and even win back those who’ve already left. By addressing pain points, demonstrating value through case studies, or offering discounts, you have a better chance of bringing disengaged users back to the app.

Retention email screenshot Behavioral Marketing Automation
Similar to an abandoned cart email, this is a proven behavioral marketing technique.

Using behavioral data to trigger upsell prompts at the right time

How do you implement it? First, you need to map out the customer journey in detail. You’re looking for a couple of key data points: specifically when user activity indicates the time is ripe for increasing value (i.e. boosting the conversion rate for new features).

How does it help? Utilizing behavioral marketing in this way can help directly improve the customer journey. By offering users the chance to upgrade when it’s most relevant for them, makes it a no-brainer to spend more money.

Screenshot of Loom upsell
Loom upgrade prompt.

Identify negative behaviors and trigger targeted messages to improve customer experience

How do you implement it? Start by analyzing historical data, then use what you’ve learned to create a churn prediction model. When you start to identify which customer behaviors correlate with churn, then you can introduce automation that proactively prevents it from happening.

For example, if a specific type of user doesn’t engage with X feature in Y days after signup, that could be a clear predictor of churn.

How does it help? It’s far cheaper and easier to keep hold of existing users compared to winning new business. This sort of automation helps prevent unnecessary churn. For example, you could launch a walkthrough to help users discover a feature they might have overlooked.

Animation of in-app walkthrough Behavioral Marketing Automation
In-app guidance can help demonstrate value.

Behavioral marketing automation with Userpilot

As we’ve covered, there are multiple ways to introduce behavioral marketing automation – and a huge range of benefits. But it’s simply not possible to get that boost in engagement or focus your efforts without the right software.

Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform, and next up we’re going to explore how you can use it to quickly implement behavioral automation in your app.

Collect product usage and behavioral data with web app analytics

You can’t introduce any sort of automation without the right data. Userpilot makes it simple to gather that with a powerful suite of analytics. For example, you can capture when a user completes a key task when a potential buyer tries a ‘freemium’ feature, when a user is stuck on a journey… and so much more.

It’s just a case of tagging different elements of your website, and the web analytics will pick up how customers interact with them.

In-app analytics animation Behavioral Marketing Automation
Tag distinct UI elements to see how different user segments engage with your product.

Use behavioral segmentation for contextual in-app communication

Next, Userpilot can help you with behavioral segmentation – essentially figuring out the most effective way to target users.

You can segment customers based on a huge range of in-app behavior: tracked events, feature engagement, resource engagement, feedback, and more. That makes it incredibly simple to personalize your in-app communication so it’s contextually relevant.

Segmentation in Userpilot Behavioral Marketing Automation
Userpilot makes it easy to segment and target distinct groups.

Trigger targeted messages using custom events

This is where your automation marketing efforts come to fruition: you can set predefined events to launch at specific trigger points.

Built up over time, you can build a complex web of triggers and sequences that knit together to create an extremely effective, cohesive customer experience.

Animation of event triggering in userpilot Behavioral Marketing Automation
Trigger behavior based on specific events.


That completes our journey into the world of behavioral marketing automation.

Hopefully, you now have a framework of understanding what behavioral marketing is, the benefits of automating it, ways you can introduce it in your product – and the right tool for the job.

So if you want to get started with behavioral marketing automation, get a Userpilot demo and see how you can repeatably nail your marketing strategy, boost user engagement, and deliver customer success.

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