When I first heard the elevator pitch that VisitorTrack from Denver’s netFactor gives a web site operator a report that acts like “caller id for your web site” I was pretty skeptical. I figured, OK, here’s some random guy taking on Google Analytics.
My previous company (ZOLL Data Systems) had tried to hire netFactor founder Chris Jeffers many years ago as a marketing VP. I remembered interviewing Chris and really liking him, but for some reason or another we could not come to terms on employment.
Chris let me toy around with VisitorTrack so I installed it on a production web server at a SaaS company that I’m advising here in Boulder. It worked easily; I just had to paste a small snippet of code into a standard header for the product. I only put this in “logged out” marketing type pages so that we’d avoid capturing data on existing customers.
I waited about a week, and then went to look at the results. You could clearly see many of the company’s key prospects poking around. You could also see competitors and which pages interested them most. Most importantly, it was pretty obvious that there were some previously unknown prospective customers coming back again and again to see what was new.
The real differentiator that VisitorTrack is offering is that it actually identifies the companies that are looking at your web site. You get the company name, address, and other metadata such as their search phrase used, number of pages viewed, number of repeat visits, etc. That’s right, actual company names and addresses, and the beauty of this is – it really works.
The company that tested VisitorTrack for me operates in a niche market. After looking at the data provided by the system, the founder asked simply “How the hell do they do that?” He was looking at a report of people who were anonymously visiting his product web site and seeing the full details of these visitors, including their company name and contact information. Of course, VisitorTrack can’t tell you exactly who inside that organization is looking at your site (not that it would surprise me if it could) but because this company operates in a market made up of mostly small suppliers, this still turns out to be very useful data.
I asked Chris about the secret sauce that makes this work so well. Chris told me that “We utilize many different databases from which to distill a detailed view of the business visitors to a web site. Importantly, this all occurs in real time allowing access to web-based reporting and automatic email alerts.”
I asked Chris where the idea for VisitorTrack came from and he said that it was born of his own experiences. “For business to business web sites, less than 2% of web site visitors will volunteer contact information to learn more about a product. With the prices for internet marketing soaring, and emerging evidence that the effectiveness of this channel is diminishing, business managers are seeking new efficiencies from their internet marketing investment.” Chris was clear that this isn’t just another aggregate tracking tool such as WebTrends. “We’ve tried to create an application set that creates opportunities and provides tools to develop relationships from the insight into individual visitors.”
Another interesting feature of VisitorTrack is accomplished through a strategic relationship with Jigsaw (I know, I know, boo, hiss). With a simple click, users can see detailed contact information for executives within each company that has visited their site. Chris commented that “our users can direct their sales and marketing outreach to companies who are already searching for their products, and exposed to their brand.”
With VisitorTrack, netFactor provides a few interesting new twists on web tracking. This isn’t just another web visitor tracking and statistics package. For the right type of company, VisitorTrack can provide valuable business intelligence and can improve sales efficiencies in a very tangible way.
Currently, netFactor charges a monthly license fee for the use of VisitorTrack. I’m hopeful that it may reach a wider audience in the future but I think this might require a change in the pricing model. This is the type of service that might do well to work out a freemium model of some kind – for example they could give away up to 25 (basic) leads per month and offer premium services that help users to sort the leads, figure out which leads are hottest, do executive contact searches, etc.
For more information on VisitorTrack, visit www.netFactor.com.