How To Convert Your Website and Ad Visitors (Hottest Leads) Using IP De-Anonymization

2 minute read

Over 95% of visitors across B2B websites prefer to stay anonymous. They do not share any contact information until they’re in-market, have done their research, and are ready for a conversation.

So, on average, only about 2-3% of your website (includes landing pages for Ads) traffic converts (signs up for a demo request or fills out a call-to-action form). Therefore, it leaves the majority of website visitors unidentified. Consequently, there is no way to engage with them directly or understand their specific needs and interests.

Enter IP de-anonymization (one method for website visitor identification). It’s an advanced methodology that provides you with the ability to not only identify anonymous visitors but also understand their behavior, interests, and intent, essentially transforming them into actionable, data-backed leads.

If you want to understand how to use it for your sales pipeline, here’s a post we would recommend👇

Leverage anonymous website visitor identification to fuel your sales pipeline

But for the scope of this article—we'll dive into what IP de-anonymization is, how it works, and how it can help you convert more leads.

Why do you need to identify your visitors?

Suppose someone manages to find your website, click on your ad, or arrive at one of your landing pages via organic efforts (including but not limited to blogs, social media posts, and emails). In that case, chances are that they are interested in what you have to offer. These are typically the most coveted leads among sales reps since they have the highest intent to buy. 

If you’re in B2B, you probably want to know what companies are visiting your websites, what pages they visit, what actions they performed, and more so that you can engage with topics of their interest, build a relationship with them, and help them achieve their goal.

One of the common approaches to proactively engage website visitors is—integrating chat tools into your website pages where the visitors are prompted to share their email addresses so that you can pursue further communication with them. But, not every visitor is in-market to buy your solution and therefore ready for a conversation. And that’s where IP de-anonymization comes into play.

What is IP de-anonymization?

Every device connected to the internet has a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. When a user visits your website, their IP address is logged into your system.

Though the above alphanumeric address gives you some basic information, such as the geographic location of the visitor, it doesn't offer any data specific to who the user is—making them effectively anonymous and difficult to connect with.

IP de-anonymization is a process that leverages a variety of techniques and tools, including IP lookup, to uncover more detailed and precise information about these anonymous users. This process can identify key details such as the user's company, industry, and size, as well as the specific individual who visited the site—their job role, contact information, and digital behavior.

This data is valuable as it can be leveraged to identify, qualify, and convert sales-ready accounts with intent-based outreach and targeted marketing efforts (as opposed to expensive, inefficient spray-and-pray tactics). It helps you build a high-quality pipeline with your already existing traffic!

How IP de-anonymization works

While IP de-anonymization is really helpful, let’s also note that it is not a magic bullet that will instantly convert all your anonymous visitors into leads. It requires strategic planning and execution to leverage effectively.

First, you will need to implement the necessary tools and platforms that allow for IP de-anonymization. It could include IP lookup databases, data enrichment tools, and integration with your existing tech stack.

IP de-anonymization works by using a combination of IP lookup databases, data enrichment techniques, and reverse IP lookup tools. 

When a visitor lands on your website, these tools cross-reference their IP address with millions of records (from the data sets available online) in real-time to identify patterns and relationships which helps in re-identification of the anonymous visitor.

For example, you could retrieve a data set shared by a telecommunications company, a social media site, an e-commerce platform, and a publicly available census result to determine the name and frequent activities of a user.

But that said, a lot goes into your approach to IP de-anonymization. 

Let’s look at two of the most used methods: 

(a) De-anonymization using IP lookups  

(b) Visitor de-anonymization using AI

De-anonymization of visitors using IP lookups

IP lookup refers to the process of linking a device’s physical location and address with the digital device ID to maintain transparency, traceability, and accountability for online activities.

For you to get information about the IP of any domain, all you need to do is visit an IP Lookup site and type the domain name in their search engine. You’ll instantly get the information about the domain which is obtained from a registry called the Regional Internet Registry.

In the early days of the internet, IP address lookup was limited to basic databases that offered general information such as country and region. These days, the algorithms of IP Lookup sites use various techniques, such as border gateway protocol (BGP) routing tables and domain name system (DNS) resolution, to provide precise location details. 

Some of the leading providers of IP data include:

These lookup tools can accurately identify the city, country, latitude, and longitude associated with an IP address, enabling businesses and organizations to personalize content and enhance security measures.

But how accurate is IP based identification of visitors?

While IP lookup brings in useful insights about the visitor, it’s not always accurate and reliable. Relying on IP for visitor identification was good enough, until the widespread adoption of remote work. 

In recent years, especially after COVID, a couple of changes have made de-anonymization of website visitors through IP addresses more difficult:

  1. The increasingly strict privacy laws prevent some tools from accessing a visitor’s IP address
  2. The increase in adoption of remote work also adds to the confusion, as the IP lookups don’t match the company anymore and instead they’re associated with personal home addresses.

Few other reasons contributing to lower accuracy include:

  • Shared IPs: Many users, especially on public Wi-Fi or in shared offices, have the same IP address, making individual identification impossible.
  • Dynamic IPs: Many ISPs assign dynamic IP addresses that change regularly, rendering past data irrelevant.
  • VPN masking: Savvy users hide their true IP with VPNs, leaving only the VPN provider's information.
  • Limited data: Even when identifying a company, the tools rely on databases with incomplete or outdated information.
  • Privacy concerns: Using personal data without explicit consent raises ethical and legal concerns.

AI: The most reliable option for visitor de-anonymization

You don’t want to base your sales outreach on unreliable information, therefore we would recommend you to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) which bases visitor identification and data enrichment based on intent data.

On that note, if you want to understand how intent data is acquired, you might find this helpful 👇

How intent data is acquired

In today’s world, where everyone wants to be hyper-productive, there’s no point in spending hours manually collecting the data and then trying to build coherence. 

Let AI do the chore, and you instead focus your energies on the high-value parts of the value chain.

AI can process any set of data at any time and, in fact, gets better when you give it more data. AI tools can also look back and analyze past actions to predict future behavior. For example, you can identify the visitors who are ready to buy much before you have had the chance to interact with them.

For example, here’s how Plena works.

Plena’s robots identify companies visiting your website, enrich your contact information with 26+ demographics and firmographics data points, help you to qualify the high-intent visitors, and run outreach programs entirely driven by AI.

Instead of deanonymizing visitors through IP lookups, Plena assigns a buyer intent score to every single visitor based on their unique behavior, without the need for any personal data to be filled out by them.

And because it integrates with your existing tech stack and helps you schedule your outreach across multiple channels, it becomes a powerful workflow ranging from sending personalized emails, engaging on LinkedIn, designing retargeting ad campaigns, and more. It ensures your reps don’t miss a single lead with high buyer intent. 

You can increase your pipeline by 45% just by converting your anonymous website visitors without any additional marketing spending. Doesn’t that make a big difference?

Factors some visitor identification solutions can fall short

While IP de-anonymization offers tremendous benefits, like any other technology, it comes with its own set of challenges. One of the primary concerns with IP de-anonymization is the privacy of the users. It's important to adhere to the privacy standards of your country or region while implementing this technology.

When you evaluate your visitor identification solution, it is essential to ensure they aren't limited in the following aspects.

Limited visibility 

Traditional website identification tools offer a certain level of understanding about the activities of a website visitor. They can give a snapshot of a user's interaction with your site, such as pages viewed or actions taken. 

However, these tools fail to provide crucial information about the specific identity of the individuals behind these actions. This lack of specific user information dramatically hinders the ability of sales teams to reach out to these potential buyers.

Incomplete data

It is pretty standard for B2B companies to face difficulties when it comes to capturing visitor information through forms or registrations. This can happen for a variety of reasons. 

For instance, visitors may not complete all sections of the form, or they may provide incorrect or outdated information. This results in the collection of data that is not only incomplete but also inaccurate.

One of the biggest challenges is that it makes it difficult to construct accurate customer profiles. When you have inaccurate or insufficient information about a visitor, it becomes difficult to create personalized messaging that resonates with them.

Third-Party Cookie Dependence

Currently, many visitor identification tools work at the account level using third-party cookies. With third-party cookies being phased out by a lot of providers, you lose not only visibility at an account level but also the ability to track individual buyers. 

These cookies have long been used to tie back browsing behavior to specific individuals, allowing a personalized approach in marketing and sales. As their use diminishes, you need a tool that adopts better ways to identify and engage with individual buyers.

Lack of context

Identifying website visitors is only the first step. To truly engage and convert them, companies need contextual information about their interests, preferences, and past interactions. Unfortunately, many of today's visitor identification tools are limited and often fail to provide this context, making it difficult to deliver relevant content and experiences.

How IP de-anonymization impacts conversion

Once you have the necessary technology in place, it's time to put it to work. Monitor visitor behavior, note trends and patterns, and use these insights to shape your outreach strategies. The more you understand about your visitors, the better you can tailor your content and messaging to fit their goals and pain points.

For B2B companies especially, conversions are all about quality rather than quantity. 

It's not about attracting a large volume of traffic to your website but about attracting the right kind of traffic—potential customers that fit your target profile and are likely to engage with your product or service.

With IP de-anonymization, you also obtain a better understanding of your visitors' digital behavior. You can identify the pages they visit, how long they spend on each page, and the actions they take. 

This behavioral data can provide insight into what content attracts your target audience, what their pain points might be, and how your product or service can provide a solution. 

Armed with this information, you can optimize your sales and marketing efforts to better align with your audience's interests, contributing to improved engagement, conversion rates, and, ultimately, revenue.

Here’s an interesting case study:

One of our customers just defined their ideal customer profile (ICP) on Plena to track those specific accounts that fell under their ICP.

They set up alerts on Slack so that the sales reps could reach out to those leads while they’re looking for a solution.

Within a month they built a high-intent prospect list of 14 companies based on visitor identification alone. In six months, they ended up selling to 70% of those prospects and booked $33 million in revenue. How’s that for conversion?

When we spoke to them we learned something interesting.

They didn’t wait for transactional intent. They instead continued sending focused and helpful content to those 25 companies without trying to push for a sale. They believed that the fact those ICP accounts were consuming specific content meant there was some interest, even if the potential purchase was a long way off.

The takeaway is—to engage! Send personalized emails, craft targeted ad campaigns, and offer content downloads that fit their interests. The goal is not to overwhelm with aggressive sales tactics but to provide value, establish trust, and nurture the lead toward a sale in a respectful and personalized way. 

And most importantly, test, adjust and iterate.

Summing up…

IP de-anonymization can be a powerful tool in converting your anonymous website visitors into a robust pipeline. By identifying your visitors, understanding their behavior, and personalizing your marketing efforts, you can engage your visitors more effectively and nudge them down the sales funnel.

With a platform like Plena, you can take things to the next level. You automate your end-to-end outreach workflows—from finding the right leads (building a brand new account list or identifying the high-intent website visitors) and enriching them to prospecting and multi-channel outreach.

If you want to find and reach out to your ideal customers and website visitors while they’re in-market, we highly recommend you give Plena a spin!

Each day without Plena = Lost Sales

With Plena — list building, contact enrichment and scalable multi-channel outreach is a breeze.