What Is In-Session Marketing?

In-session marketing (ISM) is an emerging martech category that focuses on understanding micro-behaviors on digital properties to drive conversions.

By Leslie Weller August 19, 2022
couple shopping online with in-session marketing experience

In-session marketing (ISM) is an emerging martech category that focuses on understanding micro-behaviors of anonymous consumers to increase conversions.

If you’re already investing significant resources to get visitors to your digital property, then you know that bringing consumers back after they leave is only getting harder and less accurate with the disappearance of 3rd party cookie tracking and other privacy regulations.

Advances in behavioral intelligence are opening new strategies to increase ecommerce revenue from anonymous traffic through higher conversion rates and improved consumer experiences. AI is driving the advancement of digital commerce for anonymous consumers with a whole new category called in-session marketing.

So, What Is In-Session Marketing? 

In-session marketing is the application of real-time marketing that focuses on all active users on your digital properties with the intention of understanding micro-behaviors in order to drive conversions. It’s important to understand that in-session marketing does not require historical, demographic or CRM data.

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Why In-Session Marketing Matters to You

In-session marketing is a modern category that solves the complex challenges of understanding and reacting to short-term consumer behaviors in the moment for a privacy-forward world.

eCommerce Revenue Growth

eCommerce sales have been steadily increasing every year with significant acceleration since 2020, brought on by pandemic-related at-home shopping. As more revenue comes from digital ecommerce sites, improving online shopping experiences is necessary to earn consumer confidence and spending.

Increasing Privacy Regulations

With GDPR, CCPA, the demise of 3rd party cookies, Apple iOS 14 “Ask App Not to Track” options and other data privacy moves, brands must explore new methods to deliver personalized experiences.

Bringing together AI algorithms and event data in ways that preserve consumer privacy is one of the keys to delivering the next generation of ecommerce solutions.

What Are the Benefits of In-Session Marketing?

Increase revenue

Realize up to 10x return on investment from existing traffic on your ecommerce site

Increase conversion rates
See purchase conversion rates lift by 15% – 60% for ‘on-the-fence’ site visitors
Tailor experiences for anonymous consumers

Improve onsite experiences of all visitors in a privacy-forward world

Improve business outcomes such as measurable lift in purchase conversions, increase profit margin, and increase cart value for transaction-based websites, such as ecommerce sites.

Key Stakeholders for In-Session Marketing

As the leaders and pioneers of in-session marketing, ZineOne has observed this new discipline being managed cross-departmentally, and typically owned by one of the following groups:


eCommerce leaders are responsible for driving revenue from digital properties, primarily the website and mobile app. 

Digital / Marketing

Digital teams are often looking for new sources of revenue, with data privacy and acquisition costs on the rise, they look for innovations to improve the customer experience.

Pricing and Promotions

Depending on the brand’s organizational structure, pricing and promotions leaders may adopt in-session marketing to optimize revenue using intelligent segmentation.


eCommerce leaders looking to increase conversion rates and drive incremental revenue from current site traffic turn to in-session marketing.

Sophisticated AI predicts short-term behaviors such as who is showing a high likelihood to make a purchase, who is not actively shopping and who is on-the-fence and therefore influenceable. These predictions happen in real-time, in the moment while on the site or app, at scale and are the basis for unlocking new strategies to drive incremental revenue.

This lift in ecommerce revenue comes in the form of more first-time purchases, higher conversion rates, larger basket sizes, less cart abandonment, reduction in unnecessary incentive offers and more.


Marketing and digital leaders can offer an elevated consumer experience based on AI predictions happening in-the-moment they are live on your website, while they are still in-session. 

Although ecommerce and pricing teams are ultimately responsible for digital commerce revenue, marketing can help elevate the customer experience across every touch point. Modern AI predictions determine which site visitors should be given VIP treatment, which should be left alone and which consumers need a little nudge or incentive to complete their transaction. 

Consumers are not one-size-fits-all, and no one knows this better than top marketing leaders. New in-session marketing tools give marketers new micro-segmentation options based on real-time intelligence and visitor intent.

Pricing and Promotions

Often working cross-functionally, pricing and promotions professionals use sophisticated models and human-expertise to manage product prices. Behavior-based predictions determine who receives which real-time offers or VIP live chat services. 

Some organizations lead their initiative from the pricing stakeholder. This approach makes sense especially when a brand uses a high volume of discounts and other promotional offers. In-session marketing can increase overall revenue by decreasing the use of discounts when they are not needed. Saving margin by using intelligence to selectively allocate incentives.

In-Session Marketing Augments Personalization Efforts

Your personalization engine has been built around customer profiles. Personalization platforms work to create 360-degree views of your customers and personalize experiences based on deterministic or probabilistic data you know about each customer. They help you recommend products and experiences based on past purchases and known demographics. 

In-session marketing is about understanding behavior the moment that visitors are active on your website.

ISM uses clickstream event data to inform machine learning models, analyze micro-behaviors and take action to personalize experiences within milliseconds, before the visitor leaves your digital property.

In-session marketing relies on real-time data. You can layer ISM together with your traditional personalization tools to offer new capabilities based on intelligent intent-based signals and segments.

In-Session Marketing Builds on Customer Data Platform Initiatives

A Customer Data Platform is defined by the CDP Institute as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.” CDPs emphasize linking data from multiple systems to customer profiles. 

Advanced CDPs may perform predictive modeling and journey mapping. However, CDPs rely on historical and repeat visitor data. Whereas, in-session marketing takes a privacy-forward approach to predict behaviors based on in-the-moment clickstream events for both anonymous and known traffic.

In-session marketing can augment CDP capabilities and work together to improve conversion rates and other business outcomes. 

How to Measure Success of Your In-Session Marketing Strategy 

Early adopters are seeing significant revenue lift of 10X ROI and higher. New customer purchase conversion rates are lifting up to 67% with their in-session marketing investments. 

Measuring outcomes should be a key part of your in-session marketing strategy. It’s important to account for variables such as seasonality. We recommend using control groups to compare the effectiveness of your efforts.

ZineOne has developed a zero-cost program to get started, called ZineOne RevPredict™, for brands with over 1M monthly ecommerce site visitors. ZineOne RevPredict participants will get to see firsthand results of an AI-simulation with projected business outcomes.

What Is an In-Session Marketing Platform? 

In-session marketing platforms are a newer technology that provide a deep understanding of micro-behaviors of each site visitor. At its core, ISM platforms can personalize the onsite experience of all active users on your site or app – regardless if they are anonymous or known – with the intention of understanding micro-behaviors in order to drive conversions.

An in-session marketing platform analyzes clickstream data using advanced AI predictions, operationalizes those predictions instantly and tracks relevant business outcomes.

In-session marketing platforms provide these key capabilities:

  • Predictive segmentation of anonymous visitors
    • Combine AI algorithms and streaming event data to unlock novel audience targeting opportunities.
  • Triggered experiences
    • Respond to anonymous visitors’ short-term behaviors immediately, in-the-moment, before they leave your site.
  • Measurable outcomes drive immediate incremental results
    • Marketers and brands are looking for greater efficiency and return on their ad spend, decreasing the need and reliance on remarketing.
    • ISM solutions will measure attributable business outcomes, such as improvements in revenue, conversion rates, margin savings, loyalty membership growth and more.

Increase Revenue With In-Session Marketing From ZineOne

Let’s talk. ZineOne will help you increase revenue from anonymous and known site visitors before they leave your site while improving the consumer experience. 

We can’t wait to share with you how a clothing brand was able to increase their online conversion rate by over 21% for its anonymous consumers. Let’s start the conversation.

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