The definition of marketing automation
Marketing automation is a technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.
Marketing automation will increase revenue, save your company time, and boost productivity. When implemented correctly, marketing automation has impressive power. For example:
91% OF BRANDS THAT USE MARKETING AUTOMATION FEEL IT IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THEIR SUCCESSFUL ONLINE MARKETING. (thanks for the data Marketo)
Implementing automation is great. However, most companies do NOT understand the full reach of automation. 85% of B2B marketers do not feel they are maximizing their marketing automation platform, cited by SiriusDecisions.
The good news: With deliberate strategy and implementation, we can get more out of your automation investment. It’s an investment that has been proven to increase conversion rates across the board.
Our holistic experiential marketing approach to marketing automation is laid out below with best practices. Here is a visual example on this case study.
First, Map Out Your Goals and “Why”
Before starting any marketing automation, it is important to know the who, what, why, and ultimate objectives. Here is a metaphor.
You desire an old fashion using Kentucky Peerless Bourbon.
You know the ingredients and what other brands are out there. (Bitters, Simple Syrup, Bitters, Makers, Old Forester…)
After acquiring the right ingredients, you follow mixing steps to make the most delicious old fashioned cocktail.
MARKETING AUTOMATION IS IDENTICAL. WHEN YOU KNOW YOUR END GOAL, YOU CAN ASSEMBLE THE RIGHT ELEMENTS AND TAKE THE PROPER STEPS.
Sit down with your partners and contemplate:
- The long-term and short-term goals of the company
- What role marketing automation plays in making those goals happen
- What outcome you want from each specific marketing automation
- The type of branding, tone, language, and personality you and your team want your brand to convey
Use the SMART framework for marketing automation goal setting.
- Specific: Be clear on the ultimate objective.
- Measurable: Know what to measure; what metrics will determine if the automation was successful?
- Attainable: Be realistic with goals. Based on previous campaigns and resources, what is a realistic metric your campaign can achieve?
- Relevant: Make sure the marketing automation goals align with your brand’s big picture goals and customers’ values and interests.
- Time-bound: Institute a deadline.
Make a Welcome Email Workflow
Use the #1 opportunity to connect with a new supporter opt-in.
Send a welcome email within one day.
It is typically the most effective type of marketing automation.
IN THIS EXPERIAN STUDY, WELCOME EMAILS HAD AS MUCH AS 4X THE OPEN RATE AND 5X THE NUMBER OF CLICKS.
When writing your welcome email sequence, keep these ingredients in mind.
LET YOUR CHARACTER SHINE.
This is an opportunity to connect with the reader on a human level; make the writing authentic and conversational.
Think about the person who has likely signed up for your email list; what are their hopes and struggles? Are they in a specific industry or career? What is the problem you solve? Give them value, perhaps through:
- Sharing an article
- Guiding them to a helpful video
- Linking to a podcast episode
Give ‘em some praise.
Thank them for signing up. After all, there are SO many brands they could have signed up for an email from – and they chose yours. Consider something gratis, a download, class, etc…
Say thank you directly.
Declaring gratitude with a coupon code or freebie is cool. It’s also powerful to directly write out, “Thank you for signing up!”. They have many options in this digital age. Do you know what’s even cooler? A personalized digital experience.
Personalize the user’s digital experience
Whenever possible, work in personal elements into the email, like having the email address their name. “Hi, Matthew” vs. “Hi you”
Why? According to Pinpoint Marketing, using someone’s name in an email can increase the open rate by up to 35%!
Incorporate a Call to Action.
A Call to Action is what you will see at the end of this communication. (Read this article. Get your discount now.) CTAs are important in all emails. They are important in all marketing automation, from social media ads to blogs. Be sure on what your objectives are, and craft the right CTA equally.
Use Automation for More than Sales
“Coffee is for closers”. Sales and sales departments are fabulous. They make money, which grows your business and its capabilities.
However, automating is not just for direct selling digitally. Utilize automation in other strategic ways.
Knowledge is becoming more communal. The “Giving It Away To Get It” method is a thing right now for a reason.
Ask for Product Feedback
Don’t be scared! We call it a partnership for a reason, we are in this together. (For example, you could automate a feedback email sequence to go out 7 days after a class is completed.) Here are a few tips when requesting feedback:
- Make it very clear that you seek honest thoughts, not niceties.
- Prompt them like an SMS conversation.
- Write specific questions for them to answer. Sometimes, people are not sure what type of feedback or information to provide.
Ask for User’s Stories
Invite people to share images or stories. This is user-generated content that can be used for your brand marketing, plus it is uplifting and exciting for your customers. They will show their friends when you post their image on social media!
Get Experience Feedback
Send out a survey and use it to learn more about your customer’s general needs and overall experience. Learning about them will help you develop much better products and/or services.
Cater to Your Customers’ Buying Cycle
When automating, it is important to understand the cycle of your customer’s buying journey.
More on proper cadence at a later date, that is a monster of an animal itself. In one sentence, use data to monitor buying habits, and establish marketing automation accordingly. Understand when and why your customers want your product or service, as well as any accompanying add-ons or accessories.
Preview the Automation
Always do a preview of what your marketing automation will look like when it goes live into the universe.
Send yourself test emails. Preview All Ads.
Send yourself test emails. Preview All Ads. (yes I said that twice)
See how the campaign shows up on different devices. For example, see how it looks on:
Here are additional, important ways to check and preview your automation:
- Do previews on different browsers because, yes, things can look differently on Safari vs. Chrome!
- For email, note the subject line, “from” name, and “to” name.
- Check links to make sure they are going to the right place. No one wants a 404 error.
Segment Your Audience
Pull in the reins a little, think about this.
A prospective customer asks for a bourbon or horse track recommendation. By finding out what geo-location their mobile device is in and the type of bourbon they crave, you can suggest the most relevant possible venue to get both!
Do you want to eat a meal while drinking KY bourbon?
Are you looking to take a bourbon tour?
Two different segments with very different needs.
Segmenting audiences is a top rule for marketing automation.
Consider breaking buyer personas down by:
- Profession or role in a company
- Behavior and Interest
Keep Messages Short & Concise
In all marketing automation, the message to the audience needs to be in as few words as possible.
It feels like modern humans are busier than ever before; they love messages, emails, and ads get right to the point.
- Quickly establish rapport & understanding
- Make it clear what and why you are sharing something (Why the link, How the freebie helps them!)
- The next action they should take (CTA)