Marketing Automation Tips for Digital Marketersby Ryan Stewart

A common debate among marketers is the benefits of marketing automation. With digital strategies sweeping the marketing scene, many marketing agencies have been forced to consider the actual benefits of marketing automation.  

The truth of the matter is, marketing automation is very much beneficial.  In fact, marketing automation plays a gargantuan role in the acquisition of big data.  So much that marketing agencies report that 9 out of every 10 enterprise leaders believe big data is essential to their business strategies.

For example, valuable user behaviors can quickly be discovered by marketing automation data. Tracking user behavior allows you to modify and adjust your marketing plan to tailor to what users want to receive.  This type of information is not as readily available when you opt to use other marketing channels. 

 

Use Email Marketing to Gauge Stability

 

It can be challenging to determine if something is working well without a clear look into how it’s affecting the end users. Is it stable, or does it needs some tweaking?  Before you can answer this question, you need to know what works and what doesn’t.

Launch an email marketing automation campaign for six months, measure its success.  If it’s working, note what you have done, and try it again with a new campaign.  If not, pull the plug and try again with new techniques. 

 

Personally Engage

 

Millennials want to be up close and personal.  Period.  In fact, many marketing agencies have learned that when you get personal in the subject line of your emails, there’s a 26% increase in open rates.

It would be impractical and near impossible to engage with all the customers on your email list personally—regardless of size. With marketing automation, you can set up your emails based on end user behavior so that the customer has a more personal experience with the information you send them. Marketing automation allows you to create this beneficial relationship with your clients.

With the right marketing automation program, you can easily understand buyer persona and buyer behavior so that you can personalize your marketing efforts.

 

Set a Goal

 

As the marketing agency, you have the tools to engage, but you need an end goal.  Here are a few pertinent questions to ask:

 

  •      Are you looking to increase social media engagement?
  •      Are you aiming for repeat sales?
  •      Are you seeking feedback?

 

Marketing automation allows you to create several different responses that can be tailored to particular situations. To begin, you should follow the simple sales process.  It goes as follows:

 

  •    Identifying your target audience
  •    Prospecting
  •    Attracting leads
  •    Conveying your value proposition
  •    Follow-up
  •    Closure

 

Nothing is cut and dry when it comes to sales.  You know all too well that first, you have to gather your leads, then you have to go through a series of interactions to turn leads into sales. The one tool that remains consistent to go from lead to close is the follow-up. 

One problem that many salespeople are faced with is remembering when to follow up.  Throw in a substantial number of leads, and you are spending more time trying to figure out the who, what, when, where, why and how than you are actually engaging with the potential sales. So, the solution to this problem is automated follow ups.  But this poses the question, “How do I personalize an automated response?”

The right sequence aimed at the right audience will help draw your existing clients back to your website, and it will contribute to creating brand loyalty.  Thus, your emails will invite potential customers to re-engage with your brand so that they can see the benefits of what you have to offer.

In addition, the correct email sequence will also offer new customers a better understanding of what your brand has to offer.  Simply put, email automation done well extends an avenue for customer satisfaction.

 

Maximizing Potential

 

You have your goals, and you have your sequences in place. The key is putting together a series of measurable objectives that helps you achieve your goals.  Ask yourself, “How can my email campaign align with my goals?”  Then, break your answer down into small manageable objectives.

Consider the following scenario.  If your company has set a goal of using automation to increase sales by 25%, how can you break this large goal down into manageable objectives? Overall, automation in general, helps many digital and internet marketing business build links faster for search engine optimization. 

Answer: you could send out three emails per month that contain coupons to entice customers to shop.

 

There’s Much More Profit to be Made After the Sale

 

You’ve spent quite a bit of time chasing your prospects and learning all about their buyer persona, quitting once you’ve landed them would be like training for a marathon and then not running.  

Once your customers start buying, remind them that what you have to offer is the best.  Most noteworthy, studies have shown that drip campaigns yield a 98% conversion rate.  The concept is relatively straightforward.  Send out targeted and relevant communications to warm leads at regular intervals to educate current customers while reaching out to potential new ones.

To put this type of marketing automation into practice, you’ll need an email platform that supports triggered automatic sending.  Consequently, if you own a sporting goods store, and you want to send accessories to customers who just purchased baseball gloves, your triggered email campaign will search your database for customers who bought gloves.  Then, it will send a triggered email out with coupons for balls or glove oil or anything else you think might be a great up-sell for someone who has recently purchased a glove.

The numbers speak for themselves.  If there are over 205 billion emails sent each day, the only way to get read is to be relevant.  To do that you need to study the metrics.

 

  •      What are the most recent purchases?
  •      How often do they buy from your store?
  •      How much do they spend?

 

Additionally, with the right segmentation plan in place, you can tweak your email messages based on behavior.

  •      Offer rewards programs to customers who have not been visible.
  •      Give those who have never purchased offers for discounts.
  •      Send emails immediately offering rewards for signing up.

The time between purchase and delivery can be an excellent opportunity to capitalize on a customer’s anticipation for the arrival of their purchase. 

 

It Takes More than One Try to Create Brand Loyalty

 

Nothing stays the same.  So, to be successful with any campaign—marketing automation, email, social media, or traditional—you need to understand that you must embrace change.  A one and done state of mind will never yield results—ever.

Study the different dynamics of your data.  Look at bounce rates over different periods of time.  

Ask yourself:

 

  •      What types of messages have seen great success?
  •      What types of messages were failures?
  •      What time of year do you get the most click through rates?
  •      What types of customers seem to be the most receptive to your offers?

 

Experiment with drip campaigns and triggered automated sending and then analyze the results, and modify and adjust as necessary.  Just think of it in terms of fashion.  If a customer buys a top, trigger an email to send discounts for the bottoms.  There’s always an upsell, suggest it, and they will come.  You can’t achieve anything with a one and done philosophy.

 

Establish a Reputation

 

Just because a customer ignores a message, doesn’t mean to forget about them entirely.  This is not middle school, and you can’t fold your arms and say, “I am not talking to you anymore.”  Keep reaching out until you find the right message.

Moreover, trial and error will make you feel like you are constantly changing direction. Remember, your goals and objectives should not waiver.  Keep your end game consistent, and engage with your customers along the way.  Find out how they want to engage, and capitalize.

Research has shown that customers want to interact with you, so listen to what they have to say, and invite them to give you their opinion.  If they aren’t responding, make it a priority to find out what you can do to make their experience with your brand one that is worthy of their time and effort.

 

Timing is Everything

 

The right message is only part of the equation.  If you are sending the right info at the wrong time, it can easily get overlooked.  If you own a restaurant, you shouldn’t be sending breakfast emails at 2 PM.  They will be long forgotten.  Do your homework when it comes to timing.

 

Take Aways

 

In conclusion, brand loyalty is hard to achieve, but with a consistent and engaging email campaign and an automated marketing strategy, it’s certainly achievable.  The keys are knowing your audience and then tailoring a campaign that is not only actionable to you, but to them as well.  Don’t stuff their inboxes with fluff.  Offer them value and rewards for being loyal, and engage with them to remind them that they are a crucial part of your brand’s identity.

 

Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing consultant and current owner of WEBRIS, a Miami based digital marketing agency.

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