Marketing automation is no witchcraft. But mastering the automation process to send the right message to the right customer at the right time is what distinguishes pros from rookies. Even the most seasoned marketers are guilty of not using their marketing automation platform to its full potential.
SiriusDecisions co-founder, John Neeson, stated that 50% of marketers admit they don’t leverage marketing automation to its full potential.
So, it’s imperative to set your goals & have a plan before implementing it. Here are some specific ways that I’ve found to be highly effective and should work for you too.
1) Map your automation to your customer’s journey
It’s the journey that counts – cliché but true. The customer lifecycle is the Holy Grail for marketers.
Automation doesn’t mean sending emails en masse at preset time intervals. As a marketer, you need to humanize your marketing and personalize at every step of the way. Consider all those touch points involved in moving your customers to the next stage in their customer journey. Your messages should not be solely focused on getting a conversion but should also drive meaningful engagement with your customers.
Enter lifecycle marketing. Sending targeted and highly personalized messages to customers at particular junctures in their purchase journey (from the time they first sign up to following up with them even when they stop purchasing from you) will help in the acquisition, activation, retention, and win-back lapsed customers. These triggered email marketing campaigns are highly relevant and have proven to have a great ROI.
The American online retailer, ModCloth knows how to delight its customers throughout their journey. Whether it’s sincere, thank you email or a milestone email like a birthday/anniversary email. These relevant & timely messages can help you in building a strong relationship with your customers.
2) Making segmentation a nonstop cycle
There won’t be true personalization without segmentation. Creating segments that aren’t updated in real-time will only make for untargeted messages. To automate responses to customer behaviors, your segments should be updated in real-time too.
For example, if a visitor has abandoned his cart on your site, a cart recovery message will be triggered to him. But, if he comes back and makes a purchase before the first email in your cart series is fired then automatically he should exit the “cart abandoners” segment. But, in the absence of segments that aren’t updated in real-time, this scenario can’t be averted.
3) Use omnichannel messaging to your advantage
The consumers today have a limited attention span. With so many digital channels involved in a single purchase, not just attribution, but the buyer’s cycle is complicated too. An omnichannel campaign could fall through the cracks if your customer data is stored in silos. The key to delivering a holistic, omnichannel experience is to adopt a customer-centric approach. And for that, you need to have a single customer view across all channels.
Studies show that an average buyer uses multiple devices to make a single purchase. So, use your multi-channel campaign in a coordinated fashion to increase the impact of your marketing outreach. For example, combine an email with an on-site or a push notification. You can orchestrate your messaging based on the different marketing channels you use. For example, after sending a welcome email, show a welcome popup if the visitor comes on your website. The goal of a multi-channel messaging strategy should be to engage your customer more effectively.
4) Start small & automate more as you progress
Marketing automation offers a lot of possibilities, and it’s hard not to get carried away. But, trying to automate everything at once will result in ruthless marketing. And it will also make it hard for you to judge the effectiveness of different campaigns.
So, start small. Focus on the low hanging fruits first. For example, shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest reasons for the lost sales. Still, most of these retailers do not have a properly crafted email strategy for cart recovery. If you too lack a proper cart recovery program, your first goal should be to implement one. This way it will be easier to track your progress and learn to optimize alongside.
The trick is to speed up gradually. Identify what you need to automate next. Your approach to automation will determine the level of success you enjoy it. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success in the era of customer-centric marketing.
5) Harnessing data for growth
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” Peter Drucker.
Marketing has long been data driven, but today marketers have access to an unprecedented volume of customer data to sift through in real-time. In this era of big data, marketers need to track how and when customers are interacting with their campaigns to optimize the process and send relevant content. But, most marketers are failing to use meaningful insights.
Forrester Research says that while marketers will send out a record 258 billion emails in 2016, just 11 percent of Fortune 1000 companies will use any data at all to support their campaigns.
As per another research, McKinsey found out that companies with data at the heart of their marketing and sales activities experience a 15-20% increase in ROI. So, as marketers, you must learn to utilize the data, only then you can improve your conversion.
Setting up your marketing automation with a proper strategy will help you unlock its true potential.
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