Noah Frohn, Wed Nov 04 2020
4 things you need to know before implementing marketing automation for your business in 2021
Not so long ago, marketing automation was all about email templates, sequences and mail merge features; but it has evolved. Marketing itself has changed. Today, there are many more things to consider when choosing marketing automation tools.
Marketing automation relieves weary marketers of the mundane tasks in their daily routine and helps you focus on the things that will bring the greatest growth to your business.
"I think I can speak for most marketers when I say.... We want more time to be creative."
Unfortunately, the Internet is flooded with articles from marketing automation companies trying to sell you their tools; but this article is different.
We are writing this article to help you identify the key features of marketing automation that increase retention rates and improve ROI of marketing campaigns.
1. Marketing automation is more than just email marketing
Email automation is good. It allows marketers to create emails based on templates that are known to work and reach the right audience every time, without having to make major changes. With email marketing software, marketers can create fully personalized email campaigns with half the effort.
Email marketing automation is one part of marketing automation, but it shouldn't be the only part.
Marketing automation is brilliant and will play an increasingly large part in the success of businesses in the future. It allows marketers to nurture leads based on what they are focused on, meaning they can build a stronger brand-consumer relationship, build brand image, capture and identify leads across multiple platforms, and yes, send automated email campaigns, among a host of other functions.
How exactly is this supposed to work?
Social selling is in vogue in the modern business world, and the best marketing automation services recognize this and give their users a finger on the pulse of their customers. Drip campaigns are a prime example of how marketing automation and social selling can work together. A drip campaign doesn't just send emails with randomly personalized names, but a series of timed, customized messages based on a prospect's behavior, characteristics, and engagement.
Case Study: Netflix Drip Campaign Brings More Retention
Netflix took a simple win-back approach, stoking the fear of missing out. After canceling their subscription, ex-Netflix customers receive an email that says nothing special: "We'll miss you." However, during the next three months, Netflix constantly sends reminders to these ex-customers for what they missed. The emails included recently added movies, lists of personalized top picks, and finally targeted messages asking if they wanted what they missed back.
This is proof that a simple drip campaign can lower churn rates and increase engagement from lost customers.
In addition, lead scoring can also be a powerful tool for your business. Interactive content like forms and surveys are great for lead scoring. You can score leads based on various parameters such as consumer behavior, demographics, location, and psychographics. Moreover, you can evaluate the leads based on the ROI you will get from the product or service.
This process helps you figure out which leads to pursue first. You can create a form with simple questions like "What is the size of your business?" and "Where is your business geographically located?", awarding the highest score to the most appropriate respondents for your business. Similarly, you can give high scores to leads who attend your webinars and events. Smart lead scoring gives the sales team a clearer idea of who is likely to convert, so they can tailor their message to that person.
2. Comply with the privacy regulations for automation and lead generation
Data is the gold of the 21st century. The more data you have as a business - customer data, industry data - the better your chances of succeeding. After several high-profile breakthroughs in 2018, the world realized it needed to be more careful about how it managed data. The main thing is that the new GDPR regulations were not meant to get in the way of your marketing campaigns, but to protect your customers and clients.
Marketing automation tools keep customer data clear, structured and organized. However, it is essential to implement a tool that secures data in a GDPR-compliant manner. If it is not, companies can face reprimands and even hefty fines. And no one needs that.
So opt for a marketing automation system that offers segmentation features to send tailored, targeted emails with relevant content to recipients. An unsubscribe feature will also help your business comply with modern data protection laws.
How do you implement this?
In order for your marketing campaign to be GDPR compliant, it must comply with at least these five basic rules.
3. Have your sales and marketing team use the same automation tool
It's important that targeted content is backed up by clean, reliable data. Having clean, reliable data becomes infinitely more difficult when sales and marketing teams are on different sites and working with different databases. Messages overlap, wires cross, the same segmented lists are hit with different messages, and eventually... prospects get confused and migrate to a competitor.
Instead, everyone should have a clear idea of who they are targeting with clearly defined buyer personas. You should know exactly what happens at each stage of the pipeline and what actions need to be taken, by whom, and when. In addition, every interaction between a prospect and a company should be tracked. In addition, every employee who interacts with that prospect should have access to the communication history so that the message is not repeated.
How can you turn this around?
Many modern customer relationship management (CRM) systems are capable of automating both sales and marketing workflows while centralizing customer data to unify a company's approach to communication.
4. Do not underestimate the "customer proximity" factor
When we think of automation, we think of AI and robots that could take over the world. So, we saved the most important point for last.
Don't let automation become a barrier between your business and your customers. In congested markets, modern marketing requires a human touch more than ever. Communications should be highly personalized and super relevant. It's not just about complying with GDPR requirements, it's about connecting with and responding to your customers; speaking in a language they understand.
With every second you invest in interpersonal relationships with your customers, retention rates improve, sales increase, and you put a smile on your customers' faces.
How do you best implement this?
Try to include human touch points along your marketing reach path. Put a face behind your company's marketing message, even if it's automated.
1. Welcome new customers with a video and send emails signed by a CEO or founder instead of using the company name.
2. Call your customers and ask for their feedback.
3. Make onboarding calls via Skype, Zoom or Google Meet.
4. Tweet to them.
5. Share your content.
6. Be consistent with your brand voice, whether you're crafting messages for a chatbot, email, social media, or something else.
Marketing automation gives you access to a lot of relevant and useful data. However, a key aspect of automation success is how the human brain interprets that data. For example, have your automation system display a warning sign when there is a warning sign, such as lack of account activity, and have a human interpret that data to understand where to go next.
That's a lot of touch points. Multiply that by hundreds of customers ... and you're looking at a big marketing mess. Marketing automation, however, takes that stress away, aligning different contact channels and bringing your different teams together.
Finally, we've reached the end. And you're about to completely level up your marketing campaigns. So, good luck with that! Oh, and there are a lot of options on the market. So choose a system that fits your business, rather than having to adapt your business to the system.
Start creating interactive forms for your lead generation and marketing automation now.