Every time we start using a new marketing automation tool, it is natural to be very hopeful about it. However, we tend to forget that these tools are not a panacea that will magically improve ROI, increase the speed of content production, and improve our productivity.
Marketing automation technology is just a tool. No matter how well made, they are of little use if you do not know what to do with them. The real benefit comes from perceiving it as an integral part of your marketing strategy rather than a magic wand that will automatically set things right.
So which specific techniques should be applied? Let’s find out!
1. Use of dynamic content
Dynamic content adapts to the needs and interests of each individual client, depending on their past behavior. It may be implemented in elements within your Web site, e-mail marketing campaign, ads, or in other more ingenious ways. Unlike standardized interactions, it creates an individualized experience for each customer, creating the impression of a personalized relationship between the brand and the client and working towards positive engagement.
Of course, such an approach is impossible to carry out manually. You need to automatically collect and analyze data on the behavior of each customer and establish the algorithms that allow for this degree of personalization. And the effort really does pay off. According to a study by Infosys, 31% of customers say they would like their shopping experiences to be more personalized and will pay attention to the businesses that do this for them.
2. Drip campaigns
It is obvious that marketing automation is effective – 95 percent of companies that tried it report benefitting from it. However, not everybody can afford to spend months or even years gathering client data before implementing an automation scheme. Aren’t there other more straightforward and easier methods? Yes, there are!
Drip campaigns are one of the simplest and most effective ways of engaging your customers through marketing automation. They do not require excessive amounts of data collected for long periods. They take pre-determined actions based on customer behaviors. It is a much more effective approach than just meeting everybody with the same universal message. Instead, you can send one message to those who just subscribed to your mailing list, provide additional content to those who visited certain pages of your website, and so on. Drip e-mails are reported to have 80% higher open rates than non-customized e-mails – a good reason to try them out.
3. Mastering list segmentation
If you know what you are doing, your leads will bring much more information than you might think at a glance. Knowing this, you can quite precisely divide them into segments based on various factors: age, gender, geographical location, current engagement level, buying behavior, and so on.
Of course, you can do all this manually – but it is even remotely viable only for very small businesses and makes the entire arrangement prone to human error and misjudgment. Most marketing automation tools allow you to easily segment your lists based on settings – after setting it up once, you will not need to spend any more time on it. The system will automatically create segments based on only the metrics that are important to you.
4. Study the leaders
Nine times out of ten, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Every industry has its leaders – those who are far ahead of their closest competitors. They do not acquire such a position randomly – it is always a result of something they do better than anybody else. You can spend years trying to improve the performance of your automation methods by trial and error.
Alternatively, you can identify such a leader in your industry and study this company closely. Why is it so far ahead? Does it use a specific new technology? A particular approach to marketing automation? Content structure? Frequency at which they send e-mails to their leads?
There is no need to discover something new if it has already been discovered by somebody else. Imitate their approach. Outsource certain processes to the same specialists they use. Or simply pay them to teach you the practices that make them successful.
5. Use of reminder e-mails
Typically, reminder e-mails are used to decrease the likelihood of accidental no-show appointments. However, many businesses can effectively use them to improve engagement with clients who did not order products or services for an extended period. Customers do not always do this deliberately – sometimes people just naturally drift away from a business because they first do not need its products or services, and then they forget how much they used to like dealing with it. You can effectively re-engage such customers by sending reminder e-mails.
6. Use a new customer cadence
Marketers know that retaining an existing customer is easier than acquiring a new one – which is why it is so important to make a new client feel welcome after the first interaction. After a client buys from you for the first time, make sure to thank them and suggest some additional benefits they may enjoy from your business. You may use a single e-mail or a series of e-mails over a longer period to offer different possibilities.
Marketing automation doesn’t only make a marketer’s life easier; it creates many opportunities that would otherwise be impossible – so make sure you use it to its fullest!
For more insight on customer engagement, read “Multichannel Engagement In The Experience Economy.”