12 Days of Marketing Automation: Tips for Using Marketing Automation Tools
Christmas is coming and now seems to be the perfect time to start posting about Christmas without being frowned on! 2017 has been a major year for developments in the world of marketing automation. Marketers have learned that marketing automation tools expand beyond scheduling social media posts and trigger-based emails. They enable businesses to nurture relationships, analyse customer behaviour and offer a personalised experience with limited resources. To end the year, here are 12 tips for using marketing automation tools during the Christmas season.
On the 1st day of Christmas, my automation bot said to me…remember to reward your customers.
Rewarding engagement is essential to keep your existing customers. 58% of shoppers make purchases from companies who offer them a reward program or scheme (Annex Cloud, 2016). Therefore it is important to offer your most loyal customers a loyalty scheme for their engagement with your brand. Marketing automation tools allow you to score your lists to see your most engaged contacts and based on this you can send out a special campaign rewarding them. For example, thank them for their support and offer them an exclusive discount on their next purchase. After all, it’s much easier to engage current customers, than gain new ones!
On the 2nd day of Christmas, my automation bot said to me…don’t forget a welcome sequence for your new leads.
A new lead is highly valuable to your business. The moment you get a new lead, it is important to send them a welcome email straight away. In fact, the average open rate for welcome emails is 50% to 86% (Easy SMTP, 2015). That’s more effective than any other promotional email. And one email isn’t enough! In today’s world to get noticed you will have to send a series of welcome emails. The first one can introduce your brand, the second one can share some useful resources, the third one can share some more useful information and so on. Remember to spread these out, so you don’t end up spamming your new leads.
On the 3rd day of Christmas, my automation bot sent a series of cart-abandonment emails.
It’s the holiday season, everyone’s online searching for the best bargains and some quick buys. This time of the year presents a great opportunity for e-commerce companies. However, 99% of online shoppers won’t buy on their first visit, even if they are tempted (Dotmailer, 2014)! But never fear, stats also show that 72% will come back within 48 hours to consider purchasing if prompted quick enough (Dotmailer, 2014). Marketing automation tools are great at managing this task. Your tool should be able to send out automatic cart abandonment emails every time a customer abandons their cart and not just one email. Marketing automation tools can send out a series of customized cart abandonment emails or text messages. Which saves you worrying about missed sales opportunities.
On the 4th day of Christmas, my automation bot sent a “we miss you” email to my cold leads.
We all know that new customers are difficult to find. A simple tactic to maintain your customers is a simple “we miss you” email! Remind your customers of your products or services and any promotional offers you may be having. You could even offer a discount to encourage your customers to come back. Marketing automation tools make this task simple and easy! All you have to do is segment your contact list based on engagement and see which contacts have not interacted with your website or emails in a long while. Then create a special email to remind them of how great you are!
On the 5th day of Christmas, my automation bot said to me…don’t forget to clean your lists.
Clean lists are bliss. One way to clean your lists is segmenting your contacts based on different factors. For example, you can segment your lists based on demographics, engagement or the places in the sales funnel. Clean lists are not only easy to view but can also make personalising content a lot easier. The perfect list should group your contacts based on interests and their place in the sales funnel, so you can create the perfect content for them. If you don’t have enough data on your contacts, try sending out a quick survey to gather some information.
On the 6th day of Christmas, my automation bot said to me…let’s get more data on our customers.
The secret to great marketing automation is personalisation. The only way you can personalise your content is by knowing your contacts. Of course it impossible to know everything, but over time you can develop a understanding of what your contacts want. A great way to do this is by periodically surveying your contacts to discover their interests (this is called progressive profiling). This means sending out a series of quick surveys to determine what interests your contacts. Of course, make sure that these surveys are spread out or you might start annoying your contacts. And you might even want to offer an incentive, such as a discount or a free eBook to encourage your contacts to take part. Over time you should get a clear understanding of the contacts on your list and how to best engage them.
On the 7th day of Christmas, my automation bot said to me… always remember to be an human.
Nothing screams robot alert, than an automated message with no meaning or usefulness. The key to more “human-sounding” messages lies in knowing your audience. Something you can try out is creating between three to five buyer personas of who your target market is and then creating content around those personas.When creating your buyer personas, you might want to ask the following: What motivates them, what do they want, how do they speak, what words do they use and what are their pains? These questions will help you create content that speaks to your contacts on a personal level and solves their problems.
On the 8th day of Christmas, my automation bot said to me… Let’s build an on-profile list to help you get more sales.
Not many people understand the role of marketing automation in generating leads. But it’s actually quite simple. Most marketing automation tools can be integrated with your website or landing page software, enabling you to monitor website activity. This can help you to generate marketing-qualified leads that are more likely to be interested in your offering. For example, let’s say you have a landing page with a free eBook download. Before a user can download this eBook, you can use your marketing automation tool to create a form to see if they are suitable to your business. Once the form is completed you can create a whole series of emails to go with that eBook download to qualify your new lead. This whole process allows you to build a more on-profile list.
On the 9th day of Christmas, my automation bot told me to work with my sales team.
Marketing automation tools provide you with a wealth of knowledge on your customers. One of the greatest mistakes most marketing teams make is not communicating this knowledge with their company’s sales team. This lack of coordination often means both your marketing and sales team spend time nurturing the prospect when the sales team should be focusing on closing sales. This is not only a waste of time, it also makes customers feel unhappy and annoyed, especially when they have to repeat their pain points to your sales team. This makes the communication between marketing and sales team crucial to your company’s performance.
On the 10th day of Christmas, my automation bot reminded me to use the sales funnel.
The true benefits of marketing automation tools are experienced when you use these tools alongside the sales funnel. For anyone who doesn’t know what a sales funnel is, here’s a quick definition: A sales funnel takes a user from the awareness stage into a buying customer. Therefore when mapping out your automations, it is important to know where the prospect is within the sales funnel. After all the messages you send to a user who has just become aware of your offering will be much more different compared to someone who is ready to buy! For example, informative resources work well at the awareness stage, while a promotional email would be great for someone who is ready to buy.
On the 11th day of Christmas, my automation bot said to me…please create smarter content.
Smarter content covers some of the previous points made. It is all about personalisation and being able to send the right messages at the right time. Timing is crucial in creating smart content, along with knowing your customer. Example of smart content would be sending out product recommendation emails after a customer has just bought from you. This could increase the chances of successfully cross-selling or upselling to a customer. Another example might be asking for a product review, right after the customer has received their item. Many companies leave reviews far too late, to the point that the customer has even forgotten about their purchase! These examples demonstrate the importance of timing in your messages.
On the 12th day of Christmas, my automation bot reminded me of the purpose of marketing automation.
Finally, don’t forget the very purpose of your marketing automation tool. And no, it’s not to just send out masses of emails to your contacts. The goal of marketing automation is to nurture your relationships with your contacts. This means sending personalised and useful pieces of content to your contacts over a long period of time, so they eventually become your buying customers. Most pieces of email software are very limited in this very aspect. They may be able to send a series emails to contacts, but they do not have the power to track website activity of each individual contact, score leads and are limited to just sending out emails.
Do you have any more tips for using marketing automation?
The holiday season is the perfect time to utilise your marketing automation software. With so many opportunities to nurture leads and increase sales, it’s best that you let your software do all the hard work, Especially when you’re thinking about presents and turkey stuffing! Do you have any more marketing automation tips? Let us know in the comments.
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