Marketing automation is the topic of conversation across the world of marketing. And it’s so much more than a buzzword or a passing trend.
Marketing automation is changing the marketing landscape.
As is the case with any game changing trend, the internet is flooded with marketing automation centric information. But what does it all mean? And how do you leverage it to your advantage?
Let’s keep it simple.
You need to know what marketing automation is and how best to implement it into your marketing strategy.
What Is Marketing Automation?
In a nutshell, marketing automation is about utilizing different platforms and software programs to automate marketing efforts. Not only does this allow for marketing teams to be more efficient, marketing automation is the great facilitator of the personalization trend.
In other words, marketing automation based technologies has created a foundation for marketers to create tailored messaging for end users across any and every channel.
But that’s not all…
Marketing automation is not just about having the right software and platforms. It’s also about having the perfect strategy to meet the needs of your brand.
In order to create a winning strategy, you need to know what works in modern marketing automation. Which is why we have compiled 10 important tips for you to utilize when creating and implementing your marketing plans.
9 Tips For Successful Marketing Automation Utilization
Tip 1: Retire Basic Personalization
It’s time to stop throwing “Hey [name]” into the copy of every robustly designed email that goes out the door.
Try adding a personal touch with something more thoughtful or creative, such as regionalization.
For example, try something like “We’ve been working with people in %%region%% for more than 30 years” or
“Thank you for being a loyal customer since %%firsttransactiondate%%!”
Specifically review the data points you have on hand and get creative!
Tip 2: Segment Your Customers By Behavior
Implementing marketing automation means personalization is no longer just about mail merging.
One of the amazing benefits of utilizing marketing automation software is the ability to collect and leverage customer data. So take advantage of the data and tracking you (probably) already have in place. Develop behavioral segmentation strategies.
Develop product of interests by monitoring link clicks & browsing habits and then dispatch content accordingly.
Send out custom offers based on individual buying patterns such as time or size of typical orders.
Tip 3: Automate Processes
Don’t forget about the holy grail of Marketing Automation.
Take advantage of drip campaigns, triggered emails and auto-responders to handle repeatable communications. Schedule FTP’s, syncs and other data migration to keep your lists up to date and avoid lugging around CSVs.
If you find yourself doing the same thing more than once, find a way to automate it!
Tip 4: Deploy Your Double Opt-In Program
Everyone has been thinking about it. Planning for the inevitable requirement that GDPR set the stage for. You can get ahead of game by implementing a double opt-in process.
A double opt-in program ensures better data and more engaged recipients. And thanks to marketing automation it’s also simple to rollout. Just create an automated “confirm your email” communication for new subscribers.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop prospecting to net new contacts. Essentially, just make sure you keep their lists and messaging separate from emails that have been opted in.
Tip 5: Humanize & Personalize Sender Profiles
If salespeople play a role in your sales process, consider rolling out personalized, text-only emails on their behalf. Doing so will only enhance your personalization strategy.
Automation allows you to place these emails into drip campaigns or other outbound efforts. It is important to ensure that these messages look and feel like real human communication!
Many marketers who go this route attempt to pack too much information into the message. Some load them up with HTML design. Doing either will making it clear that they’re not personal messages. Which defeats the purpose entirely.
Tip 6: Integrate Your Platforms
Too many companies allow their marketing automation platform to live on an island.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of out of the box connectors and don’t be intimidated by API.
Connect to your CRM, data warehouses, CMS, eCommerce engine, and any other platform where sharing data could be beneficial. In a marketing automation and data driven world, these connections are bound to benefit multiple teams within your company.
Tip 7: Enable & Optimize
Integrations between your automation software(s) and marketing platforms, will allow you to get critical information to your sales and customer support teams.
Any marketing data that you can share will help enable various colleagues to prioritize and personalize their efforts. Here are some examples:
Engagement details and product of interest scores can support sales efforts and even get “next best offer” information to customer service.
Your purchasing and operations personnel can benefit from data that might help them prepare for the next wave of orders.
Tip 8: Partnership
While this may be the self-serving tip you were expecting, it doesn’t make it any less valuable.
Working with a partner allows you to leverage an exponential amount of experience and experts. Many who tend to be on the cutting-edge of trends and technology.
Tip 9: Investigate Artificial Intelligence
AI, machine learning, and predictive intelligence are hitting their functional stride. With that in mind, now is the time to investigate your options.
I say “investigate” because it’s still not a solution for everyone. It requires a great deal of clean data in order to “learn” trends within your sales and marketing process.
Not ready for AI? Stick with multivariate testing and work to identify trends and stories that your data is trying to tell you.
Marketing automation will continue to revolutionize modern marketing strategies and best practices. If you have yet to implement a marketing automation plan, don’t worry. Doing your research and utilizing these 10 steps are a sure fire way to start you on the path to success.