In the content overwhelming world we live in, successful marketing becomes a tricky business. In order to manage the incredible amount of content and reach your clients in the most successful and effortless way, this smart solution was invented: marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
You know when you enter a certain type of service you receive a “Welcome” email? And one week after having opened the email you get another email offering you a unique discount? And then two days later a text message reminding you about that special discount? Marketing automation is the “behind-the-scenes” of this mechanism.
Marketing automation allows you to preset actions that will take place automatically as a reaction for different scenarios. The automatic process begins with a trigger which is in fact the act of the contact (clicking on a link or opening an email for example), which leads to a sequence of predefined actions. The automation allows a preset destination that you would like your contacts to reach while creating action-based courses that will lead them straight to it.
The advantages of marketing automation
Saving time: we apologize in advance for quoting the cliché “Time is Money״, but it’s true, especially when talking about your business. Using the automation process will save the marketing and client service team precious time from dealing with repetitive manual actions (such as data collection and segmentation) since it just performs those actions on their behalf.
Personalization: personalization has been the serious buzzword over the past several years, and rightfully so – within the ocean that floods us, all we need is personal attention in the form of content that is personalized for us. Automation is based on your contact’s behavior and actions and it allows you to send the right sequence of messages for each contact according to the actions they performed.
For example – using information such as date of birth will allow you to send your contacts a personalized coupon on their birthday. A client didn’t open their email? In that case, the system will identify that as a trigger to send them a second message reminding them of the special offer code.
User audience segmentation: it used to be common to see the target audience of business as one straw, however, today it is clear that segmentation is the way to go. Using marketing automation, we are able to send different messages to different segments based on various settings such as age, gender, living area, and fields of interest, which will make your entire marketing array smarter, more effective and precisely adapted to each segment.
Automatic timing: timing is everything, and when the sending times of certain messages can be preset in the system, it creates a significant advantage. Imagine the following scenario: a new contact joined your new customers’ club. Using the automation, you can predefine a sequence of content messages that will be sent to them in predefined times to keep them active and interested; promotions, discounts, informative texts, anything you want! And combined with the automated timing, you can provide the best marketing course for that user.
5 steps for building an automated marketing plan
Define a goal: successful marketing will always be based on a super-goal, whether it is expanding the client circle, increasing the sales of a certain product, or a new market breakthrough – predefine your goal and let it lead you.
Segment audiences: each audience is unique, and correct segmentation while sending relevant content series to each group will make your marketing more efficient and cost-effective. Need an example? Considering your business operates all throughout Europe, sending messages based on a living area will enable you to efficiently create relevant content for the residents of each area.
Create personal relations: information that you have about your clients such as names, dates of birth, and place of residency become fertile ground for creating personal and close relations. Just think how nice it is to receive an email that addresses you by your first name rather than using a generic title that was clearly written for all users. By using personal relation elements, you can enlarge the chances of clicking, call for action and a sense of positivity towards your business.
Prepare content in advance: tight and precise content is crucial for the success of the campaign and preparing it in advance (rather than a last-minute rush) increases its chances of it actually being successful. Prepare the content for the emails and text messages of your campaigns so that it is high-quality content.
Analyze data: after succeeding in all the steps, it’s time to check your data. Analyze your campaign data to see what worked better and what didn’t work in order to improve for your next campaign.
Need any ideas for use of automation?
Special events: birthdays, anniversaries, date of joining the club – use data your contacts gave you to make them feel special on those dates which are important for them. If your business is a shop, you can send a special discount code for those celebrating their birthday at the beginning of the month, and in case they didn’t use their discount code, send them a reminder several days later with a unique SMS to use the discount.
Opinion: following a purchase of a service, send your clients a survey to keep in contact with them and allow them to give you feedback. A client gave you a good rating? Thank them in a personal email with a unique discount. Got negative feedback? Send the rater a text message saying you’re sorry to hear about it with a request for suggestions to improve the experience.
Abandoned cart: the client didn’t complete the purchase? You can remind them using a personal email about the items after a certain preset amount of time, or even add a discount code that will encourage them to come back and complete their purchase.
Message sequence: a message sequence is when you send your clients after a certain action to keep active and continuous contact with them. For example, a new user joining the member’s club – start with an email congratulating them for joining and offering a discount code upon their first purchase. Continue with a text message three days later reminding them about the new membership discount and two weeks later send an email with fun and interesting information about the products and your business.
Now that you are (virtually) possessing the knowledge and the tools – it is now the time to hit the road and automate your business!