What Marketers Say: Marketing Automation Tips

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In our conversations around marketing automation on Twitter, we really wanted to know what marketers who use it would recommend to other marketers (wow, that is a lot of marketing in one sentence). So here are some of the responses we got.

Don’t get stuck in the tech

 

 

It’s easy to get stuck – marketing automation requires some setup, and when you focus too much on the technical stuff, the actual reason you’re doing it for might escape you. Well, don’t let it.

Start with a detailed plan – what you want to say, to who, at exactly what time. THEN deal with the tech stuff – it’ll be easier when you’ll know exactly what you want to achieve.

For that reason…

 

Map your customer journey

 

 

To create a detailed plan, think of all the touchpoints your customers have with your brand. Then align your communications to influence them right when they’re making their decisions.

What are the key moments you’d like to be able to get them an email to encourage them to take action? Think from the minute they sign up to your newsletter to the moment they’ve become loyal customers and beyond.

A detailed marketing funnel for your product or service will be useful. It’ll help you define the key moments and conversions you want to achieve.

 

Organize your list

 

 

Last year we had a great webinar with Amy Africa who suggested keeping a “traffic cop” document that helps you monitor the priority in which messages are sent and make sure you don’t flood your customers with emails as they reach multiple touchpoints at the same time. (By the way, watch the recording here.)

Whatever way you choose to do that, make sure you monitor what your subscribers are getting and indeed prevent sending too much at the same time. Advanced segmentation is a great help and creating very specific segments for your automation workflows will certainly make the job a lot easier.

Also, this is why it’s a good idea to…

 

Start basic

 

 

When you’ve got that plan ready, don’t try doing everything at once. Start with simple workflows and see how they work. Then build on them to account for further touchpoints as your prospects move down the funnel (or up the ladder, whichever you’re using).

For example, you don’t need to get all the information about a subscriber immediately – use progressive profiling to build knowledge about your subscribers, their preferences, behavior, purchase history etc.

And with each stage…

 

Check results and adjust 

 

 

Marketing automation is not just “set and forget” – and I’m pretty sure you know this already. A smart marketer (like you, right? J) will know to keep analyzing the results it brings to see what could be improved.

Marketing strategy is not set in stone and automation gives you tools to measure the effectiveness of your actions. Use them to see if what you’re communicating is up to date and fits what your customer needs at a given moment. Your customers’ needs will change, and so should your communication.

One thing’s for sure – contrary to what many people think, marketing automation actually lets you create a more personal, tailored message. But only if you’re personally involved in getting it out there, using automation as a (helpful) tool, not an end itself.

 

Align marketing and sales

 

 

This proves tricky for many companies – but it’s key to ensuring your marketing automation brings great results. I think smooth collaboration between marketing and sales departments lies at the center of successful communication with customers.

This is where we go back to planning and – again – goals. What they are and how you want to achieve them. And, equally importantly, who’s going to do that in your company. Because one thing’s for sure, marketing automation on its own can’t – it’s the people on your teams, working together.

 

Deliver great content

 

 

Marketing automation, if done right, is perfect for creating and deepening relationships with your customers and prospects. Apart from having the processes in place, make sure you’ve got enough content to use with the processes and that the content you’re providing is actually valuable for your audience.

Otherwise, even the most advanced marketing automation might disappoint you (while you disappoint your audience).

 

What are your tips?

If you want to add something to the discussion, please do! What are your best tips for using marketing automation? Leave us a comment or tweet at us using #GRAutomationHub.

Next in the series – greatest marketing automation no-nos, and trends for 2016.

  • Determine your biggest challenges and needs. It seems simple but its also important to conduct a deep analysis of the marketing needs, unique processes and team capabilities. This frequently overlooked step can derail your marketing automation plan if not executed.

  • Karolina Kurcwald

    Thank you Judy! And yes, I agree completely.

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