Technology is at an all time high. Billions of users have some type of technology right in the palm of their hand. Nowhere is that more apparent than in digital marketing. 79% of top performing companies have been using marketing automation for more than 2 years. In fact, email marketing was reported as the number 1 most effective tactic for lead nurturing by top performing business to business marketers. 63% of companies are outgrowing their competitors using marketing automation. In short, marketing automation is taking over the world of marketing.
Email remains more effective than social media– nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. If you already have digital marketing tactics in place and need to clean it up a bit or if you are starting fresh, here are some steps to create effective workflows within email automation.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”– Benjamin Franklin
In order to begin the process, planning your attack method is vital. A great starting point is to create a blueprint of what current needs are. Take a look at your own inbox. What sorts of automated emails do you find? For instance, if someone made a purchase, having an automated “Thank you” email or even a confirmation email for purchases. These are basic workflows that should be put in place before starting anything more sophisticated. Look at your data to make insightful actions.
Hubspot suggests to set goals for the lead so there is continual contact between your company and the customer. “When a lead reaches the set goal, the campaign stops. From there, you can move them to a new campaign, send them to sales, or take other actions.”
“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good, so you can say yes to the best.”- John C Maxwell
Step 2 is find a marketing automation platform. Popular platforms are Hubspot, Pardot, Act-On, Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, and SharpSpring. While price is always a realistic factor, remember to choose the platform that best fits your company needs. Email automation exists with platforms like Mailchimp and Vertical Response, but if you think you’ll need forms or the ability to create sophisticated campaigns, go with one of the aforementioned platforms. Before settling on a specific platform, be sure to look at some factors before integrating.
Usability – 92% of CMOs say this is their #1 criteria when choosing a marketing automation system. Because marketing automation is complex, it’s wise to choose one that’s user-friendly. Your system should come with training courses at no extra cost.
Compatibility – Make sure the tools you use will integrate well with your new marketing automation platform. If you advertise on mobile, make sure your platform provides responsive templates and forms.
Social media – All platforms should integrate with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Content – If you need to create webinars, customized content, or landing pages, ensure your platform has these capabilities.
Email – All marketing automation have some type of tools enabled for emailing however some are better than others. Look at those that offer nurture or drip campaigns, subject lines for A/B testing, and demographic segmentation.
According to Sharpspring, an important factor to look at is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). “CRM integration with marketing automation can improve both your marketing and sales efforts, and can be the difference between closing a sale, or generating a greater volume of leads. It’s important to remember, not all CRM integration is created equal. While the process of bi-directional syncing works in many instances, there are even more benefits that come from a marketing automation platform with built-in CRM.”
“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”- Tom Fishburne
Now begin to create emails that inform and are attractive to the customer. Remember, this interaction is human to human, so don’t be salesy. 33% of email recipients open email based on the subject line. Something as small as personalizing the subject line with the customer’s name can increase the open rate by 22.2%. Contentmarketinginstitute.com says to “Consider A/B testing the landing page: Not sure which image or headline to use on your landing page? Run an A/B test to show half the visitors one version, and half another. You can automate this process, and then monitor results to see which version has a higher conversion rate.”
“Aint nobody got time for that.”- Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins
The beauty with marketing automation is once you set it all up, you let it do its job. As you generate more users, it will allow you to focus on other important tasks. Creating workflows and tasks allows you to work on new content and even more sophisticated workflows based on prospect behavior. For example, create a map for prospect triggers (this could be a form on a case study, a white paper, a webinar or simply clicking through a product tour).
Note, once you plug the workflow into the task, it is instantly activated. Feel free to go back to your website and fill out the form yourself to be sure that you created the workflow and task properly. You can even integrate a long map. As the customer keeps clicking it will keep sending different ads, blogs, or other relevant materials.
When creating workflows have a plan set up that would still keep the lead engaged even if they decide not to fill out the form. Hubspot suggests, “They didn’t complete that action because of some hesitation — they didn’t want to fill out a form, or they had some additional questions that stopped them from starting that trial. This is an opportunity to follow up with related content (like product videos or resources for the trial) and an alternative action (maybe they don’t want to use a trial, they simply want to get a demo or speak directly with a sales rep).” This will decrease the tendency from leads getting lost in between the cracks.
“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” – H. James Harrington
Now check your open rates. Marketo displayed a survey which showed only 46% of respondents routinely gain insight from marketing analytics, 28% check occasionally, and 15% are not able to access or use data to measure marketing effectiveness. Most platforms allow you to view click rates on specific emails. Once you see a high or low rate, begin to make changes as needed. Emailing marketing overall has an ROI of 4,300%. The higher the click rate, the better traffic and revenue, ultimately. Nurturing campaigns doesn’t just work for top of the funnel leads, they also help create bottom of the funnel value by warming up the prospect.