Marketing automation is an incredible tool being used in the marketplace to reach customers. It has the ability to decrease the time of discovering those you should be targeting. There is also the possibility of marketing directly to individuals as a result of the information gleaned in this manner. Success in implementing this amazing strategy involves a little bit of attention on the part of the marketing department. By taking a few steps, you will be well on your way to utilizing one of the most important tools for standing at the head of the pack.

Taking into account the limitations of marketing automation

The first thing to think about when considering this marketing strategy is to remember there is a human aspect. You can try to make software to complete some parts of your marketing tasks. It will reduce human hours spent on a particular task, save a human resource and enable the employees to concentrate their free time to take other responsibilities. But you cannot completely eliminate the human aspect of marketing. Marketing automation requires human resources to manage the automated processes, so when they are gone wrong, someone can reorganize the process. You also run the risk of alienating those you mean to reach. This is what occurs when you put all of your reliance on automation. You should always add warm human touch to the messages. Taking some time to craft the message for every segment makes it possible for you to maintain the human element. The automation process is best used when sifting through information for segmenting emails. Finding a way to address their needs in a personal and friendly way is the key to good marketing automation. So even if you are planning on a mass outreach campaign, find a way to include something tangible in your outreach. This could be as simple as one line about your contact or their company but if you don’t include something you’ll be relegated to spam folders and the trash can as soon as you click send.

Speed up response times to increase engagement

Marketing automation is all about timing. When someone is engaged, it is time to take action. Through using such things as an email follow-up tool, it is possible to engage at the right time. For instance, if someone has been browsing your website and they fail to convert, sending out an email right away might not be the best use of your resources. Sending a reminder message after a period of time has passed is a great way to bring someone back into the fold. If the person has just navigated away, the message sent out might be one of engaging through a message with additional information. This way there is less of a sales push. Instead, the attention is placed more on the idea of “we saw you were interested in this. Here is some information you may not have known!” By doing this in a timely manner, it takes the guesswork out of timing messages.

The key to prospecting is to continue to send follows up. If someone doesn’t open up or respond to your first email, they are likely to open and respond to your second or third emails. Follow up tools not only allow you to send personalized emails at scale, they also allow you to follow up if you don’t get a response. Automating this saves an incredible amount of time which you can then focus elsewhere.

Segment emails for greater efficiency

Keep in mind that not everyone will receive a message in the same way. It is important to segment your emails depending on how you feel customers will best engage. For instance, if you gleaned an email address from someone making a purchase, you would likely get the best response by sending them coupons and alerts about sales. If the email was given as a method for seeking more information from the blog, your emails should be links to new material. By cataloging information about how the end-user was discovered as well as what methods they engage with, you are able to more fully develop a strategy that speaks directly to them.

As you may be able to tell, this method requires you to formulate multiple messages for one goal. While this is time-consuming, it is also extremely effective. Not only are you going directly to the consumer, but you have crafted your message in the most personal way possible. Utilizing the information you know about the customer, it is possible for them to feel special and like their voice is heard when making a decision about how to move forward. Of course, it is important to also practice list cleansing over the course of time to assure you are not marketing to someone who does not want to engage.

Utilize responsive design for better results

Not all of your customers are going to use the same kind of device to read your messages. By using responsive design, it is possible for your message to be received properly. Think about when the internet first started being accessed through mobile phones. Since there was no design that took into account the smaller screen, it was nearly impossible to see the display. Secondarily, clicking on links was a haphazard event at best. Today, it is possible to see practically everything on your mobile devices, because of responsive design. The entire composition of the information on the screen is different based on the size of the screen it is being accessed from. This is highly important in a society where more people than ever before use their phones for reading emails and browsing the internet. By safeguarding your emails in this fashion, the marketing automation strategy can reach customers with less irritation. Also, responsive design improves the speed by which they have the chance to engage.

Marketers offer three email marketing automation campaigns that will help almost any business grow.

Abandoned cart emails

For most e-commerce companies, more shoppers abandon their carts than complete their transactions. This means there is a huge number of extremely high-intent shoppers who have not converted. As a result, an abandoned cart series is the most impactful marketing campaign that companies can launch. It can increase overall company sales by 2-10%. To maximize impact, it’s best to use a series of emails, and to send the first email within an hour of when the cart is abandoned. You can also experiment with a small coupon in the last email to improve conversion.

Product recommendations

Another highly impactful email marketing campaign is regularly sending product recommendations to existing customers. This will keep your company top of mind and reduce the average time between customer purchases. These campaigns can increase the average number of purchases that a customer makes each year by 10-20%.

Onboarding series

Sending new customers an effective onboarding series can increase average lifetime value by up to 20%. The majority of this benefit is from converting customers who otherwise would not have purchased from your business. A keys to a good onboarding series include: sending the first email immediately after registration, setting expectations for how your company will communicate with the customer over time, ensuring that the customer understands and experiences the value of your product as quickly as possible, and of course, using segmentation and personalization to increase relevancy.

View in-depth email statistics

With marketing automation, businesses will become more versatile and grow at every level as well. For example, you can use targeted lists that help you tailor your emails to meet the unique needs of your clients and view in-depth email statistics to evaluate email campaign effectiveness. What’s more, you can keep track of the client’s behavior in terms of emails and make some improvements to increase customer engagement and conversion. According to a recent study, almost 50% of companies investing in marketing automation realize the ROI on that investment within the first 2 to 6 months, and 76% experience that ROI within the first 7 to 12 months. In addition to that, it helps companies generate more quality leads and dramatically improve the experience they deliver to the customers and drive business growth.

The core of marketing automation is about keeping up with the times. The world of marketing is always evolving. Whereas buying ad space in the local newspaper might have been the best strategy a century ago, it no longer holds the same weight. Setting your sights on marketing automation allows you to stay aligned with the best practices for reaching your audience. It utilizes the preferred methods people want to receive information to assure it has the least possibility of being ignored. It is timely enough to engage when the message will be best received. Businesses have seen a significant increase in involvement due to this process. All you need to do is make sure to follow up on every opportunity.

About the author

Michael Habiger is a content marketing specialist with over 6 years of experience, currently head of the marketing department at FollowUpFred. He is a marketing nerd and front-fighter for big data and automation.