‘Marketing Automation’. It’s quite the buzz word, isn’t it? But what does it actually mean? Put simply, marketing automation is the name given to processes and tools that businesses can use to automate their marketing efforts, from posting out a range of content on social media, websites, email lists, SMS services and more to get the most out of potential customers.
In the stricter sense, we tend to talk about marketing automation software like MailChimp, Hootsuite, Infusionsoft, Pardot and Act On, but we can include other scheduling tools that help streamline processes, track data and take painstakingly repetitive tasks off our hands to the list. While the advantages of generating more leads and sales are virtually limitless, so many businesses are doing more harm than good by using marketing automation software and forgetting the little things. So what are we doing wrong?
- Not connecting with the person
You’ve decided to harness the power of software to rapid fire out bulk emails to your marketing lists, but you stop there. Don’t! Ask yourself why you’re sending out generic emails to all subscribers, why you’ve chosen that time of day, week or month to post and how you’ll track conversion data.
- Personalise emails and subject lines with first names from contact details supplied
- Talk person to person, not software to software!
- Have your branding seep through all marketing materials
- Segment your lists into sub-lists by relevant behaviours, interests and demographics so you know you’re attracting the right crowd
- Only focusing on existing customers
Marketing automation focuses heavily on the middle of the funnel – nurturing those leads and prospective buyers and turning them into happy customers. But what about attracting new customers? Do not buy email or other targeting lists to ‘cold call’ – it will garner unwanted attention toward your brand, and you’ll be shoed away as quick as a pesky mosquito on a hot summer’s night. Additionally, there are serious legal ramifications for sending anything without consent – read more on the Spam Act here.
- Have a lead scoring system in place assigning values when a lead reaches certain checkpoints on your page to target your marketing more effectively
- Concentrate on generating in-bound leads for your brand’s visibility with SEO, blogging and social media strategy using hashtags and engaging with influencers
- Don’t dismiss the power of the ‘friend of a friend’ tagging strategies by encouraging sharing on your posts
- Forgetting to recycle leads
On the flip side, past customers have great potential to return to your business – after all, they’re already familiar with your brand and they know where to find you. Just because a customer hasn’t returned as yet doesn’t mean they won’t down the track – all is not lost! Recycling leads creates repeat customers – you’ve already got their information in the database from gated content, so pursue it by monitoring what they’re interested in.
- Redirect leads back to your site with a solid lead scoring system in place
- Offer segmented marketing tailored to them: ‘It’s been a while!’ ‘We miss you!’
- Offer those wanting to unsubscribe to your emails alternatives like less frequent email updates, topic-focused emails or other alternatives to retain customer communication
- At the very least ask customers to select a reason for opting out of communications
- Ignoring content marketing potential
Your end game may be to convert a customer to signing up for premium content, or fill out a form, or purchase from your online store. Whatever the goal is, having killer – even free – content on your blog that adds something of value to the reader with a lead opportunity within your post is a strategic way to slide a prospective customer all the way down the funnel. Don’t forget to offer a cross-platform experience on your content, so your audience can choose to follow you on an account that suits them.
- Offering a free eBook shows expertise and an opportunity for conversion down the track if they enjoy your content
- Writing blog posts in your area of expertise adds credibility to your brand as well as conversion opportunities over the hard sell
- Offering a discount code on social media your customers can redeem if they fail to initially convert on your website
- Automating all campaigns
While our workloads appear to grow in size by the millisecond, it seems all too easy to avoid overworked human errors and automate all our marketing campaigns. You’ve decided to schedule your social media content for around the clock, you say. Well, without customising your strategy, you’re looking at a sure-fire way of eating into your budget with no return on advertising investment. We’re not saying marketing strategy should be entirely DIY – rather, pick and choose where you let the humans come in!
- Analyse which time variables attract the best click throughs and optimise accordingly
- Respond and react to social media engagements: something a bot can’t do for you!
We love our marketing automation weapons, and we love seeing the opens and click-throughs they generate from luring in our target audiences through emails, blog content and more. But, we know just how shattering it can be to see so little conversion from our traffic into sales. Stepping in with a little bit of hustle and man power where technology falls short ensures precious dollars aren’t wasted on disheartening data.
We’ve received quite a lot of calls about the pros and cons of automating campaigns, how to set them up and the best programs to use. Call us today to schedule your marketing needs and find your edge in the market – 1300 766 665.