Article

Iuliia Nesterenko
Iuliia Nesterenko 2 October 2019
Categories B2C, Email & eCRM

5 Main Steps to Marketing Automation

Today’s marketing is in the midst of a technological revolution. Studies have revealed that marketing automation is now one of the fastest-growing trends in digital marketing. 

In 2015, only 22% of companies used marketing automation tools. In 2019, marketing automation tools are widely used by everyone, except for maybe garage sellers and people selling their stuff on Craigslist. 

It’s no wonder marketing automation is so popular. Automation of business processes lets you kill several birds with one stone:

  • Manage your sales processes;

  • Generate new leads 24 hours a day;

  • Get personalized information about your potential customers.

Automation tools improve with quantum leaps. Now they make such a complex system that you need a guide to learn how to use it. In this article, we’ll explain what marketing automation is and how to get started using it.

What is marketing automation and how to use it

Automated marketing is a dish that’s served by… an automaton waiter in a robotic car straight at your home. But let’s put the jokes aside. According to Wikipedia, automation is the implementation of specialized software and technical solutions to optimize the marketing processes in the company. With special software, you can perform all the routine and repeating actions in a fully automated mode.

For example, you can:   

  • send tons of emails with the eSputnik system; 

  • Nurture leads with the help of chatbots;

  • Generate new orders with AI;

  • Easily communicate with your subscribers;

  • Reactivate customers;

  • Gather information about your customers and generate personalized content;

  • Analyze massive amounts of data.

  • Make more sales; 

  • Spend less money on marketing;

  • Increase the quantity and frequency of repeated purchases; 

Key Points in Automation on the Example of Email Marketing

Marketing automation system can’t work at its full capacity without a well-developed strategy. We advise you to implement these key points when you build it. 

1. 24/7 Lead Generation 

Remember how much effort it used to take before to generate one lead:

  1. Find a contact.

  2. Make a cold call.

  3. Explain your product or service advantages.

  4. Provide a valuable offer.

  5. Lead to the sale. 

And all these stages required manual management. 

Emails were sent by hand, contacts were generated by managers out of nowhere. No one even thought about the automatic sales funnel or campaign planning. 

According to The Annuitas Group, companies that use marketing automation to build relationships with potential customers and lead them to the purchase, in the end, get 451% more engaged and solvent leads. 

Automation of processes brought to marketing by the tech revolution, relieved businesses from routine tasks from the list above. Lead generation no longer takes that much time and needs no experts to be implemented. Sales funnels have transformed into automated funnels and made sales teams’ lives much easier.

No wonder that a good automated funnel helps your sales level grow. Surely, it works only if your site has constant quality traffic from context ads, targeted ads, mobile apps or quality social content. 

What to do with the lead brought to your website by context ads? Guide it through the automated sales funnel. 

The first stage of the funnel may include:

  • Email subscription form;

  • Pop-up with a win-win offer;     

  • Call back request;

  • Live chat or online assistant.       

This set can be complemented/supported by a chatbot, another tool widely used for sales automation. According to the Myclever 2017 research, more than 70% of people would prefer communicating with a chatbot than an app. In 2019, many companies have adopted this innovation. A chatbot can generate and manage leads 24/7 in case the user has a smartphone that supports new messengers with bots.

For lead generation, the email channel can perform as a stand-alone instrument. At the same time, it can integrate all the instruments and work effectively together with both chatbots and messengers.

2. Automated Customer Lifecycle

How to track the customer lifecycle on the first stage of the sales funnel? How to build a proper relationship with the audience? Let’s see how to do it with the help of automated email marketing service. 

1) The first step in the customer lifecycle automation is contact data collection.

After the customer enters their email, the system creates a contact card. This card will keep all the information about the customer. At first, it may contain only the name and email. Your main task is to get as much personal information about the client (full name, date of birth, phone number, city, etc.) as possible. Personalized marketing increases sales up to 67%. You can do it using email questionnaires or Google Forms.

2) Data processing by the system.

The next stage is the automation of the processes. The client receives your email campaigns and performs or does not perform certain actions. Professional email marketing system records their behavior and preferences: email opens, clicks, engagement time, purchases from email, etc. These data are permanently stored and allow further segmentation. 

3) Lifecycle-based triggers.

Triggered emails are created based on personal information and customer behavior. The first trigger email, a subscription confirmation, is sent right after the user enters their email address. A successful confirmation triggers a welcome series. You can also set up the following triggers:

  • Order details;

  • Feedback request; 

  • Reward campaign.

Birthday emails and anniversary emails, celebrating the first interaction with the brand, are very popular because they usually offer a discount or gift. 

Also, based on the customer’s lifecycle and open analysis, you can launch a reactivation campaign and create an automated workflow for inactive subscribers.

4) Tracking activity on the website.

It's no secret that Google knows everything about us and even more. Once you’ve visited the website and left your email by subscribing to the newsletter or registering on the site, you’re caught in the automated process of your personal data collection. This data won’t be useful for the CIA, but it would do well for personalized communication, which isare fine upselling instruments. Abandoned carts and browses, order confirmations and feedback requests can prolong the customer’s lifecycle and keep the customers interested in your service.

5) Unsubscribe page.

Often ignored by companies, unsubscribe pages are usually created according to a standard pattern, which results in a rather unremarkable outlook. However, they can make a great tool aimed to return seemingly lost contacts. 

 

Why not give your relationships a second chance? Take time and come up with a creative design of an unsubscribe page, also offering your subscribers more options to stay connected: different campaign types or topics, frequency, etc. After the subscribers update their preferences, the contact card will be active again, and your communication will go on.

3. Personalization and dynamic content.

Personalization is not about referring to your subscribers by their names and surnames. In 2019, personalized emails are emails containing dynamic content, for example, AMP-powered elements, rollovers, GIF animation, etc. They have to take into account the needs of a specific audience or a particular user. The maximum personalization in email marketing can be achieved with the help of automatic tools. How to do it?

1) Personalize content in promotional emails.

You can start personalizing content in promotional emails from the moment of your first touch with the client. If you add a "Gender" line to the subscription form, for example, the contacts you gathered will be automatically placed to different segments. Fact: segmentation and personalization always come together. Receiving emails with special content for men or women is much nicer than impersonal messages for all genders at once, isn’t it? You can use more accurate issues and topics that are acute and understandable only to this gender.

2) Create triggered emails.

The opinion that automated emails can’t be personalized is one of the ultimate myths about personalization that we’ve already debunked. Most trigger emails are actually personalized, since they are created based on the user’s actions and reactions. For example, triggers “Cart/Browse abandonment emails” provoke sending a deeply personalizsed email with the products of the user’s exact interest.

Dynamic content lets you use product recommendations in the most beneficial way.

4. Multichannel marketing (email + web push notifications + SMS + messengers). 

You can easily explain multichannel marketing on the example of email marketing collaboration with other communication channels. Email marketing is a team player, and together with social networks, messengers, and other channels, it gives excellent results. How does it work in the field? Try managing various communication channels to provide information to each customer in the most convenient way. Let’s explore two examples of the effective use of the multichannel approach. 

Social networks + email marketing

For example, your business has great Facebook engagement, but you’re not satisfied with this. This channel doesn’t generate sales and the revenue isn’t growing. What can we do? First, create a subscription form on your Facebook page to collect contacts and nurture them through the email marketing channel.

You can integrate the form as a widget on the page. But it’s more effective to set a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign with a subscription form. The form will collect emails from your page subscribers as well as users caught by your ads.

  • In a Facebook ad, the data are automatically generated based on the Facebook profile, and people are more likely to fill in the form as they don’t have to type all this info.
     
  • When emails are added to your contact base, you can put them into work just as other subscribers from the website form. Engage the “Subscription confirmation” trigger and the welcome series, gather new information and personalize campaigns. 

5. Reports and analytics.

Marketing automation gives one undeniable advantage over the non-automated marketing system. It’s the possibility to see the results of certain actions in real time. In the offline marketing era, detailed reports and in-depth analytics were out of the question. All marketing decisions were based on conjectures, assumptions and often on the intuition of a more or less experienced marketing professional. Today, reports on automated actions are available in real time, and they give you full information on every campaign you’ve started. Analytics of context ads or targeted ads precisely show the number of visits, clicks, and purchases. You can see the performance of email campaigns right away, as well as YouTube campaign results.

In email marketing, for example, you can get statistics on the following metrics:   

  • Open Rate.
  • Click Rate.
  • Click map.
  • Bounced rate.
  • Unsubscribes rate.
  • Complaint rate.
  • Deliverability statistics by domain.

Bottom Line

The Pareto Principle says: 20% of your really effective efforts bring you 80% of results. Automation of marketing and business processes in general, allows you to detect which 20% of actions exactly bring you results and focus on these actions. Marketing automation is a complex and prolonged process, first of all, because companies need to adapt to a completely new model of doing business.

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