Many businesses have embraced the idea of marketing automation in hopes of gaining a larger customer base. In theory, marketing automation sounds like a great idea – personalize your pitch to your target audience in hopes of making a connection that leads to a sale.
However, there are many things to consider when executing a successful plan. If you plan to invest in a marketing automation program, you need to understand what is successful and what is not in order to see your efforts pay off.
It helps to begin with a strong concept of what marketing automation is. Marketing automation is a combination of software and marketing tactics that deliver personalized content to clients in order to gain their business. Consider a company like Amazon, which emails clients lists of products they may be interested in after making a purchase on the site.
Amazon tailors its home page based on the buyer’s interests and sends out surveys after a sale is complete. Amazon has proven success in marketing automation and is certainly a company to emulate. Here are five ways to implement a successful marketing automation program to watch your business succeed.
Make Personal Connections
If you’re contacting specific or prospective clients, make sure you get their names right. Whatever marketing automation program you are using should include easy-to-use personalization email tools.
For example, when you run a new MBA program introduction campaign, or when you’re trying to connect with people looking to earn a GED degree, make sure that you first collect the names of the people you want to send the email to. For example, Onsego.com. an online GED e-learning platform, always asks its readers for the best email address and first name.
Make sure you understand how they work and complete a test run before implementing your program. You certainly don’t want to send out what you thought were personalized emails and then find out they went out to “Dear Name” instead of “Dear John.”
Time it Correctly
You’ll want to be sure you’re connecting with prospective clients during times they are likely to receive your message and be receptive to it. Consider your market when doing this.
If your company sells sporting goods, try making connections during Saturdays or Sundays when weekend warriors hit the gym. When a website that specspecializesMBA programs reviews, sends emails during the weekend their open rate is usually very low but Tuesday’s mailing is a huge success. Onsego (formerly named Covcel) knows the habits of its target group and you should know what your clients like too.
It’s all a matter of targeting your message to your clients’ interests and their needs. Also, be sure to keep track of your click rates to ensure you are on the right track. Try experimenting with different times until you find one that suits you best.
Use Multiple Platforms
Email is a tried-and-true staple for making personal connections with clients, but you shouldn’t discount other methods of communication either. Consider using text messages, tweets, or social media in order to reach as many people as you can.
One organization that does this extremely well is Maxwell Systems. As we can see in the “Resource” section, they have a plethora of content that is distributed with a multi-platform approach. It’s like going to Architecture School: a multi-platform approach is required to come up with and construct complex structures.
At Maxwell Systems, they got that! Best of all, it’s completely automated with social network management. From eBooks and guides to brochures and demos, they’ve managed to integrate content and automation better than most organizations.
Customers have many choices today in how they like to make connections, so it’s a good idea to create meaningful relationships through various platforms. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing investments through different media.
And keep in mind that reading books can be inspirational, but not motivational. People that are motivated MOVE. That’s how simple it is. If you’re not moving, you’re not really motivated. The rest is pseudo-motivation. It doesn’t mean that motivation is a guarantee for success, but you’ll give it, at least, an honest effort.
Listen to Your Salespeople
You have a great resource when it comes to truly understanding what your customers are looking for: your sales staff. They have a unique and personal connection with customers that can offer insight to your marketing team. Make sure your program is developed in a collaborative fashion and input from all parties is considered. Remember, you are working together for the benefit of the client and this requires a team effort.
Give Your Program Time to Succeed
Success does not happen overnight. It may take some time for your marketing automation program to begin showing results, so you’ll need to be patient when it comes to tracking its success. One thing you won’t have to wait for, however, is finding out your open/click/share rate.
Although higher-ups will want to know revenue figures, these numbers can show if you are making connections and engaging with your prospects. Depending on your sales cycle, it can take up to eighteen months before you have a clear idea of the revenue you have generated through marketing automation. At that point, you can make adjustments accordingly.
Marketing automation is a great way to make those all-important connections with current and prospective clients. If you do it correctly, it can really pay off for your company. Just remember, marketing automation should be a work in progress and may need some tweaks along the way. Once you get things running smoothly, you should see your efforts lead to increased sales and satisfied customers.