In our conversations around marketing automation on Twitter, we really wanted to know what marketers who use it would recommend to other marketers (wow, that is a lot of marketing in one sentence). So here are some of the responses we got.
Don’t get stuck in the tech
Yes. #Marketingautomation tip 1: Don't get stuck in the tech. It's just the vehicle for content, so make that great!
— Annette Kallevig (@AKallevig) June 15, 2016
It’s easy to get stuck – marketing automation requires some setup, and when you focus too much on the technical stuff, the actual reason you’re doing it for might escape you. Well, don’t let it.
Start with a detailed plan – what you want to say, to who, at exactly what time. THEN deal with the tech stuff – it’ll be easier when you’ll know exactly what you want to achieve.
For that reason…
Map your customer journey
Hey @getresponse, top tip? Use it! 2nd tip map your customer purchase journey & set your dashboard to influence them at key decision points.
— Chris O'Shea (@UnfussyWine) April 11, 2016
To create a detailed plan, think of all the touchpoints your customers have with your brand. Then align your communications to influence them right when they’re making their decisions.
What are the key moments you’d like to be able to get them an email to encourage them to take action? Think from the minute they sign up to your newsletter to the moment they’ve become loyal customers and beyond.
A detailed marketing funnel for your product or service will be useful. It’ll help you define the key moments and conversions you want to achieve.
Organize your list
Hey since you asked @getresponse Marketing Automation tip: Organize list segments so no one ever gets more than one email per campaign send
— marti konstant (@martikonstant) May 19, 2016
Last year we had a great webinar with Amy Africa who suggested keeping a “traffic cop” document that helps you monitor the priority in which messages are sent and make sure you don’t flood your customers with emails as they reach multiple touchpoints at the same time. (By the way, watch the recording here.)
Whatever way you choose to do that, make sure you monitor what your subscribers are getting and indeed prevent sending too much at the same time. Create custom marketing automation workflows for each contact segment. Even the basic GetResponse plan allows you to create unlimited drip campaigns - check the GetResponse vs Mailchimp comparison.
Advanced segmentation is a great help and creating very specific segments for your automation workflows will certainly make the job a lot easier.
Also, this is why it’s a good idea to…
Start basic. Don't over complicate things. Create simple funnels, analize the results, make adjustments.
— Alin Vlad (@amvlad) May 27, 2016
When you’ve got that plan ready, don’t try doing everything at once. Start with simple workflows and see how they work. Then build on them to account for further touchpoints as your prospects move down the funnel (or up the ladder, whichever you’re using).
For example, you don’t need to get all the information about a subscriber immediately – use progressive profiling to build knowledge about your subscribers, their preferences, behavior, purchase history etc.
And with each stage…
Check results and adjust
Use automation for a more authentic engagement. Pay attention to what the analytics show & adjust strategy!
— Leeah Murray (@leeahmurray) May 31, 2016
Marketing automation is not just “set and forget” – and I’m pretty sure you know this already. A smart marketer (like you, right? J) will know to keep analyzing the results it brings to see what could be improved.
Marketing strategy is not set in stone and automation gives you tools to measure the effectiveness of your actions. Use them to see if what you’re communicating is up to date and fits what your customer needs at a given moment. Your customers’ needs will change, and so should your communication.
One thing’s for sure – contrary to what many people think, marketing automation actually lets you create a more personal, tailored message. But only if you’re personally involved in getting it out there, using automation as a (helpful) tool, not an end itself.
Align marketing and sales
great ?. I'd say it's to make sure your mktg and sales teams are aligned first and the goals are well thought out!
— Steve Katz (@sa_katz) June 1, 2016
This proves tricky for many companies – but it’s key to ensuring your marketing automation brings great results. I think smooth collaboration between marketing and sales departments lies at the center of successful communication with customers.
This is where we go back to planning and – again – goals. What they are and how you want to achieve them. And, equally importantly, who’s going to do that in your company. Because one thing’s for sure, marketing automation on its own can’t - it’s the people on your teams, working together.
Deliver great content
as your audience consumes your content, use mktg aut. to deepen relationships by delivering more valuable & relevant content
— Marc Levesque (@Marc_Levesque) May 27, 2016
Marketing automation, if done right, is perfect for creating and deepening relationships with your customers and prospects. Apart from having the processes in place, make sure you’ve got enough content to use with the processes and that the content you’re providing is actually valuable for your audience.
Otherwise, even the most advanced marketing automation might disappoint you (while you disappoint your audience).
What are your tips?
If you want to add something to the discussion, please do! What are your best tips for using marketing automation? Leave us a comment or tweet at us using #GRAutomationHub.
Next in the series – greatest marketing automation no-nos, and trends for 2016.