Optimise Your Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a time-saving practice that can help your business thrive. It refers to the use of software and technology to automate repetitive marketing tasks and workflows, such as email campaigns, social media scheduling, lead management, and customer segmentation.
The goal of using marketing automation is to increase efficiency, reduce manual labor, and improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. From autoresponders to lead scoring, you can help drive efficiency while catering to the specifics of each customer and bring them further down the funnel.
In this blog, we’ll take you through some best practices that will help you to start planning your marketing automation strategy today!
1. Know your audience
At the core of any marketing strategy is an understanding of your audience.
Once you know your audience and the stage of the sales journey they’re at, you can start creating a content personalisation map. Marketing automation might sound generic, but if you tailor content to your audience, it creates a very personalised experience.
A great way to know your target audience is to create your ideal buyer personas, which will help you gain an understanding of their behaviours and pain points. You’ll also anticipate what would pique their interest, which will help you down the line with things like contact cadency.
2. Match the content to the journey
This step is how you deliver targeted and relevant content to the right audience.
Potential buyers have different needs to be addressed at each stage of their journey. By mapping out this journey first, you can create automated content that will address each need.
This is crucial, because you need to be able to appeal to your audience at each stage in order to ultimately bring them across the finish line — and to that point, it’s important to always include a relevant CTA in every piece of automated content, so you never miss an opportunity for your audience to take the desired action.
Your audience is likely to come from a range of backgrounds and sources, which means they’re likely to react differently to your content.
One way to mitigate any adverse responses to your marketing automation efforts is to segment your audience according to their demographics (such as age, location, or industry).
You’ll need this segmentation strategy to properly map out and create dynamic content, which we’ll touch on soon.
4. Omnichannel marketing
Gone are the days where all marketing happens on a singular platform with generic content.
In today’s world, with ever-booming social media and shorter attention spans, it’s vital to engage with your audience in their preferred domains — you want to meet them where they’re at.
Whether it’s email, SMS, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter, you can maximise your reach by creating content that’s tailored to each platform’s niche. For example, short visual content works best for Instagram, whereas 120 character texts work best for Twitter or SMS. Across the board, you’ll want to be creating content that’s designed to be viewed on a mobile phone, since over 60% of search traffic alone comes from mobile devices.
5. Customer lifecycle nurture strategy
One of the most important practices in marketing is creating a customer lifecycle nurturing strategy. This includes automation actions at each trigger point in the cycle.
Starting with a ‘welcome’ profiling campaign via landing page form fills is a great place to start for the early stages of the lifecycle — awareness, interest, and consideration — because you can gather information from your audience and start your segmentation process from the very beginning.
By using thoughtful marketing automation contacts at each stage, you nurture your prospects smoothly through the sales funnel — and hopefully further along the lifecycle, to the purchase, retention, and advocacy stages.
If a particular customer doesn’t reach the end of the lifecycle, adjust your strategy to focus on re-engagement with win-back campaigns. For example, you could target customers who have abandoned their carts with personalised emails with offers and discounts.
6. Dynamic content and personalisation
At this point, personalisation should be your holy grail.
Once you’ve segmented your audience, you can start personalising their journey by creating dynamic content.
Dynamic content contains data-driven elements that will change based on user behaviour. By personalising each experience depending on the actions taken by each prospect, you can help build trust and develop a relationship with your audience.
What are some examples of dynamic content?
Dynamic content in practice might look like including the recipient’s name in the subject line of an email, or greeting them with personalised offers — based on their interest or previous actions — when they land on your landing page.
You can also use a content management system (CMS) to trigger the appropriate content for your audience based on predefined behaviours such as page visits, subscriptions, cart abandonments and location.
7. Lead scoring
Lead scoring is an integral part of marketing automation, or in other words, assigning scores to your leads based on their engagement rate. It provides an overall idea of the quality of your customer database, and how far along the customer journey each prospect is.
Lead scoring is a continuous effort, so automating this process is the best way to keep track of your customer database and its progress.
Set your scoring criteria based on your desired outcomes, and once a lead has reached a targeted score, the next action will be triggered in your CRM platform and the customer will be prompted further down the funnel.
8. Security and compliance
With automation comes heavy data usage. After all, having access to all the information we acquired to use for segmentation comes with its own risk.
As a result, every marketer needs to adhere to compliance, privacy and security policies to avoid breaking any laws or damaging reputation. Information that is used to identify a customer — such as their name, age, location, and behaviour — needs to be utilised in accordance with the Australian Privacy Act.
There are also other laws which need to be complied to for consumers in other countries, such as Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) which requires consent to be expressed before any electronic messaging are received.
9. MarTech platform integration strategy
Your marketing technology strategy should sync well with your CRM platform. This helps drive efficiency, and acts as the core of your marketing automation.
What MA integrations can I use on my CRM platform?
Key integrations for CRM platforms might include:
- Form fills
- Data collection
- Live chat
- Social media
Integrating each of these platforms with your CRM platform means your leads can be updated automatically, and enables the lead-scoring model to trigger the next course of action for your customers.
10. Tagging and tracking
Tagging and tracking involves assigning various Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) tags to URLs in each campaign to monitor user behaviour and performance.
This is a great way of allowing marketers to rethink their future strategy and reach their targets more efficiently. Using platforms like Google Analytics can help you track the performance of your campaigns and assess the marketing elements that best serve your purpose.
11. Reporting performance metrics
All of your marketing automation efforts will not be feasible if you can’t (or don’t) report your performance. At every stage from lead generation to conversion and ROI, performance should be measured and reported as the final stage in optimising your campaigns and improving overall marketing strategy. Reporting allows you to further improve the quality of your strategy and assess customer pain points accurately during their lifecycle.
There are many ways to measure your performance, such as click-to-open rate, click-through rate, and bounce rates. In a previous blog, we’ve covered the best practices for measuring email performance — these include parameters to consider, goals, and audience segmentation.
Marketing automation can be an efficient time-saving practice for businesses, but it requires a well-thought-out strategy. To make the most of marketing automation, you need to know your audience, map your content to their journey, segment your audience, practice omnichannel marketing, use a customer lifecycle nurture strategy, personalise your content, implement lead scoring, ensure security and compliance, and integrate your marketing technology with your CRM platform. By following these best practices, you can personalise the customer journey, build trust, and develop relationships with your audience.