Marketing automation is often confused with general email marketing.
Email marketing is a great place to commence your marketing efforts. It’s one thing to send out the same emails to everyone on a generic, non-segmented list about an event your company is having, but that barely relates to the point of the lifecycle where each of your (potential) customers are.
Marketing automation allows you to nurture customers according to their needs by speaking with them and not to them. With marketing automation, messages can be created based on an individual’s recent actions. It has far greater ROI than you could ever get from simple email marketing and has copious opportunities for increased conversion.
The ample marketing automation solutions on the market are daunting. So, a suggestion would be to think about what you want to accomplish with the tool you choose and which one will meet those needs. It might seem like a good idea to get a tool that has lots of bells and whistles, but maybe they would just serve as clutter and get in your way.
Do you have someone who will be dedicated to the tool full time? Or do you want to get it set up quickly and then not think about it for a while? If you choose the latter, then you may want to go with one of the simplest versions of marketing automation that can get the job done that doesn’t provide an extreme level of granularity. You’ll want your selection to be user-friendly, integrate with your marketing, sales, and business analytics tools, allow the different roles needed within your company and give you the analytics you are looking for.
We drummed up 11 ways marketing automation can build your business.
Tip #1: Send a welcome email
KissMetrics found that welcome emails increase sales 3x more than any other email you could send. In fact, welcome emails have one of the highest ROIs of all automated emails. To maximize your results, personalize your welcome emails.
It could include a coupon related to their website visits, that encourages customers to make their first purchase, materials like e-books to express your gratitude for choosing to do business with you, or other giveaways to sweeten the deal.
Tip #2: Salvage abandoned carts
People have all different sorts of reasons for abandoning their carts (hint: it’s not always intentional!). They may abandon their carts because they decided to go with another online competitor (so sad, but that’s the reality of commerce!), but what if it was just because they got distracted or ran out of time before an appointment they had scheduled and then forgot to come back? Those people just need a little nudge!
Another reason for cart abandonment is that they may have had some uncertainties around the product. Whatever the reason—no matter how legitimate or not it is—the rate of cart abandonment is 60-80%!
Try sending an automated email educating them on why that product would be beneficial for them and draw them back to complete the purchase process. Marketing automation is a great way to remind people of what they’ve unintentionally left behind. It sure worked for Smileycookie.com who was able to salvage 30% of their abandoned carts because of the marketing automation they had in place.
Tip #3: Sell more
There’s nothing like making even more of a good thing. You already know they are interested in your products because of a previous purchase they made. Now you can prompt them with complementary products that will improve their experience, an upgraded version of the item they have, or a product that has additional features.
Tip #4: Send order confirmation emails
Order confirmation emails have a high open-rate—70%—and such a high click-through rate— 17%—because people want the peace of mind that their order has indeed gone through. This is a huge opportunity to further develop your relationship with your client. It would be such a shame to miss out!
Because this type of email, like any interaction you have with your clients, is an opportunity for them to get to know you better. So go ahead and give your emails some personality. Just because your customer already made a purchase doesn’t mean the interaction needs to stop there.
Now’s a great time to test out various calls to action. Follow us on social media! Upgrade your account now! Check out our latest products!
Tip #5: Segment your high-quality leads
While this can be costly, marketing automation gives you the opportunity to segment your leads which can generate far greater returns than a non-segmented list of contacts. In fact, over 70% of customers say they don’t like generic messages because they are so frequently irrelevant to them; as such, they will only engage with personalized offers. So why not give them what they want—personalized emails—to increase sales 10% or more and marketing budget ROI up to 400% (5-8x)?
This is the time and place to spend money on high-quality content knowing that people appreciate it and it will lead somewhere. You may want to consider segmenting your audience by gender, age, active leads, paying customers, location, or other factors specific to your company. The good thing is that, with marketing automation, you don’t have to do this manually. Just select the desired criteria and you’re good to go.
Tip #6: Provide educational content
Providing free educational content shows that you are going the extra mile and that you care. That value can help people warm up to you and even like you when they aren’t quite ready to commit. You may want to direct your customers to your help section, to an upcoming webinar you are hosting, to an eBook, or to some blog posts.
What you choose to direct them to depends on their stage in the customer lifecycle. Ensure that you are sending them valuable information based on their preferences and current stage, and not just cluttering their inbox.
The first step you may consider in tailoring an effective educational content is to start with a simple survey on your install base, asking what problems they face when using your product(s).
Tip #7: Re-engage customers who have gone AWOL
You probably have thick skin and understand the reality that not all customers are forever. Someone may have inquired about your product never to be heard from again. Another may have been interested enough to subscribe to your email list, but then did not take any other action. And another may have purchased from you, but never returned.
Don’t settle for that if you can use marketing automation to re-engage these folks. Re-engage them by sending a customer survey, offering a promotion, or prompting them with alternate products, to guide them towards different options.
Tip #8: Improve customer service
Great customer service is all about providing just the right amount of handholding at just the right moments. With a manual process, you risk sending an email at inappropriate times and, as a consequence, losing them somewhere in the middle of the buyer’s journey or onboarding process.
An automated flow—set up according to triggers—that still looks like it was written by a human, massively improves your email productivity and improves your customer engagement thus increasing your retention rate and profitability. Customer retention is far less costly than landing new customers.
Tip #9: Provide helpful reminders
Any chance you have to provide relevant tips to your audience is an opportunity to be seized. Relevance is always the keyword. Is there an upcoming holiday that people relate to gift-giving? Mother’s Day? Father’s Day? Christmas?
Your customers might be thankful that you send them this relevant prompt because who knows what would have happened to them if they hadn’t remembered to send a gift!! Connect with their emotions to increase the value of their purchase even more.
Tip #10: Promote loyalty
It’s no secret that keeping current customers has much greater value than trying to acquire new ones. There are various ways you can promote loyalty, using marketing automation to ensure customers are retained and don’t fall by the wayside.
Your loyalty emails can educate your customers on how your loyalty program works, remind people of the bonuses they have waiting for them, and reward your best customers.
Tip #11: Send subscription reminders
There’s probably nothing worse than losing a customer to something preventable like not realizing their subscription was coming to an end. A timely automated email (or even a series of emails) can save the people who don’t want their subscription to end.
Just a gentle nudge regarding the consequences of losing their subscription can quickly put someone in full gear.
There are so many ways to use marketing automation to your advantage! If you’re already doing email marketing stepping it up to marketing automation should be your next consideration.
The stats don’t lie—the value speaks for itself. Marketing automation allows you to email your customers with more regularity and frequency. By being able to target each of your customers in their spot in the buyer’s journey you can send relevant messages that increase conversions across the board. Start with some clear objectives and track the progress to make sure you act in time on potential issues or revenue leakages.
Use this guide to choose the best marketing automation platform for your company.