It’s no secret that marketing automation can be a powerful tool for growing your business. But if you’re not using this technology effectively, it won’t do any good.
In fact, it could even make things worse! That’s why we’ve put together this list of 15 best practices for maximizing growth with marketing automation solutions.
1. Create a Clear Marketing Automation Strategy
The first step to maximizing your marketing automation strategy is to define the problem. Before you start on a solution, it’s important to set goals for yourself that are both ambitious and realistic. For example:
- If your goal is simply “to get more customers,” it might be hard to know when or if you’ve achieved it. You may end up spending months working on strategies that don’t bring in any new leads at all because they weren’t actually solving the right problem!
- Instead of setting an abstract goal like “more customers” or even something more specific like “increase revenue by 10% this year,” think about what tangible fitness goals you could achieve in three months’ time (or six months). For example:
- If we want people who sign up for our email list today, but not tomorrow–and then stay engaged with us over time–what would happen if we sent them one email per week? Can we send them two emails per week? Three? Four? Five? Six…and so on until they unsubscribe from our list because they’re getting too many messages from us!
2. Start with the Customer in Mind
Your customer comes first. The reason you’re in business is to serve them, not to take their money and run.
You need to think about how you can best help them in the ways they want, when they need it and where they are looking for answers or solutions. You need to give them an amazing experience every time they interact with your brand so that when someone asks if anyone knows about X company, everyone says “yes.”
3. Set Clear Goals for your Automation Solutions
You need to know what you want to achieve and how you will measure success. You can’t just throw a bunch of emails at your customers and hope that something sticks–you need to have clear goals in mind for each campaign, as well as the metrics that define success.
Defining the right goals will help ensure that your marketing automation solution delivers on its promise, which is why it’s so important that you have a process in place for setting them up (and measuring them!). When setting up an automated campaign or sequence of emails, think about:
- What is my goal for this email? How will I know if it worked?
- What are my customer’s needs at this point in time? Do they need more information about our product/service? Should I offer free trials or demo videos instead of sending them straightaway into our sales funnel with an expensive purchase decision looming overhead (which might scare away some potential buyers)?
4. Focus on Creating Relevant Content for Every Stage of the Customer Lifecycle
The customer lifecycle is an important concept to understand when it comes to marketing automation. It’s a simple idea: every customer has a different set of needs at any given point in time, so you need to be able to meet those needs with the expected content at every stage of the customer journey.
You can think about this as a funnel, where prospects are at one end and loyal customers are at another (Figure 1). With each interaction, they move closer toward being converted into buyers or repeat purchasers–but only if you provide them with what they want!
5. Don’t Neglect Content Personalization Options
Content personalization is a great way to attract, engage and convert visitors. You can use it to create a more personalized experience for your visitors by showing them content that’s most relevant to them based on their behavior on your site or in email campaigns.
The best part? It’s easy! With the right tools, you can set up customized landing pages for different segments of customers–those who have visited before but haven’t purchased anything yet; those who have purchased from you before but are still active customers; those who have signed up for an email list but haven’t taken any action yet (like signing up for your newsletter).
It’s also important not to neglect content personalization options within emails as well–you should always try sending out emails with personalized subject lines based on recipient data such as name or order history so they know exactly what they’re getting when opening up their inboxes every morning/day/evening/night depending on their schedule.
6. Make Sure to Include social Media in your Marketing Automation Strategy
Social media is a great way to reach new customers, but it can also be a powerful tool for monitoring customer sentiment and identifying new opportunities. Social media allows you to distribute content, drive traffic to landing pages, reach influencers and generate buzz.
The best part? It’s free!
7. Make it Easy to Reach you and your Team 24/7
- Be easily accessible for people to reach out to you.
- Provide multiple ways for customers to reach out, including phone numbers, email addresses and live chat features.
- Ensure you reply quickly to your customers’ queries, whether it is to thank them or to inform them about your unavailability.
8. Define your Goals
It’s crucial to define your goals and objectives before beginning. This is the first step in any marketing automation strategy. If you don’t know where you want to go, how can anyone else?
You need a clear vision of what success looks like before starting any journey (and yes, this includes yours). You also need to ensure that everyone involved in the project understands what those goals are–and why they’re important.
It’s common for people who are new or unfamiliar with marketing automation tools to start with vague statements like: “I want more leads.” Or: “I want more signups.” But these statements don’t really tell us anything useful; they could mean anything from increasing our email open rates by 10% or increasing revenue by $10 million over three years! That makes it impossible for us as marketers (or anyone else) know how best we should spend our time when setting up campaigns or making adjustments later on down the line.
9. Create a Lead Nurturing Strategy
You should be defining the problem before you start on a solution.
If you’re going to create a lead nurturing strategy, it’s important that you set goals. Don’t worry about what other people’s goals are; instead, be ambitious and stay realistic! For example: “I want my business to generate $100k in revenue by December 31st.”
10. Measure ROI
You want to measure your ROI.
It’s important for you to know how much you’re spending on marketing automation, and what kind of return on investment (ROI) it’s generating for your business. There are two ways of doing so:
- Cost per lead (CPL). This method calculates the average cost per new lead that comes through the system. You can calculate CPL by dividing total costs by total leads generated by a specific campaign or program over time in order to determine an average cost per lead generated by that particular initiative–for example, $500 divided by 100 leads equals an average cost of $5 each time someone opts-in through an email campaign or webinar registration form. The higher this number is compared with other methods like CPA or CPC means that fewer people have responded positively compared with those who didn’t respond at all (i.,e., no one clicked on any links). However if someone did click but never returned later down the line then their conversion rate would be lower than expected based off previous experience from similar campaigns run elsewhere
11. Pick the Right Tools for your Team
Choosing the right tools is a critical step in marketing automation. You don’t want to choose a tool that’s too complicated or expensive, but you also need to make sure it will integrate seamlessly with other products and services your team uses.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your marketing automation software:
- Easy-to-use interface: The best software will have an intuitive interface that makes it easy for anyone on your team–even non-technical folks–to use without training or support.
- Affordability: You don’t want to spend too much money on something that might not work out for you (or worse yet, could become obsolete), so make sure any software solution has reasonable pricing plans based on what features are most important for your business needs today versus tomorrow’s growth opportunities down the road.
- Compatibility with other tools: If you already use Salesforce CRM or Hubspot CRM, then those platforms would probably be compatible with whatever new marketing automation tooling comes along next year because they all share common data structures like contacts lists and account records.
- Customization capabilities: Some companies prefer highly customized solutions while others prefer more standardized approaches based around common templates across multiple departments within each organization.
12. Create a Campaign Structure that Works for you and your Customers
You can’t just throw together a bunch of content and expect it to work.
Your campaigns should have a clear structure, with each one building on the last. The goal is to create a campaign that is easy for your customer to understand, helps them make informed decisions about their next steps and ultimately leads them down the conversion funnel.
The following are some best practices for creating effective campaign structures:
- Have a plan for each campaign – Before you start creating your first automated email sequence or landing page, take some time to think about what you want from each piece of marketing content in relation to its place within your overall strategy. This way when it comes time for execution, there won’t be any surprises or wasted effort on either side (yours or theirs).
Here is when collecting customer data comes to rescue. It helps you analyze customer behavior to make more informed decisions. There are several big data tools available that do the job. You can contact a Big Data Solutions Company to know about the available options.
13. Make Sure your Content is High Quality and Interesting to Visitors
The content you create and publish should be high quality and interesting to visitors. Use visuals to break up text and make it more interesting, but don’t overdo it–you want people who visit your website to read all of your content, not just skim through it! Make sure that all of the information is accurate, relevant and well researched.
Finally, if possible get someone else (a friend or colleague) to look over what you’ve written before publishing anything so that they can point out any mistakes or areas for improvement in terms of style or grammar.
14. Sequence Correctly
- Make sure everything that goes out into the world is consistent. You want to be sure that every email you send is in line with what you’ve already sent and helps answer the question of why someone should buy from you or subscribe to your email list in the first place. For example, if someone signs up for an ebook on how to grow their business using social media marketing, don’t send them an email about how amazing your new product is four days later! That would be confusing and unhelpful–and possibly even annoying–to them.
- Don’t send emails out of order: If someone signs up for one thing but then opts into another offer later on (for example, they sign up for a webinar but then later opt-in for some other piece of content), make sure those things aren’t sent out in reverse order either so as not too confuse them about what’s happening next or why they got something else after initially opting-in just one thing (you know what we mean).
15. Communicate with your Team and make sure they Understand the Goals of Each Campaign
The last thing you want is for someone on your team to have different ideas about what a campaign should be, or worse yet, for their goals to get in the way of another person’s. Make sure everyone knows exactly what each campaign is going to do, who it’s going to target and why.
When you’re ready to launch a new campaign or update an existing one, make sure everyone has access to all relevant information so they can follow along with what’s happening as it happens. That way everyone stays informed and understands how important each decision is in terms of reaching those goals as well as how it affects other departments within the company (like sales).
If you follow these best practices, you will see an increase in engagement, conversion and revenue
- Focus on the customer: You need to know who your customers are so that you can speak to them in a way that resonates with them. This means understanding where they come from, what they want and how they behave online–all of which is critical for crafting personalized marketing messages across channels (e-mail campaigns, social media posts).
- Set clear goals: You should know exactly what success looks like for each campaign or program before launching it into production because this will help guide decisions about when it’s time to stop investing resources into something that isn’t working well enough yet–or whether we should keep investing more time/money until we reach our desired outcome(s).
- Make sure everything that goes out into the world is consistent. This means using similar formatting, language and branding across channels. It also means making sure that messaging tracks with customer needs and expectations. For example, if someone reaches out via email asking about pricing, don’t respond by directing them to a landing page about product features or case studies (unless those answers are relevant). Instead, answer their question directly in the next communication. If there’s anything else we can do to answer your question or help with this project, let us know! Otherwise we’ll send over pricing details tomorrow via email ____” Then the next email in the sequence can be something like “Here’s our best price for ___” or “Team member name here didn’t have time to answer your question today but wanted me to let you know that ____”
- Respond quickly when customers reach out via social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook Messenger — even if just with an acknowledgement that you’ve seen their message and will get back at them soon!
The best way to get started with marketing automation is by ensuring all your team members understand what it is and why they need it. Ensure everyone knows how to keep their campaigns consistent, so they don’t send mixed messages to customers. To help you do this better, contact us. We offer big data analytics consulting services to help you with marketing automation tremendously. It ensures you correctly use similar formatting, language, and branding across channel sequencing so that each message builds upon the last one; and communicates with each other about goals for every campaign.