Customer-centricity is the key
Why should we learn to master marketing automation fundamentals when we have so many other priorities? The answer is simple: in recent years, marketers have embarked on an epic quest for customer-centricity and one-on-one customer relationships. This quest has led to the development of large-scale marketing automation platforms.
These martech tools make it possible to trigger on-going campaigns according to the customers’ behavior. They also help marketers better understand where customers fall in their brand adoption journey.
But a tool is only a tool
You have to know what you’re doing in order to take advantage of it. You need to master marketing automation fundamentals that will lead to success. So here is a quick overview of the major categories of marketing automation programs. These are the cornerstones programs you’ll want to put in place in order to build strong and lasting relationships with your customers.
Marketing automation fundamentals: the building blocs of your program
This is one of the foundational elements of a marketing automation program. Begin each budding customer relationship by deploying a sequence of 3 or 4 emails. The series of email messages will be triggered when a new subscriber signs. These emails should communicate the essence of your brand and the experience you provide, rather than just push your products. When possible, add a welcome offer.
Send out these messages on a calendar of no more than 7 to 10 days. Test the period that best suits your industry. Do not start sending your offers until the last message in the series has been released.
Abandoned shopping cart
A customer who puts a product in their shopping cart but does not complete the transaction is your best prospect. According to a recent study, 87% of customers who abandon a shopping cart are likely to return if you contact them again. The sequence should contain three messages over a one-week period.
If shopping cart data recovery is a challenge, use a more generic message that refers to the shopping cart, without specifically mentioning the items in it. It is, by far, the most profitable automation program of all.
A nurturingseries is used to establish your credibilityand reputation with a potential customer to help convert then to a buyer. In B2B, these series are used to cultivate the brand relationship before handing a lead off to sales.
As soon as the customer’s engagement reaches a certain threshold, the contact is referred to a sales person who will quickly follow up.
Rather than working on an ad hoc basis, your campaigns can run as programs that function for a pre-set length of time. The advantage of working in a program is that you can set up a customization rule-set. This rule-set adapts the email content and cadence according to individual customer behavior and engagement.
For example, create a different sequence for people who are less engaged. Another for those who open all your communications. Obviously, remove from the program customers buy and direct them to a post-purchase series (see below).
The content viewed on your website by your customers says a lot about their interests and intent. Use this data to enrich their purchase profile. And to trigger an email for the product or category visited. Include a conversion offer as needed.
It’s a bit like retargeting in digital media without the cost of the media. And it works well without being too intrusive.
Every purchase made by your customers is more than a transaction. It is an opportunity to consolidate and deepen the relationship. A post-purchase series allows you to benefit from the anticipation period between the moment of purchase and the moment of product use.
Take the opportunity to offer advice on how to use and maintain the product in order to maximize customer satisfaction. Make sure to cross-sell by offering complementary products. Your best prospect is the customer who just bought.
Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) allows you to communicate with your active customers by email through implied consent. This consent extends for 24 months after the last transaction. To keep your database healthy, it’s important to ensure that you get express consent from your customers whenever possible.
Express consent does not expire and therefore makes it possible to conduct customer reactivation campaigns beyond the two years allowed by implied consent. This is especially important if your natural sales cycle typically exceeds 24 months.
The last category of marketing automation programs allows you to systematically reactivate a healthy proportion of your inactive customers. Once or twice a year, trigger a campaign that offers a special deal to all your inactive customers (or to a segment of high value customers).
These programs should coincide with major sales periods offering the best deals of the year. Simply add a small bonus incentive, exclusively for them.
So, there you have it: the cornerstones of a well-designed marketing automation program. By implementing these marketing automation fundamentals, you will ensure that your business has more customers, more active and loyal customers and a healthy database.