Marketing automation is one of the key elements to create customer communication that is effective, flexible and personal. Especially automated email marketing strategies are working wonders for individual customer interactions.
Marketing automation is not a trend but a necessity
A German study by artegic AG asked marketing experts about marketing automation and a whopping 57% think that marketing automation in real time is not just a “nice to have” but essential for every marketing strategy. Since automation can be used to offer leads and customers flexible, individual communication at any time of the day, it takes a lot of workloads from marketers and gives the customer the right information at the right time.
Whether your contact registers for a newsletter at 1pm in the afternoon or at 3am in the night, thanks to automated emails, he will get a confirmation and welcome email immediately after he signed up.
Coupled with a CRM system, you can even define the communication with a lead depending on their buying phase and recognize them throughout their customer journey. This ensures that no contact has to fill out the same forms or receives content they already got or that isn’t appropriate for their interests and/or buying phase.
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In the following I want to give four examples how marketing automation can be used for your customer communication.
Optimizing registration and download forms
The era of the funnel is over. Leads usually don’t get shoved down a certain path anymore but instead can choose when they want to interact and how. Whether a lead registers for the first time or is already a known contact is no longer a guessing game. By using progressive profiling, you can get the right information from your contact depending on their status within the lead stages and your CRM system.
Progressive profiling: through cookies, the system recognizes contacts that have filled out forms before and will change further forms accordingly. A contact that is new will be asked for their name and email address whereas a known contact might be asked about their interests, company (for B2B marketing) or preferred method of communication.
This way, your contact info gets more detailed with each new download, newsletter registration or coupon and your data base gets relevant information to work with.
Pro tip: progressive profiling makes sense where there’s need to ask for more information step by step (if you don’t want to overwhelm your contact with 20 questions just for signing up for a newsletter or a blog). However, for campaigns and events that need more information immediately to give the contacts/attendees the proper service, it’s better to let them fill out a more comprehensive form and be done with it. Otherwise you risk that your attendees will not fill out the second form, attend the event and have a lesser experience because crucial information about their preferences has been missing.
Personalized nurture campaigns
By using customer segmentation for similar behaviors or interests, you can create nurture campaigns that offer interesting content, offers and product information for specific contacts.
With every new information about the contact, you can refine your communication and content. Furthermore, you can also create content that addresses different buying phases combined with specialized interests.
Pro tip: with the right adjustments, you can even individualize time zones. Make sure that a lead who’s living in Australia doesn’t get their emails in the middle of the night but at the right time for their morning coffee.
Celebrate events that are important to your contacts
Whether it’s a birthday or the anniversary of your customer relationship, with marketing automation you can celebrate with your contacts and make sure that they know that you care.
According to a study by Experian Marketing, individualized birthday emails get twice the amount of clicks and generate more revenue (if you add a nice birthday coupon, for example).
Pro tip: if you surprise your contacts with a special offer or a coupon, the success rate doubles.
Include the customer’s buying behavior
I already wrote about customer segmentation and want to expand a little on that. To really know what your contacts want, you need to find out how they react to your communication and offers. If your contact is interested and buys a diverse range of products but hasn’t once opened an email about it, email might not be their favorite channel. Just leave their inbox clean and try other methods.
If your contact is interested in one product only and ignores all others, don’t waste your and their time with marketing emails on other products. Respect their choices.
Pro tip: by using predictive analytics, you can even create segments that will tell you which contacts are most likely to churn when contacted via email. That way you can not only save on resources but also lower your churn rate.
Find out more about analytics methods to predict customer behavior and react accordingly by downloading our white paper for “Uplift Modelling”.