6 Obvious Marketing Automation Tips That Somehow Fall on Our Blind Spot!
You get yourself a great marketing automation software, and you hope it’ll work like a genie : churning out viral campaigns on command, bringing home big fat leads in thousands.
It’s a common fantasy, isn’t it?
Alas, the truth is not so fantastic.
The truth is that any software will work for you, only as much as you work for it.
To help you put this nugget of wisdom to good use, here are 6 (easy but overlooked) tips to get the most out of your marketing automation tool :
Within the first few weeks of getting your software, give all of the lead capture channels it offers a try.
Now, it’s going to be tough to set-up new channels that you’re not already using. But kick off the inertia and do just that. Experimentation is the name of the game here, and the results may be a pleasant surprise for you! For instance, the Deltin Group added live chat as a key channel of lead capture after noticing that it worked smoothly with our software, LeadSquared.
You might also feel there is zero incentive for re-trying a channel you’ve given up on in the past. However, you need to remember that done right, automating can vastly improve the traction you get from any lead source, and hence it may just work for you now.
Finally, it’s true that you don’t need to be spending on 10 lead generation channels, when 3 of them are getting you your best leads in generous numbers. But unless you try out all the available options, you’d never know which ones click. Once you do have results from all the channels to compare, you can make an informed decision about which ones to prune out and which ones to retain in your lead generation strategy.
Don’t let the sleeping leads lie!
There’s no point in having a growing database if you’re only going to engage with the tip of the iceberg.
All marketers create conversion paths for the actively engaging leads. Many also ensure regular follow-ups with recently disengaged leads. However, most of them tend to forget about the inactive leads — say, the ones that stopped responding to your campaigns 2 years ago.
But here’s the thing : unless a lead takes a definitive negative action (such as unsubscribing from your emails), it’ll do you good to not give up on it. This is because if they expressed interest in your product once, there is always a chance they might turn into buyers one day.
For instance, here at LeadSquared, we do biweekly marketing webinars, and a lot of attendees are in the early, ‘learning’ stage of their career right now. However, we continue to nurture them with specific, high-quality content because they will likely be decision-makers one day and that day, it would benefit us immensely to have top-of-the-mind recall with them.
Takeaway : create ‘revival’ paths for your inactive leads.
This doesn’t just involve sending them generic promotional emails — those will certainly not incite action out of a lead that stopped responding to you years back! Instead, use your marketing automation software to the fullest by creating specific, incremental and personalized follow-ups for such leads.
Identify the kinds of customers you have, and segment your lists accordingly. This will help you make your nurturing campaigns as specific and relevant as possible. You can also take targeting to the next level by asking your segmented leads about the exact kind of content they’d be interested in receiving.
Here are a few examples of hyper-targeted nurturing :
1. If you run a travel agency, you can send customized offers to different kinds of travelers -students, young couples, families, etc. Additionally, you can make your lead’s experience richer by asking them to indicate the kind of deals they’d like to receive. For instance, if someone signs up for a couple’s package for Goa, you could ask them if they’d be interested in receiving honeymoon deals, or weekend getaway deals, or longer trip deals, and send them customized offers accordingly.
2. If you’re marketing an education institute (say a B-school), you can create specific nurturing campaigns for students, working professionals, and parents. Then, you can create another layer of targeting for each of them. For instance, when a college student signs up to receive more information on a course, you can ask them about their stream, and send hyper-targeted content accordingly (for example, ‘Here’s how an Arts student like you became a consultant at Deloitte’).
It’s a cliché, but one that is so poorly executed in general that it deserves all the mentions it gets!
Today, marketers are smart enough to not write mass emails addressing their leads as ‘Dear Prospect’. On the other hand, people are smart enough to understand that even if they’re addressed by their name in a promotional email, it’s probably been sent to hundreds like them using a software.
Does this mean that personalization is useless, or that if it is important, you need to actually sit and write one-on-one emails?
Good news: no, not at all!
The idea is not to dupe prospects into believing an email has been sent only to them and no one else.
The idea is to make them feel that there’s a person behind this software sending them emails, and that person is warm, friendly and genuinely interested in providing them high-value content.
That’s exactly the purpose conversational, relatable copy can accomplish for you.
Consider this example from Dropbox, which is pure genius when it comes to email marketing :-
Here’s another example of great email by Any.do (a To-do list app) :
Takeaway: speak to your prospects as a friend, and not as a salesperson.
Marketing automation can help you get the practical parts of your personalization right. It can help you send out very specific, relevant information to each of your users and address them by name. However, to make them sit up, care for the information and respond positively to it, you’ll need to complement your software with genuinely personal copy.
Most marketing automation software come loaded with Landing Page and Email templates. From the experiences with our clients, we’ve noticed that people tend to stick to using the same template for one kind of offer.
This defeats the purpose of having access to a library of templates and a neat tool to tweak them further.
Nobody will know your business’ exact requirements as well as you do, so don’t rely entirely on preloaded templates. Experiment with various templates and design your own, before you zero down on the ones that work.
Apart from the design, also experiment with the soft elements of your landing page/email: images, CTA, copy, placement, overall flow, etc.
The same logic applies to two other critical features in an MA tool : lead scoring and reporting/analytics. Define lead scoring rules carefully to make sure they reflect the quality of your leads correctly, instead of going by the default values. Similarly, customize your reports to get metrics that make sense for your business.
Database cleaning is critical because many metrics that your system reports will take into account redundant leads as well, giving you a distorted picture.
For instance, LeadSquared calculates a figure called ‘Engagement Index’, which reflects the overall engagement of the leads in the system.
This is used as a metric to judge when the nurturing efforts should be scaled up. Including leads that are absolutely inactive lowers this figure unnecessarily, thereby creating the false impression that current nurturing activities are not enough.
Therefore, it’s vital to remove leads :
- That have unsubscribed from your campaigns, or
- That have emphatically refused interest in your product
- That continue to be disengaged even after you’ve run targeted nurturing campaigns for them.
For example, if you’re a property developer in London, and you have around 2000 leads that haven’t responded to your campaigns in 2 years. Now, you can run an autoresponder campaign for such leads, sending out one email per week for 3 weeks, and making sure they’re building up in terms of value:
Week 1 : Tanya, it’s been long! Let’s break the ice :)
[In this email, re-introduce yourself to your prospect. Remind them of their previous interest in your property. Tell them that you regularly create content about real estate, home maintenance, their location, etc. Ask them if there’s any specific topic they’d like to see a blog post, webinar or video on].
Week 2 : Gearing up for a lazy weekend? Here’s a light read to go with it!
[Include a free e-book, on a light, engaging topic, such as quick and do-it-yourself tips to improve your house décor, or interesting things to do over the weekend in London.]
Week 3 : Tanya, found the right home yet? Got you a little gift to help out!
[Include a discount coupon on select properties in their area in this email.]
Week 4 : Can I trouble you for a small favour?
[Send this email if there have been opens but no clicks on any of your previous emails. Tell them you’re trying to make sure your content reaches only the right people and doesn’t spam anyone. Ask them if they’re no longer looking for a house, or would like to stop receiving your content for any other reason. You can embed a poll-type question here, with options, so that it becomes quicker for them to answer.]
Based on such a last-try campaign, you can clean your database/email lists. Remember, all leads in your database should represent either current or future opportunity. If they do not, there’s no point having them in your system.
And that’s all from my side — if you have more tips to suggest, it’ll be great to see them in the comments below!
Also, if you found this post useful, do consider recommending or sharing it :)