How often do you feel absolutely sure that you’re making the most of your marketing automation campaigns? If your answer is “every time”, congratulations, but beware—there’s always something to improve or collect. This post will show you some marketing automation best practices and must-haves you need to check before launching the best campaigns ever.
Level 1: Customer data
High-quality data collection and usage
It is a big challenge to collect data in such a way as to reduce the risk of getting false or misleading results. The poor quality of email databases translates into huge losses caused by ineffective marketing campaigns. According to IT Business Edge, large businesses in the US spend an average of nearly $200,000 on direct mailings that don’t return the desired results.
The problem with building a high-quality customer database is not only getting data. The clue lies in collecting real data that allows for the creation of accurately targeted campaigns. It is worth taking time to become familiar with techniques and strategies that will help to maximize your database potential. Here’s how you can improve your customer data quality by approaching the problem from the customer’s perspective:
- Make sure that filling contact forms is as simple as possible.
Long forms full of custom fields often scare page visitors away, just like filling the same fields over and over again. Remember to provide a description of the form fields so that the user can submit the information you need.
- Set up an automation requiring to complete more than one activity to see the offer.
Don’t rush your visitors to subscribe. For example, display a pop-up with a signup form if a customer spends a couple of minutes on a page. A little time to get accustomed with your content increases the chance of signing up and adding up to your customer database.
- Make it clear why you’re asking for data and what you will use it for.
One of the most common fears among people who lie on signup forms is that they will receive tons of unwanted calls and emails trying to sell them something. Stress that you won’t share the data with anyone else or send spam.
- Mobile-friendly contact forms aren’t just an option, they’re mandatory.
The harder it is for mobile users to interact with your site, the less likely they are to complete the signup process. Since there’s an endless number of mobile devices on the market, make sure your site displays properly on screens of different resolutions.
Proper use of data
Marketing Automation systems not only allow you to set up a faster and easier way to communicate with customers but also gather data about them. The users of MA systems gain access to a huge amount of data and reports about:
- customer behavior on their websites
- customer actions during the purchasing process
- the use of mobile applications
- interactions with communication channels on all stages
Unfortunately, many marketers don’t know how to apply this data to create a communication path with certain groups of potential customers. Suppliers of MA systems often emphasize the ability to collect data without clearly indicating how that information can be used. Suggesting appropriate uses for the gathered data should be part of the MA system implementation process.
Level 2: Strategy
Continuous improvement, final goals
As mentioned above, the type and usage of collected data must happen for a purpose, but you may notice a kind of inception in this case—every detailed purpose needs to serve a broader purpose, which is marketing strategy. This sets the path for any course of action and determines what data is needed and how to use it.
It’s important to update and keep data from previous campaigns. Analyzing collected information and drawing conclusions will help you see the strong and weak points about current activities. On the basis of this information, recommendations can be made to avoid mistakes in future campaigns and attain goals.
Omnichannel replaces multichannel
Using multiple channels to communicate with your customers is a must, but the trick is to organize communication into a seamless and integrated experience. It’s great if you’re present on social media, send email offers and retarget your website visitors, but you can take all these strategies to the next level through omnichannel marketing.
Omnichannel is a dynamic, data-driven approach to marketing communication. It assumes using touchpoints in a way that follows or even gets a step ahead of the customer, giving you an opportunity to nurture leads by holding a continuous conversation with them. Here are a few tips to understand and implement it in the right way:
- Don’t repeat yourself in the conversation with your customer.
Each message should be a little different, even if you promote the same offer twice. Also, remember that customer behavior may affect the direction of your communication. Asking the customer to perform a specific action (for example, use a discount code) makes no sense if they’re already in the middle of the process (the customer added items to cart, used a discount code, but haven’t moved on to the payment options selection).
- Observe how customers interact with your website (and other touchpoints).
If they switch from one device to another when shopping in your e-store, make sure they can see the same cart content and value without the need to look for the same items and adding them to the cart again.
- Stay up to date with the touchpoints you’re on.
Your customers may be overwhelmed by emails and reaching them with SMS campaigns will be more effective. Also, new communication opportunities may occur. Customers become avid users of messaging apps that enable the use of chatbots (or direct advertising). Meet them where they are before your competitors do!
- Adjust the tone of voice and copy to the given communication channel.
You need to strike a healthy balance depending on the types of content you can choose (usually text, image or video) and pay attention to size and character limits. Content recycling and repurposing is your best friend.
There is much to say about omnichannel marketing, but the advice above is universal and applicable no matter what level you’re on.
Marketing automation best practices – mastered
“Marketing automation best practices” may sound like a headline for beginners, but marketers should learn from each other and revise knowledge frequently, so we hope you’ve found this text useful no matter if you’re a newcomer or an experienced campaign manager.