One of the major challenges businesses face across the UK face is how to give marketing teams the time they need to focus on the larger-scale strategy needs and not just on day-to-day task work. The answer may be found in marketing automation.
Marketing automation is proven to increase leads and conversions, and therefore also revenue. It can also boost sales productivity by 14.5% and reduce marketing overheads by 12.2%. And with 25% of UK companies identifying budget constraints as their number one challenge when it comes to their marketing strategy, it’s no wonder B2C technology investment is going through the roof. However, it’s still not always used to its fullest capabilities and maximum revenue potential is often not reached.
Here are eleven examples of how you can use marketing automation technology to best engage your customers.
1. Welcome Programmes
Automate your customer onboarding after registration. After a customer signs up for your newsletter or creates an account, send them a welcome email with an incentive to start browsing. Let them know what they can expect to receive from your brand, show them more about what your brand stands for, and or course, let them commence their shopping.
2. Repurchase Programmes
Post-purchase programmes help automatically gather customer feedback and cross-sell opportunities. Ask your customers how they would rate their purchase from your brand and give them an opportunity to leave a review, share a photo, or purchase personalised products based on suggestions based on previous orders.
3. Reminder Programmes
Send reminders to consumers who didn’t open or click through your brand’s email. If someone opened your first email but didn’t click through to see the content or didn’t interact with any links, send a reminder and include an offer to help motivate them. If someone hasn’t shopped your sale yet, send him or her a reminder to take advantage of free shipping or an exclusive offer before it ends.
4. Multichannel Programmes
Create programmes that combine multiple channels such as email, text messages, and social ads. Be sure not to blast the same message at the same time across all your channels. Instead, plan and time the various campaigns to maximise your reach without spamming your customers.
5. Win-back Programmes
Target customers after a set period of inactivity to win them back. If a consumer has gone for a period of time without visiting your site, logging in, or purchasing an item, send them an email with a “We miss you” message and recommend products they’re sure to love or fill them in on what’s new since their last visit. If they’ve left something in the cart, send a reminder email and provide an incentive to get them to the check out.
6. Treatment Programmes
Construct multiple conditions within the same programme to engage with individuals based on their buyer status and individual behaviour. Share exclusive offers first with your most frequent buyers or give a larger discounts to those who may be on the fence about making a purchase.
7. A/B Split Testing
Use control groups to experiment with new ideas and continuously improve the quality of your campaigns. Test different free shipping thresholds or other offers to identify what offers and channels perform best for your customers and your business. Just remember to only test one element at a time so you can single out tests and determine a winner each time so you can continue to optimise for the future.
8. One-off, Multi-step Campaigns
For one-off, multi-step campaigns, for example, you can set up a one-time mailing series during the build-up to a large promotion or event. Is your brand’s biggest sale of the year coming up? Is something exclusive coming soon and you want to build the excitement? Let your customers know. You can even ask them to opt-in to your brand’s SMS programme or follow you on Twitter for more announcements.
9. Transactional Programmes
Automatically send communications triggered by customer activities such as registrations, purchases or any external API call. In purchase confirmation emails, include links to personalised suggestions, share buttons, or other call to actions to gather feedback. Also ask recipients to share, or recommend more product options they may like. Use email to keep customers interacting with your brand over time.
10. Retargeting Programmes
Create retargeting programmes triggered by abandoned carts and sessions. For example, if a consumer leaves your site without making a purchase, retarget her with social ads to bring her back to your site and tempt her to make a purchase.
11. Measure Success
Build in key success metrics to the programme and then analyse the performance by looking at conversion rates. Prior to starting any new campaign or programme, make sure to set the objective you want to achieve and establish some measurable goals.
While there are many ways that marketers can leverage automation technology to better engage their customers, these are just a few. Feel free to share any additional tactics that we may have overlooked in the comments below.