The average professional gets more than 100 pieces of business email daily. How many of them ever get read is a different story and a much smaller number. The numbers of click-throughs on banner ads is even smaller – at least, that’s the case without marketing automation to improve relevance and boost customization.
Marketing messages that lack personalization aren’t likely to be on your leads’ short list to respond to, but marketing automation offers multiple ways to add some flavor. Here are some of the tastiest tips we’ve found for optimizing your marketing automation strategy.
Get an Early Start
Conventional marketing software tools and CRMs enable you to collect data on leads once you know who they are, but in the information age, that’s already too late. With marketing automation, you start gaining insight into leads’ activities before you even know their names. With anonymous browser cookies, you gather behavioral information that can later be connected with names and addresses. That early data collection is important even when leads remain anonymous, giving you valuable information about traffic patterns and areas of interest.
When your data’s centralized, you have a complete picture of your prospects and can dramatically improve customization. Your CRM data contains a wealth of information about your customers, including sales histories, firmographic data, and customer service records. Combine that with active, real-time data on customer activity such as site visits, downloads, newsletter subscriptions, and preference pages, and you have a foolproof recipe for relevance.
Hearing from you in a well-crafted, personalized email is good. Hearing about you from multiple content sources, social media, SEM, and targeted advertising is even better. Delivering content across multiple channels amplifies and clarifies your message, making it stand out from the competition. Marketing automation technology is ideally suited to coordinating omni-channel marketing, tracking everything from site traffic to social media activity in order to guide customers on their buying journeys.
Content may be king, but as any Game of Thrones fan can tell you, not all rulers are equal. It isn’t enough to have content in quantity; you need quality too. Where some companies go off the rails is in trying to define quality by their own terms instead of by what customers find relevant, so pay attention to user feedback to guide your content choices. Take a look at the blog posts that receive the most traffic, the newsletters that get forwarded most often, and the downloads that are most closely correlated with sales. As you learn more about what your audience likes, you’re able to deliver more of what they want.
Carefully chosen content delivered via nurture streams is far more powerful than a steady stream of more generic content. With drip nurture programs, your leads choose their own routes toward sales readiness but have you alongside them to help. It’s a cooperative venture between you and your prospects that involves a great deal of communication, and only marketing automation systems have the capability to keep up your end of the conversation.
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