By Nick Dennis
As a journey-man of marketing automation and email marketing, it still amazes me when I read surveys such as the 2017 Oracle & Econsultancy State of Marketing Automation in ANZ. Generally speaking, the low hanging fruit of marketing automation is often not being utilized to improve marketing KPIs, sales performance, and the customer experience.
- Only 38% of companies send an automated email following a newsletter sign-up
- Only 33% of companies send an automated email following a content download
- Only 12% of respondents send triggered messages based on subscription renewal dates
- Only 14% of companies send automated emails for date-based notifications
Shocking right? We’re not talking about big strategic projects here, we’re talking about a tactical capability that really should be baked into marketing programs.
Activate Automated Emails
How is this happening? Check out the following example:
I’ve signed up to receive emails from a company and I just opted in but I have yet to receive a confirmation email. This is a great opportunity to introduce oneself as a brand — a key opportunity to engage — that has been surrendered!
You can fix this is to create automated emails to automatically respond to customers as soon as they opt-in to emails or a newsletter.
Whenever customers take the opportunity to share their information with you, you need to gather their data. Yes, this is a bit elementary in marketing but only one-third of companies capture job titles, company names, product interests or other key bits of data that enable personalization. Whether this engagement exists through a newsletter sign-up, content views, or E-Guide downloads, the data that is shared with you needs to be treasured in order to give them the attention that they warrant as your customers.
Send Emails Before Renewal Dates
Do you know that it costs 5-25 times as much to find a new customer as it does to keep existing ones? In case you have not heard this before, here’s the proof. With this in mind, why wouldn’t you try harder to retain an existing customer? The truth is surprising as only 12% of companies, just over 1 in 10, are automatically smoothing the road to renewals of a contract or subscription by automating email communication based off of that renewal date.
Utilize Customer Celebrations
Dates captured from your contacts are the perfect elements to set your automation triggers on. A birthdate is a perfect excuse to deliver content to a customer that is personalised and makes them feel valued as your brand is willing to connect with them individually. The anniversary of a first purchase and sign-up date are both valid reasons to engage personally with your customers and make them feel special. If you know your customers well, then show it! By doing so, you’ll rise ahead of the 84% of company respondents that are currently not doing this!
How can these suggestions actually be implemented? Below is a plan that you can work through to add value to your customer relationships:
Investigate possible trigger points:
- Capture date fields and form submits.
- Track your website.
- Assess what technology is needed to capture behavioural triggers.
Determine what data points are already in your marketing database:
- Date stamps; including sign-up dates, contract start/end dates, birthdates, etc.; offer a great starting point!
- Behavioural insights can be collected from form submissions, downloads, progressive profiling, web visits, email interactions, and cart abandons.
Review your current marketing programs:
- Don’t introduce loads of triggered messages that conflict with your overall marketing & weaken your brand & message.
- If you have an outbound calling renewal program, then start to ‘warm up’ your renewals 2-3 months before the renewal date with some content that helps your users realise the value of their subscription, and ‘hey presto’ your renewal rates may actually increase!
Build and Test:
- Keep track of and benchmark existing KPIs and performance stats.
- Measure those same KPIs against these new triggered campaigns.
- Identify what is working and look to roll those out, and identify poor performers and remove or update those triggers.
With today’s marketing automation technology there’s really no excuse not to include some of these behaviour triggers in the marketing mix. Even smaller providers should be offering out of the box capability to automate these since there are no additional technical skills required.
Start to identify where we can improve marketing today, implement those triggers tomorrow, and shift the needle on our triggered marketing next year with the Modern Marketing Guide to ABM!
Featured image source: pexels