Corporations aren’t the only ones developing a marketing automation strategy these days. Businesses of every size take advantage of marketing automation techniques, allowing certain marketing messages to be sent automatically. This frees up more time to work on other aspects of your business, such as marketing work that requires more of a hands-on approach. However, one wrong move and your correspondence will become just another spam email sent to the junk folder.
Marketing automation software is designed to make repetitive marketing tasks like social media posts, sending client emails, or website updates automatic. Ideally, this means you will be able to nurture prospective leads with regular communication without having to dedicate hours to sending out all these messages by hand. While automation makes some jobs easier, for others it can be an annoying email burden.
Whether you’re just jumping on the marketing automation bandwagon or you feel like you’re marketing automation processes could be running more smoothly, these best practices can help you get your strategy on track.
Don’t Go into Auto-Pilot Mode
Marketing automation processes are designed to cut down on work, but this doesn’t mean they should run without oversight. Run tests of each of your automated processes before they go live to ensure everything functions the way it should. You should also check in regularly to ensure no errors have developed in the automation process. Imagine discovering you’ve sent 1000 emails to the wrong contact list and have to start a campaign over from scratch. What could be worse?
Collect Insight Whenever Possible
Make note of the open and engagement rates for each piece of content you send out. Insight into content consumption can help you learn which topics resonate with your customers so you can continue to upgrade your offerings. You can also use this information to update your buyer personas, allowing you to draw in more effective leads over time.
Bounce rates can be studied to keep your marketing automation strategy up-to-date. If you’re seeing a high bounce rate, for example, it could mean it’s time to check your email list for outdated contacts. You may also find that you need to adjust the frequency of the messages you’re sending out to avoid inadvertently spamming your subscribers.
Create Stellar Content
Marketing automation relies on a steady stream of high quality content to fuel your campaigns. The content you provide should be valuable and unique, particularly if you want your readers to formally exchange their personal information in order to gain access to it. Create a variety of content such as articles, guides, video, infographics, and e-books so you can attract a varied audience. Producing more content also helps ensure that your automated messages won’t become repetitive to long-term subscribers.
Test Your Processes Often
Even with a high-functioning marketing automation strategy, there’s always room for improvement. Running A/B tests on your automated marketing messages helps you optimize your performance. The elements of your automations that need testing are seemingly endless: content offers, the day of the week you send messages, what time messages are sent, days between sending messages, links, subject lines, tone, and the list goes on. Continuous testing will help you increase the ROI both for your marketing campaigns and your marketing automation investment by boosting customer engagement.
Remember, your marketing automation strategy should supplement your overarching marketing strategy, not replace it. You should always go back and make sure your automated content is being delivered correctly and helping you meet your goals effectively. Most marketing automation disasters happen when marketers distance themselves and without taking the time to evaluate the results of their efforts. If you stay engaged and work to tweak your automated processes to better match your buyer persona’s behavior, you’ll see increasingly reliable results.