Author Archives: Rick

Talkin’ About Their Generation: How to Engage in a New World

Consumers no longer sit at home, ready to receive whatever marketing messages we think are important! In the new digital world, consumers run the show – they browse for the info they need to solve their problems as they arise.

This means your email content needs to be good to get their attention.

Here’s how to work smarter (not harder) to ensure your emails hit the mark.

 

Who are you talking to?

Taking the time to understand different generations’ behaviours and perspectives pays dividends when it comes to engaging them online.

Millennials are digital natives who are keen for brands to engage with them online, according to research. They are responsive to social media, intuitively-designed apps and online communities. They are facilitators and learners, and connect with platforms that promote the storifying of the self.

For Baby Boomers, the digital world is about connecting to passions, keeping in touch with people, and shopping. They are more likely to go online for advice, information and self-education, but don’t insult their intelligence; they’ve been around the block and see themselves as learned, even teachers. At least 90% of Baby Boomers use email, and social media use is ever-increasing for this group.

 

What do they want from you?

Boomers want to sit and listen. They came of age well before everything from banks to insurance had a digital interface, so they engage with provable, structured content, classroom style. They grew up with snail mail and longer attention spans, so verbal content is the way to their hearts.

Millennials want to try and see. Online content is part of their reality and they are drawn to messaging that is experience-able, spontaneous, and authentic. They want striking visuals and calls to action to help guide them to exactly what’s next.

 

How can you engage with them on email?

In Deloitte’s 2016 Media Consumer Survey Report, 39% of respondents identified an email from a company/brand as having a high or medium influence on their buying decisions. The channel is alive and well, and as cost effective as ever.

 

The welcome email

One of the most popular email engagement tactics is the single welcome email. Welcome emails generate four times the total open rates and five times the click rates compared to other bulk emails, according to analysis by Experian CheetahMail.

The welcome email (or series of emails) is an opportunity to consolidate your brand’s connection with the new subscriber, enhance your online store’s credibility, and offer them something of value in their first personalised interaction with your brand.

 

Re-engagement emails

Re-engaging inactive subscribers is a tactic that aims to bring subscribers back into the fold. You might ask them about preference or interest changes, entice them with an exclusive offer, or invite them to join a loyalty club to make them an insider.

 

Behaviour-triggered emails

Another powerful tactic is using behaviour-based triggers to connect with consumers. Have they signed up but are yet to make a purchase? Have they abandoned a shopping basket? Have they clicked a ‘Learn More’ CTA on a particular topic?

Use this information to deliver more relevant – and therefore more engaging – content. Being responsive to moments, milestones or movements in the consumer’s journey with your brand is an effective way of engaging them in the new digital landscape – is as close to real time as you can get it (Hint: research Marketing Automation).

 

Being relevant works

Continuous improvement of the relevance and response of your email marketing is key.

A/B testing of subject lines shows which subject lines are standing out of subscribers’ inbox clutter. Try different phrasing or including different sales offers to find out which achieves higher open and click-through rates.

Another technique is perfecting the timing of sending emails. Alas, there is no one optimal send time (although science says its Tuesday at 10am) – it really depends on the recipient, the industry and the context.

Adjusting the times and days that a campaign is sent out and tracking the engagement analytics is the best way to see what works for your subscribers.

 

Towards better engagement in the new world

You have to work smarter – not harder – to improve customer engagement with your brand in the new world.

Your target audience is not here to learn about you, they’re here for you to solve their problems. Different generations and demographics have different ways of engaging with online content to resolve those problems – it’s up to you to make your content work for them.

So, don’t reinvent the wheel – popular email marketing tactics are popular for a reason. And remember: measuring, testing and improving the relevance of your content is the backbone of all good email marketing!

Need help with your email marketing strategy?  Contact us on 1800 737 266 or ask@permission.com.au to see how we can help you achieve your goals.

How Gmail’s New Opt-Out Feature Forces You To Love Your Email List

Gmail Update

Since Google is recently implementing updates on Gmail, including a new ‘passive opt-out’ feature, now – more than ever – you need to treat your email subscribers like a lover!

Say you have an email subscriber who never opens your email. Google has decided they no longer love you and now sends them a suggestion like the below to break up with you! In other words – they opt out or unsubscribe from your list.

Gmail Update

The key question is, will this help or harm your marketing efforts? And how should you adapt to it?

 

A double edged sword

It’s a mixed bag, really. On the one hand, you’re almost certainly going to see list reduction from Gmail users.

However, weeding out inactive recipients is no bad thing – email to them is simply wasted. So, in a way, Google is helping clean your data for you!

But really the best thing about the new feature is that it makes you work harder to keep the romance alive with your subscribers. Here’s how.

 

50 ways to keep your lover

Well, not really 50 but it’s a good song, isn’t it!

Here’s five tips to entice them before they’re lost perhaps forever:

  • Change the frequency and timing of your emails

Subscribers get frustrated when brands email too often so consider carefully whether you really need to be a slave to that send schedule – do you have something worthwhile to offer in every email? Similarly, perhaps you’re sending at inconvenient times to these users. Experiment with send times and don’t blindly follow industry standards.

  • Reach out to customers on day 28
    Send that extra special email to your list just before Gmail gets to them! Make it a personalised offer to pique their interest again, let them know you miss them and that they should stick around for more like that.
  • Use triggered emails and automate messages

Triggered emails are a powerful at way to engage at the most meaningful time. When a user has downloaded a piece of content or has abandoned a cart, they should receive an automated email that addresses them personally and recognises what they’ve just done.

  • As obvious as it is, make your content relevant and interesting

Step up your content game, as you now need to work harder. Categorise subscribers by insight and segment your list accordingly. Permission-based marketing means recognising that in return for their eyeballs and brain-space, you need to provide something they’ll value.

 

It is only recently that Gmail has announced these updates, but it’s best you start thinking about the implications it has for you. The bottom line is that if they aren’t interested in you despite your best efforts to re-engage, then it’s time to move on. Don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s them!

 

Need help with your subscriber base?  Contact us on 1800 737 266 or ask@permission.com.au to see how we can help you achieve your goals.

 

References:

https://blog.google/products/gmail/stay-composed-heres-quick-rundown-new-gmail/

http://www.yeslifecyclemarketing.com/blog/gmails-passive-opt-outs-unsubscribe-

https://carney.co/daily-carnage-feature/how-to-prepare-for-gmails-passive-opt-out-feature/

https://marketingland.com/the-rise-of-passive-opt-outs-four-ways-to-boost-engagement-236385

Building The Right Database: Why Size Doesn’t Always Matter

People get freaked about size when it comes to their database. They have 30,000 email subscribers, a LinkedIn following of 6,000 and 100,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram they might as well be a Kardashian!

But what percentage of those followers will ever buy anything? What percentage has more than a passing interest in their product or service? How many followers signed up or clicked ‘follow’ and never had anything to do with the business again?

Let’s take a look at why bigger isn’t always better, and how you can build an effective database.


Not just a numbers game

It’s a rule as old as digital marketing – don’t count the people you talk to, talk to the people who count and there is no point adding people to your database if they will never use your services.

There is also no point in having records in your database if the data is out of date.

What is the quality of the addresses you have? If it’s been a while since an address was added, and you’re not actively using it there’s a chance it’s out of date, no longer used or just sending your emails straight to spam. Did you know that around 44% of Australians keep a secondary email address? The goal is to get into their primary inbox.

 

Common barriers to quality:

There are a number of things that can get in the way of building a quality list. Thankfully, most are avoidable with some planning, solid rules and a good data management system to help.

Lack of effective strategy

Don’t just focus on who you want, but why you want them and why they should want you! How does this list and your tactics for obtaining them fit in with your company goals and KPIs? How will you reward them for giving you permission to talk to them?

 Poor quality subscribers

By keeping consistent with your strategic goals when you recruit subscribers, you should be able to avoid this. Keep quality at the forefront wherever and whenever you are collecting details. Remember, this is not a numbers game.

Inadequate list hygiene practices

Ensure you get the right data up front and manage the data with appropriate hygiene practices. Even good contacts are worth nothing if they’re old, have the wrong information or are inputted incorrectly.

Not taking a segmentation approach

Segmentation is everything and it begins at opt-in. Capture the right data and make sure that data ends up on the right list. You need to be targeting the right information to the right customer at the right time. It’s worth incentivizing subscribers – it will give you complete data that will pay in the long run.


So how can you build a quality list?

List building never stops. Even with the best retention strategy you will always have a level of attrition. Here are six places you can find quality contacts again and again and again:

  1. Visitors to your site

Your site should be tracking unique visitors, seeing which pages are of most value and then enticing them to give you their details through newsletter subscriptions, an offer or a valuable downloadable piece such as a whitepaper. This not only gives you quality data to add to your list but also gives you a set of behaviours to go with it. You’ll know who they are and what they’re interested in. Bingo!

  1. Your customers

This may seem obvious, but many companies don’t pay enough attention to existing customers once they’ve signed up. Look at them! Keep them engaged, coming back for ad on sales, upgrades and, hopefully, turn them into brand advocates.

  1. Your social media channel

If they love your social channels, there’s a chance they’ll love your product or service. Create specialised social offers to get those names on your list!

  1. Websites that have similar users

We’re not talking about your competitors, but complementary services that attract similar users to your business. There are great opportunities to partner up, hold a joint offer or host each other’s offers and share the data. Just be sure the users are clear who will have their information and how it will be used.

  1. Search engines

If you’re using Google AdWords, make sure the ads link through to a relevant landing page with a high value offer and form. Again it could be a free trial, a whitepaper or newsletter sign up. The most important thing is that it is relevant to whatever the users were searching for, as this impacts lead quality.

  1. Offline locations

No one ever said all data collection had to be online. Sign up in store, at trade shows or expos. Have a stall at a relevant market, add them to your VIP program when they make their first purchase and get those names on your list! Don’t forget opt out options though!


Understanding the value of your list

You’ve got the list, now what? In order to better serve your customers, you need to know who they are and what they want – which is why effective data management and analysis are key.

Having a data solution that brings the numbers and names to life will help you make a personalised experience for each and every individual, and in doing so, make your digital marketing far more relevant, engaging and effective.

 

Need help with your list?  Contact us on 1800 737 266 or ask@permission.com.au to see how we can help you achieve your goals.

How Creating the Right Email Experience Will Boost Conversion

There are three keys to creating the right customer experience to improve your email conversion, and none of them involve an “experience” in the everyday sense of the word! (“Millennials value experiences over possessions!” or “that skydive was such an experience!”)

When it comes to email marketing, good customer experience simply means that the email is useful (delivers value), usable (it’s easy for customers to find and engage with the value) and enjoyable (it emotionally engages the customer)

Here’s how to tick these three boxes in your email marketing activity, and lead customers to the golden moment of conversion.

 

  1. How to make useful emails

To be truly useful, you’ll need to understand the needs of your customers, their journey with your brand, from the early stages as a prospect to the final stages as a customer and a committed fan. This customer journey mapping gives you the opportunity to offer specific (ie. useful) value at each stage.

Use the transitions from one stage of the journey to the next as trigger points for automated emails that deliver the right value at the right time. Triggered or automated opportunities typically include the sign-up confirmation email, a welcome email/welcome offer, a “send to friend” incentive, content updates, transactional trigger points (e.g. abandoned carts), post-order follow up/delivery tracking, loyalty offers, and win back schemes.

For example, PetsPyjamas, which specialises in pet-friendly travel, adds each new email registration to a “welcome journey” email campaign. This uses the customer data gathered at registration to tailor the welcome email based on the prospect’s pet type. It goes on to tell them how they can spend their complimentary PetPoints, and finally offers them a first-purchase discount incentive on relevant products.

This is just the beginning of the customer journey map, and once the first conversion is made, PetsPyjamas’ customers continue to receive customised offers at future stages.

 

  1. Ensure your email design is “usable”

A useful offer is of little benefit if the customer doesn’t know how to engage with it. A responsive email design that drives multiplatform (PC or mobile) and multichannel (online or in-store) activity means your emails are usable and facilitate conversion.

Naked Wines for example uses email to make personalised offers based on individual customer history.

They recommend wine based on similar wines customers have rated highly, or advise when wine customers have provided positive feedback on is back in stock.

Customers can immediately engage with these customised offers via a “Get it now” button that leads them to the checkout, or a “Discover my TOP recommendation” button to find out which wine is suited to them.

A responsive email design ensures that the customer can find and use the offer, on any device or platform, helps to drive them online (“take me to the checkout”) or even in-store (“tell me more about these wines you’re recommending!”) and greatly improves the likelihood of conversion. This strategy resulted in a 40% conversion rate and 7.9% increase in profit per customer.

 

  1. Offer your customers an enjoyable experience

The final point of the positive customer experience triangle is enjoyment. Is the experience engaging? Does the customer feel wanted?

The fundamental customer need is to be esteemed – to be treated like a person of worth. No wonder that, 74% of marketers say targeted personalisation increases customer engagement, and improves click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.

As Hugh Mackay said, the most effective personalisation tactic is individual messaging – call them by their name, talk about their pet, or recommend a specific wine.

Sending tailored behaviour-triggered emails also shows that your company pays attention. Have they abandoned their shopping cart? Send them a reminder of the items they were considering, and add in an incentive to buy. Are they a long-time customer? Offer them special access or exclusivity.

Giving your customers self-managed preferences also allows them to play an active part in customising the email messages they receive, and ensures that they want to be involved in a specific email exchange with you.

Creating a good email customer experience doesn’t have to be as scary as jumping out of a plane! Use these three keys to make your customers happy,and improve your conversion rates.

If you are interested in your email marketing strategy, contact us on 1800 737 266 or ask@permission.com.au to see how we can help you achieve your goals.

I need marketing automation but how do I convince the business?

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Marketing automation is more than just another buzzword but the chances are if you’re reading this you’ve already done the research and are aware of the benefits it brings. But how do you get everyone else who can’t see beyond the jargon on board? Don’t worry, this scenario is a lot more common than you might think. We hear it across meeting room tables on a weekly basis and can answer confidently as it was a key question we asked ourselves not so long ago. Here’s how to get started.

Talk to pain points

Chances are marketing automation first really grabbed your attention when you realised how it could make your role easier, more productive and therefore fruitful. Just like it got your attention, showing how it will solve others’ pains and needs will get their buy-in also. So what are the common ones you can use to get the ball rolling? 

We all have targets that drive to common business development objectives. Lead challenges, confusing sales processes and not having the full picture of what’s happening all get in the way of a successful day. Keeping track of and converting leads is time consuming and often suffers from a lack of valuable insights. Few know, but will gladly pay attention to, the value marketing automation can bring in nurturing and tracking prospects through the sales funnel so that an informed approach to converting them can be made just as they are ready to buy.

This often prompts a response of ‘it sounds too good to be true’ as many businesses have ‘a much more complicated sales process that includes multiple stakeholders’. However, the nurturing we talk of makes sure the opportunities are kept warm with the decision makers being taken on a journey in which they feel increasingly informed on how to make the right decision with you. The reporting available makes sure the business knows how far along the journey the lead is, allowing them to be scored and future revenue forecasted.

Show how it can be done

Many of our work routines are processes that have been passed from colleague to colleague having become accepted as they’ve stood the test of time. This is not to say they need to be re-written, as after-all they’re the foundations that have got the business to where it is today, but documenting the current ones and showing how automation will address the grievances expressed over morning coffee will get it prioritised on the agenda.

Understand where marketing automation will deliver value by taking a look at the manual, repetitive processes that everyone leaves until the last moment. This is your chance to answer ‘there must be a better way?’ Demonstrating how automating these will make more hours available in the day for talking to the prospects that count, rather than counting the number of people being spoken to, will gather the decision makers around the opportunity to drive better outcomes.

Talk the business’ language – ROI

Businesses are in the market to make money so nothing is more persuasive. Marketing and sales departments, although often viewed as separate entities, are the engine room for this. Unsurprisingly, they both therefore need to develop and jointly own marketing automation. This will not only ensure you have advocates but the solution will also generate a quick ROI. Studies have shown that not aligning the two teams around the right processes and technologies costs B2B companies 10% or more in lost revenue every year (Bizsphere).

Money talks so agreeing sales as well as marketing objectives and the standard metrics on which they are to be reported will give marketing automation a purpose in your business. These should demonstrate how new and repeat sales should increase whilst costs per lead decrease thanks to shorter sales cycles and better internal efficiency.

Would you like someone to talk it through with or to discuss how to make sure you select the right platform with the features required to deliver your plan? Call us today for an informal chat or take a look at our resource The Business Case for Marketing Automation.

Bizsphere article: http://www.bizsphere.com/blog/recent-statistics-that-show-the-business-case-for-sales-enablement

 

 

SEO – Is It Dead?

Portrait of business people pulling SEO banner

What was once a be all and end all in digital marketing is now becoming the last priority for many marketers. The rapid change in consumer behaviour and the ever-expanding nature of social media is affecting the way prospects find you. Does this mean Search Engine Optimisation is no longer all it cracks up to be?

The answer lies in your definition of SEO. When Google stopped providing data about keyword popularity in 2013, repetition of keywords throughout your website pages was no longer of help to your organic search performance. From here on, SEO became more complex and many marketers forgot the purpose of SEO and attached a new meaning to the marketing tactic.

Search engine optimisation is at its core, the process of making websites more understandable to Google, so users are provided with the most relevant and reliable content in their search. To put it simply, SEO is about website quality. However, in our competitive and fast paced markets, SEO has quickly become a game where marketers manipulate the system in order to outperform competition. It didn’t take long for Google to determine that this approach was skewing search results with mediocre content. So if this is your tactic, then yes, SEO is well and truly dead.

If you are however, climbing the SEO leader board by providing genuine, quality content and a seamlessly designed user journey, your results will be more positive, but don’t singularly rely on SEO to drive website traffic. To perform organically, you must stay on top of consumer behaviour and foresee industry changes so you can respond accordingly.

People want what their friends have and would trust a recommendation from their friend on Facebook rather than an unrecognisable website in their search results. As discussed in our previous article, 68% of people trust customer recommendations they read on social media, online forums and blog posts.

When looking for a new foodie destination would you visit Google or Zomato? When in need of a popular event to attend, do you find it on Google or Facebook? And what about finding a ride to the event? Uber is your answer, not a Google search. Today, social proof and apps are everything. We have entered the era of the sharing economy where ratings provide credibility and we trust opinions of the faces we see on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. Even Google could foresee the social era, although their attempt to jump on the social trend with Google Plus was a little underwhelming.

So what does this mean for you? Rather than pouring your resources into tricking Google to attain SEO leadership, dedicate your time towards understanding your customer’s behaviour online and create a strategy that will increase your engagement using social touch points.

See our digital strategy services

See our social media marketing services

Choosing The Right CMS For Your Website

CMS-640x359

If you’re creating or improving your website and content strategy, do not look past the primary and most critical step that will deliver your vision, or constantly leave you with tedious roadblocks that exhaust your resources; your content management system (CMS). Your CMS is the foundations of your website content, responsible for administering and displaying your website material. Be strategic in your CMS selection process with research and consideration of the following:

Does your CMS tick all your boxes?

Keep your priorities in check before sealing the deal with your chosen CMS system. Take the time to talk to developers and test the system to ensure it will meet your requirements and bring your vision to life.

Customisation

Is there a high level of flexibility and customisation capability in the system? This is necessary for you to position your brand throughout your website, present your content in the way you choose and add the plugins you desire. The last thing you need is a CMS with unreasonable design constraints.

Core functionality

Is the user interface of the software easy to navigate and does it provide you with the functionality to complete core tasks such as creating, editing, deleting and organising pages?

Support

It’s strategically important to appreciate that issues could arise and determine how you would combat these. Is there a support team that is available to help you resolve any CMS and website issues.

Which CMS do we opt for?

There is no one-size-fits all, ‘right’ platform when it comes to a CMS, so we implement a CMS which best caters to our client’s needs and their business vision. We do however, always opt for an open source CMS as it provides flexible accessibility options. This is beneficial for our clients as they can easily adjust their website and hosting, preventing them from being tied to one agency. We also ensure that the CMS is equipped with optimal security, maintenance and backups.

If you’re a small to medium businesses with a budget of $10 – $100k, there are a multitude of efficient platforms that will fulfil your requirements. For an e-commerce website, Shopify is a user-friendly option, offering a large selection of add-ons, templates and 24/7 support, for a seamless and secure website. Shopify has been our CMS of choice when developing earthYARD and Hennings Jewellers.

For a content-driven website, WordPress is a professional, cost effective and feature-rich software option, which has assisted us in bringing Making A Difference, Govinnovate and CeBIT’s vision’s to life, as well as our own website design.

For our large and global clients looking for an enterprise option, we recommend the Windows based CMS, Umbraco for it’s ASP.NET technology, where performance controls, such as caching, pre-built easy to use API’s and custom API capabilities are provided. A rich text editor, full customisation, e-commerce plug ins and security has also made Umbraco a successful CMS software for developing SOL Republic and CNH’s New Holland and CASE IH Parts website.

All in all, taking time to research and carefully consider key factors is imperative in order to find the most effective CMS for your website. Ask yourself ‘what am I trying to achieve?’ and be realistic in your list of requirements so you commit to a CMS within your price range. Be conscious of how your business needs could develop in the future, but only pay for the things you will use.

 

Want More?

See our resources page or contact us

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How To Use LinkedIn Groups For Lead Generation

How-to-Use-Linkedin-Groups-to-Generate-Leads

LinkedIn is by far the simplest and most cost effective way to build professional relationships and cultivate B2B lead generation initiatives.

LinkedIn groups are a great place to start. These are communities within LinkedIn that focus on particular topics or interests, bringing like minded professionals together. Not only are they helpful for staying up to date with the latest conversations in your industry, they also provide you with an established group of potential prospects.

Finding the right groups to join

When joining groups for lead generation, many marketers look in all the wrong places. It’s automatic to gravitate towards familiar ground, however joining groups where your competitors are hanging out will not bring you any new business.

Instead, put yourself if your prospects shoes. Ask yourself what industry they work in, their role within the workplace and their location.

Use the LinkedIn search bar to specify your search according to these key indicators and then filter the search by choosing “groups”.

linkedin

Become a “Thought Leader” in your chosen groups

Positioning yourself as a thought leader will soon have group members associating your name and business as the ‘go to’ source for information and service. Achieving this is simple, with time and consistency. Do not expect instant gratification or attempt to accelerate the process with a hard sell approach. Instead, Offer insightful information and provide solutions that solve common challenges within the group. A personable, helpful approach is the most effective way to build trust with your audience and thus convert them into sales-ready leads.

Use groups to determine your top prospects

Looking to improve your targeting strategy? You can use the following function to target a specific type of prospect within a LinkedIn group.

In your chosen group, click the members list and scroll down to load as many members as possible. Then press “Command +F” on your keyboard to access the keyword search feature.

Type in the keyword (such as a job title) you want to target, and your browser will highlight the members within the group who have that keyword in their job title.

You can then open each person’s profile in a new window and send a personalised invitation to connect.

Send messages to LinkedIn group members

Staying up to date with the latest group activity will allow you to monitor what people are discussing and therefore see the challenges they are facing. With this information, you can determine valuable leads that may be worth reaching out to via Inmail or a LinkedIn connection.

For your message to be effective you must include a key purpose. For example, you could address the current LinkedIn group conversation, offer a free consultation or send an invitation to a “special” webinar relative to the issue they are facing.

 

Found this helpful?

For more information on using LinkedIn for lead generation read our “5 Top Tips to Find Prospects On LinkedIn” or learn “How to grow your business with LinkedIn”.

Alternatively, see our resources page or contact us

How to Optimise Your Marketing Automation System

Optimisation - Girl with muscles 629x296

You’ve heard the excitement about marketing automation and discovered the seamless experience and huge ROI your company can achieve. You’ve taken the next big step and bought into a marketing automation system to optimise your sales opportunities. Now that you are fully equipped with all the tools you need to transform your business, are you asking yourself ‘where are the results?’

Still unsure on what marketing automation is all about? Have a read through our article, Transform Your Marketing from Manual to Modern, to learn why marketing automation will be the most powerful marketing tool in your business.

At first, your new marketing automation solution and requirement for change in your marketing processes may be a challenge. Like anything new, it will take time for your team to adapt to a new strategy and achieve the results you are expecting, but there are practices you can follow to improve manage this change.

Gaining an edge in your new marketing capabilities requires tapping into both sides of the brain. With a perfect combination of science and creativity, you can optimise marketing automation in your business to produce better customer experiences, increased awareness, leads and revenue.

Read the following tips to learn how to apply your marketing automation system for optimal success:

  1. Be a goal setter and plan accordingly

A destination and road map are essential for a marketing strategy that will thrive long-term. Create a yearly plan that is then managed on a month to month basis. Setting goals and creating a detailed plan will give your team the detailed direction they need to create and implement seamless campaigns that will deliver results. Your goals may include:

  • Lead generation
  • Lead nurturing
  • Growing brand awareness
  • Integrating sales and marketing

Identify which goals are important to you in the current stage of your business. For more on goal setting and implementation see our SEO = Sales webinar video.

  1. Sync Your Data

Your automation system is capable of hosting all of your data in one place. Ensure that your contacts from Salesforce, LinkedIn, email and any other primary communication channels are synchronised and at your fingertips. Also, ensure that your social, email and website analytics are synchronised so you can successfully monitor and personalise campaigns.

  1. Segment Your Database

Segmenting your database will revolutionise the way you run your marketing campaigns. By leveraging the lead scoring functionality in your automation system, you can segment your prospects according to their actions, so you can keep track of where they are in the sales funnel. This will allow you to send targeted communications that generate an optimised ROI.

For a detailed guide on how to define and track your leads with a lead scoring system see our Marketing Automation Strategy Guide.

  1. Start Experimenting

There’s no better time than now to start testing communications. Mix up your content with both visual and written communications, sent at various times, through various channels, to see which resonates best with your audience.

  1. Creativity is Key

When creating campaigns and sending communications, don’t shy from creativity, this is the edge you need to engage prospects.

  1. Keep Communication Alive

The beauty of marketing automation is the ease in which you can send continuous communication to develop your brand awareness and nurture your leads. In no way do we encourage spamming your contact list with a mass message as this will only jeopardise future business. Your retargeting communications must be personalised and timely, in order to resonate with the reader.

  1. Analyse & Improve

Measuring the progress of your marketing strategy will allow you to identify what is and isn’t successful, so you can strategically improve your campaigns and prosper. Read our previous article on how to optimise your data collection and ROI reporting using your marketing automation platform.

 

Want More? 

See our resources page or contact us

For monthly updates on our latest engaging ideas, best practices for business success and company updates subscribe to our newsletter

 

Choosing The Right Marketing Automation Platform

Marketing Automation software

When it comes to successful marketing, 91% of marketing automation users agree that their platform is ‘very important’ to the overall success of their marketing across channels (i), and 67% of the best-in-class companies are more likely to use a marketing automation platform(ii).

If you’ve heard the term but you don’t know what it is or why you need it? Check out our previous article to learn how marketing automation will transform your marketing from manual to modern.

With that being said, the rapid growth in marketing automation means there are multiple platforms to choose from. While it may seem logical to go with a high end, flawlessly designed marketing automation tool such as Hubspot or Marketo and call it a day, it’s critical to make a decision that best suits your resources and will integrate best with your business processes. These vital aspects of the marketing automation decision making process will ensure your receive the best ROI.

Evaluate your business goals and action plan

As marketing automation platforms are not a one-size-fits-all solution you must outline a clear set of business goals, resources and guidelines to make a strategic decision and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the many choices available.

Consider where your opportunities lie. What is your internal skill set and what features are necessary to achieve your business goals? Are you trying to increase website traffic with email marketing or social media? Do your sales reps need to access your marketing data, thus requiring software with strong CRM integration? These factors should be considered in alignment with your price point for the most sustainable outcome.

Platforms to consider

All platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, so use your business goals to find one which matches your guidelines. If you’re sold on the idea of high end automation software, Marketo and Hubspot are renowned for their intuitive usability, quick and easy setup and seamless integration of tools. Although the steep jump in price or Hubspot 12 month contract may not suit your business.

For a price conscious purchase, Infusionsoft offer a well-designed user interface and are great for nurturing sequences. They are also one of the only platforms that offer a built-in eCommerce system. However, it will take more time to learn the platform and if you’re after integration, it comes at additional costs.

There is also always a middle ground, which is where vendors such as Act-On come into the mix. Act-On provides straight-forward navigation, value in email campaigns, integration and an intelligent support team. While act-on offers many tools and is more affordable than Hubspot and Marketo, it lacks a content management platform and access to detailed analytics that are needed for an effective content strategy.

Contact Appropriate Vendors

After research and consideration, contact your best suited vendors and schedule demos with platforms you are most interested in. This will allow you compare and confirm critical aspects of the platform such as usability, alignment with your marketing needs, and included support and training. Most importantly, you can confirm which platform offers the most value to your business.

Top Tip: Don’t hesitate to ask for a demonstration of specific features. You should also carefully consider all areas of the contract, ask the important questions and be strong in your negotiating efforts.

 

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References

  1. Marketo & Ascend2 “Marketing Automation Strategies for Sustaining Success” (2015)
  2. Aberdeen Group“State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce” (2014)