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4 Things You Need to Know Before Implementing Marketing Automation in 2021
23rd October 2020 Guest Contributor
7 min read

4 Things You Need to Know Before Implementing Marketing Automation in 2021

Not long ago marketing automation was about email templates, sequences, and mail merge features; but it has evolved. Marketing itself has changed. Now, there are many more things to consider while choosing marketing automation tools.

Marketing automation relieves tired marketers of the mundane tasks in their daily schedule, helping them focus on what they want to focus on.

I think I can speak for most marketers when I say… we want more time to be creative.

Marketing automation used to be restricted to creating email templates, email sequences, and mail merge features. But today, the process has evolved.

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Alas, the internet is awash with articles from marketing automation companies trying to sell you their tools; but this article is different.

We write this article to help you identify the key marketing automation features that drive retention rates and improve ROI from marketing campaigns.

1. Marketing Automation Is More Than Just Emails

Email automation is good. It lets marketers create emails based on templates that are known to work and that hit the right set of audiences every single time, without having to make any major changes. Email marketing software lets marketers create fully-personalized email outreach campaigns with half the effort.

Email marketing automation is part of marketing automation, but it shouldn’t be the only part.

Marketing automation is brilliant. It allows marketers to nurture leads based on what they’re into, meaning they can establish a stronger brand-consumer relationship, build their brand image, capture and identify leads across different platforms, and yes, send automated email campaigns, amongst a heap of other features.

How?

Social selling is the vogue in modern business and the best marketing automation services recognize that, giving their users a finger on the pulse of their clients. Drip campaigns are a standout example of the power of marketing automation and social selling working together. A drip campaign isn’t simply firing out emails willy-nilly with personalized names, but sending a series of timed, customized messages depending on a prospect’s behavior, attributes, and engagement.

Case Study: Netflix’s Drip Campaign

Netflix followed a simple win-back approach that stirs fear of missing out. After canceling their subscriptions, ex-Netflix customers receive a nothing-special, we’ll-miss-you email. For the next three months, however, Netflix sends constant reminders to those ex-customers for what they are missing. The emails showcased recently added movies, lists of personalized top picks, and finally targeted messages asking if they want back what they’ve been missing.

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This is proof that a simple drip campaign can cut churn rate and boost engagement from lost customers.

Moreover, lead scoring can also be a powerful tool for your business. And, interactive content types like forms and surveys work really well in scoring leads. You can score the leads on the basis of different parameters like consumer behavior, demographics, location, and psychographics. Furthermore, you can score them on the basis of how much ROI they are going to get out of your product.

This process helps you figure out which leads to pursue first. You could create a form with simple questions such as ‘what size is your company?’ and ‘where is your company based geographically?’, giving the highest score to the respondents most suitable for your company. Similarly, give high scores to leads who attend your webinars and events. Intelligent lead scoring gives the sales team a clearer idea of who is likely to convert, and so they can tailor their message to suit them exactly.

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Get yourself a marketing automation system that can do both social marketing and email marketing.

2. Comply With GDPR Regulations

Data is 21st-century gold. The more data you hold as a business – client data, industry data – the more chance you have of being successful. After several high profile breaches in 2018, the world realized it needed to be more careful about how it manages data. The main thing to know is that GDPR was not designed to get in the way of your marketing campaigns; it was designed to protect your clients and customers.

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Marketing automation tools keep client data clear, structured, and organized. However, it is essential to implement a tool that secures data in a GDPR-compliant way. If not, businesses can face reprimands and even heavy fines. And nobody needs that.

Hence, choose a marketing automation system that offers segmentation features to send tailored, hyper-targeted emails with relevant content to recipients. Having an unsubscribe feature also helps your business fall in line with modern data-privacy laws.

How?

For your marketing campaign to be GDPR-compliant, it needs to follow at least these five, basic rules.

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3. Have Your Sales and Marketing Team Use the Same Automation Tool

It’s important for targeted content to be backed up by clean, reliable data. Having clean, reliable data becomes infinitely more difficult when sales and marketing teams are on different pages, working out of different databases. Messages overlap, wires get crossed, the same segmented lists are hit with different messages, and ultimately…prospects are left confused and they move onto a competitor.

Instead, everybody should have a clear idea of who they are targeting with clearly defined buyer personas. They should know exactly what happens at each stage of the pipeline and what action needs to be taken out by who, and when. Going further, every interaction between a prospect and a business should be tracked. Also, each employee that interacts with that prospect should have access to the communication history so that the message isn’t repeated.

How?

Many modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have the capability to automate both sales workflows and marketing workflows while centralizing client data to unify a business’s communication approach.

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4. Maintain a Human Touch

When we think of automation, we think of AI and robots that could take over the world. So, we have saved the most important point for the last.

Don’t let automation become a barrier between your business and your customers. In uber-congested markets, modern marketing outreach requires a human touch more than ever. Communication should be highly-personalized and super-relevant. It is not just to fall in line with GDPR requirements, but to engage with customers and relate to them; to speak in a language they understand.

Every second you spend investing in human-to-human relationships with your customers, your retention rate improves, revenue boosts, and you put a smile on your customer’s face.

How?

Try to insert human touchpoints along your marketing outreach path. Give your company a face behind the outreach, even if it is automated.

1. Welcome new customers with a video and send emails that are signed by a CEO or founder, instead of using the company’s name.
2. Call your customers and ask for their feedback.
3. Conduct onboarding calls through Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet.
4. Tweet them.
5. Share their content.
6. Be consistent with your brand voice, no matter if you are creating messages for a chatbot, email, social media, or anything else.

Marketing automation gives you access to a lot of relevant, useful data. However, a key aspect of automation success is having a human brain interpret that data. For example, have your automation system flag when there is a warning sign, such as a lack of account activity, and have a human interpret that data to understand where to go next.

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That’s a lot of touchpoints. Multiply that by hundreds of customers…and you’ve got one big marketing mess on your hands. However, marketing automation takes away that stress, aligns your different outreach channels, and even brings your teams together.

Finally, we’ve reached the end. And you’re about to completely level up your marketing campaigns. So, good luck with that! Oh, and there are a lot of options in the market. So, choose a system that fits your business, rather than you having to fit your business to the system.

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About The Author:

George Rowlands is the Content Strategy Lead at NetHunt CRM. Writing is his thing, and he shines a spotlight on tech and B2B industries especially, covering topics from productivity to pipeline management strategies and customer relations. He bridges the gap between data and creative content with flare.