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Automation has become an integral part of many marketing plans, but the effort to create and maintain an automation program that brings results is often underestimated.

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Top Tips for Great Marketing Automation

I prepared this article for you to get some ideas on how to create your automation program, from segmentation, aligning it to each stage of the purchase funnel to finally increase your conversion.

Marketing automation helps you to automate repetitive tasks, react to customer interaction in real-time and create more personalized communication with your customers. Not only this, a good marketing automation program is designed to allow you to increase your conversion and meet your business objectives.

Let's break this down a little more.

Conventional marketing tactics focus on pushing promotions and messages to a broad set of users. With marketing automation, you choose to promote the right message, to the right customer at the right time.

Right now, while you are reading this, many of your customers are at a different stage of the purchase funnel. Some are just learning about your offering, while some may be ready to purchase and some may already have bought your product or service. By using marketing automation, you can create evergreen campaigns that help you to communicate and engage with your customers depending on their stage in the funnel, their buyer persona and any other criteria you may identify.

When done right, marketing automation is not a way to market, but to engage and delight your customers.

Segmentation is key

The first step to a successful automation program is to understand your customers, inside out. It means to segment your customers based on their different requirements and goals. You can do this based on the products and services you provide or based on who your buyers are. For example, are you selling to singles, expats, travelers, professionals?

Each of your buyer personas will have different goals and frustrations that you need to address to capture their attention.

Create content for each stage of the purchase funnel

The next step is to break down each stage of the purchase funnel: what information should you provide to generate awareness, what content do your prospects need when they are considering your product and what is the final details they want to receive to make to make a purchase?

For each of these stages, you need to produce the content that will make them proceed to the next step. Marketing automation will help you to deliver this content, track their response and provide the right content at the right time.

Make automation integral part of your CRM strategy.

Automating your marketing is one part, but most importantly you want to ensure that you are making use of the data you generate and at the same time produce actionable insights for your sales team. It requires to integrate your automation tactics with your customer relationship management (CRM) software so that you can track which customer is at which stage, who has performed what action and who is ready to buy.

The simplest way of doing this is by using lead scoring; this means to give points (score) for each customer in the database based on their interactions with your automation program. They read an email; the score goes up. They clicked a link; the score goes up. They visited a specific page on your website; the score goes up, etc. This score signals the readiness for a lead to be converted into an actual sale and can help your team to identify valuable opportunities.

Not only this, but lead scoring also will help you to find new opportunities for those leads that do not progress in their purchase journey. For example, you may see some leads that don't move to the next stage at all. You can use the data generated to evaluate and discover new opportunities to convert these contacts.

The term marketing automation can be misleading and suggest that it will remove the efforts of creating a marketing program altogether.

The opposite is true as a good marketing automation program requires a deep understanding of your customers, their needs and each stage of the customer journey to be well designed. However, once setup it will allow you to move away from tactical campaigns and create a continuously running marketing campaign, tailored to each customer.

Producing the right content and making the same highly engaging is key to success and requires highly personalized and personal content.

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