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3 marketing automation strategies every business should use

No one is a stranger to marketing automation. It is employed by every industry and we all encounter it every day. Chances are you’ve received an automated notification recently – a reminder about an event, a birthday coupon from a restaurant, a promotion from a retailer? Automated technology – the use of technology for repetitive tasks – has been used since ancient Greece and even has its own Golden Age, ‘The Golden Age of Automata’, referring to the use of automation in 19th century Paris.

Today in the world of business, the use of automation – most commonly under the banner of Marketing Automation – is everywhere.

Marketing automation is the use of technologies to automate repetitive tasks using different online channels such as social media, websites and emails. There are many proven facts available about the benefits of marketing automation, and it is a tool that all companies should be utilising. It’s recognised as giving businesses the opportunity to increase the speed, efficiency and accuracy of their marketing efforts, allowing more time and energy for strategy, content and creativity.

If you haven’t implemented automation into your business, the following three examples are a great place to start.

Contact forms

Does your website have a contact form? If it doesn’t, what might be the advantages of having one? Using a set of basic questions to be answered by interested visitors to your web page is important. It can be a vital part of developing your online presence and can play an integral role in shaping and growing your company.

The benefits include:

  1. A reduced risk of spam – Listing your email address on your website can open you up to web spiders scraping your address and sending you spam, ads, viruses and malware. Going a step further and using CAPTCHA and honey pots can help reduce spam activity further.
  2. Professional presentation – the best contact forms are friendly and simple to use. They’re often a new customer’s first contact point with your business and your brand so it’s important to get it right.
  3. Increased reliability in receiving messages – using a contact form means that you know the source of the form and can mark the emails the form generates as safe. This way emails don’t get caught up in spam filters or junk email folders which is a risk when customers contact you from their own email addresses. If you have multiple departments in your business, you can also set up forms to send to the person or department who can best handle the enquiry, so it doesn’t require forwarding and risk getting lost in the system.
  4. Greater accuracy in collecting client details – when you control what information you’re asking for in the form, you can make sure you get the information you need from prospective clients. You can also make sure essential fields such as a phone number or email address are mandatory to fill out so customers don’t accidentally leave you with no way to contact them.

Most importantly use of a contact form provides you with leads.

A contact form automation can ensure that your company is immediately notified as soon as the prospect clicks submit. An auto-response to the prospect then provides a great opportunity to start a relationship. Personalise your form by mentioning offers, events and related products and services, or just by saying thank you and informing the lead that their enquiry is being handled. Remember, contact forms convert visitors to customers!

On-boarding campaigns and personalisation

Upon completion of the contact form, you then have prospects that have expressed interest. Now it is vital to develop an effective automated strategy to build this relationship, and here we are talking about the link between automation and personalisation.

Personalisation is the overriding aim. Good business strategy involves reaching and touching leads. It is often a fine line, or just one step, between automation as a tool and automation as a personalised marketing tool. If you don’t cross this line, then you risk potential clients seeing your correspondence as spam and having a negative first impression of YOU!

It is important to ensure that your first email engages and builds on the readers’ awareness of your brand through the details of your company. Your approach shouldn’t be a sales pitch, but a campaign to introduce your business.

A few pointers for your campaign:

  • use the reader’s name
  • introduce the company and the sender/team
  • share your passion
  • explain what the reader or lead can expect from you
  • provide clear details for further contact.

Automation should be personalised and the more human and personal you make your business ‘sound’ (whilst also appearing professional), the more your audience will feel a sense of brand awareness and loyalty.

The quarterly ‘How can I help?’

Let’s say by now that you have built up some rapport with the client or lead after the contact form and on-boarding campaign went to plan. By now they might be a frequent user of your products and services or their interest has decreased. Engagement is an essential part of the customer journey.

Sending out a quarterly ‘How can I help?’ email may open up the million-dollar opportunity you’re looking for. And remember, it costs less money to keep a current customer than it does to gain a new one, as well as even less effort again when an automated campaign is in place.

Personalisation can assist in building trust and attracting opportunities. Developing and nurturing ongoing relationships with clients is necessary for all businesses, and automation is critical in helping to achieve this.

Marketing automation is a simple and cost-effective strategy to build your company and relationships with customers. While automating your emails isn’t the only way marketing automation can help your business, this low-hanging fruit can be easily implemented to help attract and retain customers.

So, if you’re not already running automation in your business operations, what’s your excuse? And if you are – are you using the most effective strategies?

Stephen Berry

Founder | Greenfish Marketing

Stephen Berry is the founder and head of strategy at Greenfish Marketing.

He has worked in the digital and automated marketing landscape for over ten years, having consulted on and managed campaigns for clients including national accounting brands, charities and 100s of small businesses.