"Going forward, real-time marketing is going to be the holy grail of marketing"
With the rampant growth of companies such as Dropbox, Airbnb, Instagram, Zynga, Eventbrite and countless others being attributed to automated growth hacking, it is not surprising that the terms ‘marketing automation’ and ‘growth hacker’ are appearing ever increasingly in our daily lives.
For those unfamiliar with the terms, marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many repetitive marketing tasks such as emails, social media and other website actions, once automated, are easily carried out.
At its best, marketing automation is a tactic that allows companies to buy and sell products with highly personalised and useful content that helps convert prospects to customers; turning them into a delighted, loyal clientele. This type of automated marketing provides a significant revenue for companies as well as an excellent return on investment.
Automate or Die
It might sound off-key harsh in the beginning, but it is the only digital reality we live in. In order to leave your mark on this world as a blogger, entrepreneur, virtual marketer, you need to automate a big chunk of your marketing efforts. If you don’t, you will fall behind, becoming insignificant in the business world fairly quickly.
It could either be something as simple as few social media post automation or as complicated as constructing a full-fledged marketing funnel – automation is here to stay and everyone is doing it.
The good news is; you have not yet missed the boat. Despite the dramatic increase in the marketing automation prerogative and overall technological boost – including cloud system on premise, 62 percent of businesses don’t use advanced automation features. They prefer limiting themselves to email marketing and customer relationship management. As a result, these companies stagnate while marketing automation continues to develop, missing out on a unique competitive opportunity.
If you really want to be a leader in your industry, read on for some guidance. Below I have disclosed
11 effective marketing automation hacks that you (and your rivals) have most likely never heard of.
1. Incentivised virility – a business mojo
If you want to attract a large stream of customers to your business, without having to pay for them, you might want to consider forcing virility with incentives. Incentivized virility sits on a spectrum ranging from rightfully preventing customers from using your service until they invite their friends, to lighter incentives like offering a book or e-book in return for a check-in, like or tweet. For example, in some of Zynga’s games, you are required to invite more friends to reach the next level. This is forced virility.
2. Alerting behavior insights
It is not always easy to find out how to properly use the new leads you gain. That is why many of the top marketing automation software have a feature called Alerts. By making use of this feature, you can receive important business updates via email alert including:
- When a new lead is assigned to a representative.
- When activity starts on your website.
- If the lead is requesting for a demo or a trial.
- When leads attend webinars or virtual events. A few well-placed alerts can surely hack your sales process and give your team an advantage.
3. Building behavioral profile
The traditional idea behind web analytics is based on what the user clicks on. Today that method has been completely outmoded. Why? Because now customers can check product details without even using the product page. For instance, some online shops have all the important details listed on the product category page. When your website is constructed in the traditional, click-based tracking form, it doesn’t tell you much about the content that the visitor has actually absorbed.
The advanced monitoring options these days can tell you which products a customer has seen, for how long they have seen them and then use this information to build a full behavioral profile about the most enticing products for each visitor. You can also see how far down a person has scrolled on a page, whether or not they have seen a given form. This analysis helps you to indicate patterns in customer behavior.
4. Sending personalized discount emails
It happens often, where purchase motivation amongst the customers is high, yet the prices scare them off. Make your customer’s life easier by sending a personalized, automatic email when the price of the product they viewed, but haven’t purchased, is discounted.
This way you will be capitalizing on the already established buying intent. These hypothesized, personally dynamic emails get a 400 percent higher access and click through rates.
5. Segmenting important categories to avoid tagging
Many marketers prefer using the segmentation technique to add tags to a specific contact when they show interest in a particular category. The problem is, customers can be interested in various categories on your website. Flat segmentation, which only tells you the names of those categories, cannot guarantee success.
You can go deeper with this customer segmentation and score each segment based on how often a user browses options from a given group. Avoid the trap of meaningless tagging by automating your product categories. When a user has one too many tags, you no longer know which offers would be the most relevant.
6. Hyper-targeted content
Imagine you are in a sales meeting with a potential client. After a few profitable verbal exchanges, the client suddenly mentions that they are not sure if they can afford your services. What should you do? Perhaps you can offer them a payment plan or assure them that a reasonable discount won’t be a problem.
This ability to mold our messaging to the client in real-time is the major advantage of in-person meetings while a major drawback of traditional online marketing. To sum it up in a few phrases, the process is known as hyper-targeted content sequences.
While it might be a mouthful to pronounce, we are referring to the sequences that help us learn more about the clientele over time to change the direction of your service to that, which suits the customers. Much like what we do in an in-person conversation.
7. Time the real-time notifications
This feeds into the previously mentioned alerts hack but goes a bit deeper into the concept. Let’s say that a potential lead has landed on your product website and is visiting the pricing page. A sales rep would receive a real-time alert that shares the update.
Given that the lead has few minutes to spare, the sales rep can call at the exact time that a lead is looking at your pricing.
At the end of the day, it is automated serendipity at its finest.
8. Sending a drip campaign after every purchase
In a business-to-business marketing world, it is all about education and conscious involvement. You most definitely want to keep people interested in your services long after they have made the purchase. This continuous education cycle makes you a highly valuable partner.
Post purchase drip campaigns aim to keep the conversation going between you and the clientele. It could either be a weekly newsletter via email about industry developments or a detailed course for getting the most out of their purchase from you.
9. Nurturing through inactive leads
Lack of engagement of interest, at any given time, may cause a lead to become inactive. As a matter of fact, it is not necessary to close every client that makes it through the sales process. Teach your sales managers/partners to move inactive leads into a re-engagement campaign.
These initiatives would work towards revitalizing interest in your company’s offerings through a new lead nurturing scheme. Sometimes, this is the only effective method of getting the sales process back on track.
10. Ever heard of snippets?
Snippets are sections of reusable code and can be used in any editable region of a landing page or email. This is ideal for commonly used elements across multiple assets. Instead of writing new codes for each element on every email or landing page, you can make use of time-saving snippets to automate coding across multiple domains.
As Litmus states, “With the help of snippets, you can build emails more easily – and more quickly – than ever before. Spend less time building and troubleshooting emails, and more time creating better email experiences for your subscribers.”
You can always leverage your marketing automation, CRM and ERP data to understand when a buyer is ready for an upsell. By browsing through the pages visited, datasheets downloaded, payment history and contract renewal information, you can attach details to engagement data in order to understand when to reach out to customers for an upsell and cross-sell. Use email alerts to sharpen customer success teams when one of their accounts is indicating that they need to expand their purchases.
Even though the demand generation, a critical component for growth, has been marketing’s golden child and the main use case for marketing automation for more than 10 years, the ultimate expansion of the technology’s true capabilities and use remains as thrilling as ever.
There is no doubt about the ever-evolving immenseness of marketing automation in business industry. The opportunity to automate, optimize and scale your online business is ready to be grabbed and acted upon.
It won’t be long, however, for the trend to dilute just like every other opportunity we see in digital marketing. Once everyone starts doing it, it becomes less effective. In order to leave your own digital footprint in this world, now is the time to take action and only marketing automation is the ticket to make it happen faster and better.
You must be automating your tasks too. I hope these automation hacks helps you make a mark in this competitive marketing world!