Case Study: Scheduling, Measuring and Following up with Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation. We all like the idea, and with 55% of B2B companies now having adopted some form of automation solution, it’s becoming more and more ingrained into our day-to-day marketing practices.
…except, it isn’t. Just because you’ve bought a marketing automation solution doesn’t mean you’re getting the benefit out of it that you could be, even if you are using it to send a few automated emails. When harnessed properly, automation can have a seismic impact on your marketing activity, but you need to learn how to harness it properly first!
There are many blogs about easy ways to get started with automation, and to help you take a few baby steps down the path, but sometimes it’s good to see where you’re going long-term, and to get an idea of what you can do when you really put the tools to the test. In this blog we’re showing you how one of our customers has made use of our Workflow app to automate not just email campaigns, but an entire function of their marketing team; including scheduling, reporting, alerting account managers, segmentation and more.
Jelf are an independent insurance broker and financial consultant, providing expert advice both to individual customers and B2B organisations. As with many financial service companies, Jelf’s clients sign up for annual contracts. To increase retention, Jelf wanted to automatically contact their clients as they were approaching renewal, but everyone’s dates are different, making providing personalised experiences difficult to achieve. This is where marketing automation comes in. Although there is a team of dedicated advisers for each client, managing this renewals process for many thousands of customers was a time-consuming task, which could not be managed centrally due to the clients all having different renewal dates and details.
Jelf wanted to improve their retention rates and profitability by engaging their clients in a series of automated, personalised communication in the six months leading up to renewal. Significant interactions with the campaigns needed to be automatically recorded and measured, and account managers needed to be alerted to particular interactions which a client might take when receiving these communications.
To meet Jelf’s requirement, CommuniGator helped the team to design a year-round automated Workflow which would schedule the communications, send them out, report on them, segment the audience by response, and alert their account managers when appropriate.
Not all companies would benefit from having exactly the same solution, so we’ve highlighted the main features of the Workflow to help our customers cook up their own ideas for automated solutions.
Scheduling and Campaigns
The first thing to address was scheduling – Jelf needed communications to be sent to each client 6 months before their renewal date, and once per month up til the renewal date. However, at the time of implementation, many clients were less than 6 months away, and would need to be entered into the right point in the series of comms automatically.
This is the sort of challenge which can seem insurmountable when starting off using automation, but the solution was easy; we built a few stages into the Workflow which would automatically figure out where each person should be in the cycle, and jump them to the appropriate point in the comms series:
Not only could the system do this on its own, but it can even self-update if the renewal date were to change in the future.
Reporting and Segmentation
Reports are pointless. Why look at a report? To take an action, of course, and it’s the action you take which has value, not the report itself. Jelf’s Workflow takes this principle into account when providing reporting – in addition to standard Workflow real-time analysis and email campaign results for each individual email, every click/open interaction is automatically recorded by the Workflow as each person moves through the 6 month series of comms:
Jelf were not interested in single clicks in one email – they were looking to build an overall picture of engagement across the entire series. To meet this requirement, everyone entered into Jelf’s Workflow gets a score (starting at zero). Each time they click on a campaign, this score is increased by one. Anyone who clicks on any three of the six campaigns will then trigger an alert, which is automatically sent to their specific account manager, prompting them to call the client. In addition, these Workflow members are automatically added to audience groups for better targeting and personalisation for any later communications.
The benefits of implementing such a system are obvious. Not only do Jelf’s clients get a more personalised, timely experience (which helps to improve retention and profitability), but the Jelf marketing and adviser teams are now completely freed up to focus on other activity, simply checking the Workflow from time to time and making occasional tweaks if desired. Higher productivity, better communications, better results, and MUCH less time spent managing the whole thing. What’s not to like?
If you’re interested in creating workflows for yourself, take a look at the 5 marketing automation workflows you should be using.