Living the dream: what you could be doing with marketing automation

Ah. Marketing automation. A soft focus, gently lit office daydream of having all your work done and dusted, your campaigns are outstanding, and your leads are converting at a rate of knots, while your team are carrying you through the office on their shoulders, chanting your name…

Seems a little far-fetched though? Maybe. I mean I can’t guarantee that your colleagues like you enough to chant your name, unless you’re nodding off in that early morning meeting, the day after you pulled an all-nighter panicking to get all your campaigns ready AND your reports AND your notes for the big meeting. Nor can I promise that they’re robust enough to carry you.

The rest though, that’s certainly achievable with our help. Just call us your fairy gator-mother! But where to begin? Firstly, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so start small. Have a think about your regular campaigns that you could schedule ahead of time.

The first project I started working on at CommuniGator was our customer newsletters. Sure, I needed to make a few tweaks to make it work, but it was worth it. Allow me to explain:

Make time to plan

Some things in life you can afford to wing; eyeliner, excuses to not go for dinner with your in-laws, need I say more? But sometimes planning is absolutely essential, and creating a marketing automation campaign journey is one of them.

Whenever I’m asked to consult on these kinds of projects, I break down the planning into the following:

  • What’s the goal?
  • Who am I targeting?
  • How will contacts enter the workflow?
  • How will they exit?

Once you can answer these questions, it’s time to begin!

Maximise your content

The key to making marketing automation work hard and make your content efficient is to remove time sensitive articles from your regular campaigns. This way you can set a flow of campaigns that you can reuse.

Using a refresh non-recurring list from your CRM is one of the best ways to set your audience for a marketing automation campaign that maximises your content. This means everyone starts at the same point, regardless of whether they enter in June or December.

Take out event invites and seasonal content. They will still get plenty of exposure though; you can use them for social media and targeted campaigns.

Visualise the journey

Once you know what you’re doing with your content and have set your objectives, it’s time to think about the routes you want to send your contacts down. Consider:

  • Will everyone get the same campaigns?
  • Will you treat contacts that click differently to those who don’t?
  • What happens next?

Next, it’s time to plan your workflow. I like to draw mine on paper before I go into our marketing automation tool, workflow. Jess, our senior marketing coordinator, prefers laying out coloured post-it notes on the table in the meeting room. Chris, our operations director, plans things using flowchart shapes in Excel.

How to tailor newsletters to everyone

When it came to automating our customer newsletter workflow, one key requirement was to create a seemingly endless workflow. Although customers can leave by unsubscribing, we hope to send engaging content that is useful and inspiring.

By identifying the four core areas of our service offering, we structured the content of this newsletter workflow around this. This gives our customers four opportunities to engage with our newsletters based on their interests. You can find out exactly how, here.

Time to begin!
In theory, you should be ready to start your marketing automation adventure! Remember, take baby steps and ask for help when you need it. If you’re a CommuniGator customer already, get in touch with your account manager if you need a boost from us.

Find out how we can help here.

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