Archive for the ‘Automation’ Category

Automation and Data Help
Reinvent Email

Posted by Mallory Green on September 16th, 2015

BalanceFor the last few years, many thought that email was on its ninth life. Social platforms began taking the world by storm and continue to soar today as Twitter® reported that its users send more than 500 million tweets per year, and Facebook® has quadrupled in value.1 But email’s pulse continues to beat and, as data-driven marketing becomes increasingly more popular, “email is the ‘glue’ for communications across the customer lifecycle.2

Email addresses are the web’s identification system and, for many websites, viewing purchasing history or account balances all starts with an email address. With each click of the mouse, organizations are learning more about customers and assigning data to their email. So now instead of pushing out generic emails, marketers can use the data collected to analyze their customers’ behavior and provide them with more relevant content.

By adapting a marketing automation platform, marketers can house all of their data in one location with information being added seamlessly as customers interact with their business. With all that data in one place, marketers can create automated email campaigns based on pre defined triggers that target customers based specifically on their engagement history, such as:

Welcome messages. Schedule a message to trigger every time a new email address is obtained.

Content marketing messages. Gather and analyze data around content pieces. Take note of what content customers are reading and sharing. This will help determine where they might be in the customer journey or what topics they are interested in, which enables marketers to reach them with relevant content.

Follow-up messages. As customers interact with businesses, they may download a white paper, make a purchase, attend a webinar or abandon a shopping cart. These are all opportunities for marketers to follow up and ask about their experience, offer related information or provide recommendations.

Inactive resends. Testing done through Harland Clarke Digital, focusing on a variety of clients in a variety of industries, found that resending a message can improve engagement and increase render rates. Use this opportunity to resend messages to those who haven’t engaged. Remember to keep an eye on unsubscribes and understand that not every message, list and segment should receive an inactive resend.

Creating automated marketing emails is a great way to alleviate some of the work that goes into creating and sending messages, especially for one marketer. Not only are these types of emails essential in leading customers to their next point of conversion, they help encourage continuous, two-way communications.

Sources:

1. http://www.inc.com/john-brandon/why-email-will-be-obsolete-by-2020.html

2. http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2422388/email-marketing-the-best-is-yet-to-be

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Main Benefits of Marketing Automation

Posted by Neeraj Gaur on September 1st, 2015

IntegrationMarketing automation platforms are complex and new offerings are appearing on a regular basis. Despite a vast number of these software platforms, the adoption has been quick, and businesses and companies are enjoying the streamlined benefits that these software platforms provide.

The benefits of using marketing automation are numerous. Chief among them are improved lead management in the form of scoring, nurturing
 and segmentation, as well as email and campaign management. Experts say mastering these functions through marketing automation will enhance efficiencies and help streamline the marketing and sales process. Ultimately, once marketing automation systems are implemented and integrated into CRM platforms, measurable results and granular insights about how to engage with prospects and customers follow.

Let’s highlight some main benefits on how these platforms can help improve efficiency within your organization:

1. Marketing automation is a huge timesaver.

The ability to create complex campaigns and posts far ahead of time and using a calendar feature for scheduling enables you to create one month’s or even one year’s worth of campaigns ahead of time and have the automation do the rest of the work.

2. Marketing automation enables you to really reach all your individual customers versus manually segmenting the database.

New ways of implementing rules and logic enable you to create restrictions on how your customers do and don’t get separated. The idea is having your customers receive messages that are relevant to their individual needs.

3. Marketing automation also makes the most of your existing staff resources.

An automated solution with a single staff member operating it would have the ability to execute an array of campaigns with varying complexity and connect with many more customers than would be possible manually.

4. Marketing automation enables you to implement and maintain consistency.

If you are manually posting for social media channels, such as Facebook® or Twitter®, the automation aspect kicks in, so you do not have to worry about the effort of posting. Also, you can tweak the settings to have posts automatically scheduled for certain times and days. The idea here is to have new posts and tweets, so the activity is fresh and noticed by visitors who understand you are engaged in your business.

5. Marketing automation software provides detailed reporting.

With detailed reports, an automated marketing solution can keep track of each email campaign, Facebook post, text message or whatever it is that you are doing. The robust solutions available on the market today provide detailed graphs, statistics and other data that you can analyze to optimize future campaigns.

By adopting a marketing automation platform, not only will your marketing efforts become much more manageable, but also you can gain deeper insight into your customers’ engagement patterns. As marketing automation popularity increases, adoption by businesses from every industry continues to spread.

Sources:

1. http://www.emarketer.com/Article/What-Benefits-of-Marketing-Automation/1011966

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Are Your Potential Leads Ready To Buy?

Posted by Kavita Jaswal on August 26th, 2015

Mobile friendly Email DesignIn today’s digital world, marketers can reach consumers and target prospects through multiple channels. As consumers engage with your products and services via email, social media, your website, etc., each communication brings consumers one step closer to becoming potential leads. But, many marketers struggle with the next step — targeting those consumers with relevant information once their interest on a product or service has turned from interest to intent. Through data management and targeted messaging, organizations can identify, target and communicate with potential leads who are ready to buy.

The amount of information and data that is out there and available to organizations can give insight into more consumer information. Using reporting tools, marketers can take that collected data and turn it into digestible information that can lead to a better understanding of the consumer and where he/she is in the buying process. Once consumers are in a particular segment of the buyer journey, organizations can target their communications directly to those who have the intent to purchase.

Campaign automation coupled with data intelligence allows organizations to effectively communicate with and provide relevant information to consumers who are ready to buy. By creating targeted messages that give leads up-to-date, relevant information on their chosen product or service, organizations can effectively ensure their potential customers are being communicated with appropriate information in real-time.

The emergence of new technologies have given organizations the ability to identify and target potential leads that have indicated more than just an interest in the product or service being offered, they have shown an intent to purchase. Organizations have the ability to collect and analyze data from a variety of sources to discern where the consumer is in his/her buying journey. Using intelligent reporting and automation, companies can put more targeted efforts into intent marketing.

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Effective B2B Acquisition Strategy Development

Posted by Doug Roman on April 16th, 2015

Lead GenerationRecently, I have been working with some of our clients on supporting their B2B marketing initiatives. Our clients are aggressively looking to grow their small to mid-size business portfolios with qualified new relationships. We’re consistently working to develop effective acquisition/lead generation strategies to support the clients’ goals. The use of data, analytics, multi and integrated communication channels and a robust communication delivery platform are all critical components to successful B2B acquisition/lead generation efforts.

As we begin to develop a B2B marketing campaign, the first priority is to determine clients’ objectives and how they define success. Gaining a solid understanding of the campaign objectives will determine the overall scope of the engagement. When building an acquisition/lead generation program, it’s necessary to fully understand how the client determines a qualified lead. Upfront collaboration with the client is necessary to establish a solid foundation of program requirements, from which our strategy can then evolve.

A significant amount of time and data is used in characterizing the best prospects for the campaign. Specifying the target audience relates back to the stated goals as well as how the client defines a successful lead. Analytically based exercises are employed to create targeting tools to identify the best candidates. Profiling analysis, which leverages multiple firmographic, transactional and behavioral business data associated with previous qualified leads is conducted to hone in on the target audience. Results from past campaigns and industry knowledge is used to refine targeting criteria. Response or purchase propensity models are other tools that are effective in identifying the ideal target audience. Geographic industry data also comes into play to support the targeting effort. The more access to relevant data sources one has, the more successful this exercise will be.

The messages we send to our prospects along with the motivational factors (offer) are also important elements of a successful acquisition/lead generation campaign. When it comes to the message, it is vitally important that it’s relevant, consistent and well timed. Each campaign touchpoint a prospect receives must reinforce and support the main focus. Regardless of the channel, the communication experience should be consistent.

Traditional, digital, mobile and telemarketing channels should be leveraged to deliver a relevant and timely message that generates an impact as well as creates meaningful dialogue. Managing these relevant touchpoints using multiple marketing channels requires a well-thought-out communication strategy. Utilizing a robust decisioning and delivery platform or marketing automation system helps to manage the contact flow. A well-designed and maintained marketing automation platform delivers a steady stream of qualified leads to the appropriate small to mid-sized business sales team. It’s been determined that a marketing automation platform can improve the sales effort. According to Forrester Research, B2B marketers experienced a 10 percent increase in sales pipeline contribution when marketing automation was implemented.1

Marketing automation platforms help us to understand the prospect behaviors and leverages that insight to execute refined and relevant follow-up contacts. In addition, campaign reporting can easily be consolidated and automated within the platform.

A successful B2B acquisition/lead generation strategy in today’s marketing environment has many moving parts. It’s imperative to understand the objective of an initiative. What does the initiative need to achieve success, and what defines success? Then, finding the best and most responsive prospects is a time-involved process, but when done correctly, can yield great results. It’s important to find a motivator to give the prospects a reason to listen. A solid communication strategy plan needs to be devised to speak relevantly to the audience at the most opportune time and using the best channel for each touchpoint. Combining all these elements of data/data sources, targeting rules, communication strategy, channels, reporting, etc. into a marketing automation platform allows for a more efficient process for managing the campaign.

Follow these guidelines and best practices to move ahead of the pack in supporting your B2B marketing efforts.

Source:

1. Forrester Research. Market Intelligence Report:  B2B Marketing Automation Platforms 2015: A Marketer’s Guide.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

Posted by Joel Keene on August 12th, 2014

Google+ SEOAverage open rates for promotional marketing emails in the U.S. are between 17% and 20%, which means that about 80% of the people you are trying to communicate with are not paying attention.1 The idea of the inactive resend is not a new one, and in my experience, the best practices that overcome the test of time are usually incredibly effective and some of the easiest to implement.

One of the most useful aspects of digital marketing is the ability to track a user’s path down to the most minute detail including those who open your email and those who do not. With the average open rate statistic in mind, think about the numbers if you deploy an email to 10,000 people. Even if you achieve a very high open rate at 20%, that still leaves 8,000 people who did not open your message.

So what do you do now? Well fret-not my email marketing friends, you can easily resend your message to the inactive portion of your audience by using the filter and campaign functions within the SubscriberMail platform.

  1. By going into the List tab, and creating a Dynamic Filter, you can target those email recipients who did not open your message specifically. There are a variety of ways to increase your open rates, starting with your subject line. Consider revising what you sent the first time around and focus on using keywords that work for your audience. You could also focus on different content and make that your headliner. The most important thing to always do is test and test some more and do so frequently.
  2. Don’t forget about those who did click on your email. You can quickly identify those users who received the first message and opened it within your Reports tab in SubscriberMail. From there, you can automatically schedule follow-up email deployments to contact those users a second and third time with relevant content.

For a fresh perspective on your marketing programs, visit our site. Also, you can learn more about Harland Clarke Digital’s array of services, subscribe to our newsletter, download a white paper or review one of our webinars.

1. 2014: DMA Statbook

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