If you hear the phrase “marketing automation,” what do you consider first? An in depth diagram of emails despatched to completely different segments, damaged out by electronic mail engagement, drawing a line from result in buyer? This has change into the norm, but it’s among the many least efficient automation paths you possibly can arrange as a marketer.

The inherent flaw on this technique is that it begins with the marketer’s timeline reasonably than the prospect’s. The marketer sits down and defines what info the prospect will eat subsequent, what actions the prospect will take subsequent, and the trail the prospect will take from turning into a result in turning into a buyer.

But when we’re sincere with ourselves, we’d admit that the world isn’t as easy as that. You would possibly outline the funnel phases as Lead to Advertising Certified Lead (MQL) to Gross sales Certified Lead (SQL) to Alternative to Buyer, the place leads obtain an book, then change into an MQL after they begin a trial, an SQL when the gross sales individual follows up with that prospect, a possibility after they do a trial assessment name, and buyer after they buy.

… However what if they begin a trial after which obtain an book? Or what in the event that they get right into a gross sales dialog after simply downloading an book, by no means change into a buyer, after which go chilly till they begin a trial months later? The fact is you could’t management what your prospect does or in what order your prospect does it. What you possibly can management, nonetheless, is the way you react to your prospect’s behaviors. And that is the place automation and set off advertising and marketing turns into highly effective.

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The “triggering” occasion might be something measurable by your CRM and automation software program. Listed below are just some examples:

  • Type conversions
  • Electronic mail opens (or lack thereof)
  • Variety of pages considered
  • Chatbot interactions
  • Assembly sure descriptive standards

Because of the triggering occasion, you possibly can automate duties/actions together with your marketing automation software. Listed below are some examples: 

  • Ship them an electronic mail (or sequence of emails)
  • Replace their CRM document
  • Add them to an inventory
  • Assign them to a gross sales rep
  • Ship an inner notification about them

1. Perceive your purchaser persona.

Know your buyer persona: It ought to go with out saying within the context of any advertising and marketing exercise, however in advertising and marketing automation, it is doubly vital.

In case you suppose by way of the lifecycle phases, pains, and motivations of your audience(s), you possibly can craft higher set off advertising and marketing methods to information them alongside their path to buy.

The objective of selling automation is to offer a terrific expertise at scale, and a part of which means assembly them the place they’re. When 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences, it simply is smart.

2. Assume when it comes to ‘ifs’ and ‘thens.’

Software program is straightforward. It sees in black and white reasonably than the advanced final result that you just’re transferring towards. Nonetheless, you possibly can reverse engineer a terrific set off advertising and marketing technique utilizing automation by pondering by way of your final result and the trail to get there as a collection of if/then statements:

  • If x occurs, then do y.
  • If the prospect fills out this manner, then ship them this electronic mail.
  • If the prospect has visited the pricing web page, then notify a rep.

The “if” is the factors. The “then” is the motion you wish to take.

3. Determine your triggering occasions.

As a way to get your messaging to the suitable individuals on the proper time, you should establish the “set off” (in HubSpot, it is known as “enrollment criteria“). That is the “if” a part of the equation, the concrete indicator that the software program can use as a inexperienced mild to execute the actions.

Triggering occasions are solely restricted by the data you’ve gotten in your system and your advertising and marketing automation’s capabilities. Frequent ones embody:

  • Actions taken on the web site
  • Standards met within the database
  • Responses to previous emails or campaigns

4. Decide the actions you need your system to carry out.

As soon as you realize your “set off” or enrollment/beginning standards, then you possibly can resolve what occurs subsequent. That is the “then” a part of the equation. Frequent actions embody:

  • Sending an electronic mail
  • Enrolling in a sequence
  • Categorizing the contact within the database

5. Craft personalised messaging.

Keep in mind that 80% of shoppers usually tend to buy after a personalised expertise? In case your motion (“then” assertion) features a advertising and marketing activity akin to electronic mail sends or marketing campaign enrollment, it is vital to know precisely how this contact is completely different from others in your CRM and what messaging will uniquely enchantment to them. Ask your self:

  1. The place are they at of their journey?
  2. How can I present worth and transfer them to the following step?

6. Establish and eradicate repetitive advertising and marketing duties.

In case you’re nonetheless undecided the place to start with advertising and marketing automation, begin by creating an inventory of your most repetitive duties. For instance, when you ship the identical electronic mail time and again to a number of contacts, utilizing automation to eradicate this activity out of your day will enhance productiveness and, in consequence, efficiency. This may assist you concentrate on increased affect duties that may’t be automated.

7. Enhance the worth of your CRM.

As talked about beforehand, your solely limits are the capabilities of the software program you are utilizing and the standard of your information. In case you have messy information, advertising and marketing automation could damage you. In case you have incomplete information, you will not be capable of do the superior personalization and segmentation that may make a world of distinction.

With that in thoughts, you’ll have to perceive the right way to take advantage of your CRM. A part of this comes all the way down to utilizing automation to replace CRM information and categorize contacts, however finally you will have to consider how your group makes use of their CRM and ask your self these questions:

  • What information are you able to collect about your prospects (and when) to assist the effectiveness of your campaigns?
  • How are you going to use automation to make sure the cleanliness and accuracy of your database?
  • How usually are you able to audit your database to make sure the integrity of those efforts?

Set off-Based mostly Electronic mail Advertising

We briefly mentioned that advertising and marketing automation supplies an enormous alternative for electronic mail advertising and marketing efforts. Triggered emails — automated advertising and marketing messages primarily based on a prospect’s behaviors — are highly effective as a result of they’re inherently related and well timed. The important thing to an efficient electronic mail is relevance plus timeliness plus worth, and the primary two are baked into triggered emails. It is as much as the marketer to leap on that chance and align a worthwhile provide to these recipients.

Not utilizing triggered emails? Listed below are a number of recipes of triggered advertising and marketing automation to get you began.

Set off: Downloaded an Instructional Supply

It is a good spot to start out if you have no triggered emails arrange, as that is the broadest set off — partaking the prospects on the earliest stage of the client’s journey. 

What to Ship: Transactional Electronic mail With Subsequent Step Name-to-Motion

On this scenario, your triggered electronic mail is usually a transactional electronic mail — confirming the obtain (or registration or request) and together with any info associated to that obtain.

For instance, if this can be a follow-up to downloading an book, embody the identify of the book and a hyperlink to the PDF. If it is a follow-up to registering for a webinar, embody the webinar info, together with the time and date and the right way to log in.

As soon as you’ve got coated your bases on the transactional info, it is time to consider what you need your prospect to do subsequent. You will have their consideration — make the most of it! Would you like them to transform on a middle-of-the-funnel provide like a demo request or complementary session? Or do you wish to encourage them to share this provide with their community, to broaden the attain of your content material? Take into consideration that superb subsequent step, and embody a call-to-action for that in your comply with up electronic mail.

Set off: Took One Motion in a Collection, however Not the Subsequent

Say your prospect will get near taking the motion you need — like beginning a trial of your product — however they do not fairly get to the end line. They go to the trial touchdown web page, or view some content material about your product, however do not begin that trial. This is a chance so that you can comply with as much as get them to cross that end line.

What to Ship: Associated Content material and an Alternative Motion

Maybe they did not full that motion due to some hesitation — they did not wish to fill out a kind, or they’d some further questions that stopped them from beginning that trial. This is a chance to comply with up with associated content material (like product movies or assets for the trial) and an alternate motion (perhaps they do not wish to use a trial, they merely wish to get a demo or communicate instantly with a gross sales rep).

You’ll be able to even merely ask them in your electronic mail … what stopped you from signing up? Something we will do to assist? You will be shocked by what number of responses you will get. In spite of everything, these are individuals who bought near taking an motion however had some particular hesitation. You wish to each uncover and deal with that hesitation head-on.

Set off: Considered Particular Content material

Whether or not you’ve gotten content material on particular subjects (product ache factors, for instance), or content material aligned with particular components of the funnel (product pages vs. weblog articles), when your prospects view that content material, you’ve gotten extra information to make use of in your follow-up emails.

What to Ship: Tailor-made Comply with-Up Content material

Whether or not you set off an electronic mail instantly or save this intelligence for future communications, the info you acquire about which content material individuals view can be utilized to make your advertising and marketing that rather more related on a one-to-one foundation.

For instance, if in case you have content material in your web site (case research, weblog articles, and so forth.) that is associated to particular industries or goal markets, you possibly can infer that individuals who view that content material are in that trade, and tailor your future advertising and marketing messages accordingly. Or, if in case you have content material in your web site that’s associated to particular subjects of curiosity or ache factors that you just deal with, you possibly can infer that individuals who view that content material care about that ache level, and tailor your future advertising and marketing messages round that subject.

Take into consideration the assorted behavioral information factors you’ve gotten about your prospects, and what you possibly can draw from that to find out what they care about.

Set off: Not too long ago and Extremely Engaged or Missing in Engagement

Determine what your bar is for a extremely engaged prospect (maybe they downloaded at the very least three ebooks and considered at the very least ten weblog articles) in addition to an unengaged prospect, and reply and market to them accordingly.

What to Ship: Well timed Subsequent Step Name-to-Motion or Reengagement Marketing campaign

On your extremely engaged prospects, you as soon as once more have consideration you possibly can leverage. One nice choice is to encourage them to share the content material they only downloaded. But in addition keep in mind that triggered advertising and marketing automation doesn’t must be solely exterior (despatched to prospects), it can be inner (despatched to your fellow workers)!

When a prospect turns into extremely engaged, this can be a nice alternative to inform that prospect’s gross sales consultant that this can be a good time to comply with up with the prospect. On your unengaged prospects, ship a proactive reengagement electronic mail. You could even wish to have a number of set off factors (e.g. have not clicked on an electronic mail in three months, six months, one yr) the place you ship completely different campaigns to reengage these prospects.

For instance, after three months, ship a reminder to replace their electronic mail preferences. After six months, ask them if the content material is irrelevant and provide them to unsubscribe. And eventually, after one yr, inform them you’ll not electronic mail them anymore except they reply.

Set off: Interacted With Your Firm, or Talked about Your Rivals or Trade, in Social Media

As you take heed to what your prospects are saying in social media, you’ve gotten the chance to comply with up with those that work together together with your firm, or those that point out your opponents or particular ache factors that you just deal with.

What to Ship: Comparability Guides, Product Data, or Instructional Content material

Choose a standard and worthwhile interplay that happens between you and your prospects in social media — it might be asking questions on your product, mentioning that they are evaluating a competitor, or just asking a query that pertains to the ache factors your product addresses.

If responding by social media, you probably do not really wish to automate your response — it will likely be very simple on your prospect to acknowledge the impersonal nature of that interplay. Nonetheless, you possibly can complement your one-to-one social media engagement with a triggered electronic mail marketing campaign with supporting content material. For instance, in case your prospect asks questions on your product, you possibly can ship how-to and product function info. In case your prospect mentions they’re evaluating a competitor, you possibly can ship comparability guides, third occasion critiques, or case research for them to make use of of their analysis course of. Or in case your prospect merely asks a query associated to your trade, you possibly can comply with up with instructional content material on the subject of curiosity.

On the finish of the day, any of those triggered emails are prone to get the next response — and better return in your effort — in comparison with the everyday linear advertising and marketing automation marketing campaign. Utilizing among the similar expertise, you possibly can reorient your advertising and marketing to work round your prospect’s timeline as an alternative of your personal, whereas persevering with to drive the actions you need.

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Editor’s be aware: This publish was initially printed in April 2014 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.