Experience Marketing Automation Magic.
If you aren’t using some kind of marketing automation tool yet for your online campaigns, you’re missing out. Marketing automation software (MAS) takes a huge load off your back by practically running your campaigns for you while giving you precise ROI metrics in real time. MAS truly gives your marketing team an unfair advantage over your competition, letting you easily conduct concurrent multi-channel campaigns and track all of them at a glance.
If you haven’t used MAS before, it will truly feel like magic. And if you have, well, it still feels like magic, doesn’t it?
This week’s blog post shows you how to feel the magic using MAS to run an effective campaign. Read on to see how you can turbocharge your marketing campaigns with this awesome power tool.
The old way
Without MAS, here’s how you might run an online promotional campaign:
- Create an Excel spreadsheet with the contact information of campaign prospects
- Import your campaign prospects’ email addresses into an online email program or into Outlook
- Send emails to all of your campaign prospects
- Respond manually to each response to your campaign
- Pull your hair out as the volume of fulfillment tasks surpasses the capacity of you and your team
As the name says, MAS automates everything. So not only can you run a simple campaign with ease, but you can also run a complex campaign with the same ease, and even run multiple complex campaigns with no additional effort. The system does all the work while you and your team leave early for happy hour to celebrate campaign success. All you have to do is set up automation rules that determine how the MAS conducts campaigns and responds to actions taken by your prospects in those campaigns.
Here are just some of the things your MAS system can automate for you:
- Email creation – powerful templates make it easy for you to swap out a few graphics and adjust copy to create a new email in minutes.
- Segmentation – easily create targeted lists. Then tell the MAS how to add new prospects to lists for you based on their activity. From then on, MAS takes care of managing your lists for you.
- Email sending – just tell the MAS which segmented lists you want to email to, set the date and time you want your emails to go out and save.
- Fulfillment – you can set rules for responding to practically any action a prospect takes. For instance, suppose a new prospect visits your website for the first time and views a particular page. The MAS can be set to automatically add all such prospects to a target list, then start to send a series of emails to those prospects at pre-set intervals. If a prospect opts out of emails at any time, the MAS will automatically stop sending emails to that person.
- Notifications – you can set the MAS to immediately inform you and the appropriate salesperson when a prospect has opted out of an email list. You can also tell the MAS to automatically inform anyone on your team whenever a prospect takes a specific action.
- Preprogrammed responses – suppose you’re running a promotional campaign to a specific target list, but someone outside of that list somehow gets a hold of an email or comes to a website landing page as part of the campaign and responds. The MAS can detect that this person is not yet a part of this campaign and send an email to this person with an email requesting more information about that person.
- Tracking – the MAS tracks, in real time, every aspect of your campaign, including who opened your emails and who didn’t, who’s opted out, which emails bounced back, who clicked on links in your emails, and who’s filled out forms on landing pages. If a person fills out a form, the MAS can automatically segment that person for specific future actions, and if that person does not respond to the campaign within a specified timeframe, other actions can then be triggered such as sending an additional email to the prospect or sending an email to a salesperson to follow up.
- CRM integration – many MAS platforms sync directly with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Salesforce, SugarCRM and Microsoft Dynamics. In this case, the MAS can be set to create a task in the CRM telling a salesperson to follow up with a prospect who has taken a certain action in response to an online campaign. The MAS can also share every tracked prospect activity with the CRM so salespeople can see in real time the activity history of every prospect.
The bottom line is that by setting up automation rules, you can enable your MAS to initiate your campaigns and respond appropriately to any prospect action while tracking everything and providing you with instant real-time campaign reports. Even complex campaigns, once defined, will run themselves. This frees you up to focus on dreaming up more exciting campaigns, instead of running yourself ragged trying to manually run just one simple campaign.
The following diagram shows what a very simple workflow within a campaign looks like. The more robust MAS platforms actually let you visually build your campaigns with a “drag and drop” flowchart interface. All actions and conditional responses are represented with graphical icons which you can drag, arrange and connect to define your workflows. Hit save, and voilà! Your campaign is ready to go.
If this brief overview of marketing automation magic has whetted your appetite, we encourage you to start learning about the various available platforms and what they can do for you. Marketing automation is truly the future of marketing, as online vehicles now constitute the central hub of communication between providers and customers. Today, the only way to connect with a high volume of prospects in a meaningful and timely manner is with automation. There are MAS platforms for every price point and level of volume and sophistication, from entry-level online email campaign platforms to full-blown enterprise MAS platforms, so one or several will be right for your organization.
Over at ZUZA, we’ve spent a lot of time evaluating systems and digging in with MAS ourselves. If you’d like to hear more about our experiences, please drop us a line. And if you are a MAS user yourself, please, add a comment to this blog about your experiences.
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.