Five years ago when MPULL was founded, we were seen as innovative for setting up marketing automation that was simply a series of “smart emails” sent after someone downloaded an ebook.
We’ve learnt a fair amount about what works, and what doesn’t. Here are our findings:
Get your technology stack right
Choosing the right technology is paramount to marketing automation success. We love Hubspot and the interface and capabilities available to build out these campaigns. While Hubspot doesn’t have a built-in sms messaging via workflows, this can be done via webhooks to create truly cross channel communications. We also recommend using internal mails or creating tasks to notify team members of actions to take during the workflow.
Measuring the success of these workflows and continuously optimizing them is also really important. Set goals, and track engagement and metrics associated to these campaigns for consistent improvement.
Building profiles is key to great contextual communication. We seek to extract the relevant data in order to provide context in each marketing engagement along the customer journey. This starts with building personas, understanding the buying cycle for each persona, the messaging that will strike the right notes with each persona, and how we are going to set out to profile these personas via a mixture of behaviour and data collected via form submissions.
The real key to building awesome profiles is going one step deeper and understanding a combination of where they are in their buyer's journey, as well as their challenges. The more specific we can get, the more contextual our marketing communication can be, the better results you’ll see.
Use multiple channels
Don’t just use email. Mix your channels, and make sure your chosen channels make sense for your persona. If your persona is a student, chances are they probably don’t regularly check their personal email accounts. Text messaging might be a better way to communicate with this persona. You may also want to connect your phone and text strategy for students, and notify the relevant sales people to reach out via phone at certain milestones in the customer journey.
Individualise through big data
Personalization and context are key to great experiences and great communication. Make sure you are leveraging all the data you have about a contact to create the most personal and contextual message possible. I worked with a global golf brand in the past, and the need to personalize their experience was paramount. We extracted data via outreach communication on their handicap, whether they were left or right handed, and the data we gathered via the flightscope technology on how they hit the ball at their custom fitting experience, to serve tailored and contextual products to them, based on the above. If I know you’re a 10 handicap, and hit the ball with a draw - there are certain products that will suit you better. This tied into the brand USP, and provided an excellent end to end experience for the customer.
Drop the HTML mailer
Controversial, I know. But for great marketing engagements, they can’t look like marketing engagements. Sometimes, the good old plain text mail works well with an email signature that comes from an actual human being. Again, while working with the golf brand, we sent out communication from the fitting technician, which provided proper analysis on which clubs should be used based off the data. The communication was plain text and simple, but massively effective as it seemed as if the communication was not automated.
Integrate sales and service for seamless transitions
A great experience shouldn’t end at marketing, or sales for that matter, but should extend to service. This was very clear with the golf brand. They released new clubs each season, and this provided the perfect opportunity to market their new clubs to current customers that was contextually relevant.
In order to achieve success, be awesome, be creative, be contextual and use the tools at hand. Marketing automation allows us to build efficient marketing, sales and service systems that add real value to our customers and allow us to provide consistency across multiple channels and touchpoints. Think and dream big. It’s all possible.
This piece was written by Devin Ross, Lead Strategist at MPULL Marketing. Devin has been building marketing automation strategies for the past 5 years and is a firm believer in delivering an excellent experience to prospects and customers alike through creative and results-focused marketing solutions.