5 marketing automation quick wins

Here are some quick ways that organizations can take advantage of marketing automation to increase the value of customer interactions.

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Marketing automation allows marketers to speed up processes and increase efficiency. Many of these solutions take time and planning to implement. However, there are some quick wins your marketing organization can achieve by making small changes to your existing marketing automation program. They don’t take much effort to get going and they can bring good value to your business.

Update your welcome emails

Welcome emails get sent to new customers and subscribers when they sign up for your program. If a welcome email isn’t part of your email strategy, make sure it is. And if it is, make sure it puts your best foot forward.

“[Welcome emails] are a chance to introduce yourself as a company and as a brand,” said Ali Schwanke, founder of consultancy Simple Strat, in a presentation at The MarTech Conference. “And it really needs to be about the person that’s getting the email.”

Many customers are expecting a welcome email, so not sending one can create confusion.

“Welcome emails have an 85% higher open rate than other types of email,” Schwanke said. “So this means that you really don’t want to miss this opportunity to make a good impression and drive that value home.” 

Helpful meeting reminders

Meeting reminders help remind us which Zoom call we’re jumping to next during a busy day. They’re not only helpful for colleagues, but also for customers and prospects.

They are also an opportunity to prepare B2B customers ahead of an important call. Be proactive and include an agenda for the call in your meeting reminder. Or you can give your customer or prospect the choice between several agendas, depending on their business needs.

Giving your customer more control  of the agenda can lead to fewer no-shows and last-minute cancellations, Schwanke said.

Request specific feedback

Customers are used to receiving messages after a purchase asking them about the sales experience. Often those surveys are too long and too broad.

Consider refining your feedback request so that it can be helpful to both your customer and the sales support team.

“We live in a world now where everybody knows, oh gosh, you’re going to ask me how my experience was every single time,” said Schwanke. “Instead of asking about the experience…[be specific and] ask how the interaction with our account manager was because the sales team might not know how the account manager has actually interpreted what was passed over from a sales perspective.”

This feedback should be tracked somewhere in your marketing automation program so the next right action can take place.

Dig deeper: What is marketing automation and how can it help B2B marketers?

Add personalized events

It’s common for marketers to have a customer’s birthday in their records and contact the customer on that day. This isn’t very helpful to customers and their needs, so Schwake recommends going deeper for more meaningful messages.

“When you track things that are important to your customer, it goes beyond that birthday,” she said. “Surprise and delight your customers. If you need more information to surprise and delight them, think about what you need to ask and at what step in the process you need to gather [that information].”

The special date could be a company anniversary, for instance, or a special industry day. 

“If you happen to have a bunch of customers that have dogs, National Dog Day would be a great way to send something out and ask them to share pictures of their pets,” said Schwanke. “All of this is ‘automated,’ but it’s creating that shared experience with your customer which then is good will for your brand.”

Send no-show follow-ups

If your customer fails to show up to a scheduled meeting, all is not lost. There might have been a personal event that kept the prospect from showing, or an unanticipated conflict.

Automation is the best way to clear up the matter and get the customer back on track. Create a trigger that sends out an email and follows up automatically if a meeting was canceled. If the prospect really does have cold feet, you’re not wasting a lot of time in a losing effort.

“Use that automation to stay in front of them to make sure it happens when it needs to,” said Schwanke.

About the author

Chris Wood
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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