I will share two secrets of Marketing Automation.
If you are an end-user or customer, then you know you like to receive the occasional email. The emails you send out must be requested, anticipated, personal, and relevant in order to have the most impact.
If you are a company, specifically a B2B company, then you know the emails you send out is all about content mapping. This means identifying personas, and figuring out where they are in the buying cycle. The end result is sending out the right content specific to every stage in this cycle. B2C offers more options – such as loyalty, advocacy and branding, just to name a few. I will save that for another article!
Let’s say 15% of your leads are successfully converted, meaning the other 85% end up in the “dead lead bucket”. This doesn’t mean they are completely dead… they might end up purchasing in the next 12-24 months, for example. According to benchmark research from SiriusDecisions, 80% of the prospects deemed “bad leads” by sales teams do go on to buy within 24 months.
The biggest challenge for most marketers and account executives is that they don’t have the visibility or the context required to connect with the individual and advance them through the buying process. Hence the need for automation, or should I say intelligent automation.
Campaigns, Drip Feeds and Customer Journeys
Traditionally, Marketing teams are responsible for lead generation, and Sales teams are responsible for closing the sale. It’s the middle ground that needs work. How are you going to keep potential customers interested or nurtured for the next two years? Luckily you have plenty of marketing technology software to choose from. The key is to send relevant emails with specific actions and processes that will identify these leads, and where they are in the buying cycle. For example, booking a test drive for a car is good sign that the potential customer is ready to buy something. This is a lot different to a potential buyer comparing technical specs from a website, or requesting a brochure.
Mass Email and Autoresponders
The marketing technology space is heating up. Companies once known for Mass Email, like Mailchimp or Aweber, are now getting into the customized campaign email sends, because they know the value of customer journeys.
In Sept 2015, Mailchimp’s Automation Builder has been reorganized to give you greater control over when you send each automated email in your workflow, and to which subscribers in your list. When you design your email in their Email Builder, you also have the option to configure delivery settings for individual emails and segment the subscribers who receive them. That’s a lot different than sending an email blast at Tuesday 10am.
In Oct 2015, Aweber (known for autoresponders, or follow-up email) launched “Campaigns” which expanded on what you can do with autoresponders. Now you can run a series of autoresponders on the same list to different groups of subscribers. Think multiple branches of a decision tree.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
In the January 2016 release of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Marketing Cloud Connect Customers with Journey Builder can now utilize Sales and Service Cloud Entry Events and Activities directly within Journey Builder. This is a true single platform connecting your Salesforce Core and Marketing Cloud. An example is when you mark an Opportunity as “Closed Won”, you can begin a series of on-boarding emails… all automated and personalised.
But that is not all.
The Decision Split Activity within Journey Builder now supports the ability to create up to 20 paths in one activity, which is more complex than a simple “Yes” or “No” decision. Previously, this type of decision making required the configuration of many decision splits back-to-back. Now, perform this action in one easy-to-use activity.
We are anxiously awaiting for the General Availably release of Pardot’s Intelligent Engagement Studio (we were lucky to have access to the beta program).
The current method is known as “Drip Feed” which is simply creating a campaign, using dichotomous branches of decision-making (i.e. yes vs no decision, open vs not open, click vs did not click). With Engagement Studio, there are several key benefits to this (the following follows the safe harbour statement from Salesforce):
1) Automatically move a lead from one campaign (or customer journey) based on where they are in the sales cycle, or when they reach a specific point. (i.e. attended an event, or asked for a demo)
2) Better personalisation from over 100 different triggers. Now you can write laser focused emails based on a specific triggers.
3) Review poor performing campaigns, and react to it. However, with Visualized Campaign, testing and reporting is a new feature. While other solutions are reactive, relying traditionally on marketing staff to review the data and determine how to improve their nurture campaigns, Intelligent Engagement Studio is proactive. If you have a long, complex sales cycle, then reviewing this feature may help keep your leads on the right path to closing that sale.
You have a lot of choices for Marketing automation. Getting an ROI on your investment should be the number one goal.
At makepositive, our team are fully certified in both Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot. Plus, we bring a wealth of experience from past projects and a variety of verticals. Contact us here if you would like to re-energise or kick-start your marketing automation technology.