Technically speaking, automated marketing is the response-dependent programming of content delivery designed to move prospects toward a desired behavior. Behaviors can include purchasing a product, asking for more information about a product or service, scheduling a consult, etc. Content may include offers, invitations, information like brochures or videos, etc.
In simpler words, automated marketing can be described as “if-then marketing”: If a prospect responds (behaves) in a particular way, then they get an appropriate piece of content. Automated marketing is a rapidly growing method for nurturing and creating engagement with customers and prospects alike that tailors what any given customer/prospect receives based on how they interact with the last communication they received. The heavy lifting with automated marketing is on the front end where one has to determine which content pieces will ultimately move a customer or prospect to the campaign’s behavioral objective and which communications to send depending on how they may respond to our communications. This means developing content pieces in addition to “workflows” of which content pieces to send, as well as when and how to send them, depending on how a given customer or prospect has responded to the previous content piece.
The “automated” part only comes in when the database of customers and targets, the content pieces for the campaign and the workflows for the campaign have all been developed.
To ensure that important tasks and activities don’t “slip through the cracks” in the labor-intensive upfront part of automated marketing, we have developed a checklist for automated marketing campaigns. Feel free to use this and add to it as you see fit.
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Here are some considerations for your next (or first) automated marketing campaign:
- Never forget the human touch. Automated marketing makes it easy to create content and communications that appear customized to the individual. Take full advantage of that and consider adding a human touch to your content as well (e.g., emotive imagery, humor, etc.).
- Continue to segment your list by activity, communications preferences and whatever other variables are important to you and your customers and prospects.
- Think outside of email and consider other channels of communication (e.g., SMS, social media, websites).
- Ask your targets what, when and how they want to hear/engage with you.
- Allow your targets to manage their communications preferences with you.
- Test everything (timing, messages, content, calls to action, channels, etc.).
- Monitor your email reputation. Bad lists, unwanted communications, poorly chosen subject lines and a whole host of other mistakes can get your automated marketing relegated to spam filters and junk folders.
Ready to get started on your automated marketing campaign? Contact us today!