New year resolution 7 of 12 – automate!

6 minute read

As your subscribers grow and your campaign output expands you’ll find it harder and harder to manage everything manually. Even if you don’t, you should still consider using Marketing Automation – it’s as much about consistency as it is efficiency.

So if you’re not using it already then getting to grips with Marketing Automation should be your new year resolution 7 of 12.

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So why should I use it?

In a nutshell it vastly simplifies repetitive tasks and ensures that your responses are always timely and consistent. That’s a short sentence but a huge benefit.

It’s great for your customers because it means that you are responding to their specific needs and improving their experience. You’ll always be delivering the right message to the right person at the right time and that will improve your trust credentials and your relationship.

It’s also great for you. Automating repetitive or time consuming tasks will inevitably reduce your workload. It will also ensure that you are reacting to incoming information and actions, ensuring that your response is consistent and that no opportunities are missed.

How does it work?

It’s actually very simple. Marketing Automation is based around a simple trigger and response sequence – we call it a Marketing Automation rule. Simply choose a trigger event that you’d like to start the sequence – for example this could be someone clicking a particular link, subscribing to a list, or it being a certain number of days before their birthday. Then choose what you’d like to happen next. This could be sending them a particular response email or SMS, moving them to a different list, or notifying someone else (like your sales team) of their activity. You can just have a single trigger and response, or you can get more complicated, linking multiple rules together to form a more complicated logical sequence of events.

You’ll find Marketing Automation in stage 3, that is the ‘Send’ section, of the Permission Marketing Cycle. Just create a rule, define the trigger and response conditions, declare it active, and then just sit back and relax. Once your rule is activated Sign-Up.to will watch for the trigger events and then perform the actions you requested, and it’ll do this for as long as you leave the rule active for.

What should I automate?

There are many applications but here are some of the most common. Marketing automation is perfect for things like welcome messages, birthday greetings and follow-up campaigns. It’s also the technology behind automated responses like abandoned shopping basket recovery. You can even use it to generate internal opportunity alerts for your sales team.

When should I automate (and therefore when not?)

In a way this is the most complicated part. You’ll need to review your campaigns and decide what can/can’t and should/shouldn’t be automated. It will depend on things like the frequency of the requirement, the expected volume of actions and whether or not suitable responses can be automatically generated, or whether a personal intervention is needed.

Taking this step will also help you to plan and define rules that carry out your tasks appropriately. Although you can leave your Marketing Automation rules in place for as long as you like, don’t forget to come back from time to time to monitor the results and review that everything is still working correctly.

And don’t forget to personalise. Just because it’s automated (in fact because it’s automated) personalisation is just as important as in your regular campaigns.

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So, your new year resolution number 7 is to automate what needs automating!

You’ll need a bit of planning and advanced preparation but without Marketing Automation in place you’re going to struggle to raise your game.

Here’s a summary of a few actions to take:

1. Review your current campaigns and tasks and decide where automation can play a part. Where is the repetition? Where is the opportunity for improving consistency?
2. It’s tempting but don’t dive straight in. I find that a simple flow chart is invaluable when planning a Marketing Automation strategy, especially where there are multiple triggers and responses. By the way, it’s also handy to use names for your rules that you can easily find and connect later.
3. Read some more about Marketing Automation on our website and view the playbook articles on welcome emails and other nifty applications.

I’ll be back with new year resolution 8 of 12 soon. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding Marketing Automation, give us a call, we’ll be pleased to help.