Having marketing automation strategy has become a staple of digital marketing in the past few years, and the reason for it is not surprising. Firstly, the process to shifting to digital in as many aspects of business operation as possible cased it. Secondly, it’s considerably affordable and more so when it comes to other resources, other than the budget, that goes into creating a perfect ad. Finally, automated marketing campaigns accomplish several different goals:
- They’re easier to edit and iterate upon;
- They scale well to large audience sizes;
- And they’re personalized to the end user.
In short, automation makes marketing campaigns more efficient and more effective. Now let’s look into tips and suggestions for creating a useful and efficient automated marketing campaign for your (or somebody else’s, if that’s your niche) business. But first, let us discuss what is meant under marketing automation.
What exactly is marketing automation?
By our definition, marketing automation refers to the process of using software to perform repetitive marketing tasks. The best example to give here is that of email marketing. Today, email marketing is unimaginable without using automation tools. So the process goes like this: instead of writing out personalized emails to every single person on your mailing list, a marketer can leverage automation to write a single email. The tools automatically personalize the content based on the recipient’s first name or location.
First name and location are not the only things that email marketing automation uses in the personalization process of your programmatic advertising. The key here is the user data, which may include lots of different things directly affecting your business and its relationship to a particular customer.
Mobile brings its own unique set of opportunities and challenges to the table when it comes to automation. In some ways, mobile marketing is more flexible and powerful than other forms of digital marketing, because it allows brands to reach out to their customers wherever they are. However, brands must design their campaigns appropriately in order to make use of the unique opportunities offered by mobile apps.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled these eight tips for automated marketing campaigns. Try one out today, and A/B test the results to see if these tips move you closer to your performance goals.
#1: Curate Your Audience Segments
The easiest way to create an automated marketing campaign is to write an email or push notification, and then blast it out to your entire audience at a scheduled time. However, the easiest way isn’t always the best way.
However, without knowing who exactly are you targeting, this won’t be as effective as intended. And this is where market segmentation comes in play. Location, timing, customer identity which could be based on their age, gender, religion, ethnicity ect. Belonging to some social, political, economic, education or other groups. All of these can be turned into the data you can use to segment your market according to your business needs and niche.
Segmentation is a powerful technique for crafting more effective messages. Instead of sending the exact same message to every user, you can create different versions for each segment. For instance, a clothing store might promote different items to male and female users. With segmentation, you can ensure that the content of your promotion is 100% relevant to the recipient. This way, the chance of your email getting ignored is significantly low.
#2: Invest in Quality Content
Here’s a thing about marketing automation. It is useful and saves so much of your time as a business owner. However, from your customers’ POV, they shouldn’t feel like they are not interacting with you, but rather some kind of an AI. The key to achieving the effect of personalized human interaction is to create a quality blueprint for your automated message template. Several at that. Refer to the tip #1 above to find out why.
Ultimately, the message is what makes or breaks an automated marketing campaign. If the content itself is poorly formatted, ambiguously phrased, or otherwise broken in some way, then it doesn’t really matter if the overall campaign is stellar. The campaign will still fall flat if the message doesn’t resonate with users.
This is why we advocate A/B testing for every aspect of your app — not just the core app content, but also your marketing content. Test different subject lines, copy, and images against each other to see which combination drives the most engagement.
In fact, we’ve already studied the trends in push notification copywriting, and we found 120 power words that drive the most message engagement. Read the report to learn how word choice help you turn more heads and score more message opens. So you see, this is less about automation process and more about how YOU do your things on your side.
NOTE: If you aren’t sure in your abilities to create a powerful and effective copy for the template(s), hire a professional. You don’t have to overextend your budget. Make them write several useful emails which you can work with yourself in the future. Alter and modify them according to what an audience requires at a certain period of time.
#3: Personalize Everything
What you need here is as many user profiles that can be used for personalized messages as possible. That’s your data. Segmentation will play a huge role in data collection and organization. You can and should use digital tools for market segmentation. Otherwise it will take lots of time and additional resources. You could also used already collected data available to general public.
Personalization is an invaluable part of message content. Segmentation and A/B testing can help optimize your content and ensure that it’s delivered to the right people, but the package isn’t complete without personalization. And by the way, by personalization, we mean literally everything. Down to a more formal and visual aspects of formatting the content.
Here’s an example of a personalized message.
If the goal of your automated marketing campaign is to drive more purchases in a retail app, you might segment your audience and send product recommendations to active users. But what products should you recommend?
For people who recently made a purchase, you could suggest items that pair together, like suggesting a cutting board after the customer buys a set of kitchen knives. Or, for people who haven’t made their first purchase yet, you could suggest popular items in their most searched category. In this way, you can increase the chances of conversion by personalizing your promotions to each individual customer.
And if you still aren’t convinced, consider this: Personalized push notifications earn up to 800% more opens than their non-personalized counterparts.
#4: Focus on the Goal
Every good campaign begins with picking a sensible and relevant goal. Most importantly, it should be realistic. Something you can achieve in a certain period of time, which is not too lengthy. Doesn’t mean you can’t have long term goals. But you should have several short term ones as steps to gradually reach and complete your ultimate goals.
In business and in life, they say that you improve at what you measure. This means it’s extra important to pick the correct goal for your automated marketing campaigns. For instance, selling more and creating high profit is the unsaid goal of every business. However, how you get there is personal and can be achieved in several different ways. And it all depends on what type of business you are operating.
Here’s an example of going towards the ultimate goal through completing several short term ones first:
Let’s say you’re running a dormant user reactivation campaign to bring people back to the app. You might be tempted to set conversions as the goal for this campaign. Because the ultimate goal is to convert these app users into paying customers. But, is that really the goal of every campaign? The immediate goal of a reactivation campaign is to engage your inactive users. Therefore, it makes more sense to set user activity as the goal, rather than conversions.
This is not to say, the long term goals that most often every business shares shouldn’t be paid special attention to. Of course, long-term goals like conversions are important too, even if they’re part of a separate campaign. In fact, that brings us to the next point.
#5: Plan For the Complete Customer Lifecycle
The short term goals make up the long term goal. Your focus should be on completing the customer life cycle. Which is comprised by several different factors of consumer behavior closely connected with each other. These are things that make you their purchasing habits as well as the way they engage to your business outside of placing a purchase.
When you know the ins and outs of customer cycle, they can do way more for your business than simply buy your product. First of all, the obvious is turning a one time customer to a loyal one. Secondly, they can bring you lots of other customers, they can help you promote your business. Whether it’s a deliberate or an unconscious choice.
Some things to consider here is, first and foremost, doing a thorough market analysis. Remember? In the market segmentation part we already established this. You should know exactly who you are targeting. Second, observe their purchasing habits. This can be done by constant A/B testing of what works and what not. Plan your promo campaigns according to the results of A/B testing.
NOTE: Pay lots of attention to creating a satisfactory customer experience by offering your buyers a great customer service. Available to them whenever they need it.
Here’s how you can do it:
Continuing with the dormant user reactivation example. When you create a campaign, you should take other campaigns into account and consider where you’re leading your users. Granted, the mere act of reactivating dormant users is still helpful. But it would be even better if you guide them into a second campaign that’s based around engagement and conversions.
So, you could have one campaign to send discounts to inactive users, and another to suggest relevant products to active users. Once a user exits the first campaign and starts using the app again, they would automatically enter the second campaign. Which will help you push them to purchase. And if an active user starts using the app less frequently, they’ll eventually drop out of the conversion campaign and into the reactivation campaign.
In other words, the best approach is to have a series of campaigns that cater to each step of the customer lifecycle. The individual goals of each campaign might seem short-term, but the campaigns work together to achieve long-term goals like conversions.
#6: Work With What Marketing Automation Tools You Have
This is especially important when it comes to new business owners. As well as those on a tight budget at a certain point in time. Newbies could think that trying out lots of tools is the way to go. In fact, you just need to spend a lot of time on researching and selecting what works best for you. This way, you won’t have to spend a lot on automation tools.
As for the business that have been around and using automation. Push notifications are powerful, but what if you haven’t secured push permissions from your whole audience?
Don’t let incomplete customer profiles stop your campaign in its tracks. Instead, try creating branches in your automated campaign that divide users based on the amount of contact info you’ve collected. If someone has given your app push permissions, then you can send a push notification promotion — if not, then you can send an email with roughly the same content. If you have neither, then fall back on an in-app message.
The same could be said about personalization.
As discussed in point #3, personalized content does outperform non-personalized content. However, there are situations where you can’t collect enough information on a user — perhaps they disabled location sharing, or perhaps they simply haven’t used the app enough to reveal their personal interests. Even if this happens, a standard message is still better than no message at all.
No matter how much (or how little) contact info you have, there’s always a way to reach your users with automated marketing campaigns. You can expand your data application when you have more resources. Plus, the great thing is, there will always be a more detailed data you need on the internet for free. Unless you need something super specific or unique. You just have to search for it.
#7: Go Cross-Channel & Multi-Channel
In today’s marketing landscape with countless channels to pick from, it’s important to do your research and pick the right one. There are several things that go into cross channel and multi channel marketing. First, cross channel marketing focuses on selecting which channel works best for you, while multi channel marketing means using as many channels as possible to leverage more.
To give you a simple example, can you imagine having your internet presence established only on a single social media platform? Similarly, can you imagine only implementing one type of marketing, for instance, email marketing when promoting your product? While email and a particular social media may work best for you, you shouldn’t stick and use only those outlets. It won’t bring good results in the long run.
Why pick the single best marketing channel when you can reach your users on all available channels?
Cross-channel marketing is all about picking the right channel(s) for the job and weaving between channels as the campaign goes on. A campaign might begin with a push notification, but if the user doesn’t read the push message, you could follow up with an email instead. Alternatively, the campaign might dynamically select either push or email depending on which one has better open rates for that particular user.
To be clear, cross-channel marketing doesn’t mean that every single message must be sent on every single channel. Rather, it means that you should leverage each channel available to you and use them when the time is right. It’s also important to consider the frequency of messages sent on each channel. It’s unlikely that your customers engage equally on each channel; everyone has one or two channels that they check more frequently than others.
In this case, we recommend segmenting your audience and tuning your message frequency to match their open frequency. Otherwise, you might end up sending too many emails to an audience that only checks their email once per week. Or you might end up annoying customers who opt into push notifications but don’t like to receive them every day.
#8: Check & Double-Check the Results
Monitoring how well something is doing and whether it works should be the last step of every marketing and promo campaign. Otherwise, you won’t know whether the money and resources spent will be returning to you as a profit.
Once you’ve run your automated marketing campaign for long enough, it’s time to look over the results and decide if there’s anything that should be changed. More often than not, this will be the case. Things change too quickly nowadays. Your campaign will need a lot of timely adjustments. Again, what you need here is the accurate data of the response you get from your target market to a particular aspect of your campign.
How this process works:
When analyzing campaign results, remember to look at not just the target metrics, but rather all metrics that were impacted by the campaign. Sometimes, campaigns have unforeseen consequences on metrics that you weren’t even monitoring.
For example, a push notification with clickbait copy might score a high open rate, but it might have a negative or neutral impact on your conversions inside the app. At first glance, this campaign might seem like a success, but in reality, it didn’t move the metrics that really matter.
The results of automated marketing campaigns are always unpredictable. That’s why whatever tool you use, the analytics dashboard should be displaying all statistically significant changes at the end of a campaign. And not just the ones you were monitoring. This helps marketers see the true impact of their campaigns, good or bad.
Setting Up an Automation Marketing Strategy
The easiest way to create automated marketing campaigns is with an integrated marketing platform that can give you lots of detailed information. Furthermore, the tool you select to create your automated message should give you lots of freedom, flexibility and options to work with. It should offer all the capabilities needed to deliver robust campaigns that keep your users active and engaged. After all, these are what have a direct impact on ROI.
If you’re looking to get started with mobile marketing automation, research and contact with whatever you decide on. Schedule a personalized demo if available to test things out first. Demo testing is a necessary step. It lets you see if a certain tool fits in with your business. A tool can seem amazing when you overview it but it may still not work for your niche. So don’t skip out on this step.
Don’t forget to monitor how well the tool you choose is working. Switch to a back up option or select a new one whenever you see a problem arising. Unless you create a marketing automation program yourself, you don’t have anything to lose by switching between options.
And that’s all for the eight useful tips and suggestions for setting up, using and monitoring your marketing automation. Today, operating any business without using some kind of an automation tool in at least one aspect of the business is next to impossible. So, hopefully the tips provided here can come in handy in case of your business niche, whether old or new, basic or unique.
If you have been using automation tools and found them useful, feel free to share your own tips in the comments section down blow. Drop a comment if you have any questions too, we’d be thrilled to help you out if we can.