Automated Marketing that Works: Why You Need The Machine
What Is Automated Marketing?
Built around a series of pre-determined actions, automated marketing runs on software that does exactly what the name suggests — automates your marketing. Let’s back up, though, to get a clearer picture.
Marketing is the art and science of spreading the word about your company and brand. The primary goal of a successful marketing plan is to increase the number of qualified leads to present to your sales department, thus increasing the bottom line. In some smaller companies, these two departments go hand-in-hand to provide the best information to the public.
Ideally, the members of your company’s sales department will have a personal relationship with the buyers of your products. That one-on-one connection is vital to keeping customers interested in your business and products and is much easier to maintain when your company is smaller. In short, personal relationships are crucial to the long-term growth of your company.
However, as your company grows, it becomes more challenging to maintain those relationships at the same level. Keeping track of every single point of contact, sending an email to every person who signs up for your email list and updating your Web site, blog, and social media pages all become more difficult as your business expands.
If someone signed up for your mailing list, for example, you needed to send at least one welcome email. When you posted your weekly blog, you probably need to send a broadcast email with this information to your mailing list and to share the post on social media. When there are one or two of these instances a week, completing these tasks is doable. As you expand your reach, however, you could be facing hundreds of separate, distinct actions each day, which leaves you with two options:
- Expand your marketing team by hiring specialists to perform these tasks; or
- Automate your marketing.
While it’s a difficult concept to explain, automated marketing is a branch of marketing and customer relationship management that uses software and Web platforms to do what marketers traditionally would have needed to do on an individual, case-by-case basis. Rather than spending hours upon hours checking items off your to-do list, only to do it all again the next day, marketing automation gives you a one-stop shop to schedule, segment, track and analyze marketing campaigns.
Automated marketing allows marketers to coordinate their efforts across several different platforms and types of mediums to enhance a prospect’s experience and encourage them to draw closer to your brand and further down the sales funnel. It is a fundamental component of content marketing, a style used to attract and retain long-term prospects because of your experience and expertise, rather than offering them a one-time encounter.
Automating your marketing allows you keep track of a client’s preferences, history, and interests – painting a picture of each person’s profile. Just because they’ve expressed interest in one branch of your company’s product offerings doesn’t mean they want to receive emails from an entirely separate department. Having this detailed information allows you to give your customers more relevant, timely information that flows harmoniously between touch points and platforms.
Picking Your Platform
The success of your marketing automation plan is contingent on finding the platform that focuses on your audience’s preferred communication style. Some platforms are designed around email while others place a high priority on social media.
When you are looking for a platform for your company, there are a few components that you need to take into consideration. Each will affect your platform’s overall performance, and ultimately, your bottom line.
- The platform’s dashboard
- What kind of functionalities does the system offer? You might have found a program that seems to work well, but when all the tools you need are buried under several layers of searches, the program isn’t practical for your needs.
- What integrations are available? If the system works with other programs you are already using, then you are ahead of the game. If not, you have to decide what you prefer; setting up an entirely new program that meshes well with the new marketing automation system, or seeking out another option for your marketing automation program.
- How many users are allowed to use the system? If you will have multiple departments, or multiple individuals within the same department, who need to use the system, consider the cost of adding users.
- Is the program highly responsive? To save time, it’s best to find a system that can automatically track a prospect’s actions and send pre-written content.
- The platform’s database
- How many segments does the platform allow you to create? You’ll have different interests and tiers of prospects; being able to track them is vital for a successful campaign.
- How does the system merge with your current customer relationship management software? A seamless integration will save you time and stress when searching for the last point of contact or activity taken by a prospect.
- Lead generation and scoring
- Since the primary purpose of automated marketing is to provide a user-friendly way to maintain long-term relationships with prospects, companies should seek a system that will record and detect prospect profiles and give users alerts.
- The automated marketing system should be able to group and score prospects across various areas, from location and industry to Web behavior and search requests.
- Content generation and management
- Social media: Finding a system that allows you to post on multiple networks from a central location will allow you to manage the various conversations surrounding your brand.
- Websites: A solid automated marketing platform will allow you to capture profiles and data from your Web site’s visitors by creating forms, landing pages and tracking their search habits.
- Email: A well-thought-out email campaign is the main ingredient in an effective content marketing plan, and your company needs to have an automated marketing program with an easy-to-use email program.
- The system’s reporting abilities
- Being able to keep track of your various campaigns and outcomes, pull data from the different integrations, and be accessed easily from both desktop and mobile devices can make a difference in your ability to manage your campaign.
Emails and the Machine
Once you’ve found your platform, you need to use it wisely. You may see some success and responses with an unplanned email, but creating a program and campaign based on each segment of prospects that specifically targets their areas of interest will bring you a greater response.
If you are familiar with DigitalMarketer.com or its co-founder Ryan Deiss than you may already be familiar with The Machine. Solutions 8 is a Digital Marketer Certified Partner and has been given the opportunity to deploy, utilize and customize the machine on behalf of our Clients. The tool is one of the most powerful facets of our marketing approach and is a proven model with thousands of customized implementations worldwide.
The Machine covers five crucial components of engaging a prospect:
- Indoctrinate: Teach email recipients who you are
This will be the first email your prospect receives – and each prospect will only receive it once. As soon as prospects sign up for your email program, they will get an email (or a sequence of emails) that clearly and concisely spells out what your company is all about.
Creating an indoctrination series can be a fantastic way to move prospects into an engagement email series. One popular way to do this is by inviting new prospects to let you know how they learned about your brand, why they signed up, what they hope to learn or accomplish, and what catches their attention about your company.
- Engage: Catch their attention and encourage them to buy
These emails are typically sent out when someone has filled out a contact form looking for more information about a specific package, product or program your company offers. Emails in this series often include free trials, coupons and offers to call or email for more information. Cart abandonment is a primary spark to send a prospect an engagement email series.
- Ascend: Make them want to buy even more
There are buyers who want the bare minimum. And then there are buyers who would gladly buy more if they were asked. Once you’ve acquired a buyer through an engagement email series, send them an ascension email. This offers them a chance to do or receive more: take their membership to the next level, sign up for an exclusive offer or do more. If your prospects don’t respond to the first ascension email, send them a series of emails with different messages until they take the next step and respond to your email.
- Segment: Learn more about them and what they might buy next
The segmentation series was designed to track what most interests your prospects and to show interest in some of your products by either opening, clicking or opting into something you offer.
Once your prospect has clicked on one of your offers, they are sent back into the engagement and ascension marketing series.
- Re-engage/Win Back: Bring them back.
It’s much easier to bring back a former customer than it is to find a new customer. Re-engagement is the quickest way to leverage your time and marketing efforts. Putting in an auto responder series that re-energizes subscribers who have stopped opening your emails will impact both your sales, and your overall email deliverability.
Each stage is contingent on what the prospect has done in the first stage. If they’ve not yet been indoctrinated — or learned about your company — how will they become engaged and interested in buying? You can’t segment your prospects if you know nothing about their purchase history or interests.
Putting each of these steps into play can take your email marketing from satisfying to overwhelmingly successful. Even a small list can see tremendous growth when you implement The Machine for your company.
Companies who are missing out on these actions, who don’t have The Machine, are missing out on opportunities to move their customers and prospects down their sales pipelines.
Even adding one stage of The Machine can enhance your email marketing’s effectiveness; incorporating all five will give you growth like you’ve never expected.
Building Your Own Machine
Each company has specific end goals. The Machine isn’t a one-size-fits-all program; instead, it’s a highly customizable system with six modules to build and maintain an effective email marketing program.
No time to write your own email code? Use one of The Machine’s 26 proven-to-work email campaigns. Included templates for each campaign work in any industry. Visit a private Machine members-only Facebook group that allows you to connect with other Machine owners.
We will work with you to produce and develop your company’s perfect Machine. Contact us to learn more about enacting The Machine in your business.