There are lots of seriously smart marketing automation systems available, including ones like Cognism that combine data sourcing with marketing automation technology in a way that really works for us at Genius Marketing.
But, much like many bits of marketing technology, they can’t do all the thinking for you. You need to apply smart strategy, clever copy and a generous handful of other good marketing practices to really get the best from any marketing automation system.
In this article I’ll look at five of the best ways you can get your marketing automation technology working harder for you today.
1. Write clever copy
Human to human
Marketing automation may replace much of the need for 1:1 emails in the B2B space, but that doesn’t mean our copy shouldn’t carry the same authentic touch of a real person’s voice. When we’re at our most effective, we’re not writing business to business, but human to human.
Too often, our own marketing strategies actually trip us up when we go to write copy. Think about the last time you planned out a marketing automation campaign. I’ll bet your headline statements focused on what the objective was i.e. what the email was supposed to achieve for you, the marketer.
When our plans are set out solely focused on our own business objectives, it can be easy to forget that we should be leading with what’s in for our customer, their needs, their priorities, not ours.
2. Think about your format
If your B2B marketing automation path is supposed to replace your traditional raft of introductory/lead generation email from your sales teams, then having something super polished and stuffed to the gunnels with HTML won’t help your cause at all. They look like mass mailings and are very likely to be ignored, no matter how much fancy design work you put in.
3. A/B test everything
One of my favourite little sayings is “the only way to know for sure is to know for sure” and what I mean by that is you can hypothesise and strategise to your heart’s content, but the only way to truly know whether you made the right decision is to run a proper test and prove it one way or the other.
Most marketing automation platforms make A/B testing a really simple process with no manual processing at all, so there’s really no excuse. Shortlist the 10 things you think are most likely to impact your marketing performance and test them one by one (remember only one variable per test or you’ll have no idea which change worked).
4. Think about the next step
An email is not an island and regardless of how amazing your copy is, it’s unlikely to close the deal by itself. So make sure you’ve planned out all the potential user journeys through your automation path, where are they going from that email? A landing page, a piece of content, a calendar to book a demo call?
Know what the next steps are and measure them against each other, both for initial effectiveness and on their effectiveness of moving leads through the sales funnel..
5. Go beyond email
Whilst email is always going to form the bread and butter of any automation path, there are other things you can weave in to boost the effectiveness of those emails.
Consider postal mail drops, phone calls, digital retargeting campaigns, sponsored content, anything you can think of to keep your brand front of mind during the consideration process. A nice tip I had from Cognism was to try connecting with my leads on LinkedIn during the automation path.
This short article only gives us the opportunity to look at a very few ways that you can improve your marketing automation, so whilst it is a good starting point, it’s not a comprehensive guide and you shouldn’t restrict yourself to these 5 areas when exploring how to optimise your paths.
Good luck with your marketing automation efforts, if you’d like to share your thoughts or discuss this topic in more detail, I’m open to hearing from you.