If you believe that automated marketing and email marketing automation are the same thing, you’re not alone. However, as you can see from the chart below, the use of marketing automation extends beyond email. Pulled from the pages of the Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report, this chart reveals the top six ways marketing automation is being used today:
Source: Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017 Report
Automated Marketing Techniques to Consider
Let’s take a closer look at each of these automated marketing techniques and how you might use them to promote your small business.
While automated marketing does extend beyond electronic mail, email marketing is by far the most popular use of marketing automation and the top digital marketing tactic used today. Much of this is due to the benefits of email marketing including more leads, higher conversions, and lower marketing costs.
Basic Profile Based Targeting
Profiles, for both your leads and customers, are the basis of the next four automated marketing techniques.
Targeting is the practice of focusing your marketing efforts on a specific group of people called a target market. Thanks to automated marketing tools, targeting, down to the individual level, is easier than ever, even across multiple channels such as email.
The power under the hood here is the profile. In recent years, marketing automation tools have gained the ability to learn a lot about your leads and customers from their behavior on channels including:
- Your website: the products they browse, put in their carts, and buy, the content they read, and where they come from (e.g. a specific social media platform); and
- Your emails: the emails they open and the links within those emails they click.
Based on these data points, you can hone your marketing efforts to a fine point by sending offers for the products and services in which they’ve implicitly expressed interest. In addition, you can use these profiles to target your customers using one of the four techniques below.
Personalization Using Dynamic Content
Whether on your website or via email, personalizing the experience is an effective way to market your products and services.
The best example of website personalization is Amazon’s recommendations. For each customer, they select the both genre and book recommendations based on your past purchase and browsing behavior. In the case of the image below, the customer buys a lot of science fiction and fantasy book and therefore, that’s what’s recommended to them for their next purchase:
When it comes to email marketing, the numbers show that segmenting your email list, sending different emails to different recipients based on their profile, is very effective.
Broadcast Timing Based on Location, Sign-Up Time, or Other Criteria
Timing is everything and then same is true for both email marketing and social media. If you don’t time your marketing messages correctly, there’s a good chance your email or social update will end up lost down in an inbox or social media stream respectively.
How do you know when to market? By using a customer’s profile which should contain all the clues you need including the time(s) they:
- Signed-up for your email marketing list;
- Most often visit your site and make purchases;
- Open your emails and click on the links inside.
In addition, make sure to account for a customer’s time zone when configuring your automated marketing. For example, if you want to hit folks with an email first thing in the morning, use time zone targeting to stagger the email broadcast.
Segmenting your marketing efforts, especially your email marketing lists, is an important step to take when growing your small business. While there are a number of common segments to consider, you can break up and target your efforts in many different ways including:
- Content topic or format; and
- Call-to-action clicks.
Every point of data you gather in a customer’s profile can be used to create an email segment. And use them you should – the more specific the segment, the more effective it will be.
Scoring your leads is an advanced form of segmentation, both for email marketing and beyond, that enables you to target the leads who are most likely to buy your products and services.
Many automated marketing systems include this feature which creates a lead score based on certain behaviors such as:
- Emails opened;
- Email links clicked;
- Site visited;
- Content viewed; and
- Products viewed, added to cart, and purchased.
Each time a behavior occurs, it demonstrates the engagement of the lead and, the lead’s score goes up.
6 Killer Ways to Use Automated Marketing for Your Small Business
From on-site targeting to personalization, and lead scoring, you can use automation to more effectively market your products and services to both leads and existing customers. This automation extends well beyond email marketing and is worth considering as your build your marketing arsenal.
Marketing Automation Photo via Shutterstock