Marketing automation software is quickly growing in popularity, but once adopted, many companies are not using it to it’s full potential, and thus are not achieving all of the results they could be. According to SiriusDecisons, only 15% of marketers who have marketing automation believe they are using it to “the fullest potential.”
Over the past few months, it has been my goal to help you avoid the common pitfalls and become part of the 15% of companies that are using marketing automation to it’s full potential. (Feel free to check out the previous posts about planning ahead and email deliverability).
One of the most powerful pieces of the marketing automation puzzle is automated programs (drip campaigns). Everyone who signs up for marketing automation thinks that they are going to utilize these automated campaigns to develop their leads and increase their sales…and they can, but they often don’t know where to start or what types of campaigns to put in place.
We’re here to help.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some sample automated programs that you can use to begin nurturing your leads. These programs are not one-size-fits-all, so they many not all apply to your specific situation, but they should at least get your wheels turning and get you thinking the right way about automated marketing programs.
Program 1: Nurture New Customers
One of the easiest ways to start with marketing automation is to set up a simple program that follows up with customers once they purchase your product or service. If you are a B2B company selling your services to another business, it probably makes sense to have a series of emails that welcomes the new client, sends some helpful tips and information, and then asks them to fill out a survey or provide a testimonial.
To set up a simple program like this, I would recommend the following:
Step 1: You must first have a list of clients that is accurately updated whenever new clients are added. Integrating with your CRM and pushing a list of all contacts at opportunities that have been won or all contacts at existing accounts is a good way to do this. As long as your sales team is updating the CRM when sales are made, then this will be an accurate list. Otherwise, you may need to add a new field to all of your contacts – a client checkbox – that you could mark whenever a contact becomes a client. Regardless, having good clean data in your list is going to be the most important part of an automated program like this.
Step 2: Use the list above as the source list for a new automated program. You may want to begin the program by waiting an appropriate amount of time. Depending on your business, there could be some lag time between when a contract is signed and when work actually commences. In other cases, it may be more immediate, but either way, you will likely want to wait until a weekday during business hours.
Step 3: The first email of the campaign will likely just be a welcome email, saying that you’re excited to begin working with them, and including any helpful contact info if they need assistance or if they need to reach you directly. Depending on how customized your CRM is, you could pull in names and information of your team members that are assigned to the project.
Step 4: Again, you will want to wait a while before sending further email. You don’t want to bombard a new client, but you do want them to know that you’re there for their needs. Again, the length of the wait step will depend on your business model.
Step 5: Once a new client has begun working with you or using your product, there are likely some common questions that come up. You could beat the client to them by proactively sending out a helpful email that addresses some of the common concerns that new clients typically have. Link them to some helpful blog posts or info on your website that they can access as well.
Step 6: Again, we wait. And again, the length of the wait will depend on the length of your engagement.
Step 7: Now that the customer has been working with you or using your product or service for a while, now might be a good time to ask for them to provide some feedback – via a survey or sending a testimonial. Or, this could also be a good time to propose an upsell offer. Is there an add-on product or service that you offer? If so, you could add that into the automated email, asking them to contact you if they are interested.
Step 8: At this point, you could optionally do a couple of things. You could check to see if the customer has filled out the survey you sent or clickedthrough on the upsell offer. And if so, maybe you send out one last email thanking them. And if they have not taken the desired action, you could send a reminder email.
That is about as far as I would take this program, without having more insight into your particular business model. For some companies, you could easily extend this logic out over the life of the product/service. You could send emails when it’s time to renew or purchase again, etc. So feel free to take this general structure and run with it. Below is what a program like this would look like in Act-On: