5 Marketing Automation Mistakes Are Hurting Your Campaigns (and it could be worse than you know)

Marketers often find it extremely difficult to be heard in the midst of the noise from millions of messages that their targeted audiences receive. In spite of that, many marketers make the mistake of basing their campaigns on guesswork rather than on solid data-backed strategies.

Sadly, that’s not the only mistake that marketers make, assuring that their marketing automation campaigns will stumble and fail instead of performing the way those were expected.

However, these and other marketing automation mistakes are avoidable – here is a list of common mistakes that marketers are most prone to and how they can avoid them.

1. Processing marketing automation campaigns without definite goals

Marketers who are triggering too many automated email messages and social media feeds instead of setting a specific goal are probably shooting in the dark with no goal to see. Instead first thing they need to do is to spend time to identify marketing and business objectives.

After defining goals, they need to assign those objectives to all the marketing efforts and campaigns, whether through email, social media, direct mail etc. That way, you can optimize your campaigns to business goals, and your campaigns will be more purpose-driven and valuable to your business.

Marketers need to define specific goals for different campaigns before they put together campaigns for automation.

2. Marketing automation campaigns do not meet business goals

Once you’ve defined your goals and objectives, you also need to identify the right metrics to measure campaign performance and success.

One of the major marketing automation difficulties occurs when marketers fail to track relevant and important performance indicators that measure the specific business goals.

Companies that limit themselves to traditional, all-too-generic performance metrics such as email opens, clicks etc, are missing out on the data needed to generate revenues. Generic metrics could yield some data about your users’ activities, but you need to zero in on more specific metrics that help measure if campaigns are meeting business objectives.

If your objective as a marketer involves contributing to the revenue generation of your company, then you should rather choose metrics to help measure the cost per program success, the cost per opportunity, the new names added per program, the pipeline to investment and the pipeline generated.

3. Campaigns are not based on behavioral data

Many more marketers will ignore the behavioral data of targeted audiences and customers. To avoid this mistake, marketers should base their email messages and campaigns on information gleaned from how their audience is engaging and acting with their previous, similar messages.

Marketers also need to check out other relevant behavioral data on which websites and pages prospects are visiting, how they are interacting with similar ads on social channels, search engines, emails and other channels they are using. Thus, marketers can increase odds of more email opens, click rates, responses and conversion rates.

Email open rates that are 50 percent higher, and conversion rates that are 350 percent higher, resulted from targeted emails that are based on users’ behavioral data on their interactions with web sites and pages, according to analysis by The Relevancy Group.

That’s why marketers need to use listening tools to monitor their behaviors, interactions with web pages, where they click and navigating, emails messages they are opening, and links embedded in emails they are clicking and not – and based on these data points, they need to create a scoring model to measure users’ areas of interests and create campaigns with relevant and valuable offers.

4. Email lists are not segmented

If you are only using a marketing automation platform to blast off emails without doing segmentation of your email lists, your emails will attract more unsubscriptions than engagement.

That’s why it is important to first categorize your email list database and then to customize your marketing campaigns before you automate them. If your emails and offers are not useful to your subscribers and prospects, they might shift to your competitors and you will end up losing leads eventually.

To avoid this mistake, you need to create lead nurturing strategies that are optimized to the specific people who are going to receive your mails.

According to Direct Marketing Association, only 42 percent marketers are doing the right kind of segmentation and sending relevant messages to the segmented contacts. If you do not want to be among the 58% and lose customers, start segmenting your email database today!

5. Running campaigns on wrong channels

Marketers also need to focus on the right channels to circulate their campaigns where their buyers are most active. Customers often make spontaneous momentary choices on which channels based on those that are fitting their requirements or to complete a specific task at hand.

That’s why marketers need to consider more than one channel, and they need to distribute promotions across the multiple channels that their targeted customers mostly use. They must identify how their prospects want to engage and interact with content on their preferred channels.

Multi-channel marketing automation campaigns will increase the opportunities for reach and engagement with target buyers. A majority of young buyers now prefer consuming content, engaging with content and completing purchases on their mobile devices whereas older buyers prefer direct mails or emails to engage with promotions – That’s just one reason why you need to choose the targeted channels according to your targeted customers’ preferences.

What’s the biggest challenge and pitfall you face in running your marketing automation campaigns and gaining success in your campaigns? If you need professional assistance and tips to run your marketing automation campaign, connect with us via (408) 502 6765 or our social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

What is GDPR and How Will It Help Marketers Build Customers’ Trust?

Marketers commonly assume and build their campaigns based on the ‘more is better’ notion and they end up sending more emails, more invitations and event registrations to achieve greater re-targeting goals. However, engaging and winning customers’ trust takes on offering utmost personalized experiences based on their needs and respecting their preferred mode of use of their personal data. That’s why GDPR is devised – to end unethical data use practices which damage the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns.

Contrary to common belief, marketers should not consider GDPR as a hindrance, rather an opportunity to ascertain their marketing efforts will live up to customers’ expectations with ethical and personalized experience based on their preferences. With the implementation of this GDPR legislation, marketers can evaluate their present data management practices and market their products better. So, what is GDPR, actually?

What is GDPR?

May 25th, 2018 onwards, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, based on the European Union’s (EU) new data protection framework, will take effect as the most important piece of data protection legislation. It will control organizations which use European Union (EU) resident customers’ personal data for marketing and selling products and services. The legislation will also hold rights to control marketers’ practices of tracking and web browsing behavior of EU residents. Implementing GDPR will help ensure fortifying EU residents’ rights to their data privacy wherein stringent policies will improve customers’ rights on personal data, limit processing of personal data, and will enhance transparency in using their personal data.

The term ‘personal data’ in accordance with GDPR means the set of data that will relate to the specific or identifiable person. For this, the GDPR aims at reinforcing rights to personal data of EU residents in how it can be protected and utilized. GDPR is being devised based on six major principles:

  1. Transparency in how and in which the personal data needs to be utilized.
  2. The personal data must be used only in the purpose for which the data got collected and was mentioned to the customers.
  3. Reducing the procedure of collecting personal data right to the necessary steps that are required for the purpose as specified to customers.
  4. To ascertain the accuracy of the data collected.
  5. To check and avoid unauthorized collection or use of data and loss of the data by deploying necessary data security procedures.
  6. Limiting the practices of storing customers’ personal data strictly to necessary purpose.

Furthermore, a new accountability is now required to show how compliance will be implemented, managed and monitored. This will also demonstrate and protect how and why personal records get collected and used.

Now the question is – to whom will this GDPR legislation be applicable?

The GDPR legislation will be applicable to all organizations marketing products or services as well as monitoring web browsing behaviors of EU residents – whether these organizations are operating within or outside the European Union.

In a nutshell, if your business is marketing to and using personal data of Europeans, then this GDPR legislation is applicable to you. Moreover, if your business fails to comply with the legislation, then large penalties are to be borne by your organization which can be as much as 4% of your annual worldwide turnover or €20 million, whichever will be greater.

How to get consent from EU customers under GDPR?

The term ‘Consent’ under the GDPR means -

“which is freely given, whether specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her”.

There will be ‘affirmative action’ to help collect customers’ consent specific to the purpose for which the data is getting collected and used before marketers will process the same data as well as respecting and protecting customers’ preferences. Also, in terms of customer preferences, which may vary at times, this also can be regulated by GDPR which will state organizations must enable their customers to make changes in their choices and even withdraw their consent, as and when they want to. All organizations will require auditing, evaluating, and identifying all existing data points wherein they are collecting personal records for marketing pursuits.

After GDPR implementation, all marketers are required to provide links or references to online privacy policy and statement in their online forms which they use for collecting data. The references will inform customers of:

  • Purposes in which the data will be intended to be processed
  • Tenure for which the records can be stored
  • Criteria that can be set in order to regulate the period
  • Legal grounds of processing personal records collected
  • Contact details of data controller and representative in EU
  • Type of recipients who will receive the data when distributed
  • Details on international transfers of data
  • Detailed information on customers’ rights to restrict the processing of their personal data
  • Customers’ rights to revoke consent to process data
  • Customers’ rights to get authority for supervision
  • If there is a contractual or statutory requirement in terms of provision of data and if customers are obligated to furnish their records.
  • Probable consequences when customers fail to provide any specific data
  • The requirement of automated decision-making, consequences of processing for the data subject and significant information about the rationale behind it.

How Marketo will help your campaigns comply with GDPR?

Marketo will help marketers comply with the General Data Protection Regulation legislation by enabling them to incorporate a ‘Consent Field’ to every form which will be intended to collect personal data of EU residents. Lead Fields which will be required to document customers’ consent include:

  • Consent to Processing
  • “Consent Last Updated”
  • “Consent Notes” (which states purposes for which the data will be processed as well as information on past records of consent given should be documented here)

Do you need in-depth information on General Data Protection Regulation and how to implement the legislation in your marketing campaigns? You can simply get in touch with us with your GDPR queries at (408) 502 6765 or via services@ShowMeLeads.com. Additionally, you can check out latest updates on our social pages Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

5 Golden Rules to Make the Most of Marketo Landing Pages

The beauty of Marketo landing pages is that a new lesson follows with creating a new page each time owing to a plethora of factors to consider, choices to make, and tools to take into account in the process.  Marketo has launched a host of new features and functionalities to its landing page program. What follows are five of the best practices we have followed through years of providing landing page design services for our clients.

1. Which Marketo landing page?

The marketer can choose from three types of landing page options with Marketo:

a. Marketo-Hosted Pages with Marketo-Hosted Forms –

This is one of the best options we recommend to most of our clients based on their marketing objectives, primarily for the ease of use, both in getting started and in maintaining the page. Moreover, these landing pages are easy to repeat and clone with scopes for optimization too.

Another reason why this page is highly recommended is because marketers do not need any support from IT or developer specialists in the ongoing process of maintaining these pages. Another great perk of selecting Marketo-hosted pages with Marketo-hosted forms is that these pages, being dynamic in nature, can vary depending upon whom is the targeted audience visiting the page.

On top of that, the Marketo form associated with the Marketo page can incorporate progressive profiling of the form and social marketing features to improve relations with leads and buyers.

b. Own Website Pages/CMS with Marketo Hosted Forms

For clients who want to maintain the consistency in all of their webpage assets from websites to landing pages, we suggest that they use this configuration for their Marketo landing pages – Marketo hosted forms with their own webpages and CMS. Marketers just need to get the form code, and position it anywhere in the page they want.

One drawback of this option is the clients’ limited accessibility to Marketo’s features and functionalities (except major functionalities) and loss of efficiency to some extent. However, many companies embrace these limitations in order to ensure that website changes are included in their main framework of their website CMS.

c. Custom landing pages

Though this ‘Something Else’ option brings adequate opportunities for customization by incorporating custom coding, it also takes in a considerable amount of campaign time and professional support for creating these pages.  If the client wants to make posts on Marketo and some other system, then this Marketo landing page option fits their needs perfectly. However, many times, marketers need to depend on developers and their coding services, which may not turn out as planned by marketers.

2. Landing page templates

After you have chosen the right type of Marketo landing page, you need to decide on the right template. There are two types of Marketo landing page template options you can choose from – the guided landing page or responsive landing page template and free-form templates. The free-form templates come with a drag and drop page editor, whereas the guided/responsive template provides an editor with full-fledged customization options.

3. Get more information from pages

We recommend that our clients leverage hidden fields with their Marketo landing pages, to be able to capture more details on your prospects and leads. Marketo allows capturing various landing pages, more than most users are aware of,  including web ads they have clicked to enter the page, key phrases used by visitors while entering the landing page, the search engine where they found your landing page among others. Users can make use of the ‘Click Paths’ option to trace information on these areas as well as the industry they deal in by adding some list of suggested industry names they can click as a navigation. When they click on those specific industries, you can redirect your users to a more personalized landing page for them with the kinds of deals and details they want.

4. Content for landing pages

By content we mean both the textual and the visual content to be used in Marketo landing pages. While graphics or visual content works in enticing your targeted audience, textual content plays a significant role in keeping your leads and prospects engaged with the right information, message, tips on usability of the products or services and personalized offers.

Remember that graphics attract users more to click any link – so make the graphics hyperlinked and add a brief description or image caption to describe the usefulness of the graphic. If you are offering an ebook, whitepaper or case study to download from the landing page, make sure you take the screenshot of the cover page of the gated content that you are offering for download. That way, your visitors will be able to see what the content is about.

At the same time, you should provide enough detail about the content to be downloaded, preferably in bullet points. The more your landing page content can be easily scanned, the more you will be able to give away the copies – webpage visitors have shorter span of attention, the faster they can comprehend the benefits of downloading your content, the faster decision they make. You can also associate the textual content with short video to ease them into consuming your content.

5. Landing page testing

Testing your Marketo landing page is a must, but remember you do not need to spend too much of your resources in testing too much. The main areas where you need to emphasize for testing Marketo landing pages are captions for graphic elements, main headline of the page that serves as the preface of the page to generate interest of visitors, as well as other essential elements such as image size and loading time, form length, call-to-action (CTA) button. Take the test once a week while keeping tabs on the number of conversions that are being generated from the landing page every week.

Do you find these tips useful? In case you need professional support for Marketo landing page creation and optimization, then get in touch with our professionals at  (408) 502 6765 or by sharing your requirement below or through our social channels – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Demand Generation vs. ABM – 4 Ways Account-Based Marketing Differs from Demand/Lead Generation

Many businesses work hard to generate and engage larger and larger volumes of leads. This kind of marketing strategy is known simply as lead generation or demand generation. However, this “quantity-driven” methodology has downsides too. The large number of leads does not necessarily translate into what you might call “high-quality” leads.

More, organizations that are targeting revenues of six or seven figures might not succeed while practicing this type of demand generation strategy. However, they can target the high-value clients instead of a large quantity of leads, and in that way, they can generate a greater ROI. And this methodology of focusing on high-value clients instead of on a large volume of leads is known as an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy.

So, how does account-based marketing or ABM differs from demand generation or lead generation? Should you switch your lead generation marketing efforts to account-based marketing approaches?

Here is how you can understand the differences between the two and how to choose the right strategy for your business.

1. Selecting the right accounts (ABM) or generalizing industries (demand generation)

While demand generation approaches require identifying and focusing on specific industries or locations to generate leads, ABM requires marketers to identify specific “accounts” or companies. Although the process of identifying accounts can be more time consuming than the process of generating leads, the account selection process is more effective in landing high-value accounts.

In order to select the right accounts, marketers need to trace previous companies they have worked with and focus on the similar kind of companies in industries which conform to the business profile.

In this phase, companies combine insights and resources from both sales and marketing processes and create a common worksheet, to incorporate the data collected from both processes. Afterwards, marketers can also use predictive analysis data to determine if the targeted companies will provide the right fit.

Sales and marketing teams can collect resources and information to create a list that can help your teams in creating personalized and relevant solutions for target account companies.

2. Key contacts of target accounts (ABM) or no specific type of contacts (demand generation)

With account-based marketing approaches, marketers can zero in on key contacts of their targeted account, instead of chasing a large number contacts with no real unifying factor.

On average, the buying decisions made by large enterprises involve about 17 key decision players. The more marketers can connect and engage with key contacts from target account companies, the better the conversion opportunities they can create to pass on to the sales funnel.

ABM enables marketers to dedicate their efforts to identify these key decision-making contacts within specific high-value accounts they target. In that way, they can provide greater revenue-driven, better quality contacts and accounts to the sales funnel, more customized and more interested in your products, services, or offers.

Finding key contacts across different levels of various teams and functions is crucial in engaging with the right people at the right time, and in order to be able to personalize messages to those decision makers. So, it is also important to find out the ranks and responsibilities of each of those and engaging as many decision makers in an account company to promote your product or service within the organization.

The best and most effective methods of identifying key decision maker contacts are:

  • Look for heads of departments through the LinkedIn page of the company

  • Next, look for those targeted decision makers using tools such as, discover.org or Email Hunter to get contact details including address, phone numbers, email addresses, roles and responsibilities in that company.

  • Focus the promotional activities of the company on upcoming events and speakers at those webinars and events, authors at blogs and gated content published on their websites.

  • Marketers can also rely on third-party company intelligence vendors to find key decision making personnel at the target account company.

3. Discovering useful Insights on contacts (ABM) or presuming buyers’ preferences (demand generation)

Since account-based marketing approaches are focused on specific accounts and contacts, marketers need to invest a considerable amount of time and effort in doing the research needed to personalize content, offers and messages for the targeted decision makers. While demand generation strategies may require focusing on a marketer’s own agenda, such as generating leads, marketers who work in ABM need to focus on targeted accounts.

Collecting insights on targeted accounts will equip marketers with information for creating content and messages that will be relevant to key contacts and target account companies. With relevant and personalized content, targeted contacts will be more interested to open, engage and interact with marketers’ messages, content, offers, products or overall communications. That’s why marketers need to get a standard set of contact details and insights on their online behavior for as many of these contacts as is possible, including:

  • Job descriptions, responsibilities, specific choices and needs, objectives of all key decision makers and purchasing team players

  • Latest trends, updates and news regarding the industry and market of the targeted companies

  • Areas of scopes and limitations for purchases with the target account

  • Interpersonal relations and cultures among members of the decision making team and how they interact with one another

  • Connections that your company has already built with the target account company

Marketers can also collect insights by focusing on the blog posts, announcements, other business communications, and social media updates from their target accounts, in addition to personal interactions with key contacts. Your sales reps can connect with those key contacts by attending various events, conferences, seminars, meetups, and networking events, etc. In addition to social media pages, profiles and events, ABM marketers can also run online surveys to collect important insights about contacts and accounts.

4. Personalized Content (ABM) or generic, one-size-fits-all information (demand generation)

Creating high-quality, unique content and offers should be the top priority of marketers; however, ABM approaches require creating the kind of personalized content that will address the particular needs of key decision makers. Such personalized content will help companies to improve their engagement as well as show their own content to be the most relevant, and definitely a cut above the competition targeting the same account company.

These are some simple and effective techniques to personalize content and speed up purchase decisions:

  • Create titles or subtitles which will be targeted to the contacts

  • Create or incorporate case studies which match the industry or market of the target companies

  • Include images which will attract and engage the target company

  • Modify the introduction, key points or conclusion of existing content to personalize for the target accounts.

  • Create, clone or tweak an existing landing pages as per industry or market of the target company.

  • Craft simulations for the type of solutions that are required by the target account.

  • Create personalized reports for the target company.

  • Personalize content which will address to particular needs, limitations, problems and scopes of resolving those issues.

Are you planning to transform your marketing efforts from demand generation or lead generation to an account-based marketing approach? If you are looking for the best practices to start ABM campaigns, identify target accounts or conduct ABM programs to win high-value account companies, start by discussing business objectives with an experienced ABM specialists at (408) 502 6765 or DM us via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn social channels.