Why Upgrade to Marketing Automation?

Where do exactly email service providers fall short? Where do marketers need to upgrade to a more robust marketing platform? We have outlined some of the factors that may require you to upgrade to marketing automation.

What makes an email marketing campaign most engaging?

 

There are five factors that determine engagement level of email marketing campaigns and successful – these include:

1. Email must be made a credible communication:

Your email communications must be able to meet your subscribers’ expectations and relate their with your products/services – and consistency is the key in meeting subscribers’ needs and preferences.

2. Relevant communications

Only relevant email marketing campaigns will keep your audience hooked to your mails and increase their interest to open mails every time you trigger. So you need to inevitably deliver the right message or content, at the right time, to right audience, tailored to their interests.

3. More conversational, less promotional

Conversational email messages entice and engage customers more than batch and blast email marketing campaigns. Conversational messages strike a chord with the targeted prospects and buyers who find these emails more personalized and less promotional. That’s why marketers need to build their campaigns around the kind of conversational, personalized engagement programs than the typical kinds of batch and blast campaigns that email service providers (ESPs) and vendors offer. These lack the functionalities to enable marketers to initiate one-to-one communication. Though ESPs allow customization, two-way communications with consumers are not easy (and frequently not enabled) with these email marketing services.

4. Multi-channel communication

Make sure your emails are not standalone assets but, well-synced to other channels of communications, such as landing pages, web ads, social channels, banner ads and other channels and other mode of your interactions with your prospects and buyers. With prospects and buyers exploring diverse channels to seek information before they make a purchase, marketers also need to integrate cross-channel interactions with their email communications – traditional email service providers enable only a small level of integration with social channels, but all fail to integrate comprehensive cross-channel marketing communications.

5. In-depth insights

Make sure you have the right metrics in place to monitor and measure performance and effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. Many email service providers tie their comprehensive analytics and measurable metrics to expensive packages that most marketers cannot make use of these must-haves of email campaign musts.

On the other hand …

There are other reasons why vendors fail to create engaging email campaigns include their failure to deliver relevant solutions. Though ESPs may take into account the demographics of your targeted audience, they often overlook buyers’ behaviors and actions when they engage with information, any site or any offline sources. In that way, email service providers fail to connect, engage and establish relations with either new or existing customers.

This lack of automation functionalities is another limitation of email service providers which lead marketers to upgrade to email marketing automation platform. For example, for an event follow-up campaign with email service providers, you need to create two different campaigns, subscribers who attended and who have not attended by manually gathering information, since ESPs do not accumulate such data and send two different mails for both types of subscribers.

With so much valuable time wasted, why not repurpose it and use it to create fresh new strategies and content to engage those who have not attended your events?

So, what do you get with marketing automation?

Marketing automation platforms enable different types of email marketing campaigns, whether batch and blast, personalized campaigns, or real-time campaigns. The wide range of email marketing functionalities of marketing automation that ESPs do not offer include online forms, behavior tracking, social marketing, customer retention, landing pages, event management, campaign management, analytics, CRM integration, cross-selling and upselling, lead generation, lead scoring, lead management, relationship marketing and many more.

Additionally, marketing automation saves time and resources with automated and timely delivery by cutting down manual processes. The improved customer engagement combined with relevant content and messaging really helps accelerate revenue growth.

Need more reasons why upgrade to marketing automation from email service providers?

Here are four reasons:

1. Behavioral Targeting:

Behavioral Targeting is a must, to conduct more relevant email marketing campaigns. Marketing automation enables marketers to segment audience by building behavioral lists. These lists can incorporate data on demographics, browsing activities, history of social sharing, online purchase and transactional among others.

2. Customer relation boosting conversation:

Marketing automation lets marketers track where each prospect and buyer stands in the relationship with the business and lets them send relevant messages to their customers based on that analysis. In this way, marketers can optimize their conversations, which can last through stages of buying cycle and after purchase.

3. Comprehensive analytics:

Strategic and comprehensive analytics with marketing automation provides in-depth analysis of effectiveness of the campaign and scope of revenue growth from campaigns. This email marketing platform brings much more than open rates, bounce rates and click through rates to present essential tools that help understand marketers’ needs to measure engagement, scope of purchase, retention and various revenue metrics to measure the goal of the campaign.

4. Cross-channel Campaigns:

The cross-channel campaign functionalities of marketing automation platforms enable marketers to trace their prospects and buyers across various channels of digital marketing as they hop from one to another, in search of information. This email marketing allows companies to monitor their customers’ behaviors and activities on different channels and optimize campaigns according to the demographics, behavior, transaction history, social media usage, mobile usage, responses to ads and many others.

Additionally, a marketing automation platform puts its users many steps ahead of those who rely on simple email service providers by presenting a comprehensive lead management tools to score, nurture, manage and convert their leads into buyers. So, if you are stuck with your email service providers, you can lose your business to competitors who have already upgraded to abmarketing automation platform.

Are you thinking of upgrading to marketing automation? We can help you to assess your needs, and to assess what type of marketing automation program might work best for you. Call us at (408) 502 6765 or contact us via our social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Ultimate Guide to Guard Your Campaigns from the Dreadful “Oops” Email Mistakes

By now, we know that email marketing is here to stay, and it will continue to contribute to the nurturing of your prospects, your customers, and profits for your business. However, email marketing campaigns could be extremely susceptible to flaws and failures. That’s why we put our clients’ email marketing programs on high alert to steer clear of common email mistakes. Sadly, some email mistakes are extremely deadly: they can cost the sender’s reputation while wasting resources and a portion of the marketing budget. However, no matter how common and dreaded are these, all email marketing mistakes are avoidable with proper planning and strategic execution.

Here are some of the most common email mistakes and how these can impact your business –

1. No ‘Unsubscribe’ button

Do you worry that a bold and visible “Unsubscribe” button may encourage your subscribers to back off from your email marketing campaign? The truth is the absence of one can harm your email program more, as recipients who are not willing to receive communications may simply report your email as spam! However, with a button strategically placed with the right call-to-action (CTA), your subscribers will feel no compulsion to continue receive your content and offers, knowing that they can leave and return whenever they wish to. Moreover, you can use an “Unsubscribe” page linked to the button, which you can use to get feedback on the reason a recipient might wish to exit from  your list. This information will enable you to personalize emails more efficiently based on the data.

2. Not testing emails sufficiently

A/B testing is never an option but a necessity. We remind email marketers repeatedly to do this, no matter how pushed they are by the schedule. Many marketers may also mistake not testing their emails enough simply because they reveal the skeleton in the closet! Wouldn’t that be more fearful when emails will fail to perform as intended and show negative results? There are many areas that play the most essential parts of email marketing programs to be periodically tested. Open rates, hyperlinks and link texts, bounce rates, CTA, subject lines should be the top priorities amongst those.

3. No apology emails

Seeking apology will not put your sender’s position in jeopardy, whereas not sending one may tarnish your reputation. With an apology email, you can reduce the risk of repelling your prospects and customers on the event of mistakenly sending an incorrect, unpleasant or duplicate offer or information. These mails come exceptionally handy to clear the air in case you have sent an invalid or repeat the same offer to same customers, or present inaccurate information or insights, rub their sentiment wrongly – sending an apology email even before they spot the mistake will work a great deal in mending the mistake. So, do not skip these quick fixes of accidental email mistakes.

There are many more severe mistakes email marketers commit and make their campaign doomed to failure, and you may be making them too! Learn how every minor (you thought!) email mistake negatively impacts your campaign and reputation, and to what extent – and the best practices experts recommend to guard your campaign against them. Join in and hear our email experts sharing their best practice. Put your doubts to bed by joining us for

Our next webinar: Preventing the Dreaded “Oops Email” — All You Need to Know!

Date: Thursday, September 07, 2017

Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am PST / 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm EST

Register now and save your spot:

http://pages.showmeleads.com/Preventing-the-Dreaded-Oops-Email.html            

 

4 Tricks to Improve Personalization Leveraging Direct Mail on Marketo

Many marketers consider direct mail to be an opportunity to enhance the performance and personalization of campaigns and to build trust. The Marketo automation platform gives marketers the ideal playground for that. With Marketo, they can automate the direct mail process with educational, informative, product updates, promotional, and many other different types of content. They can also add call-to-action phrases to their intended content to encourage recipients to register for a product demo, a meeting or a product query. The Marketo platform has plenty of features that facilitate sending automated direct mail campaigns to improve customers reach and influence purchase decision. But if you wonder how you can achieve all these objectives with email campaigns, then why allocate marketing budget for direct mail?

Why direct mail in an age of email?

Direct mail impacts engagement programs in a variety of ways –

  1. Recipients tend to keep good looking cards and direct mail pieces, such as catalogs, gifts, or other items. They often may choose to display items or even share with their friends and family. Thus, direct mail presents better opportunities for engagement with the brand.

  2. Physical coupons and gift cards with call-to-action in direct mail impact more in fetching customers to the store, thus, speeding up the purchases.

  3. Direct mail delivers newsletters, cards and offers straight to the recipients and get noticed, engaged, interacted or take desired actions with your mails. Prospects find direct mails less intrusive and easier to engage with than electronic mails.

  4. Direct mails can be synced with any online campaigns – these can be automated, aligned with email, social and other online campaigns and optimized based on insights collected from previous purchases.

  5. Direct mails make customers feel more valued and connect emotionally thus, making subscribers more charged up and responsive to communications.

Furthermore, many people not only want to open and engage with direct mail pieces, but many also want to receive direct mail more than email. About 70 percent direct mail recipients have expressed their interests in discerning content in their direct mail, while 74 percent recipients have shared that they noticed ads in direct mail more than any other online campaigns.

Now the question is – how to create direct mail campaigns that will improve engagement and responses with campaigns?

We recommend these four effective tips to boost the direct mail marketing efforts using Marketo:

1. Create the Program for the direct mail

First things first: create a Marketo program by adding multiple assets to support direct mail programs. We suggest creating following assets for direct mail programs:

  1. First, you need to create ‘Members’ for subscribers who request direct mail by filling out forms. This asset will also include those who are expecting and interested in company’s direct mail programs.

  2. Next, create a campaign to queue direct mails and ensure that they are automated with the right list of people.

  3. Create another campaign to track all these direct mails sent. As well, you need to set the campaign so that status is updated as soon as the physical mail items are sent.

  4. Create this campaign to track all direct mails that are successful. Here you can monitor the mail pieces received by subscribers.

  5. After you have set up campaigns for automating and tracking received mails, you need another campaign to monitor recipients who are responding to your direct mails. Track recipients who are taking the actions guided by the call-to-action phrases in mail pieces.

  6. Create a trigger campaign to trace those recipients who have proceeded to the funnel after receiving and responding to direct mails.

2. Identify people who can be mailed (who are not)

After creating campaigns, next thing to focus on is to define the list of people to trigger the direct mails. Because most companies and marketers will focus on email marketing campaigns, direct mail processes are not something they are familiar with. In this direct mail process, marketers need to make suppression lists for subscribers listed with invalid/incomplete/inaccurate email addresses. In order to ward off people with bad physical addresses, marketers can create a segment which will filter those people who should not be sent emails. Marketers who find segmentation difficult to handle, can opt for creating Smart List with Marketo to eliminate people with bad or wrong physical addresses.

3. Time to evaluate the nurture process in place

After you have zeroed in on the people to target, created the Smart Lists, segmentation, and assets, assess the nurture engagement program to decide where this direct mail program fits.

Now go into your nurture engagement stream and figure out when the direct mail should become part of your prospect’s nurture journey. This example leverages programs within nurture engagement programs, as many organizations do. In this example, PFL chose to make the direct mail the fifth piece of content.

Don’t worry, you can also send direct mail as part of standard Marketo flow steps if you aren’t using engagement streams.

4. Develop the Direct Mail Program

The most important element for creating direct mail programs in Marketo involves automating and queueing the program. You can line up multiple direct mails for lead nurturing program instead of just one current mail. The Queued email campaign allows sending an email and automating the direct mail in the proper intervals between email and other online campaigns. You can set email campaigns that will collect information on delivery of the package which may ask recipients such as, “Have you received the package? Tell us if you liked the surprise in the package” or contain similar other messages to generate interests of subscribers and also prompt them to receive and open direct mail packages.

In that way, you can create a combination of direct mail, email and other online campaigns as part of an evergreen nurture stream.

Do you need expert help creating direct mail campaigns using Marketo? Get best practices and make the most of your direct mail efforts. Contact our Marketo Certified Professionals at (408) 502 6765 or via social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

We’d love to hear from you – kindly drop your query or tips on your Marketo nurturing program below in the comment box.

 

7 Ways to Build, Scale & Deliver High Quality Marketo Engagement Programs

Marketo provides a great platform that enables marketers and companies to build complex marketing programs that scale. The platform lets users add new content, assets, programs and other components after Marketo is set up. In that way, with Marketo it is really easy to create engagement programs – with some things to consider to get your programs grow and escalate above the rest.

Here are four ways to ensure the growth of your marketing programs with Marketo and escalate your Marketo engagement program:

Building Marketo Programs

1. Collect Insights

If you are not sure how and where to start, it is best to start thinking about your Marketo program by looking for similar marketing programs that are working well and are generating the kinds of results you want to see. Look for areas where you think those programs can be improved such as, abnormal response rates, pipeline attribution or subjective opinion among others. These insights will give you the appropriate data to generate ideas about how you can improve your engagement program and nurture your audience better with your program.

Marketo has discovered a number of ways to promote events and programs, and they’ve gained new insights that make events more engaging. In just one insight, they’ve learned that many virtual event attendees prefer subtitles to engage and absorb information from events. More, Marketo suggests that virtual events are highly interactive and help interacting with prospects, sponsors, and these events also enable marketers to engage their target audience by offering them the ability to download event content, choosing different event sessions, and even by offering them prizes for attending events. Marketers can also use other methods, such as interviews with customers and prospects and internal people, and they can also use periodic reports and others to gain valuable insights.

2. Coordinate with cross-functional teams

The primary difference between small programs and larger, more complex programs is that the larger ones require more coordination and alignment between cross-functional teams. The better marketers are able to coordinate with other teams and use insights from cross-functional teams, the better the results they can create with their programs. By aligning with sales teams, marketers can leverage insights and information from sales reps, and sales reps can gain additional information from the vast resources that Marketo provides, e.g., reports, events etc. — all information that they can use to be more effective salespeople.

Conversely, marketers can better understand their sales teams’ requirements and incorporate those requirements into strategies to improve sales funnel. Then, sales teams can assess those strategies, and collectively, sales and marketing can better align themselves, and in that way they can better align themselves to reach sales and revenue objectives. Thus, collaboration and coordination are the keys to adopt the right Marketo strategies and achieving ROI. Companies can

This kind of cross-pollenization can be used not only with sales teams. Companies can and should also consider other teams and departments for cross-functional team alignment, including customer service teams, business or sales development, customer success, and other teams that can contribute in scaling Marketo programs.

3. Plan Marketo program: take a step back

Companies setting big business goals need to take a step back and evaluate their strategies to understand how to attain their desired goals. However, many companies fail to understand the importance of this step, rather, move forward quickly in order to avoid the time it takes. For example, if you are couple of targeting thousands of people to attend your virtual event, you need to vest in considerable amount of time to brainstorm and weigh your plan to achieve a particular goal. Throughout this process of brainstorming and assessment, your marketing team will come up with a number of effective plans will lead your company to achieve goals you take.

For example, initially you may assume your emails may get you registration from 100 subscribers, but in reality, you get only 10 people to register for your event. In this case, you need to think backwards and rethink and measure effectiveness of your marketing strategies to estimate the right ratio of the number of people you send emails and the number of people actually register for the program. That way, you can set well-measured goals and more functional strategies to chase the number you set.

4. Deploy the right resources

It takes the right pool of talents and resources to pull off the marketing goal you set. No matter whether your team is great in conceiving plans, you need to have the most efficient team players and adequate funds at your disposal to carry out the plan without stumbling in the middle. Getting resources requires discussing with stakeholders and persuading them to provide the resources you need for achieving the set marketing goals. That’s why you need to organize a thoroughly thought out Marketo plan to correctly estimate the right marketing budget and allocation of funds for your business goal.

For this, you need to measure all the aspects of a program by evaluating similar programs you have built previously, and compare those with how those programs performed with that same marketing budget and resources. Factors that companies should measure and analyze can be number of marketing qualified leads, prospects in sales pipeline, attendance rate, cost  of new customer acquisition, new properties such as, names, logos, among others.

Scaling Marketo Programs

Here are few ways we suggest that marketing teams can scale and execute quality Marketo campaigns and boost ROI from those campaigns:

5. Scale cloned content

Expert marketing team players have proficiency of cloning programs along with content and campaign workflow. They spend considerable amount of time in adopting best practices of working with email templates and layouts, content, landing page and any asset to achieve marketing goals within shorter span of time. Marketo enables marketers to save their time in replicating designs in all marketing materials by presenting them with tools to make small changes to templates before execution and scale the performance of programs. That’s why they can simply clone an entire program and change properties such as, location, banners, speakers, date and time as planned for the event from a central location. By modifying and populating schedules and assets of the event, marketers can see remarkable improvements as they iterate variations of events.

6. Scale Marketo campaigns

Evaluating a campaign management process will help your marketing teams spot their flaws and where they can go wrong and mitigate the performance of the campaign. With Marketo’s marketing automation platform, marketers who don’t have design or technical knowledge can make tweaks to the campaigns, programs, visual and textual content which meet company’s requirements. They do not need to create a new template for email and engagement campaigns, instead they can create small, user-friendly templates that can be used and edited by any marketing player without technical or email designing skills. Thus, you can simplify your marketing campaign process and give adequate free time for your designing team for email optimization and email deliverability.

The Marketo platform also enables its users with content rules and pre-designed layouts for all types of campaigns. Thus, marketers can achieve timely execution by saving time in designing and yet, giving creative twist to your programs. Timely execution of your campaign can ensure delivery of the right messages to the right people, by using limited resources. Thus, your company can set the right marketing goals that can be achieved by your marketing teams.

Marketers can also scale their marketing campaigns by utilizing Tokens and dynamic content. Tokens or ‘Merge Fields’ connect to data points referred by system inside marketing automation solution. Tokens allow modifying contacts to details to the respective fields. Using Tokens, marketers can use personalized content for enticing target audience through top trends of any industry. Thus, marketers can simply refer to the field values that are related to the lead database without having to create different emails. They can also change and personalize the content based on specific subscribers in landing pages, email content or other Marketo assets.

7. Scale marketing data

Most marketers and companies spend time in pulling and re-pulling as well as updating lists. On the contrary, they can use centralized data access and personalization options to save significant amount of time, while helping reduce risks of mistakes of messages sent to wrong list of audiences. Marketo is a great engagement program platform that helps improve data scalability with the ability to accessing updated data from centralized locations and accessing leads from various channels, programs, and content.

Apart from that, Marketo also gives marketers the ability to share a preset targeted audience from one platform to multiple channels, including major ones such as Facebook, Google AdWords etc. Thus, marketers can save time from being wasted in accessing and performing various multi-channel campaigns. With the centralized audience management architecture of Marketo, marketers can save valuable time creating relevant and compelling messages and content for the campaign.

Companies need to listen to and interact with their targeted audience’s actions from diverse locations, using a centrally-managing marketing platform in order to deliver rich personalization at greater scale. Thus, they can decrease the number of systems required for delivering personalized and connected messages even though the number of products or solutions they offer tend to expand by every year.

Do you need expert Marketo assistance to build, scale and deliver high-quality Marketo programs? Then get in touch with our Marketo Certified Professionals at (408) 502 6765 or via your preferred social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.