Marketing automation tip: automate the tactical

“Hello Account #XYZ, thank you for clicking/calling/writing…”

Form emails and letters are a personal pet peeve for many people. The format is rote and clearly interchangeable among recipients. Even referencing a specific topic of interest would go a long way towards winning them over. But in the modern world how can a company possibly do this with so many clients and so little time? As paradoxical as it may seem, using automation to personalize services makes logical sense.

Online behavior is, by its very nature, a personal act. A person in search of web design services may browse a site for a while, landing on pages about design, images of your designers, previous work and client portfolios…the possibilities are endless. These destinations are telling: a marketer could infer that this person is interested in design rather than a social media campaign.Robot Fistbump

With one customer, this makes sense – but what about inferring the interests of the hundreds of leads that are potentially beating down your door? That’s where you run into trouble.

Very few companies have the time or workforce to sift through potential leads and identify truly qualified ones, even if they land on ‘easy-to-interpret’ pages, such as in the example here.

Plus, it’s doubtful that these companies could sustain such efforts, nurturing the same leads again and again until they become clients. But marketing automation takes care of that for you, tracking movements and behaviors of practically limitless customers and then treating each lead personally based on their characteristics.

How does it work?

Say your sales rep collects 2 business cards at a show. When he returns to the office, he enters them both into the same form, putting in the usual identifiers as well as other unique traits, like the  name of the show where he met them, what industry they’re in, and the 2-3 services they may be interested in. He may know this information from speaking with them, or he may make an educated guess – with marketing automation, that’s okay, too.

Why? You can always update the information entered, as you learn more about a client, and a lead’s interests help drive the process. An initial email is sent based on the entered data – “nice to meet you at Show X, here’s the information I promised on Services 1, 2, and 3.” Say the client clicks on the first two links multiple times and explores different parts of your site related to those services, but ignores the third service completely. No problem! Your next email is automatically modified to target Services 1 and 2, and will disregard the third.Happy Key

Over the course of the next few months, your customer will be lead through a series of emails, each tailored to his or her interests. Whether that’s 5 minutes after inputting the client’s information, or 1 day after they sign up for a free trial, this email will serve to keep your company fresh in their mind, while they consider their options.

Automation allows your company to be efficient without becoming impersonal. The fact that you can filter by so many different criteria means leads aren’t treated as a sub-group, but rather as true individuals. Since you can target individual interests, your marketing becomes more streamlined, personal, and compelling.