5 Ways To Improve Marketing Automation Campaigns

Dayna Rothman at Bluewolf wrote this post that outlines common mistakes when creating marketing automation programs and solutions to address these issues.

Problem #1: Lack of Proper Segmentation

We know that many of you struggle with the segmentation of your database due to incomplete data and you just don’t have the bandwidth to create highly segmented content. This is a huge issue that affects your ROI, your brand, and your ability to move leads through the customer lifecycle. If a lead opens an email and determines that the content isn’t relevant, your brand is affected and you will notice an influx of unsubscribes.

Tip: Even if your data isn’t 100% clean, you should still attempt to segment based on what you have. Have a brainstorming session with your team to come up with customer personas and build your content based on profiles that you develop. Each segment should have different messaging based on what you believe is relevant to them. Additionally, make sure that you are creating highly segmented lists in Eloqua or Marketo. For new leads coming in, this can be based off of asset downloads, Google Adwords etc.

Problem #2: No Reporting or Follow-through for Lead Nurture Programs
This happens all too often based on lack of knowledge, lack of resources, or a variety of other reasons. If you have developed lead nurture programs, do you know how they are performing? Creating a lead nurture program requires a lot of effort and skills. Once you have created your program and leads start being funneled through, it is easy to forget about it. Because the process becomes more automated, the analytics become secondary and leads become lost due to a lack of follow-through from sales.

Tip: It is important to have a lead nurture follow-up plan in place when you launch a new program. Report out on progress in a weekly metrics meeting and always work on further fine-tuning your emails. Make sure your programs have highly segmented content and assign a sales lead that is in charge of following up with potential prospects. Lead nurture programs always need to be optomized. It should be on your monthly to-do list to go through and assess the programs that you currently have live.

Problem #3: Confusing Calls to Action
There are so many things you want to get across in your emails — download a whitepaper, take a survey, or sign up for a free promotional product. But, what happens when you overload your lead with too many calls-to-action? Well, they don’t do any of them and you don’t get the CTR that you need to justify the campaign.

Tip: You need to really determine what the highest value call to action might be, and stick to that one. It is important that you direct a lead’s attention to only one thing so they know exactly what the email is asking them to do. For a lead nurture, spread your calls to action out over the life of the program — ask them to download a white paper in one email, ask them to fill out your survey in the next. We know that it is tough to reel yourself in, but by providing your leads with a specific direction, you will see the results you’re looking for.

Problem #4: Email Pacing
With an email program, pacing is very important. If you send too many emails, then you will turn off your buyer and they will perceive you as being spammy. And if you don’t send enough emails, then they will forget who you are and it will be more difficult for you to create a strong connection. Sometimes, in certain businesses, a segmented list of certain titles needs to be used by multiple business lines and it is challenging to work together to determine a proper email schedule.

Tip:  A lead should not be hit more than every 3 weeks or so, but every business has a different timeline. Schedule weekly calendaring meetings with your team to determine when blasts are being sent out and who they are being sent to. Also, don’t forget to take into account any ongoing nurture programs that are happening. The more organized your team is, the more control over your database you have. Collaborate to develop a calendar that works for everyone — different business lines and customers alike.

Problem #5: Lack of testing
Too often an email nurture program is created and not properly tested. You have spent so much time on it and you want to get it live NOW! But, you don’t want to wait for the program to run its course, as that could take weeks or months. But, because there is a lack of testing your programs might not be running right.

Tips: When developing a lead nurture program always make sure you test it. Add a few of your coworkers into the campaign so they can experience it from a lead’s perspective. When you are new to marketing automation, you might have missed a few important details that will come out only when you test. You want to make sure that your programs are running 100% before you go live with them.

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