With more competition in nearly every market, it has become increasingly difficult to grow your business online. An active social media channel and a few pay-per-click ads are no longer enough.
However, with a few advanced digital tactics, your business can find more leads, encourage higher conversion rates, and create repeat customers.
Content personalization and automated drip email campaigns are two marketing-automation tactics with relatively low barriers to entry. which makes them a surefire way to take your digital marketing strategy to the next level. With a little insight into your customers' journey, some basic data collection, and a few website tweaks you can take your first steps into marketing automation.
Content Personalization: What Is It?
Content personalization is a tactic that shows different messages to different customers based on their previous interactions with your business.
For example, an existing customer will get a different message than a new visitor. Imagine a user has already purchased from your ecommerce site; your marketing message should be designed to encourage repeat orders or the purchase of related and supplemental products. As for the new user, you need to introduce them to your business and brand.
Said another way: your objective shifts from customer acquisition to relationship building in order to increase the customers lifetime value to your business. Content personalization allows you to change your message so it speaks to each customer in the proper tone base on their relationship with you and your business.
How Does Content Personalization Work?
Content personalization often begins with cookies—you tag the users' browser with a cookie so you can track the pages they’ve visited, the products they’ve added to their carts, completed purchases, or any other behavior you deem important. Then, you can craft and display different versions of your message (or different messages entirely) based on these behaviors or conversions.
There are many different tools and platforms that enable content personalization, many of which we have implemented on behalf of our clients. In the example below, you can see a clear change in the primary call-to-action on the homepage after a customer has made a purchase.
Because we know what the customer previously ordered, we change/personalize the call-to-action to target a repeat order. Not only does this let customers know they are in the right place, it makes it easier for them to purchase the products they want with minimal effort.
How Automated Emails Can Engage Dormant Customers
Marketing automation can also work in a more traditional sales environment to qualify leads and move them closer to purchase. Many businesses use their websites to collect leads for salespeople, but new leads are sometimes neglected because the team is busy working with current customers. Plus, at times, previous customers are forgotten because they have been inactive for a long time.
That is where an automated email drip campaign can come into play.
An automated email drip campaign is a series of emails triggered based on customer actions and designed to encourage further action—whether that be an escalation of research, a soft conversion like a newsletter sign up, or an actual hard conversion or sale.
For example, when a user signs up for a demo or free trial on your website, he or she is automatically sent a “welcome” email that contains a clear call-to-action or “next step.”
Then, if the user doesn’t respond, your email service can deploy an automatic follow-up email the next day, which could include a call-to-action to view a calendar with available appointment times and to schedule a call with a salesperson. If they respond to either email, users are taken out of the email drip campaign and automatically assigned a salesperson.
In this example, marketing automation also plays a role in sales enablement and helps ensure you do not have a leaky customer-acquisition funnel.
Further, if the customer remains unresponsive for an extended period of time, we can automatically follow up with a series of pointed questions, informational resources, or special offers to encourage them to engage with the sales team.
For example, if the user has been unresponsive for 10 days, we could send them a time-bound discount, an offer for a free consultation, or support content that speaks to the concerns you know customers have at this customer’s specific stage of the customer journey, or another content offering that somehow coaxes users to the next wrung of your marketing/sales funnel.
Typically, an automated email drip campaign requires a customer relationship management system that allows a business to track a person through the customer journey. We’ve found popular tools like Zapier, Mailchimp, or HubSpot to be very helpful in setting up this type of campaign, but we’re always on the lookout for new and innovative tools for email engagement.
But no matter how you approach it or the tools you use, marketing automation is a powerful concept that can take many shapes and forms and have a tremendous impact on your business and its bottom line.
We’ve only scratched the surface with these examples, but they both illustrate easy ways to step-up your digital marketing game and make it easier for you to meet your consumers where they are in their customer journey.