But first, back to basics. Why move to marketing automation in the first place? Put as simply as possible, marketing automation is all about more leads, better leads, more customers, less time!

So, automating your email program (providing a better quality experience for your newsletter subscribers) allows you to craft highly relevant content and deliver this content according to our customer’s expectations, quicker, faster and easier than ever before! And if it’s done well, it has the potential to be extremely powerful and effective rather than irrelevant and disruptive.

Remember, marketing automation can help both B2B and B2C marketers:

  • Reach your target audience via multiple channels in real-time
  • Automate repetitive tasks
  • Increase efficiency
  • Reduce human error

Getting off the ground

Before you put marketing automation to work for you, you have to work out what you want to get from it. Sadly it isn’t as simple as plonking content into an automation tool and letting it ‘do its thing’ whilst you sit back and watch the results flooding in (wouldn’t that be nice!). But what it does do is help support you and elevate your marketing strategies to nurture your customers and prospects with useful, personalized content which delights the recipient. A tool (like dotmailer :)) can really help you have those targeted HUMAN 1 to 1 conversations but on a large scale – 1 to 100, 10,000 or even 1,000,000,000 – which would be impossible without this kind of technology.

Start at the beginning and think about your customers’ journey. Understand how it is now, how you need to improve it, what you want to achieve from it and your business imperatives. This approach will mean you are starting with your customer front of mind. Too many marketers are guilty of letting the technology dictate their email programs rather than putting the needs of their customers first. This way, you’ll have a better chance of creating an impact and avoiding sterile communications. As alien as it sounds, these human elements are fundamental to a successful automation program. Remember, people buy from people – so reminding your audience that there are real life people – gasp! – working behind the scenes, will mean your marketing will hopefully strike a chord with the people you are trying to get in front of.

Avoid turning your customers off

For your marketing to engage your customers or potential customers, it needs to have that human touch. Start with ensuring your tone of voice strikes the right note. Be more conversational and friendly in your communications. Sounds simple, right? However, I am consistently staggered at some of the stuff I’m sent by companies wanting to ‘retain’ my business. I am a person. Ditch the corporate piffle. Abandon jargon. Inject a sense of humour. Give me content that is relevant to ME – a flesh and blood real person. I’m not just an email address in your CRM system. THAT’S what’s going to make me want to open your emails.

It’s all about engagement through genuine conversations, but be sure to keep your eyes open. There are some automation myths which you need to remember in order to reap the rewards with your own programs:

  • One size fits all – this is outdated and does not work with the local consumer
  • A marketing autopilot – marketing should not be run by robots otherwise you risk losing that authentic conversation
  • It’s just personalization – Marketing automation is not sending a mass campaign to a segment and simply personalizing the ‘to’ name

In short, you need to remember that customers aren’t interested in being ‘retained’ or ‘nurtured’. They want to be treated to a 1 to 1 personalized experience where they feel treated and subsequently rewarded for their loyalty to you. And whilst you can’t implement marketing automation without technologies like dotmailer, you also need to put some proper time and energy into formulating strategies, creating original optimized content that speaks to your audience as individuals.

The core purpose of marketing automation is to initiate and maintain valuable relationships with the people interested in what your business has to offer them. When done right, it can be engaging, time-efficient, cost-effective and generate you some fantastic results. What are you waiting for?