Marketing Automation is an amazing tool for B2C businesses, however, it has a reputation for being strictly used for B2B companies. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, B2C marketers who are using automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50% according to eMarketer Email Marketing Benchmarks report.

B2C companies are seeing improved results due to the consumer’s typical buying process. Consumers, today are making buying decisions in a non-linear process. They come into and go out of market many times before they actually make the purchase. This makes new customer acquisition harder and more expensive and ultimately takes longer to realize a sale.

Consider a non-automated form of marketing. With no means to aggregate a prospects behaviors or interests, the likelihood of contacting them too often or with irrelevant messaging is exceptionally high.

This is ultimatly what leads prospects to a feeling of being “pestered”

To create a marketing automation strategy, whether for B2B or B2C companies, a clear understanding of the customer personas (segments) and the buying journey of each persona is critical and is unique to every business.

B2C Marketing Automation Examples

Welcome: Use marketing automation to onboard new customers. Share how-to documents, next steps, or information on how to contact you type of informational messages with your new customers. This will reassure your new customer that their purchase was the right thing to do and it will help you in managing their expectations.

Re-Engagement: Send a special offer or a very targeted educational message to someone that has expressed an interest in your product or service. As an example, if someone downloads an educational paper or product brochure from your site but they didn’t continue on to add a product into a shopping cart, or they didn’t request you to contact them, a properly developed marketing automation workflow can deliver a highly personalized message to that person encouraging them to re-engage with your company. After all, sometimes people get busy and distracted and they just need a gentle nudge to get them back.

Cross Selling: We all know it is much easier to sell additional services to current customers than it is to convert a prospect into a customer. Marketing automation can be used, quite successfully, to introduce current customers to other products and/or services that you offer by gradually introducing them to the benefits of these other products/services. As your current customers interact with your company, the recommendations that you make will be much more relevant to them, making cross-selling much easier.

Abandoned Cart: The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 77.3% for retail! When you factor in the fact that every visitor to your website has a cost associated with it, this is a tremendous drain on marketing budgets, everywhere.

Using marketing automation to attempt to reconnect with the people that have abandoned, by offering either a special offer or with more information, is a great way to recapture some of the costs associated with getting them to your site, the first time.

Win Back Programs: Get inactive or lost customers back using marketing automation to target these customers with marketing communications saying that you miss them and possibly offer them a trial-time to re-engage with your company at a special rate, or possibly highlight something new in your product or service line that has been added or improved since they were last engaged.

There are many ways that both B2B and B2C companies can use marketing automation to increase engagement, customer retention, and profitability and while the above ideas are by no means a complete list they are some good basic ideas that can work for a lot of different companies.