Tags: Automation

Using Goal Based Lists For Marketing Automation

Using Goal Based Lists For Marketing Automation

Practical Marketer • October 20, 2017

Marketing automation is all about organization. As you dive into Marketing Automation with email, you will find yourself with some automations that work together and connect with one another and some automations that work as stand-alone or that are parallel to the rest of your marketing efforts. The bottom line is that you don’t want to mix things up. Keep a fluid experience for your subscribers in mind. In this blog, we will give you some tips on how to properly organize your lists by creating “Goal-Based Lists” and “Established Lists” to keep your automations under control and to have the ability to connect one with another. Avoid Spaghetti Automation We have so many channels of communication and so many layers of leads, subscribers, potentials, customers, etc. You don’t want to mix things up and confuse yourself with your own automations. As I’ve helped build automations for Benchmark and some of our customers, I have found two important things to keep in mind at all times: Keep your automations short and to the point Learn to connect multiple automations by moving subscribers from one list to another. These two tips are the starting points of email and Marketing Automation and will help you understand how to build out your automation strategy. Simple Automation is in Your Lists With Automation Pro, you can start an automation based on someone being added to a list. For example, when a website visitor completes your signup form and becomes a new subscriber, they are added to your “Leads List” and you can trigger a welcome series automation to welcome those new subscribers. When organizing your subscribers, contacts, leads, etc. in your Benchmark Email account, we recommend focussing on two kinds of lists: Established Lists Goal Based Lists Established Lists are your main lists. These lists are the heartbeat of your email marketing efforts. Some examples of Established Lists are: Subscribers Leads Prospects Contacts/Customers Lost Customers Goal-Based Lists are lists focused on subscribers achieving a goal throughout your automations. For example, if you send an email to your prospects, you may want to create two separate lists: 1) EmailNameOpens 2) EmailNameUnopens. Based on the opens and unopens of the email, both lists will automatically populate with the appropriate subscribes. Other examples of Goal-Based lists: HasClicked/HasNotClicked HasVisitedWebsite/HasNotVisitedWebsite Completed Transaction Abandoned Cart Goal-based lists will help you stay organized by separating your subscribers based on the actions and behaviors throughout your automations. Let\'s take a look at a live example where we use Established Lists and Goal-Based Lists. Say you own a clothing store. You just got a new shipment with all of the new clothes for the upcoming season. You’ll want to create a special sale focused on your old inventory to make room for your new clothes. One of the channels you may use is email! Let’s see how marketing automation can help you. Targeting the Established List For this example, let’s say the clothing store has an Established list called: “VIP - Customers.\" The people in this list are customers who have spent more than X amount of dollars with the store. They want to give these customers a priority on the sale so they target this list as the trigger to the automation. Sending A Promotional Email Now that we have our targeted Established List, we want to send an email to promote the sale. The email will include the sale details along with a link to the online store. The next step will be to track who click on the link in the email vs. those who didn’t. (REMINDER: Don’t forget to add a delay before your condition) Setting a Click Condition (Click vs. Did Not Click) Once the email is delivered and you’ve given enough time for your subscriber to engage with the email (That’s why they previously mentioned delay is so important), it\'s time to check who performed the desired action: “CLICK.” When we set up this condition in Automation Pro, you will see two paths on your automation: Has Clicked Has Not Clicked Now, is when the Goal-Based Lists come into play for proper organization. Goal-Based Lists In Action From this example, we see that after the email is delivered, Automation Pro will wait 24 hours before checking to see who clicked on the email or not. Once the 24 hours us up, the condition will check for this action and will split up the people who clicked vs. the ones who didn’t down their respective paths. What to do next? You could continue each path on the same automation and send another email… but from experience, this can get out of hand. You may find yourself creating an automation that looks something like this: The example from above may be exaggerated, but it is a real example from a real user that decided to continue the whole sequence on one automation. Instead of creating a confusing mess, we highly recommend to end this automation after the condition by creating two Goal Based lists, one for each path (Has Clicked / Has Not Clicked). Name your Goal Based Lists something like this: “EmailNameHasClicked” & EmailNameHasNotClicked.” Doing this will allow you to then create a separate automation that is focused on each Goal Based List. This may sound like extra work at first… but trust me! It is extremely helpful to organize your automations and if you ever need to modify something in the future, you can just modify one piece of the automation instead of having to deactivate the whole thing to make a small change. In Conclusion Getting used to the idea of Goal-Based List will really help you stay organized. Especially as you create tons of automations that work with each other. Start by using Goal Based Lists in simple automations like in the example in this blog post. As you become more familiar with your automation strategy, you’ll have the practice to create mind-bending automations with simple list movements. Feedback We hope this blog helps you understand how to better organize your lists and subscribers for best practices related to your marketing automation. We came up with this list idea from helping our customers and building our own automations as well. Please share with us in the comments examples of how you organize your automations and lists so we can try to share these ideas with the rest of our users as well.


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11 Email Marketing Workflows to Upgrade Marketing Automation

11 Email Marketing Workflows to Upgrade Marketing Automation

Practical Marketer • October 19, 2017

You\'ve worked hard to create a good contact database, but is that base working for you right now? Are they just sitting in that database, doing nothing? If so, you\'ll need to find a way to get them involved. Here are 11 email marketing workflows that will improve automation and engagement: 1. The Welcome Email Workflow When this should trigger: When a contact subscribes to your newsletter or blog. This email workflow should happen when your contacts decide to get to know more from you. For example, you can warmly welcome them to your community, remind them what they\'ll be getting from your blog, and show them some of your best rated pages to get them started. This is the point where first impressions count, so use a good template from Benchmark Email, and use Inbox Checker to ensure your email looks good on all email platforms. 2. The New Customer Welcome When this should trigger: When a contact upgrades to a paying customer. Another welcome should come about when a contact decides to become a paying customer. This email should welcome them, give them any extra information they need, and train them in using your product if needed. It\'s a good way to ensure users stay engaged with you. Use State of Writing or UK Writings to ensure you\'re writing clear, easy to understand copy, and Easy Word Count to make sure you\'re sticking to the point. 3. The Lead Nurturing Workflow When this should trigger: When a contact has downloaded a few different top of the funnel materials. If your contact has been engaging for a while with your content, then it\'s time to give them a nudge in the right direction. This workflow should send them an email that pushes them towards more middle of the funnel content. Include content that you\'ve found to be successful in converting your leads in the past. 4. The Re-Engagement Workflow When this should trigger: When a contact hasn\'t engaged in a while. This should trigger after a set period of time, and give the contact reasons to come back. Try sending them a special offer or deal in order to entice them to come back. You need to make a good impression, so use Essayroo to proofread these emails and Boom Essays to edit them. 5. The Abandoned Cart Workflow When this should trigger: When a contact leaves something in their shopping car without buying it. This happens a lot in e-commerce, but there are plenty of ways you can bring those customers back. Send an email reminding them they left their cart, and even maybe send an offer to entice them back and finish the purchase. 6. The Event Workflow When this should trigger: When a contact signs up for an event. Use this workflow to keep contacts in the know as you set up and run an event. You can use it to send out log in details for webinars, addresses and dates, and to send out additional information after the event. 7. The Engaged Contact Workflow When this should trigger: When a contact downloads, clicks or visits pages a certain amount of times. The more engaged your audience is, the more likely they are to share your content. Determine how often they should engage before you get in touch, and design an email that encourages them to share their favourite content with others. Academized and Academadvisor have guides that can help you persuade those contacts to get involved. 8. The Internal Sales Rep Workflow When this should trigger: When certain posts are being viewed frequently and you need to alert the sales team. It\'s not just customers who should be getting emails from email workflows. This workflow requires you to determine how many views a post should get before an email is sent to your sales team. This should show them that your contacts want more content like this. 9. The Upsell Workflow When this should trigger: When a customer has bought something from you. Communication shouldn\'t stop after a customer buys something. Have a workflow that sends the customer an email to upsell them on their purchase, or sell them a complementary deal. This can work well if you sell many different products that they could be interested in. 10. The Purchase Reminder Workflow When this should trigger: When the customer will need to buy a product again from you. Depending on what you sell, you may have customers who need to buy from you periodically. For example, if you sell contact lenses customers will need to buy from you after a certain amount of time. Set up a workflow based on their last purchase date, to remind them that they need to buy again. 11. The Customer Success Workflow When this should trigger: Once customer success metrics are reached. Customer success metrics will be different for every company, but you\'ll want to build case studies of how your customers have reached success with you. Send an email once they hit a certain level, asking them if they want to be featured as a case study. Use Cite It In to include examples of why this can work well for them. These workflows will help automate a lot of your communication with your contacts, and help convert them into customers. Have you used these before? Have they worked for you? Let us know in the comments.


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11 Marketing Automation Terms You Should Know

11 Marketing Automation Terms You Should Know

Practical Marketer • September 21, 2017

As we’ve said it before during our Automation Fridays weekly workshops: Marketing Automation is the next frontier of Digital Marketing. This means if you haven’t dabbled in automation yet, let me tell you, you’re already late. Perhaps you have already come across some terms that you are not familiar with. And let’s be honest, in SaaS products things can get pretty jargony pretty quick. So, if you are curious about marketing automation and want to keep up with some of the industry terms, here are 11 concepts we think you should know: 1. Trigger / Entry Point No, this doesn’t refer to the feeling you get when someone chews too loud when they are eating right next to you (or is that just me?). A trigger is where an automation starts, based on certain actions, like adding contacts to a particular list, sending out an email and even based on actions taken by a contact or a group of them. 2. Visitor A visitor is an anonymous user who comes to your site. Your goal should be to have them at least provide their email address. Once you have an address, you have yourself a contact or lead. 3. Condition Inside your automation, you can define conditions to be set for each of the actions you want your automation to perform. That means you can segment contacts based on their engagement with emails you previously sent in the same automation or segments they are already a part of or even their engagement with your site. [caption id=\"attachment_7311\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1024\"] These are some of the conditions you can use when creating a series of emails to communicate with your contacts using Automation Pro.[/caption] 4. Contact, Lead or Prospect In essence, which of the three terms you use depends on the industry and division you are in, but what it means for you is that once a visitor has provided contact information, they become your subscriber. 5. List In Marketing Automation, a list is the collection of contacts or email addresses that will allow you to communicate with them. 6. Segment A segment is the result of the process of organizing your list. That means separating your contacts and target audience into buckets of specific needs, preferences and even desired experiences. [caption id=\"attachment_7312\" align=\"aligncenter\" width=\"1024\"] To achieve a higher success rate based on your goals, segment your contacts to ensure each email is hitting the best possible target audience. This keeps your email automation relevant.[/caption] 7. Drip A drip campaign is what sometimes an email automation is referred as, what both of these concepts are is a series of programmed and timely emails. 8. Journey / Email Flow Every automation you start should be goal oriented, so a flow is what you would layout as the stages or steps your automation would take to reach a specific goal. 9. Goal As mentioned above each automation should have a clear desired result, some of the most common goals are: Onboarding: teach users how to use your product Engagement: to encourage your users to interact with your company Retention: To keep customers coming back Re-engagement: to get customers or users to come back and start using your product again if they stopped But really, there are a lot of possibilities. 10. Signup form / email box You should have one of these on your site already, but if not, a signup form will allow you to gather visitor’s contact information, to be able to create campaigns geared towards them. 11. Automation Pro The most practical tool out there to manage and create your marketing automation (What? You thought I wouldn’t take the chance talk about our awesome tool?). Click here to learn more. So there you have it, Marketing Automation is becoming more and more ubiquitous each day. So, this is a good start for you to have an idea of what all the industry lingo means. Are there any other concepts you are still wondering about related to automation? Drop us a line in the comments section below, and we’ll make sure to answer any questions.


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Join Us for Automation Fridays

Join Us for Automation Fridays

Practical Marketer • August 4, 2017

Automation is the next frontier of email marketing. Thankfully, automation technology has reached a point where it is accessible to the masses. Automated customer journeys need not look like a toddler hurled a handful of spaghetti at a wall. Automation can be simple, straightforward and easy to build. The best news is: we’re here to help. We’re hosting Automation Fridays every single Friday at noon PST. Do you have questions about automation? It could be about how to get started with automation or perhaps you have questions about a current automation you are trying to execute. Join us and have your questions answered by our Director of Marketing, Daniel Miller. He may even jump right into an account and show you how to build it himself! Even if you’re not sure what using automation would look like for your business, come see what others are doing with automation. You might find some inspiration! Plus, we’ll have practical strategies prepared to discuss every week. It could be talking about creating a shopping cart abandonment email sequence or the perfect drip sequence to attach to your lead magnets. We’ll get to those when all of our attendees questions are done being answered. Automation Fridays are totally free to join. We’re here to serve as your teacher, consultant and sounding board for automating your emails. Register for Automation Fridays.


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Mistakes To Avoid In Email Marketing Automation

Mistakes To Avoid In Email Marketing Automation

Practical Marketer • April 14, 2017

I am of the first generation to really have grown up with cell phones. Actually, I’m probably just older than that generation but play along for the sake of my point (and feelings). I’m very familiar with using my smartphone and am often guilty of it being seemingly attached to my hands. Due to advancing technology and ease-of-use, my grandmother now has a smartphone too. However, she convinced herself she doesn’t know how to use it and doesn’t want to learn. Last time I was in town, I spent time with her to show her how easy it was. Seeing it for herself, she finally admitted she was fully capable of using her smartphone. She’d built up fears in her head that kept her from using her phone, but getting to see it in action, felt confident enough to use her phone. For years, I would attend expos or events and would talk to business owners who felt similarly about email marketing and social media. As time has gone on, that fear has subsided. In its place is email marketing automation. The technology has gotten to a point where any marketer can successfully execute automated campaigns. However, we need to break down the mental barriers keeping marketers from trying. Below, I’m sharing what not to do, so that the only thing left to do is to setup automated journeys for your subscribers. Here are four mistakes to avoid in email marketing automation: Mistake #1: Not Doing Email Marketing Automation Why avoid something that can save you time, increase your efficiency and make you a more impactful marketer? Automation also frees up time for your other important tasks. In fact, a practical marketer should be doing as much as possible with automation. Perhaps the reason you’ve avoided automation to this point is that you’re not sure where to begin. Well, start simple. Many marketers have set up a Welcome Email to send upon subscription. It doesn’t hurt to start off with a concept with which you’re already familiar. Rather than that onboarding process being a one-off email, try and make it a three email journey that brings a subscriber in and introduces them to your brand. Say you’ve custom designed t-shirts for a local sports team and you’re trying to convert a new website visitor into a customer. Use a signup form that offers a small discount for subscribing to your list. In your first Welcome Email, be sure to provide the promo code for the discount you promised on the signup form. The CTA should be to purchase a t-shirt using the promo code. Three days after they subscribe, you can follow up with an email campaign that has customer testimonials. They can boast how comfortable the t-shirts are or how many compliments someone got when wearing the shirt to the team’s recent game. Once again, the CTA should be to purchase a t-shirt and a reminder of the promo code. For your third email, seven days after they subscribe you can share a few of your most popular t-shirts or even the most recent designs. A site visitor may have liked the look of your homepage and figured they’d be interested in a t-shirt at some point but hasn’t had the chance to browse your site. Seeing the shirts in their inbox may just be the thing that pushes them to convert. Don’t forget, add a CTA to purchase a t-shirt with a reminder of the promo code. Benchmark provides a template within Automation Pro to execute this strategy. Check it out: You’re not the only one just getting your start in automation. According to the 2016 Marketing Maturity Benchmark Report from LeadMD, only 21% said they had a marketing automation maturity level of above average or higher. Mistake #2: Not Setting a Goal Knowing the reason for each automated journey is imperative. The reason automation is so successful is that each automated touch point should be one step closer to a conversion. Understanding what that conversion is whether it’s to subscribe, purchase, download a case study, etc., is the first step in succeeding with automation. You work your way backward from there. It’s important to see things from the perspective of your subscribers and customers. While your goal is likely going to be to sell more, they’re looking to solve a problem. It’s your job to meet them on their level and explain all the ways that your goods or services can help to do that. Let’s look back at the previous example. If they’re visiting your website, they likely want to support their local sports team or they want a gift for someone else who does. Offering a discount incentivizes the visitor to subscribe because they’re seeing the value in doing so right off the bat. If they haven’t purchased a t-shirt by the time your second email sends, seeing the testimonials can help reduce any anxiety they may have in purchasing a t-shirt from you. Let your customers boast about how soft the cotton is or how many compliments they have received on the t-shirt’s custom design. A week in, it’s possible the new subscriber got distracted or forgot to browse the selection on your website. It happens. We live in an A.D.D. culture. So, when your third email in the journey is automatically sent, you’re doing the work for that new subscriber by sharing some of your more popular items. Mistake #3: Not Segmenting or Moving Lists I recently re-told my automation and list segmenting horror story and shared some strategies. Here, I’ll focus on this mistake and how to overcome. Failure to segment your lists will result in non-relevant, non-targeted email campaigns, automated or not. The first solution to this mistake is to begin your list segmentation from signup. This could either be via the data that you collect or by allowing the new subscriber to determine which list he or she would like to join such as daily, weekly or monthly newsletters, which a checkbox for each they want to receive. The next solution is to use the subscriber’s engagement to segment your email campaigns or website. If a subscriber is consistently clicking on one type of products or services, you can segment them into a list that will continue to provide info on those items of interest. To keep with our ongoing example, this could be whether a subscriber has been interested in men’s or women’s t-shirts or you can even segment by which team(s) they are interested in. Another solution is to create a journey that will check to see if a subscriber has converted or not. That way, you can move a lead to a customer list once they have. A purchase confirmation strategy template is available to you in Automation Pro. Mistake #4: Sending Too Often Or Not Enough Like with any email marketing, the frequency with which you send your emails is important. Keeping with our t-shirt company example, the journey detailed above does a good job of striking while the iron is hot, in terms of serving the new subscriber’s interest, but it doesn’t send so often that you risk annoying the new subscriber or coming off as desperate. On the other end of the spectrum, you send so infrequently that the contact forgets who you are or why he or she subscribed in the first place. Test with your one-off email campaigns and get a feel for what frequency works with your audience. Once you’ve got that knowledge, it will be easier to make an educated decision when it comes to building your customer journeys and understanding the wait times you place between your email campaigns in the sequence. [caption id=\"attachment_5036\" align=\"alignleft\" width=\"1114\"] DMA research report 2016 as seen on Smart Insights.[/caption] If learning the important mistakes with email marketing automation hasn’t been enough to assuage your concerns and help you overcome the fear hurdle standing in your way, our friend Jordie van Rijn has put together a long list of marketing automation statistics that should convince you to make the jump to automate your customer journeys. What fears keep you from using automation?


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