Tags: Automation

Automation: The Practical Tool for Marketers

Automation: The Practical Tool for Marketers

Beyond • March 10, 2017

Here’s what your life looks like without email automation: You send out your email campaign: You notice you have three new subscribers You send out a separate campaign to welcome your new subscribers You notice someone has unsubscribed: You send out a separate “hey why did you leave/come back” campaign You notice 5 people haven’t completeld a conversion cycle you set up: You send out a separate new campaign to push them along the sales funnel. You notice some dead-end email subscribers: You launch a separate campaign targeted at stragglers who aren’t engaging. So while you dipped into your email marketing with just one task in mind, you ended up taking on three others, wasting about at least an extra hour or more on tasks that should have been automated. Automation Lets You Be a Precision-Oriented Marketer Automating makes sense. As a marketer who wears several hats, I know that if I have to detour my tasks to take on additional subtasks like the ones mentioned below -- then I’m not going to be that great at each individual task let alone get through my list of action items. But if I thought about these needs ahead of time, I can invest the time, creativity and attention to detail it needs to perfect each automated campaign. This keeps me from being sloppy and making a mistake. And this keeps your subscriber far more engaged. Fact is, the average email open time is about 15-20 seconds. This means you’ve got that small window to rope someone in; and so what you send to be top notch -- and not rushed in a flurry of email tasks. This means that you can be on the go with other tasks while your email marketing is still happening on autopilot. In other words, think of automotion as the Tesla of email marketing. Your most effective engagement vehicle is on autopilot while you can tend to other matters. Automation Lets You Focus on Your “Real” Job The idea behind automation as a practical business solution is this: it keeps your hands free so you can keep a pulse on customers and leads. So while you’re able to stay attuned to your clients and develop new business, your automated marketing campaigns are: Sending out personalized email campaigns that mimic direct engagement without you actually needing to directly engage. Something as simple as saying someone’s name creates an emotional connection that is a tenet of rapport building. In fact, a personalized subject line increases click open rates by 22%. You might be asking why you’d want a personalized subject line when the email is personalized. The answer is this: you want to get the subscriber to even click open the email first. To do that, rely on direct connections through emotional ties like a person’s name. To further the cause, personalized email push click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. It’s About More Than Email Marketing. It’s About You. That’s really the takeaway with automation: not only does it make your job easier and help you be more successful in other areas by freeing up your time, but it also maximizes results. Lead generation alone sees over a 450% increase when marketing campaigns are personalized. And of course, you could do that yourself. You could painstakingly send out each email and be on top of every movement within the campaign cycle across however many users you have. But we’re sure you’d like to actually get away from your desk once in awhile or enjoy lunch with your colleagues. Automation is bigger than giving you your life back. Email marketing automation gives order and process by framing email marketing within a systemic framework. Consider that 64% of chief marketing officers have no process to manage their marketing automation, which keeps them forever in a ‘management’ loop juggling all these different tasks versus really steering the ship as a director of marketing. So not only is automation about making your job easier and doing your job better -- it’s ultimately about leveling up. Your email marketing game levels up, and in turn you get room to level up professionally.


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drip marketing webinar

Marketing Webinar: SaaS Drip Campaigns Using Automation Pro

Beyond • February 25, 2017

You can learn about basic drip campaign strategy and how to use it for your SaaS business in a new webinar we are excited to announce will be held on March 1st at 5:30 PM IST (4:00AM PST). Benchmark’s Automation Pro has been helping customers to get their drip marketing inline with their sales goal. Join this webinar to learn how. This Drip marketing webinar is free to join and open to everyone. Just click on the link to sign up. Jump in to learn Drip marketing is all about giving people the right information at the right time. Do they really work? When done incorrectly, many drip emails will only serve to annoy your customers. However, a thoughtful set of drip emails can be the perfect way to connect with your target audience. In this webinar, Michael Benedict, our Digital Marketing Manager, will guide you through these topics: What are Drip Campaigns? How can Saas Businesses use Drip Campaigns? How does Benchmark’s Automation Pro help reach your Drip Marketing goals? We’ll also go through a sample SaaS Campaign Journey. Questions For all webinar related questions, kindly use the #benchmarkwebinar hashtag on Twitter for all your comments and suggestions, before, during and after the webinar. See you all there!


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Practical Strategies for Automation Pro: Website Engagement

Practical Marketer • February 17, 2017

The goal for every marketer should be an ongoing interaction with their subscribers. It should be customer-focused and based on quality engagement. Many email marketers put their full focus on email and lose sight of where the subscriber goes once they click through to a website or landing page. How a subscriber engages with your website is just as important. As the brilliant Flint McGlaughlin told everyone at last year’s MarketingSherpa Summit: You can only sell a click in an email. The actual sale happens on your website. However, it doesn’t always happen with that first visit. Sometimes it takes multiple interactions for a lead to become a customer. Automation Pro allows you to follow up with those website visitors from your email campaigns based on what is of interest to each individual subscriber. After all, according to the eCommerce software firm Monetate, visitors from an email marketing campaign will buy something 4.24% of the time, versus visitors from search engines (2.49%) or social media (0.59%). Why is using automation such a benefit for this? Automated email campaigns perform better than more standard email marketing campaigns to the tune of 70.5% higher open rates and a whopping 152% increase in click-through rates, according to the Epsilon Email Institute. According to the DMA, more than 75% of revenue from emails is thanks to triggered campaigns, versus a one-size-fits-all blast to your subscribers 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement, according to a report from eConsultancy. Execute A Website Engagement Journey with Automation Pro The first thing you’ll need to do is to place the Automation Pro tracking code on all pages of your website. FAQ: How do I install the tracking code on my website? The next step is to create a journey in which the first email links to your website and even specific pages for which you can plan targeted follow-ups based on those pages. Say you’re a clothing brand and you’re launching a new line for the upcoming season. If your subscribers click on the items for men’s clothing or women’s clothing, you can have those male and female subscribers segmented to separate lists or simply have follow-ups planned based on which items the subscriber viewed. That could be additional product information, customer reviews, photos with people modeling the items, etc. Perhaps you’re a SAAS company. If someone goes to your Pricing Page, they’re probably more interested in your product that someone who did not. You can send a more aggressive follow-up trying to convert the warm lead, versus the slow play or branding moves you may want to send to the cooler leads. In this SAAS example, you can follow-up with additional company information, testimonials and more if they go to your About Us page. Anything you believe the customer would find helpful in learning more about your company and add trust that you would be the best fit for them. Regardless of the business you’re in, having website engagement to help target to your subscribers is a big sales advantage. Not just for first-time sales, but repeat business as well. According to eMarketer, sending targeted emails based on previous shopping habits made online shoppers more likely to purchase again 81% of the time. Creating a digital funnel that allows you to send unique follow-ups based on where each subscriber is in the sales process, as well as their interests, makes the subscriber feel that your brand understands their wants and needs. It also puts the odds in your favor in converting leads to sales and customers until loyal brand advocates. Why is Automation Pro Practical?


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Automating Your Onboarding Campaign

Automating Your Onboarding Campaign

Beyond • February 8, 2017

A brick and mortar store doesn’t consider their business a success if a passerby just window shops. Their tiers of success start with the moment someone comes into the shop, whether they make a purchase, and whether they come back again to become a loyal customer over time. This is exactly the mindset that you should have when you consider your online marketing game. It’s not enough to just have a website and a social presence. Sure it’s great if someone engages with you through those, but unless they come in that surface level engagement is the equivalent of window shopping; it’s largely meaningless. The only equivalent of coming into your shop is having someone subscribe to your email list. That’s what matters, gets them ‘in’ your world and sets them up for repeat exposure, increases transactions by 66%, and fosters brand loyalty. This is what’s called the onboarding campaign: the process of converting website visitors into subscribers. Just like you wouldn’t want someone standing outside your storefront trying to herd people in - the window display and set up should do it - the same way you want some sort of email automation in onboarding subscribers. The simplest way to do this is with pop-ups on your website. Those pop-ups can appear the minute someone visits the site or it can appear at various points of the web journey. The idea is they’re automated, doing the hard work for you in collecting subscribers and reminding visitors there’s another avenue for sales, tips, and other inside exclusives. A great example of a company that gets onboarding in a unique industry that merges product with service, is Evernote. Evernote, the note-taking gurus, knows onboarding is about getting people engaged quickly. Last week, for example, we talked about some of the great initial onboarding email campaigns you can send out. How you approach that first email can vary. For example, we know that 70% of subscribers open emails in search of deals and discounts. Evernote knows that their customers are all about efficiency and organizational structures. To tap into that interest, Evernote created an onboarding drip campaign that sends out automated emails every few days. The campaigns are sequentially numbered so users catching email number 3 will realize they probably missed out on email number 1 and 2, which increases open rates. The purpose of Evernote’s onboarding automation is to get users to use the product. Evernote isn’t just content with users buying Evernote. Their campaigns are focused on users now engaging with Evernote and relying on the product. After all, will that subscription get renewed if it hasn’t become an integral part of the individual’s lifestyle? Probably not -- and Evernote gets this, hence their aggressive onboarding campaign to get you engaged. Getting Your Readers to Be Part of Your Onboarding Automation Cycle We can - and should - always look for a way to push the goal post a little bit further. Now that we’ve got onboarding automation sorted out, the next thing to consider is how to extend that life cycle. The last thing you want to think about when designing your onboarding email is to give people a really clear “share” button for them to share that campaign on social. This little hack gets your readers to be part of the natural automation process for onboarding. Studies show that 55% of consumers share their purchases on social media - a move that is especially popular on Amazon. Add to this we also know that word-of-mouth marketing, which is essentially what a social share is, improves the impact of marketing by 54%. There’s no reason why your email campaigns can’t be considered a product even if there is not financial transaction taking place. So even if all you’re sharing is content, it’s still a product of your brand and something that can be encouraged to share.


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2 Ways to Use Automation Pro

2 Ways to Use Automation Pro: Onboarding & Conversions

Practical Marketer • January 23, 2017

Automation Pro is here! Simply put, it’s the clear solution to create quality, ongoing customer engagement. With the launch of Automation Pro, we’ve built in a handful of templates that demonstrate practical strategies that any marketer can execute. In this post, we’ll focus on two of them and provide some real-life examples of what can be accomplished with our powerful new automation tool. Onboarding This template is designed to help you turn website visitors into subscribers. According to the Data & Marketing Association, 66% of online consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email engagement campaign. Armed with that data, there’s no reason not to create an automated sales funnel based on website visitors. Practically speaking, these are already good leads as they are people who have shown interest in your goods or services by visiting your website and even the page for a specific product or service. So, how can you put this into action? Let’s say you’re a brand that is launching a new product. You’re running various marketing campaigns that direct potential customers to a landing page for that product. The first step is to create a popup signup form to place on that page. We suggest adding an incentive for subscribing, such as a 10% discount or something else that would encourage someone to buy. Other incentives can include an exclusive PDF, webinar or any other educational resource that may be of value to your subscribers. Be sure to assign your popup form to a new list for onboarding. Next, install the tracking code on the desired web page or landing page. This is how Automation Pro will know if an individual visited your website or page. Now it’s time to build your onboarding journey. First, you’ll set the Added To List Entry point to match your designated onboarding list, which is attached to the popup signup form you’ve created. As people visit your page, the popup form will be prompted with the 10% discount offer. Once they subscribe, they will automatically be added to the list you selected and the journey begins. Next, you’ll create a Welcome Email for the Send Email node. As Subscribers are added to your onboarding list, this next part of the journey is triggered and the Welcome Email is sent. This should include the promo code for their 10% discount (you will need to input the promo code of your choosing into your eCommerce platform). Conversion Now that you’ve created a practical solution to onboard new subscribers, it’s time to turn those new opt-ins into customers. If we’re continuing the above example, the goal is now to entice your new subscribers to act on the 10% discount incentive you offered before. To do this, you will send a series of emails highlighting the product or service’s benefits and reminding subscribers of their discount. For this example, we’ll be showing you how to create a 7-day cycle aimed at converting your leads. Here are the steps to take before you create your conversion journey: Create a “Customers List.” This is the list that your subscribers will automatically be transferred to if they complete a purchase on your site. Plan your engagement campaign. Think of the journey you want your leads to experience. Create a “Purchase Confirmation” Journey. This is a small journey that will constantly check for subscribers who make a purchase. Once a purchase is made, this journey will move the subscriber from your “Onboarding List” to your “Customers List.” It is extremely important that your Automation Pro tracking code is installed on your Thank You page. Let’s look at the steps to take to create your Conversions Journey. Like the previous journey, this one begins with the Added To List Entry Point for your onboarding list. Since you sent the Welcome Email immediately for the previous journey, it’s important to add a wait time with your next node. That way you won’t overwhelm your subscribers with too many emails at once. Now, put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes. While the goal is to inspire conversions, you must keep the potential customer in mind. So, multiple CTAs to buy may not be effective. What will likely work better, is a series of emails that demonstrates the value of your product(s) or service(s). This can include customer testimonials. After all, 55% of shoppers say that online reviews influence their purchasing decision according to Kissmetrics. In this example, we’ll create a three email journey. Don’t forget to add a wait time between each engagement email you’ll be sending. Otherwise, they’ll all send at once! First, you should send a discount reminder on Day 3 after an individual subscribes to your onboarding list. For some, that’s all it will take and they’ll be moved to your Customers List. For those that remain in your Onboarding List, try sending an engagement campaign with a product highlight or testimonial on Day 6. If you still haven’t converted a subscriber after your first two attempts, try a free shipping offer on Day 7. According to the Walker Sands Future of Retail 2016 study, nine out of 10 surveyed listed free shipping as the top incentive when asked what would make them more likely to shop online. The goal for this journey is to generate sales. It is important to set an end date for the journey so you can look back at what you created and then make improvements for the next journey. If you have a never ending journey, it will be hard to measure, compare and use the data to improve for future journeys.


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