At the heart of marketing automation is a simple idea – gather more information with less effort to maximize efficiency.

“Shotgun” or “spray-and-pray” marketing practices wastes everyone’s time — your salespeople’s, your customers’, and your prospects’.

With automation, you can discard these practices and preserve any semblance of a relationship you are building with your customers and prospects by sharing evergreen content and tailored sales funnels designed for the exact people who want that content.

No matter what stage of the buyer’s journey a customer may be in, automation can bring them smoothly through your sales funnels. When set up well, when someone is looking for information or a solution, you are ready for them.

Marketing automation simplifies:
• Greeting a prospect,
• Advancing a prospect further down the funnel,
• Segmenting them based on need or interest,
• Recommending complementary products to customers,
• Following-up on abandoned purchases,
• Checking with customers when it is time to re-order.

By maximizing your efficiency with these tasks through automation, you make it possible to place greater emphasis on the personal touch.

Targeting customers with marketing automation is a matter of data and analytics – two critical components to a distributor’s marketing success and profitability.

automation

In one case study, a tech company created personas for all its customer profiles. These included people ranging from hobbyists to professionals. Once they implemented a marketing automation program, their engagement rates grew to 40% from a meager 5%. It also saw a tenfold improvement in conversions of people who went from free trials to paid accounts.

But remember: you cannot allow automation to usurp the personal touch. Automation is a tool to help you serve your customers better; it does not replace service.

Here are a few tips that you can implement to help you add a personal touch to your marketing strategies.

Personalizing Email Automation

Research has recently shown that over 70% of online customers are frustrated with the number of emails and messages they receive. More often than not, these messages and emails have nothing to do with their interests.

Most companies do not take the time to define their target audiences, and so the effectiveness of their campaigns is as good as non-existent. These are the businesses that send out generic emails to their entire mailing list and waste their recipients’ time.

Every recipient is unique, and this is something every business owner must understand. Sending out the same email to an existing customer and a prospective customer can easily fall flat. Instead, personalize emails by segmenting your distribution list based on topics that helps define the recipient(s) and their needs as well as where they are in your sales funnel.

Personalizing emails is not difficult and can be done with even the most basic email systems.

Note the difference between the following two subject lines:

“You Will Love These Outfits” versus

“Hey Susan, Check Out Our New Winter Collection! You’re Gonna Love it!”

What is the difference between the two subject lines? The first is generic and could be meant for anyone. It doesn’t care about who the recipient is, or what they may be looking for. It doesn’t even give a hint about what kind of outfits they’re promoting.  So, with the first subject line, the reader is forced to open the email to see what it’s about. If it’s not something the reader is interested in, there’s a good chance they will hit the unsubscribe button out of annoyance.

The second subject line is personalized, softening the situation, and it clearly states what’s being promoted. The recipient can quickly decide whether it’s something they’re interested in and, if not, they can simply delete it.

Apart from personalizing the subject line, the content of the email should also be personalized. The last thing you want is for your customers to be disappointed when they open the email, and it does not live up to the hype. Personalized content works on the same frequency as the overall marketing campaign. You need to showcase products that the customer is looking for.

Personalizing Product Recommendations

product recommendationHave you ever been to an online shopping website to purchase something (example, a pair of shoes), and the website showed you a list of shoes under the heading “similar to the product you’re looking for”? These product recommendations need to be similar to the product the customer is looking for. In the above example, businesses cannot show you a list of fruits & vegetables when you are looking for shoes.

Make sure your website is ‘intelligent;’ your web development team will be able to help you with that. While it’s not necessary to show product recommendations to the customer, this is another personal touch that will show the customer that you care.

In addition to providing product recommendations based on the current search, you can also make product recommendations based on the customer’s purchase history.

Behavior-Based Websites

Several businesses look to customize their efforts based on the visitor profile. One such initiative is to modify your website based on the customer profile. There will be a mix of customer types that will visit your site. Some will be new customers, some potential customers, some that have not made a single purchase in the past six months, and some that have been purchasing your competitor’s product for years.

In such a scenario, your website should change based on the profile. If an existing customer is visiting your website, they would best be served by loyalty-based offers. Similarly, if you are trying to poach a competitor’s customer, then there is no harm in offering a free sample. Technology today allows you to customize the customer experience based on their behavior and other attributes as well.

Business owners try just about anything to grab the attention of potential customers. While this may seem relatively easy, be sure to do your homework and have an excellent team in place. A personal touch shows care and commitment towards your customer base.

Let’s do this … Together!  

Right now, you can have an entire marketing agency available to fulfill all of your marketing needs – for a fraction of what it would cost to hire and manage your own team. Next Level iMedia is available to execute and manage a unique marketing plan tailored to your distribution company.

If you want to improve your company’s marketing efforts – or even start from scratch – and you don’t know which way to turn, Next Level iMedia can help.  Give us a call at your convenience for a complimentary, no-cost consultation.