Getting marketing automation right: Conversion and segmentation – and the workflows required

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Session The case for marketing automation continues to prosper. Capturing leads and organizing prospects in the back end, not to mention enhancing the front-facing customer journey, is important: according to Invesp, automation can drive up to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overheads.

Marketing automation workflows can work in three primary ways; to build relationships, improve engagement, and increase revenue. An automated workflow will involve elements such as different touchpoints in the customer lifecycle, such as visiting the company’s website, triggers within the workflow, and the actions automatically triggered by these conditions, such as sending a subscriber an email or adding them to a list.

It does not have to email, of course. A report issued this week by Omnisend found that for Q3 of its campaigns analyzed, almost a third (32%) of email marketing conversations were driven by automated messages while accounting for less than 2% of email sends. The company added that online brands who ‘lean on automated messages at key stages of the shopping journey… will win big this holiday season and carry momentum into 2021.’

Personalization feeds into the marketing automation pipeline as an important factor. Get it wrong, and you will be unwittingly sending ‘Hello [FirstName]’ communications to your customers. Get it right, and you will be scoring well in the engagement stakes.

Yet according to Instapage statistics issued last year, these wins may not be so easily realized. Firstly, the company said 70% of brands failed to use personalized emails. If the message and subject line are personalized, open rates are 5.9% on average and click-through rates (CTRs) are 0.2%. For a personalized subject line, this changes to 7.4% open and 0.4% average CTR. For message personalized only, this changes to 18.8% open and 2.1% click rate.

In a lot of cases, it depends on your audience and industry. There is no personalization bible per se. Each piece of content will behave slightly differently; testing and trial and error will help create a viable picture. Statistics such as those above can illustrate, but not illuminate.

Some industry watchers caution against putting all your chips on this: when it comes to data, as Sam Duggan of Force 24, writing for this publication in July pointed out, know your limits. “To truly get the most out of automation, it’s important to first understand what kind of data it should triangulate, to help marketers create hyper-relevant comms that transform campaign activity and drive positive ROI,” wrote Duggan.

“Equipping marketing teams with vastly intricate analysis can really set campaigns apart and encourage a deeper level of customer loyalty – before the competition does,” he added. “However, marketers must be prepared to act swiftly on the detail they’ve harnessed so they can continue being efficient with budgets and build on their brand credibility – especially during such an unforgiving climate.”

The benefits, however, are there. Sendinblue, a provider of marketing automation software, has various resources available for marketers’ disposal, including an exploration of 10 marketing automation workflow examples and how they operate. Again, the advice remains the same: the company advises that it’s better to start small and measure your success before moving to more complex workflows.

Nora Gonzalez, head of enterprise and content marketing at Sendinblue, will be speaking at the upcoming DMWF Europe virtual event on November 24-25 around the wider effects of marketing automation, including how to improve conversion rates, using automation to refine segmentation, and building simple – yet efficient – scenarios.

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