Marketing automation campaigns have been a popular topic of discussion here at VantagePoint. As a result of that emphasis, marketing automation has been a major area of growth within my own professional development during the past year.
I have learned that a marketing automation campaign creates a personalized journey, which is a viable option for lead generation and growth. By using a prospect journey, information can be tailored to best suit that individual user. Through user interaction within the campaign, companies can gauge those who are truly interested in the product/service being offered.
As Angie pointed out in an earlier post, using marketing automation can feel like a daunting task, and I know it was for me. Here are five things I learned from working on my first, full-blown marketing automation campaign.
1. Planning is everything
The planning portion of a marketing automation campaign is huge. From my experience, planning was a longer process than copywriting, creating collateral and proofing combined. Everyone knows planning is foundational to any project, but for a marketing automation campaign, thorough thought is needed at each step of the path. We asked questions like:
- What is our overall goal?
- How many emails are we going to send?
- What’s the campaign timeline?
- What pieces of collateral do we need to create?
All these need to be answered before moving forward in the process.
2. Wacky subject lines receive better interaction
During the creation of copy for this specific campaign, the team was wrestling with the question of whether we should use the word “suck” as a subject line. We ended up settling on sending the “suck” subject line to half of the target audience. The result; while the open rate was roughly the same, around 15.5 percent, the unique click-through rate (CTR) was 32 percent higher with the “suck” subject line. While the wacky subject line didn’t generate more opens, those who received that line proved more likely to take further action in downloading our offer.
3. Each email should include an offer/action for the recipient
I learned this idea from a person on the team who has a “little” (AKA a lot) more experience with marketing automation than myself. Somewhere in the design of each email, there should be some sort of offer/download for the recipient to take. In this journey, we used an infographic, checklist, video and designed PDF for the action items. Based on recipient interaction with these items, our team was able to narrow down prospects that seemed to be more engaged with the campaign.
4. Marketing automation provides in-depth insights
Because of the journey that was put in place during the marketing automation campaign, I was able to gauge prospect interest based on offer interactions. As we got further into the campaign, I was able to see which prospects continued to interact and which ones showed less interest. All this data ultimately gave us the ability to narrow down the list and provide contact information for people who interacted repeatedly.
5. Campaigns should lead to a goal
The goal of a marketing automation campaign should not be to capture every recipient that is targeted but instead to trim down the prospects. The fact of the matter is, not everyone is going to be interested in what is being offered, and that’s fine. Success was found within my first campaign by helping the client realize 9.5 percent of the original audience was interested in the final offer and by providing a list of qualified contacts for their new business team to target.
Marketing automation campaigns can feel like a difficult project, but the personalizations and insights they provide prove why over 50 percent of B2B businesses already use some form of automation software. It was a good experience working on my first campaign, and I know the lessons learned will help the next one to be even more effective.