Only 33 percent of marketers who use automated programs rate their efforts as “very successful,” according to a recent study (PDF) that Adestra, my employer, did in partnership with Ascend2 research. Because I’m a big believer in marketing automation, I worry about the 67 percent of marketers who aren’t seeing the same results. How can you beat the odds to achieve success?
In my experience, the way a marketing automation program is conceived and set up often dooms it to failure. Such a failure doesn’t indicate that it’s not worth investing the necessary time and money into automation. Instead, it shows that the marketer didn’t think the process through, tried too many things, didn’t test it or didn’t give it enough time to take hold.
Why build a marketing automation program?
I’m a big believer in automation, and I have two reasons why automation belongs in an effective marketing program:
- It’s a money tree.
- It makes your life as a marketer easier and gets you out of the office earlier (when it works the way it’s supposed to).
If those are important to you, too, keep reading. If not, see my alternate message.
Simply put, marketing automation takes the actions in your email program that are repeatable and predictable and puts them into a program you can automate. How you build your automation will depend on many factors: your data, your objectives, the resources you can call on, management priorities and other things.
Use my two-phase plan below to sketch out a basic course to follow. Then, fill in your own details and modify it to meet your needs. One caveat: You likely will add steps that I haven’t listed. Just be sure not to cut any corners. That’s where you set yourself and your automation program up for failure.
How to build a marketing automation program
Phase 1: Assess what data you have, what you can automate and what your greatest needs are.
A marketing automation program can be as simple as a triggered welcome email or as complex as a multilevel drip campaign. But it all starts with the same process: figuring out what you can do.
- Look at the actions your customers take that are repeatable and which you can reasonably predict given your customer journey and behavioral data.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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