Starting with marketing automation: four campaigns you just have to use

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29, June 2020

We see marketing automation as a fun game, in which you become increasingly better, but where you have to start at the beginning. If you are just starting with marketing automation, you at the very least have to begin with a few automated campaigns. These are easy to set up, help your customers on their way and ultimately generate very good results. 

In this article we give you four examples of marketing automation campaigns that you just have to use if you are starting with marketing automation. 

We will also give you a few valuable tips. If you are going to start with a reactivation campaign, then take care when choosing the tone of voice of your messages. Or do you want to send service messages regarding your services, for example while the corona measures are in place? Then make sure that your database is up to date. More on that in this article as well.

The start: converting visitors to contacts

Prior to setting up your campaigns, it is important that you convert your visitors to contacts. How can you make that happen?

  • Ensure there are sufficient and visible possibilities for registering (pop-ups, banners, app, an online environment in which contacts can log in, social, etc.)
  • Make the process of registering as attractive as possible. Sell your emails/newsletter! Also think about the word ‘newsletter’. Is there a more attractive word you could use?
  • Keep the registration form as short as possible. Every extra question results in 20% fewer responses (Source: marketingfacts)

Starting with marketing automation: four campaigns for a good start

There are four campaigns that you just must use in order to be successful in marketing automation. These campaigns are easy to set up in the Webpower Flow Builder and are guaranteed to get good results. Below, I will briefly touch upon these and explain in more detail later on.

  • Engage in a conversation and get to know your contacts using a welcome campaign
  •  Rather than use “hard” conversion emails, surprise someone with, for example, a birthday email or an email on another surprising moment or day
  • Ensure that your contacts are actively involved. Try encouraging inactive contacts to engage with you again using an engagement campaign. Don’t be afraid to remove contacts
  • Approach your entire database at least twice a year through a service campaign

Four (email) marketing automation campaigns that you just have to use

Welcome campaign

When you walk into a physical shop, the salesperson ideally serves you as well as possible. You can compare this visit to digitally leaving behind your details: you show an interest in an organisation and are willing to leave your email address (“to enter the shop”). So it makes sense that you also serve this electronic customer as well as possible. Therefore engage with this contact like you would in a physical shop and get to know each other. This is also referred to as the 30 days of honeymoon.

Tell something about yourself and your product or service in the welcome campaign, but also ask the recipient’s details. After all, it is during these first 30 days of honeymoon that contacts are the most willing to give details about themselves. Think about what data you need (for personalisation and segmentation) and give each of these data a certain priority. Preferably send an email per data and explain why you need this information (GDPR-proof).

Start with the most important data and, if necessary, use reminders. In any case, keep the forms – also after registration – short. Every question that you add means 20% less response*. Of course a question doesn’t necessarily mean a literal question. Encourage your customer to leave behind their details. Offer a discount, give a gift or use gamification.

Handy tip: you can already use the Thank You page for asking additional questions. Just look at the example of our customer Handicap NL, who cleverly offers a gift in exchange for additional information on its Thank You page.

Another fun fact: the confirmation mail is the most successful mail when it comes to the open and click ratio. It is therefore very suitable for asking extra information.

Birthday campaign

A birthday campaign, which often consists of just one email, can be set up on the platform in no time. Once you know someone’s birthday, you can automatically send them a Happy Birthday email. Or better even: surprise the recipient at some other unexpected moment.

Send an email when someone has been customer for a year, reward loyal customers or choose another moment in the Special Moments calendar. Creativity and surprise are the two magic ingredients here. 

Engagement campaign

Engagement refers to the recipients’ level of involvement. The highest measurable level is the date on which the last email was opened. A recipient who has not been opening his or her email for a while is referred to as a sleepy/inactive contact, and they do more harm than good. It is, therefore, always a good idea to clean up your database. Don’t be afraid to remove email addresses!

With an engagement campaign you avoid:

  • Your emails ending up in spam folders
  • Unhealthy email ratios (open and click)
  • Unnecessary costs for emails that are not read

In addition to the most recent open date of an email, you can also look at:

  • Most recent activity – customer has not opened the organisation’s app for a while
  • Latest purchase date – customer has not bought anything for a while
  • Latest login date – customer has not logged in for a while

You could set up entire lifecycle campaigns to activate inactive contacts, but you don’t have to go that far yet when we talk about just starting with marketing automation.

It applies to both B2B and B2C: don’t make it too complicated. Simply say: “We have noticed that you have not been opening our emails for a while. Do you wish to continue receiving them?” Anything you can clean up will improve your communication in the future.

Expert tip: tone of voice in reactivation emails

Telling people that you can see that they are not opening their emails may make them uneasy regarding privacy issues. We would therefore recommend a more subtle approach. Don’t bluntly write: “We can see that you have not opened your emails for a while”, but for example: “Do you wish to continue receiving our emails?”, “We have not heard from you in a while”, “We miss you” or “It seems that you have probably not read our messages for a while”.

You could also say that you want to check because you would like to “continue sending information that is as interesting as possible for each recipient and that this can best be achieved when as many recipients as possible from the list of contacts of organisation X are active.” Anything, as long as it comes across as focussed on providing service. Write a cheerful, positive email that does not come across as Big Brother is watching you.

Service campaign

After the outbreak of the coronavirus, organisations suddenly approached their entire database with emails regarding their changed/modified services. Because their data was not up to date, this caused a lot of problems, such as:

  • Large numbers of bounces
  • Spam traps
  • Reputational damage resulting in emails ending up in spam folders

A service campaign avoids inactive contacts as well as reputational damage.

Service messages are generally used, for example, by organisations with a duty to provide information and for informing customers about recalls, security incidents, calamities and changes in conditions. A service message serves no commercial purpose and does not need to contain an unregister link. It can be sent to everybody, even to those contacts you haven’t received an opt-in from.

So regularly – once or twice a year – manually send a service message in which you ask for example: ‘Is your email address still correct’? This will allow you to not only monitor when you have received an email address, whether it is up-to-date and when someone was sent an email for the last time, but also follow up bounces. In this way, you can continue sending your future digital service messages in the right manner.

Need help starting with marketing automation?

We see marketing automation as a fun game and will be happy to help you with this challenge for your organisation. But if you just want to bounce some ideas off one another, or need help with a flying start, we will also be happy to be of service.

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