Digital marketing is constantly evolving and with it, the strategies that we can implement to achieve the email marketing goals we set out to achieve. The way to sell and reach our ideal customer has evolved a lot over the years and automation marketing has arrived to simplify the whole process. Why should we start implementing automations in our online sales strategy? What resources and tools are necessary to achieve the results we are looking for?
The first thing we must be clear about is the functionality that automations provide within an online sales or email marketing strategy. What we are looking for is simple: to be able to automatically configure any process or action, which if we did it manually would take us much more time and money. In other words, automations will perform various tasks -for us- with which we will achieve greater productivity and effectiveness. For example, sending emails, qualifying and prospecting leads or defining buyer personas, among many other tasks that allow us to organize ourselves better.
Apart from the actions and examples previously mentioned, automation marketing has other objectives common to any type of business where it is to be applied:
By automating processes, we will be able to provide leads with valuable and interesting content in a personalized way, with the objective of converting them into customers. And if there is something that our potential customers deserve and need, it is that we have enough time to get to know them. Automation helps us to get to know them and helps our sales team to be better prepared for when they need to contact them: we will know their behavior within our website or email, what content they respond best to or what products they are most active in, for example.
It will also help salespeople to:
If there is something that automations allow us to do, it is personalization, both in the content we send by email and in the treatment we are going to give to each of our contacts. A good online sales strategy is not only the one that generates a higher volume, but the one that ensures that we empathize with our customers, that they trust us and want to buy again. This is where automations, through a mailing platform or CRM, should do the hard work for us: personalize the buyer journey, to recognize the need, solve a possible problem and provide the right solution (or product) for each consumer.
The inbound methodology is thought precisely as a differential strategy for companies, which will grow from putting customers at the center of the scene, through experiences and "meaningful and lasting relationships" with consumers, prospects and customers, according to HubSpot, one of the companies behind this type of strategy.
It could be understood that the objective of a marketing strategy is fulfilled when a customer goes through the entire sales process and ends with the purchase of our product or service. According to the specialized site Business Tech, companies have between 60% and 70% of possibilities of re-selling to their current customers, compared to a new customer who must go through the entire buyer journey from zero.
In addition, it should be noted that, if their experience was pleasant, they will probably trust us again and even recommend us to their acquaintances. All thanks to automations, personalization and the special treatment we can give them.
Worldwide automated e-commerce email marketing open rates in 2021, by content type
While all automation marketing will be aimed at selling, it is not the only thing at stake when we are ready to dive into its waters. The reality is that automations will help both leads and customers, as well as internally to our entire business structure, with processes that allow us to be faster, clearer and more effective.
Externally, automations allow us to:
Internally, automations will achieve:
There are several and varied platforms to carry out an email marketing strategy or improve online sales. Marketing automation allows you to create awareness, generate and nurture quality leads, organize multichannel engagement, guide the buyer journey and analyze your results to measure and optimize performance. Platforms such as HubSpot and Salesforce, facilitate the tasks of both sales, marketing and customer service teams.
Marketing automation platforms also help eliminate incomplete or redundant lead information, as well as lead nurturing by providing additional data.
Gartner has developed its Magic Quadrant, which "provides a graphical competitive positioning of technology vendors to help you make smart investment decisions." In this way, through this graph, they provide "practical and objective information" to help organizations make smarter and faster technology decisions to stay ahead of disruption and accelerate growth. All this, supported by the automations and the most related platforms, according to the recommendations that Gartner believes will be more profitable depending on the type of company.
Every marketing strategy is defined by the target audience we want to reach or define as ideal for the product or service we plan to launch.
The buyer persona is the representation of that customer and can be defined by several factors that identify your audience:
These are some of the examples and not always the buyer persona will be the individual who will consume that product or service (the user persona), although it will be the decision maker to carry out that acquisition. Let's think for example of a toy campaign, probably a child will be the person who enjoys that good, but his or her mother or father will be the person in charge of buying it.
Having a well-defined buyer and user persona will ensure that all our strategy and efforts are on the right track. Based on this, we will define which channels to approach, which language to use (formal or informal, more technical, advanced or simple), where we want to position ourselves and in front of which public we aspire to be present.
Once you have defined the buyer persona(s), you will be able to start sharing and planning content according to their profile, so that they show interest and feel attracted to your company, with relevant information (for the buyer persona) and with a personalized message.
You will be able to plan a periodic flow of related content, which will allow you to build loyalty. As important as defining the buyer personas or user persona, is to be clear about the negative buyer personas, who should be the ones we filter and exclude from all our automations, or better yet, we should set up other different automations that allow us to delight them as well, but from another side, without sharing the same content or treatment, but a different and special one, so that the experience is optimal for everyone equally, regardless of whether the content is different or not.
We have seen that the advantages are many and the better we know and define our buyer persona, the better the experience and the results will be, but it is also true that we must manage the use of automations carefully, to avoid overloading the customer with automated processes and falling into a "robotic" and cold dialogue, where the user experience becomes the opposite of a pleasant moment. It is recommended that automated content should not exceed 35% of the content sent by mail, to avoid falling into a generality that "depersonalizes" the mailing and can be confusing for the recipient. Another disadvantage has to do with the knowledge and time we will invest in automating the sales process: if we do not have either of them, we will definitely be losing money.
In conclusion, automation marketing can be (and will be) a great ally, if we have a well-defined strategy and the necessary knowledge to carry it out. Otherwise, there will always be the risk of losing contacts (and potential customers) in the course of a process that is not well determined or standardized.