React to customers in real time and scale marketing for ROI wins
Feel like your ‘batch and blast’ emails aren’t hitting the mark? Do you have some great information about your loyalty members, but don’t know how to use it to maximum effect?
Does it take too long to pull data and segment your customer base? Is your team struggling to react to loyalty member and customer needs? Are you too late responding to your online actions?
If you are nodding your head, then read on to discover a dozen ways that marketing automation can create efficiencies across the entire scope of your marketing program and inject another dimension to your loyalty program.
1. Unleash the potential of your marketing staff
Marketing automation reduces the time needed to build emails, create new content, segment data and send and monitor – so your team has more time to get on with what they do best. And that’s market your product or service. Your team will love the extra time to think up new and creative ways to get the most out of your customers or loyalty members.
2. Target your marketing activities
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to marketing. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to. Customers are increasingly expecting real-time and personal communications with brands. Marketing automation allows you to identify specific activities that you know drive business benefits and set these activities up in real time. Be it a simple email capture form on your website that shoots out a welcome email, or a “people also purchased” offer after their latest purchase, your marketing team’s imagination is the limit when is comes to creating one-to-one communication with your customers.
3. Take advantage of omni-channel communications
Most automation software will allow you to communicate with your customers in a range of ways — email, SMS, call centre lists, social media and even the traditional mail-out.
You can even take it to the next level and customise your website to individual customers by linking their browsing behaviour and products they view with your marketing automation. When they next log on, you can immediately present them with the specific products and services that will likely spark their interest — and a sale.
4. Be there for the sale, cross-sell and up-sell
Linking your automation to your point of sale (POS) allows real-time capturing of POS data, which can trigger email and integrated campaigns across other channels.
It’s also a great way to keep top mind and allows for a personal touch. For example, a few hours after a customer purchases a bicycle, send them a short SMS: “Enjoy the ride! Thanks for cycling with us.”
And then automate the up-sell or cross-sell for later. Perhaps another SMS: “Want to be seen and stay safe this winter? We’ve got some new lights for your new bike.”
5. Evoke the carrot and reward factor
Marketing automation helps you to tap into your customer’s quest to work their way through the different levels of your loyalty program. Setting up staggered and automated information to educate members about your program, and then getting in touch when they are close to milestones to pull them along to the next level, helps them to maximise their rewards (and your program).
For example, when a customer is 500 points away from a reward level, set up an automated email to give them a list of what they can do to get the points they need. They will appreciate getting to the next level – and the extra service that helped them get there.
6. Capture a full picture of your customer
We’ve talked before about how loyalty can help with progressive profiling of your members, and you can use marketing automation to set up a series of data capture activities to complete the picture. Set up and automate surveys and promotions – and prompts for responses — as a way to find out more about who your customers are.
7. Never forget a birthday, or other important dates
If your loyalty program and progressive profiling has provided important information about your customer, such as their birthday, then marketing automation lets you remember it and act on it.
Set up your automation so it sends an email a few weeks before a member’s birthday. Showcase the products or services you know that will appeal to them. (You’ll know what appeals to them from the data sources you’ve pulled together.)
Want to add a nice touch? Automate an email or SMS wishing them a fabulous day. But, of course, it’s not just birthdays that you can automate marketing for. You can use sales data and loyalty information to remember dates relevant to your customers – start of school year or school holidays, mother’s day, father’s day, public holidays, seasons, end of financial year…there’s opportunities for all occasions.
8. Maximise your content
If you spend time creating content about your products and services – blogs, website articles, social media posts, thought pieces — marketing automation gives you a chance to re-purpose content across different channels. It also helps you to keep that content working beyond a one-off batch and blast to your customer base. It provides an efficient and inexpensive way to talk to your customers without your marketing team having to create new content for every interaction.
9. Is customer feedback important to you?
If a Net Promoter Score (NPS) or customer feedback survey is important to you, you can automatically set up campaigns that can capture responses to these throughout your business cycles rather than just once a year when it’s too late to take action. Why not link your POS data to your automation system and keep on the pulse of your NPS and customer interactions? Get your system to exclude repeat purchasers and ensure you don’t bombard customers with communications.
10. Market smarter, not harder
Marketing automation helps you score your marketing leads so you can invest time and money with customers who are most likely to engage with your products and services.
Once you’ve done a segmentation of your customers and understand their spending behaviour, you can understand who your “best” customers are. This allows you to create event-based triggers to apply to your leads.
For example, a hardware store might send out an email about upcoming DIY courses. Marketing automation can generate a lead list for those people who click to find out more about the courses and match the segmentation of your most valuable customers. Use these ‘warm’ leads to convert to sales.
11. Test and learn
Marketing automation allows your team to test and learn in real time. A good system will handle a range of complex split tests so you can maximise the effectiveness of your communications based on your target metrics. Decide what is important to you, be it click through rates, open rates or sales, and optimise for results.
12. Scale your marketing efforts
Think about how long it takes to build an email, create the content, segment the data and then send, monitor and react to a campaign. Automation simplifies this work. Create the email once, set-up your customer lifecycle journey, identify the trigger and…GO!
Marketing teams of two to three people are out there sending hundreds of thousands of personalised and behaviour-based communications and getting fantastic results.
If you are interested in learning more about how marketing automation can help your business deliver a successful loyalty program, get in touch with us.