Marketing Automation Strategies and Examples
Inbound and outbound marketing work well with marketing automation strategies.
Marketing automation should take place when users have landed on / signed up with your website.
The main objective of marketing automation is to get the users to take actions (e.g. Buy products from your website, renew services on your web application).
- 1. User Onboarding to New Signups
- 2. Automation through Data Analytics
- 3. Retargeting
- 4. Viewed Product’s Reminder
- 5. Cart Abandonment Reminder
- 6. Products Customers Also Bought Reminder
- 7. Social Media Sharing Reminder
- 8. Customer Segmentation Campaigns
- 9. Email Reminder for Promotions
- 10. Multi-channel Communication Campaigns
- 11. Shipping Communication Campaign
- 12. Customer Reviews Campaign
- 13. Inactive Customer Campaign
- 14. Multi-step Campaign
- 15. Survey / Improvement Campaign
1. User Onboarding to New Signups
Your user’s onboarding process is the first place you can start with marketing automation.
Right away you should send a welcome email to this new user.
For a product (i.e. a web-based tool, or web application), it’s best to set up one of the user onboarding tools (or walkthrough tools) to lead your new user for a complete product journey. In the product journey, step-by-step triggers (and tooltips) are set up to guide your user to successfully use the product for the first time. The user onboarding tools that are best to set up the triggers for the product journey include Walkme, WhatFix and Uengager.
For a social media website or an online forum, the first thing should be to send your new user a message on how she can connect to other existing users and/or the popular topics that are being discussed by other users.
For an eCommerce website, the automation task should be to reveal to the new user your best selling items.
2. Automation through Data Analytics
We all know about the most popular web analytics tool, Google Analytics. This Google Analytics Book will guide you to properly set up data tracking for your website.
- Use this guide when you’re to install Google Analytics on WordPress, which esplains three installation methods.
- Use this guide when you’re to install Google Analytics on Shopify website.
Google Analytics (GA) is mostly only good for you to view the data reports when you need the insights. The insights are good for you to make most business decisions in right way (if you’re good at figuring out insights through GA’s reports).
However with marketing automation, the problem is far deeper than you think.
If you want to run marketing automation campaigns with your automated tools, the first pre-requisite is to really capture the data.
Not only you’ll have to capture your end result data.
But more importantly you’ll have to track most the data of your users (or customers) when they are using your website (or product). You’ll then re-organize (or clean) the collected data, and have it stored somewhere in your database(s) or data warehouse.
Fortunately, you don’t always have to build your own data warehouse. There are tools such as Salesforce (or any other tools that can produce similar results) that you may rely on. Have the Marketing Cloud set up to meet your requirements for data capture, data storage and data segmentation, then you’re ready to launch your many marketing automation campaigns.
This is the most common case when retargeting happens:
- A user arrives on a page on your website, and may have browse a few of your web pages. The user leaves your website.
- During the user’s visit (or session) on your website, her cookie data has been collected by a ad network that you’re using.
- This ad network has banner ads placed on another website. On the next day, the same user happens to visit this other website. The ad network uses the cookie to match this user, and displays your retargeted ad to this user.
Another example is Facebook Ads. You take the Facebook tracking pixel from your Facebook advertising account, and have the pixel placed on all the pages of your website.
Now a user lands on one of your web pages, but then leaves your website altogether. During her one page view on your website, her cookie data has been collected by Facebook’s tracking pixel.
This same user goes onto Facebook. She’s shown an ad that you’ve placed on Facebook, because Facebook recognizes her through the cookie that was recorded through Facebook’s tracking pixel when she visited your website.
The key behind retargeting is that you’ll always require a user first lands on one of your websites or web pages, where you’ve pre-installed your tracking code for your retargeting ads. The retargeting tracking code should most likely be provided to you by an ad network, such as Facebook, Google AdWords, etc.
The main objective of any retargeting ad campaign should be to bring the user to your website for a second time, hopefully with this second chance your website will be able to “convert” the user (into your new lead or new customer).
Retargeting is sometimes also known as remarketing. This is because when Google AdWords launched its own version of retargeting ads in the old days, Google named it Remarketing.
4. Viewed Product's Reminder
The viewed product’s reminder is an upgrade to ad retargeting and may let you send highly personal messages to your members. Highly personal messages would usually lead to lower dissatisfaction to your customers (or registered members of your eCommerce website).
It really depends on a registered member’s browsing history on your eCommerce site. When she opens and browses a specific product page, but she ends up leaving your site without touching her shopping cart or going any further down the conversion funnel, it’s time to send her a personalized email about the product (i.e. item) she has browsed.
To go one step further, recommend her similar products that she may want to buy in the same email.
The main differences between the viewed product’s reminder email and ad retargeting are:
- The viewed product’s reminder works only because the user has registered on your site, and because of this you have her email address where you can engage with her through emails. Retargeting is usually used to approach users who you don’t have their email addresses.
- The reach of retargeting is broader as it helps you reach people when they’re browsing on other websites. With the viewed product’s reminder, you’re only able to engage through emails the people who have registered on your website.
Not only enabling you run/manage your “standard” email marketing campaigns, but the automation tools such as SendInBlue, ActiveCampaign, and a few others actually let you set up automated emails. Such automated emails can be configured to send to users, based on the behavior of users when they visit your website (or specific web pages).
- How to set up email marketing automation through SendInBlue?
- How to configure automated emails with ActiveCampaign?
Retargeting is a form of online advertising, and you pay for the impressions or clicks you receive. With the reminder, you set it up, and you use it for free.
5. Cart Abandonment Reminder
For an eCommerce website (such as Shopify website), often a customer would have added some items to her online shopping cart, and would have forgotten about the cart.
That’s when an email (or a series of emails) should be sent to the customer, reminding her about the incomplete order. The immediate objective is to get this customer to make/complete this one specific purchase.
The Klaviyo app lets you build a cart abandoned flow with a single reminder email or a set of emails for your Shopify store.
6. Products Customers Also Bought Reminder
An eCommerce site example is that when a customer is on a specific product page, she may be only browsing and comparing prices, or she may be ready to click the “buy now” button.
Often below the product’s image, name and description, the website shows the products that other customers also bought when they purchased this product.
If the specific product is a mobile phone, then below it the recommended items may include:
- Mobile phone sleeve
- Additional battery
- USB cable
- Battery charger
Some people on your eCommerce site may end up also buying 1 or 2 items listed below with the specific product.
When the recommended items are appropriately selected for all cases, it will become an effective way to upsell your customers for more revenue.
7. Social Media Sharing Reminder
After a customer has successfully completed a purchase on your eCommerce site, she is usually on the order complete confirmation page. At this very moment, she is about to leave your website. But just before that, you have an opportunity to get her to engage.
What you may do is that on the order complete confirmation page, make some social media sharing buttons available to your customers. When your customers have completed a satisfied purchase, some of them may be more than happy to share with their friends on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter what they have bought.
It’s a simple job to add a few social media sharing buttons on your eCommerce website. The benefit is that some of the friends of your customers may also be interested in the items that have bought, and may end up becoming your new customers.
One of the best ways to sell something is always when a friend recommends it. These days most people are using Facebook – Find out how to sell on Facebook?
8. Customer Segmentation Campaigns
You may have 100,000 email addreses in your database. But you should never send your next product promotion email to everyone. You should first select the members (or customers) who are highly likely to buy this product. This is the key to customer segmentation strategies.
9. Email Reminder for Promotions
You are preparing a new promotion where some specific products will have discounts. You would send an email to your customers about this.
Sometimes your customers don’t even open this email about the next upcoming promotion (or discounted products). So what would you do?
Pre-schedule another email reminder to be sent to the customers who haven’t opened the first email.
10. Multi-channel Communication Campaigns
You may have stored your customers’ email addresses, mobile phone numbers, and/or other IDs (or numbers) that you can reach them. For a single customer, sometimes you have her email address, Facebook ID, mobile phone number, Skype ID, or more.
If you think during the next product promotion, you should blast each and every email addresses, phone numbers, etc, then it’s the wrong way. You don’t want to annoy (or spam) a person by sending her the same message across multiple channels (such as email address, mobile phone messaging, Facebook messaging, Whatsapp messaging, Skype messaging, etc).
Make a plan. It’s better to send your message to the first channel, and wait 1-2 days before you try the next channel.
11. Shipping Communication Campaign
After a customer has successfully completed an order on your eCommerce website, the customer will be waiting for their newly purchased item to be delivered. But sometimes they would forget when (or on which day) they will receive the item.
Schedule to have an email sent to your customer once your shipping information is confirmed. i.e. The expected date of delivery.
By doing this, you’ve given your eCommerce store an additional opportunity to communicate and/or make good impression with your customer.
Providing such informative reminder is great customer service for any eCommerce site.
12. Customer Reviews Campaign
A few days after your customer has received the item (i.e. product) that she bought from your eCommerce website, it’s time to send her an email and ask for a product review.
This type of emails should always be a main part in your marketing automation strategy.
Reviews from “real” customers who have previously purchased a specific item (i.e. product) from your site are the best public opinions for any potential new customers (who are considering if she should buy that same item).
13. Inactive Customer Campaign
Reactivating inactive members in your eCommerce website’s database may be the most difficult campaign besides getting new customers.
There are two types of inactive members.
People who have purchased before on your site, but haven’t bought anything else since a certain time period.
People who have never made any purchase on your website.
Let’s leave the latter members alone for now, and focus on only reactivating the members who have purchased in the past.
Normally, if you’re to run this reactivation campaign for once, mostly you’ll not need to set up automation.
But if you are to send personalized emails based on the customers’ preference of her last purchase, do set up automation with your website’s product recommendation algorithms.
The best is to combine the recommendation algorithms with email pre-scheduling. An email is that when a customer went inactive for 3 months, your first pre-scheduled email will be sent. The next pre-scheduled email will be sent 30 days after the first. You should figure out the suitable number of emails to be sent per inactive customer, and continue this pattern.
14. Multi-step Campaign
The nature of many B2B companies is that they don’t sell a physical product, and usually they need to engage with their potential clients/customers a few times before the clients would make a decision.
It’s the same nature when you sell an online course. Let’s say you’re selling a “How to make money online” course which may cost $1,999. With this price, no one is going to buy right away. That’s why you’ll need to set up a multi-step conversion campaign.
In your campaign, you’ll most likely have to include a few emails and/or videos.
The many emails may be used as reminders to new videos you’ve published on your Youtube channel, where you’re using it to showcase your expertise in the online money making niche.
Some other emails in your campaign would share with your “email leads” some pre-course learning materials. The main objective of the pre-course materials is to make some strong points on why the people you’re targeting are suitable for your course, and why they’ll be benefited if they enroll your course.
Before creating and sending emails (through your well-designed multi-step email campaign), the first step is to capture people’s email addresses through your website. But how would you get a big list of email addresses, or even start getting email addresses?
For marketers or owners of B2B websites or small business websites, if you run out of ideas on how to capture email leads, then apply these list building strategies.
15. Survey / Improvement Campaign
Make a plan to get feedback from your customers. Send them survey questions to ask them how satisfying (or how unhappy) they think about your products, services, etc.
Customer feedback is one of the best ways for you to discover the problems (you didn’t know before) about your products, service, and/or website.
You won’t have to use all the strategies that have been mentioned. But wherever suitable, do apply a few strategies to your marketing automation campaigns.