Are you spending hours every day managing all your customer communications manually or have you discovered the time-saving, hyper-networking benefits of adopting marketing automation strategies?
Thanks to products from companies such as SharpSpring, Marketo, and Hubspot, more brands are beginning to adopt marketing automation to enhance their customer relationships. As artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics software become more sophisticated, so do the tools that developers create to attract prospects, personalize customer experiences, and convert leads to sales. Here are our top marketing automation strategies to improve your customer journeys and boost conversion rates.
Consolidated Marketing Channels
Creating an omnichannel, or consolidated, marketing experience for your customers will be critical in 2020. In fact, studies show that omnichannel marketing provides a 250 percent increase in purchase frequency as well as a 90 percent higher overall customer retention rate. Creating an experience that combines your email, social media, content, and mobile marketing strategies through marketing automation software simplifies tracking your customer journey across all channels, leading to increased conversions.
Imagine you run a car dealership. After visiting a manufacturer’s website, your customer finds a car they’re interested in at your property, but can’t complete their online research, so they request more information. Once you send your response email, they decide to make an appointment to test-drive the car and you send them a text confirmation for their appointment. This alone, combines content, email, and mobile marketing together in a cohesive sales process for your customers.
Automated Social Media
According to Sprout Social, 66 percent of an estimated 2.5 billion active monthly Facebook users say they like or follow a brand on the platform. Expect to see more automated tools to help businesses make these connections. Some advanced marketing automation platforms add social behavior to lead profiles and use basic target audience information to automatically engage with potential new customers through likes, comments, and follows.
Creating an engaging mobile experience for your customers is a top priority in 2020. Make sure you use responsive templates for emails, forms, and landing pages. We also recommend using email testing tools such as Litmus to allow users to preview email marketing messages across devices and see what your content will look like on smaller screens.
Advanced mobile automation features include SMS messaging and in-app marketing from smartphones. Zapier connection with SimpleTexting enables users to send automated text messages, alerts, reminders, or promotions based on your marketing automation triggers and actions.
Nurture your existing contacts by using an email workflow that triggers personalized communication based on customer behaviors, in addition to demographics. We recommend using marketing automation software to integrate email workflows with customer relationship management system to reach prospects, retarget online ads, and send emails in real time when leads have been collected.
Create, send, and measure personalized website content and email campaigns with marketing automation. Dynamically generated content adjusts on the fly as prospects interact with your landing pages or web forms.
Think about your personalized experience when browsing on Amazon and Netflix. Expect to see more companies mirroring this marketing automation technology with services like Optimizely Personalization and Adobe Target. These platforms allow companies to deliver targeted content based on real-time customer data that’s attached to a visitor’s IP address.
Marketing automation makes it easy to track customer engagement including site activity, email open rates, campaign responses, and more. Increase conversion rates on inbound and outbound campaigns with predictive lead scoring technology. Software platforms, such as Infer, leverage data and analytics to quickly identify your most promising prospects, build targeted segments, and personalize outreach at scale.
Chatbots & Artificial Intelligence
Chatbots and artificial intelligence technologies bring an extra amount of versatility to a business’s consumer interface, and their inclusion in the marketing experience is expected to grow. Grand View Research predicts the global Chatbot market will reach $1.25 billion by 2025 in the U.S. alone. As AI evolves to incorporate more customer service, lead prospecting, and purchase interactions, adding them to your current marketing automation strategies will be a must in 2020.
Take advantage of chatbots and AI to improve your customer journey, leaving more time for high-level human touch. For example, Starbucks recently integrated their own chatbots to make it easier than ever for consumers to get their daily caffeine fix. Now through voices commands or text messaging, users can use the Starbucks mobile app to place their order and get automated responses when the order will be ready, including the total cost. In 2018, Starbucks earned $23.4 billion in mobile sales alone, making it a leader in the mobile and chatbots industries.
A Human Touch
Marketing automation can significantly improve the customer experience, but without the emotional intelligence of the marketer, it can only go so far. Customers need to feel valued, otherwise your business won’t be able to thrive. When your customer comes face to face, voice to voice, or screen to screen with a human, make their experience memorable by investing in their interests, asking if there is anything more you can help them with, or providing an incentive to return to your company. Customers most likely won’t remember their conversations with your AI, but they won’t forget how a person on your team made them feel.