No matter what marketing technology we use to better communicate with customers and prospects, we are constantly thinking about improving the experience for us and the prospects, optimizing the results, and even just making things a little easier. But in the end, isn't it all about conversion?
Marketing automation is definitely not a set-it and forget-it type of program, but often it’s the small things that make all the difference. I recently asked Catherine Mears, Marketing Automation and Segmentation Manager at Red Hat, to share some tips on improving your own marketing automation operation to help drive more results.
1. Think Beyond Job Titles
Persona creation often starts with a job title. CMO. VP of Marketing. Director of Operations. But the more nuanced your personas, the better you are able to segment and target your prospects. Other data like company size, industry, or even past purchase behavior can be included in your persona definitions and can be easily collected with your lead gen forms.
And if you are concerned with reducing conversion by requiring too many fields, consider progressive profiling where you ask for additional information on subsequent interactions rather than all upfront. As this information is added to profiles, you start to have a better picture of your higher quality prospects. And these are the ones more likely to convert.
2. Count More Than Downloads
We often focus so much on downloads of our gated assets that we forget there is so much more contributing to the picture of our prospects’ engagement. Have they visited your website? What pages did they visit? Do these signals align with the content they are consuming? If so, they are expressing a stronger product interest than just learning around a topic. And don’t forget to take advantage of other sources, including their social media activity and offline data, that can be layered into your marketing automation system.
3. Save Time with Templates
Many of our tasks have the same elements and there is no need to re-build those from scratch every time. If you are using the same layout, campaign design, or form more than once, then you should consider creating a template. This especially true if you work for a large organization. You may know where you saved that email you created last year and can easily make a copy, but another user may not.
Not only do templates save time but they also keep everyone on brand. You don’t have to worry about the right version of the logo or latest updates to a positioning or about statement. It’s already correct in the template, so this makes pre-send reviews easier too. This consistency also means that you won't forget important elements that contribute to getting the results you are expecting.
4. Normalize your Data
Data can be messy. People don’t always fill out forms the same way. Marketing automation can help you ensure consistent data in certain fields. Ever been frustrated by having to look for multiple values like IT, Information Technology, I.T.? You can build your fields with dropdowns to ensure correct entry or you can automate the process on the backend to review those values and normalize for one consistent value. Cleaning up this data is a big help to understanding your prospects, segmenting for higher conversion rates, and even reporting.
5. Remove Inactive Contacts
The point of building a marketing database is not to have the most total number of contacts. You are more interested in active and engaged contacts that contribute to business results. Because of this you should not be afraid to remove contacts from your database. If the last time a record interacted with you was in 2010 than it is probably safe to remove it. What about those hard bouncebacks? That means they will never get delivered to anybody. These zombie records provide no value and just expend resources whenever you do anything. Removing these records will streamline your processes and let you focus on contacting those prospects that have a real interest in your products or services.
After incorporating these simple ideas into your marketing operations, don't get caught up in the myths of marketing automation. Written in partnership with DemandGen Report, Busting Common Myths of Marketing Automation can help. Click to get it today.