Most new business activities start small. The founder identifies and uses an opportunity to serve a specific customer in a specific way. A happy customer leads to more customers, a bigger team, and new opportunities. What was once small is evolving into a much larger unit with many moving parts – and numerous customers who all still expect the same level of service.
To support the customer journey, companies are turning to automated systems that help them strike a better balance between growth and personalization. And marketing automation tools like Insightly Marketing can be especially useful when implemented thoughtfully and strategically.
Let’s take a closer look at some best practices for automating your customer journeys.
Why marketing automation and customer travel go together
As explained in a previous article, your Customer Journey Map is a visual representation of the process your buyer goes through from awareness to satisfied customer. A well-designed customer journey map should help team members understand your buyer personalities, their internal motivations, and their interactions with your company.
Journey mapping is also helpful in improving the customer experience and overcoming internal inefficiencies. For example, you might find it easier to identify:
- Content gaps: Articles, eBooks, technical guides, and other resources that can help customers achieve their goals faster.
- Unnecessary friction: Points along the way that make life difficult for customers, such as confusing calls to action or unnecessary steps.
- Time consuming manual processes: Steps that, when automated, will benefit both the customer and your team; B. Appointment confirmations.
Resolving these challenges is not easy when you work with hundreds or thousands of contact records. Marketing automation is particularly useful here. Unlike batch-and-blast email tools, which offer minimal configuration options, marketing automation tools enable highly customized, rules-based trips that are aligned with customer and internal goals.
Marketing automation enables your company to systemize and scale your processes to keep pace with growth. The net result? Better informed customers, less friction in the buying process and improved efficiency.
4 marketing automation tips for a better customer journey
What’s the best way to align marketing automation with your customer journey? Keep these four tips in mind.
1. Gather raw ideas and develop your automation strategy
Resist the temptation to start “doing”. Instead, invest time in the process and develop a game plan. Return to your customer journey map and make a note of gaps in content, faulty processes and opportunities for improvement, such as:
- Implement auto-responder email for form submissions
- Automate the distribution of blog content to subscribers
- Regular follow-up with leads who requested prices but did not buy
- Accelerate the onboarding experience for new customers
- Ask customers to post reviews on social media and review sites
Get feedback from key stakeholders in sales, support, marketing, and other departments. Try to understand how much time and effort it takes to support existing processes and workflows. Quantify the potential business impact that automation could have.
2. Sequence your work
Take all of your automation ideas and organize them in one central place. You can use Kanban boards that are visually intuitive and make it easy to organize projects in a sequential order for implementation. Start with the project that has the most value and the least effort. If you are new to automation, it might be best to start with a very small project with minimal impact. That way, you can become familiar with the marketing automation platform and reduce the risk of unexpected delays.
An additional note on sequencing: If everything is in progress, nothing is in progress. Therefore, it is best to implement one automation project at a time. Focus on using automation to add value to the customer journey instead of maximizing the workload.
3. Get a clear understanding of your marketing automation technology
There are a variety of marketing automation systems on the market today. Some offer visually intuitive user interfaces, while others are a bit dated and tedious to use. Some are natively integrated with your CRM while others require third-party integration. Regardless of the technology you intend to use, it is important to read the support documentation and become familiar with the platform, user interface, and terminology. (If you haven’t chosen a marketing automation system, see Insightly’s Marketing Automation Checklist.)
Insightful users: Insightly Marketing Users Should Read What Are Travel? and refresh key definitions like prospects, lists, steps, actions, triggers, and reviews.
4. Use data to measure impact, avoid problems, and make future decisions
When you are automating various aspects of the customer journey, you should often fall back on your marketing automation system for data and insights. In addition to top-level campaign metrics, drill down on specific steps in the journey. Your system should make it easy to understand:
- Total number of deliveries, openings and clicks for each email
- Top performing and worst performing steps along the way
- Opportunities to continuously improve the trip
One last note: Your company is constantly evolving – as is the customer journey. Therefore, you need to update your automation rules regularly when changes occur. Set a goal to regularly review all active automations. Monthly or quarterly is likely a good cadence, depending on the level of automation. Look for automated workflows that overlap or affect the customer experience. Look for ways to consolidate and simplify.
Automate your customer trips step by step
Automation can be of great benefit to the customer journey. It can also be a bit overwhelming, especially if your company has been slow to adopt new technology. Don’t try to do too many things at once when you start formulating your automation strategy. Remember, any incremental improvement is a net benefit for your customers and your team.
Keep it simple, focus on the value, and keep iterating.
To learn more about Insightly’s unified platform for automating sales and marketing, request a demo and receive a free needs assessment.
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