Marketing automation may still rely on email for most of the communication work, but times are quickly changing. Sophisticated marketing automation focuses more heavily on user behavior, providing visitors with the right content at the right time in the buying cycle—on any channel. To achieve this, you have to move beyond mass email campaigns and, instead, shift focus to personalized, content-focused lead nurturing.
Here are five opportunities for personalized marketing through automation that go beyond email marketing:
Personalized Calls to Action: Direct visits are most likely the No. 1 or 2 source of your website traffic, especially if you are an established enterprise. Once someone downloads an ebook or whitepaper, there's no need for them to see the offer the next time they visit your website. And once someone has moved to a different stage in the buying cycle, the content they consume will be different. Not only does this provide support for any email lead nurturing you may be doing, it keeps the user engaged with your brand when they aren’t ready to buy. (On the Kuno website, personalized calls to action get 8 to 9 times more click-throughs than standard calls to action.)
Hyper-Targeted Emails: Why communicate with a CEO the same way you would talk to a manager? Why send an email to all your contacts when you're really only marketing to one segment of your audience? When you create highly targeted lists based on the information a user has provided, you can send emails to the user that focus on his or her needs. This increases the open and click rates, which in turn can increase form conversions.
Social Media Integration: Social media can be a powerful tool for connecting with new prospects or nurturing current ones. Now that those tools are becoming more sophisticated, as well, it's important to use the available targeting to provide new content to groups on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. As more people turn to social for brand updates and engagement, opportunities in this channel will only grow.
Persona-Driven Content: You have your target audiences, but do you have the content to support them? From ebooks to videos to case studies, your content needs to reflect your buyer personas. If you are selling to small business owners, then they will need different educational information than director-level professionals at a large enterprise.
Dynamic Landing Page Forms: One of the best ways to keep a prospect engaged and to learn more about them is to use dynamic forms on your landing pages. Once a website visitor converts on a form to receive an offer, you shouldn’t ask them the same questions again the next time they attempt to fill out a form. You can simply ask for enough information to recognize them. But also remember, a second conversion is a chance to ask a new question that can further qualify the lead and provide additional targeting opportunities.
With just these five pieces in place, you can move marketing automation away from just email marketing and into a new arena for engagement. And all of these tactics provide a new opportunity to convert and re-convert prospects overtime. This continued relationship with your brand and your content is what can eventually move the prospect down your sales funnel... until they are ready to buy.
Dan Stasiewski is an Enterprise Data Consultant at Kuno. When he's not talking about marketing data and trends, he's probably in a movie theater... or randomly breaking into song. You can connect with Dan via Twitter, LinkedIn or GooglePlus.