The Most Common Marketing Automation Mistake
Several years back, many marketers sided with the idea that email marketing was dead…That it was nothing more than a passing means of communication with audiences…A channel that no longer had value in the digital marketing space and one that couldn’t quite achieve the same results as social media and content marketing. But rather than dying out, email marketing is critical.
Best-in-class performers are using it now more than ever. They have realized that email is one of the more effective channels of communication and is a vital part of a holistic marketing strategy, and the numbers are showing it.
According to Emersys, 81% of SMBs still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 81% for retention. marketers consistently ranked email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. Also important to mention is that companies that used marketing automation for their email campaigns increased conversion rates by over 50%, (Aberdeen Group). The reality is that emails deliver results which we cannot ignore. Let’s explore the No. 1 mistake email marketers make with their marketing automation platform. So what is the No. 1 mistake? It’s a failure to create buyer personas on the onset of an email campaign. Are you guilty of this? Let’s explore this concept further.
What are Buyer Personas?
In order to see through a successful email campaign, you have to start at the beginning – creating buyer personas. A buyer persona can be defined as a representation of your perfect customer. To determine a buyer persona you should be asking questions like:
- Who is your customer?
- What are their needs/wants and motivations?
- What are some aspects of their personality?
- What are their behaviors, attitudes, and journeys?
With personas, you can be more strategic in catering to your audiences, and as a result, work to attract the right customers by relating to them as human beings.
Why is Automation Important?
Marketing automation allows you to hone in on creating good, useful and engaging buyer personas. Marketing automation aggregates all customer data from each campaign and channel. It allows you to determine what makes a good customer and what makes a bad one, and from there deduce who your ideal customer is. You might see someone who wants to engage through social media, versus someone who prefers to read content. Marketing automation picks up on these differences, and through insight and analysis gathered from customer engagement, it allows you to build more targeted messages to reach the right customer at the right time via email.
Let’s look at the 5 ways marketers misuse their marketing automation platform when they neglect to create buyer personas for their email campaigns.
- Lack of segmentation. Buyer personas make it possible to split audiences into groups based on their similarities and differences. Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue, according to Campaign Monitor.. By establishing buyer personas, it becomes possible to target similar customers with the right message at the right time according to the segment they are in.
- No integration with CRM. Understanding your audiences better means gathering as much information about them as possible. And additional information is in the hands of your sales reps. When creating your buyer personas, don’t neglect to look through your company CRM to gather more data on your customers like their buying journey and significant touch points. Integrating your marketing automation platform with the company CRM makes for robust customer engagement that will aid you in your email campaign creation.
- Sending unseasoned leads to sales. When you create buyer personas, you are better able to put prospects and customers through programs that will make them more sales-ready. When you don’t understand who your audiences are, you don’t know how to properly engage because you misunderstand their needs. The less you know about them, the less sales-ready they will be.
- Lacking the ability to score leads. Having well-defined buyer personas strengthens the lead scoring process. When you understand what your ideal customer looks like, you can put prospects and customers through programs that will effectively increase their scores. And then you will be able to target buyers according to where they are in the sales cycle.
- No personalization. Ultimately, what you want to do with your customers is personalize their buying experience. Personas are the maps that help you achieve this. Taking advantage of marketing automation that enables email marketing campaigns to be as personalized as possible while communicating with customers 1:1 works best when used in tandem with personas.
Getting to Know Your Customers
There are various ways in which you can uncover who your ideal customers are. You can talk to them through social media, you can see their journeys through your website by the pages they viewed, the webinars they attended and the content marketing pieces they’ve read. But there’s nothing quite like talking to your front-line – your sales reps. Talking to your sales reps and getting insight into buyer behavior and characteristics of your ideal customers are critical. Ask your sales reps these questions:
- Who are you selling to?
- How do they communicate?
- What questions are they asking?
- What pains do they have?
Beyond talking to your sales reps, talk to your existing customers. You can create an online survey to look for trends in their responses. After conducting research, you can get a better representation of how to cater to their needs and then create ways to aid them in their search for the perfect solution to their problem. In order to help them achieve their goals, you have to create the right content that will attract your ideal customer. Take advantage of your front line and also have conversations with your current customers to create buyer personas. These buyer personas will help you in your email marketing campaigns and enable you to really resonate with your audiences.
Are you strategic when it comes to catering to your buyers via your email campaigns? You should be relating to your customers as they are – human beings; and creating buyer personas on your marketing automation platform will help you achieve this.