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Making Marketing Easier... Without Losing the Human Touch

June 17, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Marketing automation is a popular topic in marketing circles these days.

The increasing sophistication of online technologies means it’s now easier than ever to put systems and processes in place to communicate with your customers, without actually having to spend the time talking to them one-on-one.

Depending on what your marketing objectives are, that’s an exciting or scary prospect... 

So, what is marketing automation?

At a high level, marketing automation systemises and automates tasks that would otherwise have been performed manually. A common example is email marketing software, such as Mail Chimp (www.mailchimp.com), which lets marketers create a single email and dispatch it to an entire database by clicking a single button.

The benefits.

From a busy business owner or marketer’s perspective, any process that reduces the resource and time needed to deliver marketing initiatives has to be a great thing, right? Most software associated with digital marketing automation also gives great insight into how well any given marketing effort has performed. For email marketing, this could be how many people opened your email or clicked through to your website.

The dangers.

From a business perspective, less time spent ‘making marketing’ and greater visibility in terms of results is fantastic news. Unfortunately, this can be at the expense of the customer’s experience. Think about how many email newsletters you’re currently subscribed to – how many of those businesses make any effort to communicate with you on a one-to-one basis after you’ve signed up? Not many I’ll bet. 

The danger with marketing automation is that, because it’s so easy to market en masse, customers tend to get lumped together and plied with generic content. So, while your newsletter may be getting your brand in front of the customer on a regular basis, they’re unlikely to remain overly engaged with it unless they’re receiving some other form of personalised communication from you.

Striking the right balance.

Done well, marketing automation can be a master-stroke that makes marketers’ lives easier and makes customers not just aware, but engaged with a brand. 

We recently worked with a business in the finance sector. They wanted to grow their prospect database by offering a free e-book written by one of their in-house finance experts, and then keep in touch with subscribers via a regular email newsletter. 

While this was a sound start, we felt they could do more to build engagement. One of our recommendations was to send a personalised note from the author of the e-book to every new prospect, 24 hours after they’d downloaded it. The email went something along the lines of:

Hi {Customer Name},

I noticed that you downloaded my ebook, so I thought I'd get in touch to say thanks and I hope you're enjoying it.

If you've got any questions feel free to give me a call or drop me an email. I specialise in helping first home buyers get their loans sorted – the service is free, so don't hesitate to get in touch if I can help.

Best wishes,

{Ebook Author} 

Sounds simple, right? It was – but it also generated a much stronger result by starting a one-on-one conversation with the prospect, rather than simply relying on the monthly newsletter to follow up. And the best part? This ‘personalised’ note was actually automated, requiring absolutely no extra work for the business. 

It just goes to show - marketing can be made easier, without losing the human touch. After all, successful marketing is about building connections with your would-be customers – and that’s much easier to do if they feel like a person, not another entry in your database.

Need help?

East specialises in digital content solutions for email and web that create action and engagement from your customers.

If you need help with your email marketing strategy, content or delivery, contact us – lisa@eastmc.co.nz. 



Tags: success story email automation database digital content solutions Mail Chimp
Category: Content Marketing

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