5 types of marketing automation to enhance your marketing strategy

Shelby Boock PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

It’s no new concept. The potential complexity of marketing automation has some people skeptical about making the investment.

In fact, according to Emailmonday, only an average of 51% of companies are using marketing automation and 58% of B2B companies are in the planning phases of adopting it.

Assuming you have the right tools in your marketing tech stack — like a CRM with accurate, up-to-date data; a fully functional marketing automation tool; and integration between the two — marketing automation can be simple to implement.

Here are five marketing automation examples to consider to help build and maintain prospect and customer relationships and create internal efficiencies.

Automated welcome emails

Automated welcome emails help establish a level of trust with new subscribers. Generally, these emails are sent after a user signs up to receive a new type of content or provides an email address and other basic contact information to a new brand. The emails don’t often require any action and are used to thank users for subscribing. They also set additional expectations around the type frequency of content that will be received.

Automated welcome emails can serve as a form of double opt-in, asking the new users to confirm their subscription. This double opt-in approach is great to ensure healthy lists, full of users who truly want to receive and engage with your content.

Automated customer milestone emails

Automated milestone emails are a great way to build deeper relationships with customers and subscribers. Based on the data available in your CRM, you can easily build automation rules that trigger emails to deploy and remind customers of important dates. It might be time for routine maintenance or you’d like to wish them a happy birthday, or recognize other fun milestones they might not expect (but would appreciate).

Milestone emails are an effective way to drive existing customers back to your site for additional conversions and sales. For example, the CTA on a maintenance reminder email might drive traffic to the applicable maintenance services that you offer or even encourage recipients to schedule a service appointment. And post-purchase emails, sent out a period of time after a product or service has been purchased, might include CTAs promoting add-ons or upgrades available, driving users to those product pages and encouraging additional sales.

Re-engagement emails

Re-engagement emails help keep your lists clean and email performance metrics strong by weeding out bad email addresses and contacts who might no longer be interested in your content. They can be triggered by inactivity for a certain period of time based on setup of various fields within your marketing automation tool or CRM.

For example, if a contact hasn’t engaged with emails for the past 60 days, an email notification can be sent about updating preferences or offering the option to opt out.

It’s important to remember that a properly functioning preference center with a great user experience is a key contributor to the effectiveness of automated re-engagement emails.

Event promotion: Reminders and follow-ups

Marketing automation can help create efficiencies for teams coordinating events like webinars, seminars and trade shows. Think about the various events or webinars you’ve attended in the past and which of them offered the best experience.

It’s become a general expectation that once you’ve submitted a registration form, you’ll get an immediate confirmation email with additional information you need prior to the event. You’ll also likely expect a reminder or two leading up to the event among other communications.

Emails for event promotion, reminders, registration confirmation and follow-up information can be built into workflows and/or automation rules. They are triggered by the completion of a simple registration form, taking those deployments off the plate of sales or marketing team members.

Automated drip campaigns

Automated email drip campaigns are most commonly used to promote content topics relevant to users based on their behavior on and engagement with a website. They also take into account demographic data collected and stored through time.

Automated drip campaigns often involve adding a user to a journey or workflow upon completion of a specific action on a site. For example, if a new lead completed a form to download a whitepaper, you now know some basic information about this user based on his or her responses in the form. You also know the type of content the person is interested in.

After some time passes, an automated email is set to send an additional relevant piece of content or offer, triggered by the initial form completion. From there, the lead follows a journey relevant to individual interactions and interests based on the information collected along the way. Maybe the lead opened the first email offering new content but didn’t click through to that content. No problem. You can build the workflow to send them a slightly different piece of relevant content a week later. Maybe that content will resonate better.

Automated drip campaigns can be as simple or as complex as you want. Some might consist of a few emails triggered simply by time frames to space the content offers out. Others could have complex logic and rules built in to further customize the journey to each user.

It’s easy to get ambitious when planning your first automated drip campaign, but remember, it’s always best to start small and build on the level of complexity later.

Taking the first step

Though these five types of marketing automation are common, they are by no means an exhaustive list of how you can enhance your marketing campaigns. Start with small, simple strategies like these to get comfortable and more familiar with executing different types of marketing automation. You’ll naturally find other ways that it can benefit your team and overall organization.