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Even the most resourceful businesses can fall into the trap of failing to add that all-important personal touch to the customer journey. Automation can play a key role in converting new leads into fully-fledged customers while creating a significant level of loyalty among those who have already made a purchase in your store.
As the table above shows, marketing leaders identify automation technology as a key way of improving the quality of audience targeting and the experience leveraged for leads. In terms of the acquisition, marketers determine that automation can facilitate better quality and quantity of leads – as well as a higher rate of conversion.
Automation can also pay dividends in customer retention too, which is significant considering around 65% of profits come from existing customers, while the likelihood of selling to a current customer stands at a percentage between 60% and 70%, while this rate for new customers is closer to between 5% and 20%.
The Lure of Automation in Marketing
Marketing automation can help to make marketers altogether more efficient. The purpose of automation is to streamline and scale lead management and other marketing activities as a means of generating greater levels of revenue.
However, it’s vital that organizations and decision-makers who embrace automation are ready to utilize the technology. The company needs to be ripe for innovation, and automation tech needs to be nurtured into generating leads effectively enough to turn them into paying customers.
But the responsibilities of automation technology don’t just end with customer acquisition. These tools should be central to everything that you do, which means marketing automation should evolve to play a vital role in your business.
Significantly, marketing automation strategies don’t interpret customers as an afterthought at the end of a traditional sales funnel. Instead, customers are placed at the front and center of a flywheel that becomes increasingly efficient when you give it the attention it deserves whilst reducing any emerging points of customer friction.
For instance, we can look at a snapshot of marketing automation software in action. An email is sent to a user that’s been triggered by their behavior inside the marketing automation platform. According to Nitai Aventaggiato, co-founder at Helpmonks, “you can remind a website visitor of items in their abandoned shopping cart or send an automated email welcome series to subscribers on your email newsletter. Marketing automation helps companies to increase efficiency, sales and engage with customers in a more personal way and grow revenue faster.”
But how exactly can marketing automation be used in your business to facilitate greater levels of customer acquisition and retention? Let’s take a look at five key ways to use automation technology in your business:
#1. Automated Onboarding
It’s likely that you understand the value of onboarding new customers, but it remains true that as much as 41% of companies don’t bother welcoming new arrivals in real-time.
Even when the securing of sales is a high-touch process – which can often be the case in more B2B-based enterprises, a simple welcome email can be significant in building trust and reducing elements of risk in the early stages of acquisition.
Generating automated welcome messages can be a powerful tool for your business. According to various studies, welcome emails can carry open rates of between 50% and 65% – an astronomical figure when compared to cold outreach.
As we can see in the example above, automated welcome emails can be simple yet effective to implement. However, your automated messages don’t have to be limited to welcome emails. There are plenty of ways automated messages can help in the onboarding process, things like simply thanking the recipient for being a customer, promoting your businesses’ community, sharing your mission statement, sharing customer success stories, setting expectations for the next phases of the customer experience and establishing a point of contact for the user to get in touch with can all be excellent ways of making new subscribers feel special.
Be sure to take a moment to consider how your business can help to make prospective customers feel valued and incorporate it into your automated marketing strategy. Arguably, your welcome email is a vital chance to spark a long-term relationship with your acquisitions. This, in turn, can foster better levels of engagement with your email content and fewer spam complaints.
#2. Leverage Transparency
Automation is also a significant asset in bringing a level of transparency and eliminating bureaucracy within your processes.
In simple terms, this is because software platforms are far quicker than humans when it comes to responding to queries or concerns from customers. For instance, if a customer tries to reach out for clarification on the delivery time of a product and you’re unable to give assurances in a swift manner, it’s set to leave a negative impression on them which could ultimately cause them to shop elsewhere in future.
Through automating your processes and incorporating chatbots or automatic responses to customer messages, you can ensure that your business will conduct itself in a more transparent manner for customers. This can also bring benefits in removing any red tape or malpractice that your employees may unconsciously or consciously engage in.
As the data above shows, 37% of decision-makers highlight the ability to provide swift responses as the most significant use case for automated chatbots, while 34% of respondents also believed that this level of automation could help relieve some of the strain on human operatives in responses to queries – solely by more efficiently sorting customer issues prior to putting them in touch with human help.
Through modern automation technology, chatbots can tap into AI and machine learning to understand and communicate to each customer on a more personable level through adapting to the colloquialisms it sees and responding in an affirmative manner.
It’s also capable of learning through customer feedback the most effective responses to queries, and has the ability to show the most effective solutions more frequently while displaying answers that customers have deemed ineffective less frequently.
By incorporating chatbots into your business structure, you’re adopting automation technology that’s likely to save money on having to rely on employees to respond to large volumes of queries. They act as a first point of contact for customers and can help to leverage more sales by resolving issues while the intent to buy remains strong among visitors.
#3. Prioritize Personalisation
What content are your customers engaging in most? How are they arriving on your website? What links are they clicking the most? Learning how your customers interact with your business is essential for personalizing the experience that they have.
The longer you can uphold your relationship with your customers, the stronger it will become, and one of the most significant things you can do to aid the growth of your customer relationships is to offer greater levels of personalization where possible as a means of adding greater value.
As an example of this, it’s possible to look at your own personal friendships. We communicate better with our friends and loved ones rather than acquaintances because of our shared history together. Automated marketing can send off more personalized messages to ensure that your customers can experience a similar level of shared history along the way.
One of the most engaging examples of personalized marketing comes in the form of Spotify’s regular reviews of user listening habits. Not only does the past twelve months of listening get showcased in a slick review, but regular behaviors are regularly packaged up and examined in order to build a personal rapport with users.
Monday offers a similar service in which users get to look back at their performance over the course of the past year in finer detail. Although these approaches are largely engaging and detailed, it’s possible to add personalization based on buying habits, or simply by asking how a customer has enjoyed their product.
Does your business offer a service that customers may enjoy gaining insights into? Although metrics like spending volume are generally a negative form of insight to show customers, displaying fun information about how they’ve been using your business can be a great way of building loyalty and ensuring that they have reason to believe they’re getting value for their money.
Offer insights into how customers have used your product or service, and add value where possible. If a customer has used your service for over 900 hours over the course of a year, be sure to let them know.
#4. Chase Up Abandoned Carts
The issue of abandoned carts is another key hurdle that automation can help eCommerce stores to overcome.
There can be plenty of reasons why cart abandonment happens. Sometimes shipping costs are just too high for customers, other times distractions along the purchasing journey can take place, or shoppers discover fresh offers at a competitor’s site.
By utilizing automated marketing software, it’s possible to remind shoppers that there are products still waiting for them in their basket and incentivize them to return to complete the process. Automated emails can offer promotional discounts, related product suggestions, better shipping options, or more levels of customer service contact information. Here, it can be effective to preempt the concerns that shoppers may have and ease them.
Above we can see a prime example of an automated email that’s designed to encourage a user who’s abandoned their cart to return with the incentive of free shipping. Although the software causes you to lose out on a shipping fee, it can help to deliver better brand loyalty and encourage more customers to continue returning to your stores – making the incentive far better for your bottom line over time.
In this case, automation technology can deliver the levels of adaptability that are impossible for humans to replicate. Instead of losing out on sales, the technology picks them up and gives them that little incentivized nudge that may have been needed to leverage a sale.
#5. Seek New Ways to Enhance Customer Experience
It’s vital to ensure that your customer experience model is resonating well with your audience. Automation and personalization software only works if it’s complementing the right areas of your website.
Utilize analytical tools like Google Analytics and Finteza to ensure that the customers arriving from your automated mailing links are continuing their journey on site. These insights can help to play a pivotal role in showing you where to make improvements in your user experience model and what marketing techniques are working best already.
As we can see from Finteza’s urchin tracking module (UTM) parameters, it’s possible to explore how specific traffic interacts with your site and how long they spend on your pages. If you notice a high volume of bouncebacks, it’s worth reviewing your process and the things you promise in your email content, and whether it’s effectively delivered on-site.
Fundamentally, it’s vital to continue looking at your approach to automation and to continue adapting your offers, welcome messages, and cart abandonment content to ensure that you’re continually striking the right note with your customers. Be sure to consider seasonal opportunities to appeal directly to your prospective customers with greater personalization and offers.
Automation not only has the power to enhance your customer acquisition and retention rates, but it can also save money across your marketing efforts. Many of these automated services, including that of chatbots, email personalization approaches, and tracking website performance can help to take vital employee hours away from monotonous processes and on to more valuable endeavors – leaving the machines to pick up the slack on a broader scale at a lower cost.
By finding the best balance you can not only attract new customers but better retain them too, paving the way for a bright future built on brand loyalty and recurring conversions.