On April 10, I walked into the SalesFUSION, becoming Sugar Market, office in Atlanta, filled with childlike wonder at the possibility of working in the ever-expanding world of marketing automation. Six months later, I write this as an experienced veteran of the marketing automation world, having worked in the system each day for the past half-year – first as a support representative and now as an onboarding specialist/trainer.
There are many things that I have learned along this journey, and hopefully over the next couple hundred words, I will be able to shed some insight on those as well as provide other ideas that can help you maximize the productivity of your efforts. Without further adieu, here’s six points for my six months in marketing automation.
- For whatever reason, Sales is always better than Support in Foosball: For those of you that didn’t know, we have a Foosball table in our break room here at SalesFUSION. No matter how hard I play, it always seems like the sales guys have my number. So, if anyone out there has any tips or can offer any training, let me know. We can do a trade – SalesFUSION training for Foosball lessons.
- Practice makes perfect: Marketers wear many hats. As a trainer, I know that SalesFUSION is just one of those hats, so I understand that time dedicated strictly to building campaigns, landing pages, and scoring profiles in the system can be hard to come by. However, the importance of exploring the system cannot be understated. It’s been six months, and I am still discovering new features and ways to use our powerful system. However, looking back at where I was six, three, and even one month ago, I’m shocked at how much more proficient I am in our platform. If you can, try to take 30 minutes to an hour a week to explore that tab that you’ve never looked at or to build a lead scoring profile or create an interesting landing page for your website.
- Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone: Taking a position in the marketing automation industry was a step out of my comfort zone. As marketers, we tend to find a niche that works and stick with that niche for as long as we receive consistent results. This is great; however, we can do so much more. Yes, you might have your internal policy of sending out email campaigns on Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:00pm. Yes, this might give you solid open and click results. Let’s mix it up occasionally though. Why not try to send an email out on Sunday since most people are catching up on their emails later that evening? Or why not try to send an email out on Thursday evening so people have a great offer from your company sitting in their inbox on Friday morning? You might be surprised with the results that you get. And, if it doesn’t work? Hey, it’s only one campaign. The benefits of getting a higher open rate by experimenting a bit, definitely outweigh the alternatives.
- Best practices make perfect: Use A/B Testing. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your lead scoring profiles over time. Make your landing pages as specific as possible to allow progressive profiling (segmentations) within emails. These are all easy-to-use, best practices that many clients forget about. With A/B testing, you can maximize your open and click rates by seeing what “from” email address, subject line, and HTML content gets the highest click rate. The best way to do this is by changing one thing at a time per campaign, starting with the “from” address or subject and ending with the HTML content. With lead scoring, make sure that you are constantly working with your sales team to check the quality of the leads that you are sending them. If they are getting too many unqualified leads then that means you need to make changes to your profile. With landing pages, make sure we limit the options that customers can enter in for fields such as state and industry. This will allow us to make segmentations of the CRM database and provide you the ability to send more directed campaigns to specific groups.
- Test, test, test: Email HTML renders differently in different email clients. Why? That’s one of the greatest mysteries of time, but many email clients have varying standards for how they interpret and read HTML. Always test. Like Nike and Michael Jordan said, “Just do it.” This will prevent any surprises from happening later on after your campaign has been sent.
- Have fun: Like I said earlier, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Marketing automation should be a fun and productive way to maximize your business’s profitability. The more creative you are with your approach, the more customers will begin to recognize your brand and you will see the benefits.