Giant swaths of your marketing were created an embarrassingly long time ago.
How did I know?
Outdated marketing is an almost universal problem. You aren’t alone.
Marketing starts decaying the moment it’s finished. Design trends shift, your business and products evolve, and digital marketing changes rapidly.
Here’s seven ways to spruce up your marketing, integrate the latest and greatest automation tools, and optimize your processes.
Use Goals to measure each conversion step
Out of all the features we released in 2016, and there were quite a few, I think the Goals action is the most useful.
It does two big, important things:
- You are able to measure the effectiveness of each automation workflow.
- You are able to skip over actions when a contact meets conditions you specify.
Now you have additional incentive to create modular automations that are focused on a single purpose. In other words, each automation tries to get a contact to perform a specific behavior — downloading a report, visiting a URL, watching a video, etc. That behavior is the Goal of the automation.
When the contact performs the behavior, they skip the rest of the messages in that automation and then begin the next automation which is focused on getting them to perform a different behavior. Your contact jumps from automation to automation, deeper and deeper into your funnel. Each contact gets a personalized journey. Some people might receive only a handful of messages and others might receive many more — it just depends on how many prompts it took to get them to act on your calls to action. Highly responsive contacts will speed through and lukewarm contacts will receive the nurturing they need.
With our Goals report, you’ll now know exactly how effective each of your automations is at getting the contact to perform the target behavior. You can dig into the data and really get a sense of what is working, what needs improvement, and why.
For more guidance on implementing Goals, see our Goals guide in the Education Center.
Split test your workflows
Using Goals to measure your marketing, you’ll know exactly where your funnel needs to be optimized.
Our most popular feature request ever, Split Testing your automations allows you to test and improve your marketing and sales processes. It’s no exaggeration to say this is a game-changing feature. I don’t even like using that phrase as an adjective, it’s just the only one that fits. This is big.
You no longer have to rely on your judgment or hearsay about what works best, you can know exactly what is most effective with your unique customer base.
Here’s another guide from our education center with 5 ways you can split test automations.
Implement marketing scores
Many people think of lead scoring as a sales tool — a way to qualify your leads for sales. It certainly is that, but it’s so much more. It’s incredibly useful to marketers.
Scoring is an opportunity to learn about your contacts by consolidating a variety of data points into a single number. Rather than drawing conclusions about a contact’s interests, market fit, and engagement from one or two data points, you can factor in the entire range of their behavior across all your marketing; what they’re doing on your site, how they’re interacting with your campaigns and messages, insight you’ve collected from forms and third-party tools, and more.
You can create scores to:
- See which category of products your contact is most interested in. With that information, you can send more targeted offers.
- Vary the pace of your follow-up depending on how much they’re engaging. Send a compressed follow-up sequence to contacts that are highly engaged and back off the ones who are deleting your campaigns.
- Identify at-risk customers with a health score. You could have an automation that is triggered when a score dips below a certain level. This automation could send a simple outreach campaign such as “Hey, how is everything going? Anything I can help with?”
For more guidance on setting up lead scoring, see our Scoring guides in the Education Center:
As you can see, there’s a guide for almost everything you’d want to do with ActiveCampaign. If you haven’t already, I recommend subscribing to the Education Center (via the opt in form embedded there) so you can be notified when new guides are published.
Every year, more and more of your workflow can be automated. In 2016, we released a slew of updates to our Zapier integration, which opens up new possibilities with literally hundreds of apps. We added Deep Data integrations with Shopify and BigCommerce (more to come!).
We also added improvements to the automation builder itself:
- RSS trigger, so you can begin automations when a feed is updated,
- Date-based trigger, so you can run an automation at different times for different contacts based on any date field,
- Date-based conditions were added to the segment builder so you can create Goal and “Wait until” conditions around dates.
- Field changes trigger, so you can begin automations when a contact is updated.
- New Notify action, you can dynamically alter the “to” and “from” fields and personalize the message with any contact data.
Chances are that if your automation was created more than a year ago, there’s going to be new and better ways to accomplish things.
Find new ways to personalize
The trend toward more personalized messages will continue. As it becomes more common, consumers are becoming conditioned to expect more and more relevant messaging. If your personalization isn’t keeping pace, you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb.
“The spotlight is on data because of customer expectations,” said eMarketer analyst Nicole Perrin, author of a new report on marketing technology. “Customers expect marketers to provide a personalized brand experience across channels.”
“Using data to create a personalized customer experience is what many marketers point to as the holy grail for marketing technology.”
Conditional Content is a powerful personalization tool. Using customer insight you’ve collected from contact behavior and profile, you can customize every aspect of entire campaigns so that, even though you’re sending a single campaign, different contacts see vastly different messages. The goal is making each message as relevant as possible for each individual contact.
You can personalize:
- The call to action to the customer’s lifecycle stage
- The article you’re sending so that it aligns with their interests
- The sales copy so that it focuses on a product they’ve indicated interest in
Find a great designer
Online, we’re always judging books by their cover. We’re unconsciously making snap judgments about companies based on design. It’s a necessary skill we all acquire to help us navigate online, avoid scams, and find trusted sources for information and products.
An outdated or poorly designed website reflects very poorly on a business. A well designed, modern UI communicates competence and quality. Perhaps it’s not fair or true, but design speaks volumes about your company and product.
Unfortunately, many marketers gloss over design. They view it as a nice touch, but something that can be cut in the interest of time or budget constraints.
It’s certainly possible to put the bare minimum into design, but you’re needlessly hobbling your marketing. A good designer can transform a mediocre campaign into a hit.
If you find a great designer, treat them like royalty because, while there are many designers, high-quality designers are rare.
Find opportunities to introduce proven content
You probably have a “greatest hits” list of content that has outperformed all the rest over the last year. Why leave this proven content languishing in the archives of your blog?
Take your “best of the best” content and drop it into a new nurturing sequence that is sent to leads after they’ve received your other follow up.