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Optimising the customer journey with automation

16th May 2020
Digital Marketing Professional
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Importance of marketing automation

Marketing automation is not a new phenomenon for marketers but not too exposed in terms of its importance and benefits. Small business tends to consider it as a 'Luxury' because of the purchasing requirement of software, tools and platforms.

Stats are showcasing another side of the picture. 49% of companies are already leveraging marketing automation software. That’s one type of observation to hop on for it.

COVID 19 has to be another reason not just to go for marketing automation but for growth hacking automation. The most significant impact of this global pandemic can be seen as complex buying processes, delayed purchase cycle and hard to maintain a personal touch. Automation of tasks not just increases personalisation but also boosts productivity in general.

Modern customer journey

Buyers have evolved in terms of needs, desires and product/service selection process. The traditional journey was quite linear with limited choices of products and devices and an inability to measure cross-device conversions.

The twist in the tale comes with cross-device conversions and the ability to integrate 'micro-moments'. Also, they started demanding products with personalisation in terms of features, device and platforms. This whole journey of purchase termed 'Modern customer journey'. The comparative analysis of traditional and modern journeys displayed below:

 

Nowadays, you can build a customer journey map with the help of visualisation tools for the identification of primary touchpoints and which device can be attributed to conversion. The important question here is how to ensure personalisation is there while mapping new age journeys. With marketing automation platforms, businesses can collect behavioral data of users and built individual segments based on common patterns. This approach led them to identify personalised traits and worked as input for streamlining the customer journey.

Here are the strategies to optimise the customer journey with marketing automation

1. Automated on-site message

The first impression is the last impression.

That’s quite a cliche but true in this context. Whenever the new visitor land on your website, they should be amased at a welcome message or pop up about customised offers. You can leverage automation with small pop-ups or live chat window to offer something unique to visitors. This can increase the on-page session time and chances of a return visit.

For example, Voucherify placed triggers in their below displayed live chat message to send an offer whenever new visitor land on the website.

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2. Email automation campaign

You can leverage email marketing automation platforms (Example: Mailchimp) to build an email campaign for a new visitor who signed up or first time showed on the site. This will help you to onboard them effectively. Based on certain on-page behavior, you can identify user segments and even send personalised emails with features of automation software.

For example, people at Zapier saw that users have signed up for a free trial but didn’t use much. So, they sent a behavioural-based automated email to users with listed ideas of usage. This considered being a great example of an onboarding email. The template is displayed below.

3. Reduced efforts in lead nurturing

Lead generation to conversion is not a one-step process. Prospects pass through several interconnected stages before buying the product. The below-mentioned stages correctly depict the purchase cycle.

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You need to inform, engage and encourage them in between the lead generation and decision of purchase. This is commonly called as 'lead nurturing'. There is no possibility to make users cross these stages by sending the same messages across the channels. Based on diversified behavioural patterns and different stages of the prospect in a cycle, you need to send personalised messages to each of them. You can automate this process with reduced efforts compared to manual lead nurturing.

For example, The people at Litmus (email builder) saw that users are downloading content about 'email development' topic but they were not taking another step. So, the marketing team sent below displayed triggered email related to that topic with the intention to nurture them.

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4. Leverage social media for customer retention

With Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature, You can track the on-site behaviour of users and display triggered ads with the help of automation. If the user performed on-site activity like clicking on newly launched products, then you can set up an automation rule on Facebook by showing him ads of similar products with customised coupons.

5. Cross channel promotional program

You can leverage this program across integrated channels. With every category of product, you can define multiple goals from purchase to next intended actions from users. Based on the goal, you can send an automated email or push notification with instructions and information about the reward they get on following it. In each message, you need to make sure to add information about the next goal to make it like a chain reaction. Series of messages will encourage users to complete tasks and increases the chances of a return visit to the site.

6. A/B testing + marketing automation

A/B testing is meant to find out the ideal version of a landing page, CTA (Call To Action), pop up placement, etc. When you automate the A/B testing process, the time will be saved compared to manual check. Apart from that, it will better showcase an optimised customer journey with an ideal landing page design for each device. When the user starts his journey and passes through the best results of A/B testing, there are chances of a higher conversion rate.

For Example, OnSwitch app test different version of buttons and sales announcement that leads to an increased conversion rate to 5%.

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Final thoughts

By performing the above-mentioned automation tactics, you will be able to collect personalised data of users regarding cross channel interactions and group them in a segment. Based on diversified criteria, you can prepare multiple segments. Depending on the product type, their behavioral data, and the selection of channels, you can identify your target segment and able to send personalised messages for optimisation of the customer journey.

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