These three tips for better marketing automation are courtesy of three of the top marketing automation vendors. Not because they provided the tips, but because I was inspired based on their interactions with me as a prospective customer, presumably using their own software.
TIP #1: Include easy change of email address links
Here's a snippet from an email I got from a marketing automation vendor that was sent to an email address I no longer use. I still want to hear from the vendor, but at the bottom of the page is a link to unsubscribe. I clicked it to see if the landing page would offer me the option to change my address, but no luck. I was unsubscribed, goodbye.
If there were a link in the email to change my address, or to update my email preferences, I would still be hearing from them at my new address, but alas, the nurturing has come to a sudden end.
TIP #2: Keep up with the lifecycle of your offers
Over the course of time, you may present a number of offers to your mailing list, including time-sensitive offers. The subject matter may still hold interest to your recipient, even after the offer has expired or the event has passed. Good marketing automation software will redirect any latecomers to currently relevant content or offers related to the interest they expressed.
I found an email from a year ago inviting me to register for a live streamcast to take place in June 2011. So I clicked on it, got to the registration page, and registered. Sure enough, I got an email (in April 2012) confirming my attendance at the live streamcast coming up in June 2011. Sherman, set the wayback machine!
TIP #3: Minimize repeated form completion
There is a good reason for making me fill out the same form, over and over again, even in the course of ten minutes. At least that's what one marketing automation vendor told me when I asked. After responding to an email offer for their content, I filled out a form, and got a personalized email thanking me, giving me the link, as well as an offer for even more content. When I clicked on the offer for the new content, I got another form. This went on for several iterations before I gave up because of all the friction and impending carpal tunnel syndrome.
Marketing software that knows enough about me to send a stream of personalized emails and subsequent links, should not make me fill out the form over and over again. And when I bring it to their attention, they shouldn't justify my diminished customer experience with their desire for more information. They said this was not a limitation of their software; it was a deliberate choice of their marketing department.
Three marketing automation platforms, three user experiences, three tips for you. Even if you have a great platform, and these three are at the top of the game, it's still how you use these systems that counts.
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