Since a certain pandemic sent us all digital without much time to prepare, we’re seeing businesses struggle to get used to their new processes. At TMP we’ve been working remotely since the agency began, so to help those who are still adapting we thought we’d pull back the curtain on two of our favourite digital marketing topics: automation and analytics.
Marketing automation takes many forms, but can be basically defined as ‘things that run in the background selling your products or looking after your customers while you sleep’. Sounds good right? Automation means that you can run your business with minimal effort digitally – and if it’s done correctly, clients and customers will still feel that it’s personal.
With analytics, you can find out exactly what’s working – or not working – and adjust your work accordingly. Ok, that might be obvious – but some of the things you can track might not be. I’ll get into that more below.
Here are a few of the reasons we LOVE marketing automation and analytics. Hopefully, they get you inspired to start a project of your own!
Oh, and in case you don’t recognise a few of the terms throughout the piece, there’s a handy glossary at the end for you.
Never lose track of a customer ever again
You can use marketing automation and analytics together to keep in close contact with your prospects during all stages of the sales process, from pre-purchase to post-purchase, without having to lift a finger.
Start this process by creating a valuable ‘lead generation’ mechanism (such as a brochure or a whitepaper) that’s valuable enough that people will give you their contact information to download. From there, you can set up a sequence of emails (known as a ‘nurture sequence’) that will educate your prospect about your company and product/service. Once you’re set up, it’s feet up—contacts are automatically fed into the sequence and receive your pre-written emails at specified intervals.
You can also have your email marketing platform track how engaged your prospects are with your emails, and even how active they are on the website. From there you can send more personalised emails based on what they’re doing to nurture them towards a sale.
Don’t stop there; once you’ve made the sale, you can send an email thanking your customer for purchasing, asking for a review/referral and offering deals on additional purchases. All automatically!
Automate regular and repetitive tasks
If you have a manual task you do every day that takes up time, you can likely use your marketing tools to do it for you.
For example, I used to work with an online tarot reader. We set up an automation so that after an online reading was purchased, the customer received an email asking for their questions or to set up a time for their call.
We also set up a ‘lapsed customer’ campaign so that if someone hadn’t purchased a reading in 3 months, we’d get back in touch.
A month after that, if they didn’t get a reading we’d offer a discount.
This meant that repeat business increased (the easier business to get). It also meant that no one who requested email readings was missed (which can happen if you’re busy). As a result, the tarot reader’s 5-star google reviews shot right up – which meant new prospects would see this and be more likely to purchase.
Track everything (I mean everything)
If you spend a little time or money getting your analytics set up, you can learn so much more about how your business works online.
You might think analytics is ‘not for you’ if you’re not naturally a numbers person, but the things you can track are incredible – and if you’re invested in the business, you’ll love seeing those numbers move over time.
You can track things like:
- Where your customers are coming from
- How long they spend on the site
- What pages they are looking at
- What traffic sources are converting to sales more
- Where in the purchase process do people abandon carts (automation also lets you get in touch with those who abandon carts to convince them to finish the sale.)
You can use this data to optimise your campaigns over time. For example, you’re using Facebook ads, but no one is really buying on the site through Facebook traffic. You could see that Instagram traffic is much stronger, so you can change your focus to what’s more likely to make you money.
If most people are dropping off in the purchase process in the same area, you can review those areas. You might be asking for too much information and scaring people off. Or if customers drop off after shipping is added, you know the cost is an issue.
If you’ve created a lead magnet (our brochure or whitepaper from earlier) but no one’s downloading it, your tracking might reveal an issue with how it’s being delivered. A lot of traffic to the landing page but no downloads = you need to change the page so the piece is easier to download. It might seem like a pain but it’s great insight – no successful campaign worked perfectly straight away.
One of my favourite analytics tools is heat tracking. With a heat map of a web page, you can see exactly where people are scrolling and clicking. This will reveal if your pages are too long or your CTAs are too hard to find.
Many heat/click map software also offer customer-facing polls – so you can add a pop-up box on your landing page that asks, “Did you find what you were looking for?” or, “Is there any information you still need?”
Here’s an example of where that worked amazingly.
I’d built a really nice landing page for a childcare centre, and it just wasn’t converting, no matter what I did. I set up a poll asking users what they were looking for. One person entered into the question box: “what are the opening hours?”
Aah. That’s what was missing! We added the hours to the page and conversions skyrocketed immediately.
The power of automation and analytics is that you get impartial feedback really quickly. The opening hours thing might never come up internally or if you had your friends and family check over your site. Without asking an actual customer who’s shopping for what you’re selling, you might never get these key insights.
Want to know more about digital marketing analytics & automation? Get in touch! We’d be happy to help or explain the big concepts over a Zoom call.
Digital marketing analytics & automation glossary
Lead generation — The act of bringing people (leads) into your orbit, and grabbing some details (like an email address).
Whitepaper — An example of a piece of content: a whitepaper is a report or guide, usually presented in PDF format.
Nurture sequence — A series of emails you’ll send to a lead over days or weeks, starting from ‘hi’ and going through to ‘buy’.
Email marketing platform — Services that send emails for you for a fee. Most have expanded into broader marketing services too.
CTA — Call to action: what you want the user to do once they’re on your site or reading your email e.g. ‘buy now’.
Landing page — A purpose-built web page that isn’t connected to the rest of your website. Serves one specific purpose.
Conversion — When you ‘1-up’ your leads – that could be getting a download, booking a meeting or making a sale.