Marketing automation is a powerful tool that can help businesses streamline their marketing efforts, save time, and increase ROI. However, setting up a marketing automation (Journey) can be challenging, especially for those who are new to the concept. If want to know the benefits be sure to check out our previous blog post “The Benefits Marketing Automation: It's Time to Take Your Business to the Next Level”. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best practices for setting up marketing automation.
- Define your goals
Before setting up your first journey, it’s typically best to decide on the object and/or goals of the journey. What do you want to achieve with your journey? Do you want to increase sales, improve customer retention, reduce the workload on your marketing team, or something else? Based on these objective and goals, you can create a journey to get the results you want.
- Create customer personas
Customer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. Imagine the perfect, not-so-perfect and far-from-perfect customer you may have in your journey; What sort of profile might they have, what sort of content would they like to see, what is the best way to get them engaged? All of these questions, and many more all help to determine the map of your journey.
- Map Your Journey
Just like trail that gets you from point A to point B, there are several decisions that may need to be made along the way. You might decide that if someone reaches a specific point in the journey and has clicked on a link in the previous email, they can skip several steps of the journey. In other words, your journey can be made of a single path that everyone follows, or have various splits in the path, all based on criteria you create and implement.
The first step in creating a journey is deciding the event, or events that can start a contact on your journey. In Tarvent, these are called Entry Triggers. With over 90+ entry triggers available, you can select the trigger that best suits your needs. For example, you can start someone on a journey when they visit a specific web page, click any link in an email, subscribe to your newsletter, and more.
Once your entry triggers are defined, you can then add in action steps and/or flow steps. Action steps do something. Actions include sending an email, adding a tag to a contact, adding the contact to a group, displaying a site message when they visit your website in the future, and more.
Flow steps allow you to control how fast and which path a contact takes through your journey. Tarvent offers a wide array of flow steps include waits, decision splits, engagement splits random splits, joins, go to, and more.
All these various steps work tother to determine the contact’s experience through the journey. In Tarvent, journey building is made easy with the drag-and-drop journey editor. It allows you to visualize your journeys and map it out to fit your needs in a very intuitive manner.
- Create Your Marketing Emails
In many cases, your journeys will include one or more emails that are sent to the contact with content specific to the journey’s purpose. These emails can and should include personalization to make the email more of a one-to-one communication and not just a generic email. You can also use dynamic content, which typically involves adding logic around a word, image, paragraph, or other block of content to determine if that content should display for the contact. Using dynamic content, content may show up for one contact but not another. The more personalized you make these emails, the more likely you have to get the contact to engage and click links, share online, and more.
- Email reputation
Be cognoscente of what your customers are expecting to receive and ensure that you don’t deviate from that. Meaningful and valuable content goes a long way at ensuring your emails don’t end up in the SPAM folder. This means that when you choose to cross sell or upsell in your emails, make sure there is a good balance between the content there are expecting to see versus the sales content you include.
Take this one step further by always using personalization to further that one-to-one communication, letting the customer know you’re speaking directly to them, and not generally to everyone receiving your email. Surveys have shown a 40%+ increase in engagement by using personalization.
- Email authentication and domain reputation
Some may think authentication as logging in to a system. However, for email, authentication includes the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) DomainKey Identified Email (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). The authentication protocols all work together to ensure your email is legitimate.
While it sounds complicated, Tarvent makes it very easy to make sure everything is good to go with your sending email. If your “from email” is “Hello@Breckwerx.com”, then the sending domain is “breckwerx.com”. If the steps within Tarvent get a little overwhelming, you can always use the “Email a techie” to send the information to IT person that can take care of it for you.
Once your domain is configured, you can be assured that you are on the right track to insuring that email deliverability stays high.
- Monitor Your Journeys
Monitoring your journeys is another essential piece to making sure your journey is a success. While many vendors provide a certain level of reporting, Tarvent goes the extra mile to ensure you know exactly what is going on with your journey. Our flow report gives you a visual representation of your journey and shows the most popular path your contacts travel. Additionally, you can see how many contacts move step to step, and where in the journey contacts are dropping off. Using this information, you can quickly identify areas of your journey that may not be performing well and make adjustments on the fly.
You can also view email reports, which provide a very detailed view of each email within your journey to see how well each is performing. This report is almost identical to our campaign reports, but with date ranges that can be used to report on a specific date range, if needed.
- Marketing automation is never a set-it-and-forget-it solution
Remember, the customers that travel through the journey are not the same. Using detailed reporting, you can identify trends and make adjustments to your journeys to stay ahead of the game and adjust to new trends as they become apparent.
In conclusion, setting up a journey requires planning, strategy, and execution. By following the best practices outlined in this blog post, you can create a marketing automation solution that helps you achieve your business goals, saves time, and increases ROI. Happy automating!
If you’re looking for a platform that allows you to create and manage various marketing automations, give Tarvent a try. Based on customer feedback, we are confident you won’t be disappointed.
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