A Better Method of Communication Tutorial

4.2 Introduction

This is Matt Bailey, President of SiteLogic, presenting Marketing Automation. In this module, we're going to look at how marketing automation gives us a better method of communicating with customers. Rather than giving them messages that they don't want, through marketing automation we're able to time specific messages, respond to customer actions and provide information, really, on-demand based on the customer's needs and their expressed interest in different subjects as well as information.

4.3 Welcome Series

One of the primary ways that we can respond to customers is through a welcome series of emails. These types of emails are timed over a specific period, based on when a new subscriber, or a new customer, enters the system. When that new subscriber or customer enters the system, they are then entered into a programmed series of emails that they will receive about the company. From what we can see here, informational emails are opened at a pretty good rate. But a welcome series is opened more frequently and clicked more frequently. The reason why is fairly obvious. Your customer is new. They're excited and they're engaged. And so, because they have recently signed up or requested information, you're answering their questions. You're sending out more information-based emails, educating the customer about your company, about different things that they can do with the product. Rather than being overtly promotional. As you can see here, promotional emails have lower engagement. So a welcome series is really something that's meant to educate the customer, provide them more information so that they can be a better qualified customer as well as more educated about the company that they're working with.

4.4 FontaineBleau Example

I want to show an example of a welcome series that I received. This was in the travel industry but this can be developed in multiple industries. But I want you to see the example of how these were timed, how they were developed, and the specific purposes and thinking that went into creating this series. Now the first email was based on the confirmation. That's simply a transactional email that was sent to confirm all the dates, the rates and the information of the stay at the hotel. Now about a month prior to my stay, I received an email that was headlined the longer you stay, the more you save. The purpose of this email was to get me to it extend my stay, to reserve maybe an upgraded suite and in doing any of those things, to save on our either that booking or a future booking. Immediately, it was an upsell based on my current booking trying to get me into a better room or an extended stay. About two weeks before my stay, I got another email that really just educated me about what I could find at the hotel. The restaurants that were located on site, the spa, as well as, specific offers for while you are on site, discounts, offers, and different specials that were being run in the restaurant. So, this e-mail is certainly more educationally focused to help me find out what is available while I'm there and what I can do. Now the next email was sent out the morning that I was traveling to the hotel, the morning of the day that I was to be checking in. As you can tell the formatting of this email is very different from the previous emails, why? Think about the customer's scenario. Chances are if they are checking in that day, then they are most likely traveling and if they're traveling, they're checking their email typically on their mobile device. As you can see in this email, it is focused on action, it allows me to begin my pre check-in, and it's formatted to render best in a mobile device. This screenshot was taken from the desktop, so it's still functional but ideally, they are thinking about the customer's situation. Most likely the customer is at the airport and they can begin their pre check-in. This is a wonderful service because you can check-in online, stop by the front desk, pick-up your keys, and you're in your room within a matter of minutes. A similar email was sent the day of check-out. It was a mobile formatted email that still looks good on a desktop but it was all focused around the function of checking out. No promotion, no education but helpful and functional based on the needs of the customer. Now the next day, not a surprise, as most organizations are very good at sending out an email, post purchase, post reservation, post experience, asking you to take a survey. Their survey was very good, asking what I participated in, what restaurants I visited, what I did while I was on the premise. Now, because I had received all those emails prior, I was very open to taking the survey, and the quality of communications just enabled a better experience. Obviously, I took the survey to let them know what I thought about my trip. It didn't stop there, the next day, I got another more focused thank you. It wasn't just thank you, please fill out a survey, it was we hope you enjoyed your stay and then in the email, I could book my next stay. I could sign up for ongoing emails and events from the hotel and I could also upload pictures to the hotel to show my memories of my stay there. S I could also use the social aspects but what they where asking me to do was submit photos for their social network that's on their site that they own. The two things that I was most interested in, is number one, getting me to book my next stay. See, common wisdom would tell you wait, wait until they approach you. However, I've seen more and more in the travel industry that sometimes the best time to approach someone about their next stay is immediately after their first stay. Because if they enjoy it and they like it, they might be coming back soonerr rather been later and you're asking for the sale. The other side is confirming that they want to continue to receive information and news from the hotel. It's a great way to build some list management and reassure people that we're all going to send this if you confirm this. I thought it was a great welcome series because it educated me, it upsold me, and it also did great followup after the stay to let me know that I made the right decision.

4.5 Welcome Series Benefits

There's a lot of benefits to welcome series. Number one, is that it's got a higher open rate than any other kind of email promotion. It also has an 8x's click-through rate than any other type of email marketing. And, what's most interesting, is it has 5x's the revenue generated from a welcome series as any other type of campaign. Again, it comes back to this is a new customer, they're excited, they're open to receiving messages from you. And so, up-selling, cross-selling, these are all things that you can do in a welcome series, as long as it's combined with educating about your company. These are timed out, and so it's going to be different based on every business.

4.6 Auto-Responder Welcome Series

Really the best way to do this is to sit down with your marketing team and your sales team and think about the customer experience. You see when we get someone new, a subscriber, a donor, or prospect, a customer, and they're added to the system, how do we want them to be treated the first few weeks or the first few months of their relationship? You see, this is a critical part of grooming a new customer to be a long term, lifetime customer with your company. In this planning meeting is where you can decide here's how we are going to communicate to new customers to inform, to educate, as well as to sell. And so, think about your buying cycle and your customer cycle. For some B2B companies, the cycle may be longer and may require more touch points. For travel, or for e-commerce, or retail, it may be a shorter cycle. It may be based around a specific event in travel such as a booking. In retail, it may be based around a new customer, and then presenting them with new ways to interact with the company. It's going to be different for every company, but ultimately it requires planning, strategy, and scenarios to consider the customer pathway and the information that they are going to need in order to keep them engaged with your company. This is where you answer questions after the decision point. You can continue to grow that relationship and maybe answer those questions before the questions are even asked. And then you can provide up sells, you can provide additional trials, or information features that will continually engage the customer.

4.7 Triggered Conversations

Now beyond the welcome series, you can move into what's called triggered conversations. Triggered conversations are emails or contacts that are based on customer actions. Now, these are vitally important to maintaining a conversation with a customer, because they're directly dependent upon customer initiation. Triggered emails, triggered communications, are not something your company sends our periodically, like a monthly newsletter. This is based on actions that customer take, that kick off the next response. In terms of marketing automation, it follows the rule, if this, then that. And so the meeting you need to have with your marketing and sales department is what actions do people take on our website, or with us, that cause us to need to respond. And as you can see here, the open rates are far above normal email communications, because you're responding in a conversation, rather than promoting, without any response or without any source of a customer coming to you first.

4.8 Email Segmentation

First of all, look at what type of segmentation you're doing already and what you may need to add into your strategy. The vast majority of email marketers that are segmenting their communications, they're doing it based on past activity. Whether someone opened on an email or whether they clicked certain links. And then that determines what triggers future emails. You can also look at what has that customer done? How frequently do they come to the site? How much are they spending? And what was the past transaction? You can look at those as being launching points for additional triggered communications.

4.9 Automation Results

An example of a triggered campaign is something that you can start slow and then build. This is one thing about marketing automation that is just fantastic for every company is that it enables you to start small with maybe one scenario. One task that you can automate and trigger based on customer interaction, and when you see the success of that, you can continue to grow more. You don't have to do everything at one time, you can start small. For example, for this customer, the first month that they started doing triggered campaigns was a reorder reminder, something that let people know if they had a 30- or 60- or 90-day supply or subscription, or something like that. It was an email that would go out ahead of time to prompt them to reorder. Now there were only 744 triggers, meaning this came up in the CRM, which prompted the email to go out, completely automated. From those 744 emails, there were eight orders, resulting in over $470 in sales, so the conversion rate or the response rate from that triggered email was 1%. The value per email was about 63 cents of revenue per email, so let's add in another campaign. The next month, the reorder reminder, the amount that people needed to reorder increased over 900, but also the response rate, the conversion rate, doubled. Now there was almost $1,500 generated from these reorder reminders. Now the next campaign that was added was a review campaign that was prompting people who had purchased a product to review that product about two weeks after they had received it. Now what's interesting is, you would think that prompting someone to leave a review would not generate many sales, however, it did. Now you can see the conversion rate is much lower, but again, the rule of conversion rates is, you only compare and measure like campaigns, so we can't really compare our review campaign to our reorder campaign because the focus of the reorder campaign is purely to get people to reorder. The focus of the review campaign is to get people to leave reviews. If we get sales off of that, it's a nice bonus, so what we're looking at now is about 50 cents of revenue per email that was sent out. Two months after that, this company started doing a lot more triggers. One of the triggers they were doing was an abandon cart email. They were testing two different abandon cart emails. One was performing significantly well. As you can see here, that there was over a 5% conversion rate on that cart abandon email. It was generating nearly $5 in revenue per email that was sent out. You can start to see the value of triggered automated emails because they're based on customer interaction and based on specific events, and so the email is tailored specifically to that customer. It's relevant, it's timely, it's personal. It has their contact information, the products they were looking at in what is left in their cart, so it's specific to that person in that specific point in time, and that is the relevance of triggered automated communications. You can look at some of the other campaigns that were added, and even off the thank you campaign, they were generating revenue. This all adds up and still presenting itself as creating about 20 cents of revenue for every email that went out. The primary campaigns that were focused on reminding people to buy is resulting in about a 1.2% conversion rate and 75 cents of revenue for each email. Now, look at it this way, you have no people involved other than the initial setup of the triggered communications. Everything else is happening automated, and so your company by eliminating creating custom emails or really not doing them at all is what's happening with most companies. You're starting to use marketing automation, which costs very little, or nothing, to send emails, to now generating $0.75 per email. That's revenue generated, as you can see here, about $2,400 in one month through simply automated means. It was humans coming up with what the emails will say and creating all of the necessary fields to customize them, but now it's running. What we see here is, now when we get into six months of running these triggered campaigns, the sales have increased dramatically. People are now seeing these emails more often, and they're responding to them. It goes against the conventional wisdom that, if someone gets too many emails, they'll unsubscribe. That's true if they're getting emails that aren't relevant, that aren't timely, and are email blasts. But, when they receive triggered communications based on their actions, it's a conversation, and they're open to it and they respond to it. You can't argue with the numbers that show that, when people are receiving immediate messages based on actions that they take, they will respond positively. We can see that our cart abandon and automated campaign is generating over $2 per email. As you can see, the total amount of sales generated that month is now over 7,000, and again, that's completely automated. Once those systems are in place, it just reacts and it creates revenue for your company. We can look at each of these areas that people that browsed received an email, showing them what they browsed and prompting them to come back to the site. We can also see our browsing campaigns, specifically for people that browsed products and had a specific threshold of pages or products viewed. That was generating about $2 per email, but what we see is overall a positive campaign with a little over a half a percent conversion rate and $0.46 of revenue per email. Our primary campaigns that are focused on generating revenue are generating about $0.61 per email, and again, it's automated. After the initial investment of setting up the rules, the messaging and the emails, now the automated system is generating revenue.

4.10 Immediate Triggers

So let's look at some of our triggered conversations. You can group them into three different areas. The first are immediate triggers, and these are what I call your no-brainers. If someone signs up for something, they get a thank you. If they abandon a cart, they get an email reminding them to finish the process and check out. Shipping notices, these are the things that you expect to receive. These are triggers, and chances are, you're doing them or most companies are doing them. But look at how you can personalize them. How can you add more information that can prompt a response from the receiver, from the customer? Are you giving them additional information, education? At this point, I would hesitate from making offers, but I would add more to show and reflect the value of that individual customer. So these are your immediate triggers. The receipts, the confirmations, the abandoned carts, these are the immediate thing.

4.11 Predictable Triggers

Then I would look at your predictable triggers. Re-order reminders. These are things that need to happen frequently, with specific customers, or if you're a subscription site, a news site where you need to remind subscribers to re up, or to double check their credit card, or inform them that they're going to be charged, then that's something that's predictable. You can create a role, and then create the segment. Create that campaign to go out, to educate after the sale, a Service Reminder. Registrations, if someone has purchased a product or registered or additional things that need to happen. If you've got their birthday, this is great for e-commerce and retail companies, to remind someone to give themself a gift for their birthday, or for other birthdays. You can also focus around the anniversary of how long someone has been a customer and celebrate that through a triggered email. But also, not just the customer, but you can look at seasonal or industry trends. Is there specific information that's going to come up every year that you can bank on and create a campaign around? That's a predictable trigger, a predictable conversation that you can have.

4.12 Specific Triggers

Specific Triggers, these are ones that you're going to need a high level of customization. Importing data, such as products that were specific to that browsing session. Or if someone bought a product, can you recommend product based on what other people have bought or based on their shopping history? Recommendations, this is like the product you purchased, you may be interested in. Notifications, maybe there's software notifications, or something specific to your business. Or maybe you've got content based on that specific job title. So if it's the owner of a company, you're going to communicate to them very differently than if they were an employee with no purchasing parity. Maybe it's based on how often someone is using your product. If it's a web-based product or cloud-based product, and you see that there's a lot of usage, then you can continue that conversation. Learn from them. And find out how you can get more information from them, about how they're using the product. Feedback, invitations, rewards, all of these things are specific to individual users rather than predictable repeatable events. The advantage of this is by considering and planning the specific triggers of how you can enhance your customer's relationship through these specific events. It will enhance their loyalty and how they think about you as a company. It will increase engagement and make a happier, more satisfied customer, who's going to be a lifetime customer. This has been Marketing Automation: A Better Method of Marketing, presented by Matt Bailey, President of SiteLogic.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Request more information

For individuals
For business
Phone Number*
Your Message (Optional)
We are looking into your query.
Our consultants will get in touch with you soon.

A Simplilearn representative will get back to you in one business day.

First Name*
Last Name*
Work Email*
Phone Number*
Job Title*