It’s a valid fear – as marketing automation adoption increases, many seasoned marketers are wondering if they’re automating themselves out of a job.
The short answer is no. Automation can be the best piece of technology in your toolkit, enabling you to work faster and more efficiently and create content that is befitting of your amazing subscribers.
Think of all the time you spend pulling lists and doing manual clean up. You’ve seen subscriber engagement increase with targeted subject lines, but crafting unique messages takes so much time and forethought. You have great content, but sometimes subscribers don’t see your messages because they’ve landed in their junk folder.
When you use marketing automation, you can improve all these scenarios, saving time on the manual tasks. With the worry taken out of designing cadence and flow of each message, and some of your more mundane tasks magically happening, you can focus on the important stuff.
Automating your workflow will allow you to build and design dynamic campaigns to reach your subscriber base, but there is still plenty for you to do. Trust me, your boss would be lost without you!
You should focus on these 6 things with the time you save using automation:
1. Examining your analytics.
Who doesn’t need more time to thoughtfully look at their subscriber base? Not just opens and clicks but crafting specialized segments to group like-subscribers together and target messages directly to them. You already know people are more likely to engage with content that speaks to them – so take the time! Speak to them!
2. Making deliverability a priority.
The bottom line is if people don’t see your email in their inbox, they won’t be engaging. Take some time and investigate your sender reputation, look at those domains who have blocked you from sending to their subscribers and request to be whitelisted, make sure you are following best practices, and have DKIM and a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record set up.
3. Managing preferences (and expectations).
While you’re focusing on deliverability, make sure you have empowered your subscribers to opt out of topic areas. This will ultimately help you keep unsubscribes at bay, allow you to target messages more appropriately, and see who is engaging with you. At the same time, you will be building trust and loyalty while you respect the preferences of each subscriber.
4. Harnessing the “extras” on your platform.
As marketing automation continues to solidify its impact, automation platforms continue to develop features that will help your marketing program thrive. Get familiar with the bonus features available to you. Share your expert knowledge with your team and figure out how to best implement these tools.
5. Reporting out.
You know that marketing automation makes your day to day more manageable, allows you to reach more subscribers, and you are seeing gains in membership growth, retention, and event attendance – but are you taking the time to paint that picture for everyone else? Take the time to toot your own horn! Develop campaign goals and share your success.
6. Thinking long term.
Marketing automation will be the future of your organization – don’t be short-sighted now. While your current campaigns are running beautifully (with the occasional time-outs to tweak messaging and maybe even do a little retargeting here and there), think about the bigger picture. What is your strategic plan for growing your marketing automation use? Where are you going and how are you going to get there?
Automation improves your marketing.
Marketing is becoming a two-way street – you are developing a relationship with each of your subscribers through their actions and preferences and how responsive you are to them. You are also gaining priceless data that will help guide your future strategies. Keen awareness of how subscribers are choosing to interact with your organization will be key to seeing your marketing plan flourish.
Imagine a world where you could have the president of your organization reach out to members at milestone touchpoints. With marketing automation, that’s possible, through targeted lists, personalized emails, and nurture campaigns.
Fortunately, the long answer to my initial question is still no. Marketing automation will not only improve the way you interact with subscribers, but it will also help you do your job better. Take advantage of the extra time you get with automation to practice these six ways to improve.
Marketing automation might be intimidating if you've never used it before. We've put together a quick worksheet to help you understand how to Build Your Automated Campaign Framework. Download yours below.