I recently started looking for a martial arts studio for my son. Like most buyers, I started my search online. A simple Google search pulled up 14 studios within 10 miles of my house. I must have visited 6 sites before I found one that gave me ANY information without calling (which is a blog for another time!).
I found one studio that had killer prices and was 2 miles from my house. I gave them a call and got their voicemail, so I decided to fill out the form on their website to have someone contact me. Their automated email marketing was on point!
Personal, Informative, Useful. But then…
The introductory email thanked me for my interest in their studio and introduced their 5-part email campaign – with the disclaimer that I could opt-out at any time. The emails were fabulous. Personal, informative, and useful. So much so that I was pretty sold on the studio. I emailed them back to set up a tour and trial class . . . crickets. I called them 3 times and left a message each time. Nothing. I emailed them again. Nada.
So, now I begin the search again! And unless they contact me before I find another studio, they’ve lost my business. Moral of the story? Marketing automation isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it marketing tactic.
Automation, Not Auto-Pilot
If you want to get clients, you must monitor your automation campaigns so that you can be responsive to those who are ready to buy. Even the best marketing automation campaign won’t get you clients if you’re not nurturing those leads.
Marketing Automation Best Practices
- Know your audience and provide targeted, relevant content –Every email I received from the martial arts studio had a useful parenting tip(s), which was also something my son would learn more about if we joined their studio. They identified problems every parent of a young child experiences, gave me helpful information, and then told me how they could help solve the problem.
- Give them options –When they sent the first email they made it very clear that they would be sending me five emails over five days and that I could opt out at any time.
- Call-to-action –In each email the studio sent me, they displayed their contact information prominently and always had a CTA – “Give us a call if you have any questions.” “Give us a ring to set up your trial class.” And so on. Make sure your audience knows what you want them to do with the information you’ve given them. (But make sure that when you say “Call us” someone will answer or call back.)
- Engage, don’t sell –There’s a fine line between providing useful information about your services and being salesy. Whenever you create a piece of content ask yourself, “Who cares?” and “Is this valuable to my audience?”
- Always follow-up –Most buyers aren’t going to call 3 times before moving on to your competitors. Always monitor and follow the leads that come in. When someone reaches out, respond quickly. In 2015, Toister Performance Solutions found in their annual survey on customer service that a one-hour response time to email was deemed “good” and 14.5% of respondents expected a response within 15-minutes. Even if you set up an automated response, make sure it’s timely so you don’t lose a potential customer.
Marketing automation is a great tool that many businesses are using today. It allows marketers to streamline marketing processes, generate and nurture more leads, and if you’re doing it right, convert those leads into customers.