How today’s tech tools take marketing automation to the next level

It's no secret technology has changed the marketing industry, but what role do modern tech tools play in the marketing world?

At one time, marketers relied on a technique now called “spray and pray” to get their messages across. They deployed an ad to a large audience in the hopes that at least a small percentage would react positively to it. At the time, this was the best way to get the word out about a product or service, whether it was to a national or local audience.

Fortunately, things have gotten much easier thanks to technology. With the right tools in place, a brand can gather information about potential customers and create messaging that connects personally to each one. As technology grows more sophisticated, brands are getting even more complex in the way they manage these campaigns. Here are a few ways tech tools are making marketing more effective.

Personalization

It’s no longer sufficient to send the same message to thousands of people at once. Businesses realize they must reach out to customers on an individual basis for them to pay attention. This starts with creating a subject line that will connect with them as they’re casually scrolling through their overstuffed inboxes, but it continues to the message itself. When an email contains information that specifically speaks to a customer’s preferences, that customer is more likely to take action.

Many of today’s top email marketing tools offer the opportunity to direct email messages to certain audience segments. You can deploy one set of emails to customers who have purchased from you before, for instance, and another for customers who have shown an interest but never bought anything. But these tools will only get results if you put work into learning about your customers and creating messages that connect.

Automated Workflows

In both sales and marketing, success is in the follow-ups. You likely won’t get the desired results on the first try, so it’s important to set up subsequent emails to continue to try to capture each customer’s attention. Savvy businesses realize they should customize each follow-up message based on previous activities by that customer. If the first email doesn’t get an open, it will trigger a second email that reiterates the message in a more urgent manner, such as saying “time is running out.” If the first email was opened but no action was taken, the email might be geared toward a more convincing call to action.

Manually sending those emails can be time-consuming, but fortunately there are tools to help you automate your marketing that can create this effect. These tools walk you through the process of generating workflows. The result is a stream of messages that make sense to your customers based on the actions they’ve taken previously. The customer’s action on those follow-up emails can then determine the type of messages that person receives during your next campaign.

Database Building and Cleaning

A business’s marketing efforts are only as good as its mailing lists. Creating and maintaining a database once required hours of work each year, especially since data decays at a rate of 22.5 percent each year. Someone had to go through that list on a regular basis to make sure every contact name and address was correct, in addition to verifying that the business was still a good fit for a business’s marking efforts. Businesses often didn’t even realize a contact has left a company until an email bounces back, and this missed the many instances where a contact still remained at a business but his or her job duties had changed, rendering the message no longer relevant.

By automating this effort, you’ll have access to the best available information on each contact in your database. Top tools source information from widely-available data, including social media and public records, to automatically detect the current address and contact person for each business. Not only does this help a business building a database, but it can regularly clean existing mailing lists.

Marketing automation saves businesses time, while also extending their potential reach. By choosing the right software, marketers can ensure their messages reach the people who are most likely to react to them. With so many businesses now using automation to get the brand reach they need, companies that don’t use these tools may find themselves unable to keep up with the competition.

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