Lately, it feels like the media has been flooded with articles about the risks that advances in automated technology pose for the workforce.
Driverless cars, for instance… sounds super exciting at first, but will almost certainly result in the drastic reduction, to total loss, of the need for human limo drivers, taxi drivers, and truck drivers (eventually, of course… many, many moons from now).
What about those of us who depend on our skills as marketers and entrepreneurs to make a living? What’s our survival rate?
Do we have anything to fear from advances in technology?
I’m gonna go ahead and say NO.
Instead of panicking over technological advances, hoping your job isn’t next on the iRobot replacement list, the answer is to embrace it and learn new skills that will survive and thrive in a robot-powered world.
Wrap your loving arms around marketing automation and put it to work for you.
Don’t fight the current…
Swim with it.
Smart Marketers Always Win
If you’ve been in this game for long enough, you may remember a time when mailing lists had to be managed and administered manually through a spreadsheet.
People would email you their contact details through a form, you’d manually add it to a list, and when the time came to send out your bulk email, you’d upload your spreadsheet to a piece of software linked to your server.
Even the unsubscribe and bounce requests had to be handled individually.
Software developed quickly to automate some of these actions but often they were prohibitively expensive. Or incredibly complicated. Or both.
Then along came hosted mailing list solutions, such as Aweber. Subscribe requests and confirmed opt-in processes were handled automatically by the software, and even unsubscribes could be handled with a simple link at the end of each email.
If you’re a more recent player you probably don’t realize what an incredible time-saver this new technology was.
The automation of list building was a revolution for budding internet entrepreneurs.
But here’s the thing…
This technology only works if it’s being used by a smart marketer.
Put a fancy lead capture form on a page and send no traffic, and you’ll see no results.
Even if you send traffic and build a sizeable list, but then send dull, poorly written emails, all you’ll get is a gradual increase in Unsubscribes and unopened emails.
Hosted mailing solutions and the automation they provide are amazing. But they’re ONLY as good as the marketer that uses it.
Let’s look at an example that uses more modern marketing automation technology.
IF – THEN – DO
For EverWebinar, automation is the founding principle.
But how does EverWebinar do if the user doesn’t apply basic marketing strategies?
The same maxim we previously discussed still holds…
Marketing automation is only as good as the marketer that uses it!
Automation is a tool.
You need to put your skills to work to achieve the best effect.
You can see this in direct action in the Notifications feature of EverWebinar. Like a lot of marketing automation, it’s based on Boolean logic, which uses simple binary instructions to trigger automatic responses.
This is more commonly known as: IF – THEN – DO
For instance, when activated, one of the email instruction templates creates this automated response:
IF the Webinar Attendee leaves before 00:30:00 time stamp, THEN send them THIS Email.
It’s a clever feature, for sure, but what content are you going to put in the email?
What do you say to someone who didn’t get to the halfway point of your webinar?
A marketing novice might send a “Buy Now and Save” email, but is that really the best approach?
Your customer didn’t see the entire webinar, they didn’t get all the content and they certainly didn’t get to the part where you introduced your offer.
Okay, you might get SOME results simply because you’ve reached out and made contact. However, is it possible to get a better response if you invite your customer to view a replay of the webinar?
Now your automated marketing is no longer just pinging out random emails like some kind of demented droid.
You are in control.
Instead of replacing you, marketing automation has empowered you and made your business stronger.
And this is just one scenario.
What if we were to begin stacking customizable situations? What could you write in an email that might counter the potential objections?
The key is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, exercise some imagination, and figure out what issues may be in play.
- If they registered for the webinar, but didn’t show up…
Did something come up? Did they forget? Did they start to think that maybe the webinar wasn’t worth their time?
- If they watched less than 10% of the webinar…
Did they struggle to understand the premise? Were they confused about the value? Were they expecting something more in-depth (or something better tailored for beginners)?
- If they watched less than 25% of the webinar…
Did they not understand the examples? Was the presentation too complicated? Was more foundational material required?
- If they watched the whole webinar but didn’t click the offer…
Too Advanced? Too Basic? Not enough Urgency?
- If they watched the whole webinar, clicked on the offer, didn’t buy, but came back and watched the replay…
This is great. Now we’re getting really granular. Does your customer need more information on the subject? Perhaps they just need a payment plan option.
Create a short email, or a brief video, that addresses each of these different scenarios and you’ll see what a difference this can make.
Automated Marketing is at its best when it responds SPECIFICALLY
Sending email after email with different subject lines but essentially the same content is TECHNICALLY automation, but it’s the really terrible kind.
And that’s why robots are NEVER going to replace marketers.
They’re just going to make the whole process smoother, more responsive, and more personalized.
More automation means BETTER personalization?
Yup! You heard it here first!
Don’t be afraid of marketing automation. Just keep reminding yourself that it all boils down to IF – THEN – DO. It’s a simple concept with a powerful application.
So, IF you want to improve your marketing results using automation, THEN get busy MASTERING the tech and creating targeted communications.
EverWebinar is a pretty good place to start, just sayin’.