Casey’s General Stores have over 2000 locations throughout the central U.S. Starting a direct mail campaign used to take the company months of back and forth talks with each store.
For months their managers and executives would wake up tired and still confused about their new marketing plan.
Their twice-monthly newsletter had to be sent manually, taking up valuable time they could be spending on new marketing tactics. You already know that staying ahead of marketing trends can feel like trying to outrun a hungry mountain lion.
Can you imagine trying to create an effective promotion when it takes months just to get approval? This article will give you a heads up of some of the top marketing automation trends and how to use them effectively.
“Which Marketing Automation Trends Can Help Me Most?”
If you’re not taking advantage of marketing automation you’re shooting yourself in the foot. But just blasting your contact list with the same promotions over and over again isn’t helpful either. So, let’s have a look at some strategies.
Email marketing has the potential to increase sales by over 14% and decrease your marketing budget by 12%.
But like we said before, treating all of your customers the same by sending them the same emails aren’t going to get you the results you want.
This leads us to the first of our marketing trends 2019:
The future of marketing revolves around segmentation. That’s because it has the ability to take something as impersonal as an automated email and make it look like a birthday party invite from a best friend.
How does it work? You already have your list of prospective buyers. But there is no way all of them joined your email list for the same reasons.
Some may be shopping for friends, while others are looking for themselves. You’ll have customers that spend a lot on your business while others buy something once and never return.
The point is treating all your customers the same will ultimately lose sales. That’s because a mass produced email that caters to only one segment of your market will alienate everyone else.
Before you know it, customers are unsubscribing and you have to spend even more money acquiring new customers to replace the ones you lost.
So how do you start dividing your audience? Don’t just guess what your customers are coming to you for, ask them.
Surveys, polls, and questionnaires are all great ways to get started on your segmentation plan. The key is to listen to your customers and send them relevant promotions.
Segmentation takes your entire customer base and funnels them into the correct category, like sorting out your recycling. If you sell wedding accessories, don’t send your bridesmaids and brides the same promotions.
Send the bride deals for thank you notes while the rest of the party gets promotions for bridal shower gifts.
Segmentation isn’t the only way to help your customers feel more at home. You may have seen or used our next marketing trend during your own online shopping experience.
Up to 60% of customers that received a message from a chatbot replied. With average email open rates at only 18-28%, a chatbot can be a great way to give a huge boost to your campaign.
But how can a computer program set up with predetermined responses help humanize the online shopping experience?
That’s a good question. When we think of robots, we often think cold and inhumane. But there are a ton of ways to make your chatbot sound and feel like a real person.
For starters, always use a profile photo. Don’t use a stock photo. It should be someone that really works with you.
Don’t worry, they don’t need to be your actual customer sales rep. Even if the caller ends up talking to someone else, having a face to speak to makes the whole experience feel warmer.
Marketing automation trends should improve the customer experience, not hinder it. If you just throw up a chatbot out of the box and expect a faceless profile with generic answers to get the job done, you’re not getting the point of automation.
Some businesses think they can just keep using the same strategy but with some auto emails thrown in. If you do this you’ll be one of those people saying marketing is dead.
Automation is a tool, not an end-all to online marketing. You’ll still need to have great copy and delivery, but if done right you can extract the maximum value out of each customer.
And that’s key to automating other stages in the customer lifecycle. The perfect automation strategy can walk your customer through the entire sales funnel.
Automation from Start to Finish
Marketing automation for small business is all about cutting costs. A sound automation strategy will upsell current customers, welcome newbies, and praise new purchases.
40% of marketers say that reengaging with your customers as they go from signing up to your email list to making their 4th or 5th purchase is vital to getting the most out of automation.
Reactivation emails are an easy way to stand out from your competition. Only 10% of businesses using automation send them.
They’re leaving a lot of money on the table because as we can see from the companies that use retargeting, it pays off big time.
And automation takes out the most tedious aspects of building customer relationships by instantly sending the correct message to the corresponding action.
Does It Really Make a Difference?
Casey’s General Stores doubled the number of households reached with their new automated email marketing content.
This is possible because they used marketing automation trends that allows them to circulate twice as many promotions in half the time. Imagine what your business would look like with twice as many customers.
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