Customer expectations have changed rapidly over the past two years. Your customers expect more personalization, more relevant messaging, and outreach campaigns that speak directly to what they want and how what you’re providing or selling fills their needs.
These changes have made marketing automation and the automated customer journey increasingly crucial to gaining and retaining clients or organization members. Are you utilizing this powerful outreach campaign approach to grow your customer or member engagement?
What is the automated journey?
There are two parts to this form of outreach: the automation and the intentional journey mapping.
The automated part means each campaign is set ahead of time and sent without you or your team needing to enact all its pieces manually. Messages are usually sent due to a specific trigger but can be scheduled or manually initiated and then have follow-ups sent automatically based on interactions with the initial message.
Initiated through marketing automation, the mapped journey encompasses all forms of client outreach. Whether you’re connecting via email, social media, text, or on your website, all the ways you reach customers are part of these specific journeys. Each outreach is one point in a particular path specifically designed to increase recipient engagement. While customer journeys are typically the path to purchase, they can also lead to event sign-ups, to engage in organizational education opportunities, or other desired outcomes.
Why the automated journey?
What is so special about this specific form of outreach? One of the keys is timing. Since these outreaches are automated, they are poised to send at optimal moments in the customer journey. For example, Experian found that customers who received an automated message after abandoning their cart were almost three times more likely to go back and complete a purchase. The timing of outreach messages can significantly impact your conversions and other engagement.
The automation aspect is also highly valuable, especially for small businesses and nonprofits with limited staff bandwidth. With automation, powered by a marketing automation tool, these organizations can stay on top of their customer outreach and engagement without spending hours crafting and sending messages. Plus, the marketing automation tools that deliver these messages capture valuable data to help improve your marketing with each outreach.
How is an automated journey set up?
There are a few steps to setting up an automated journey. They include
2.) Map outreach: Once you understand your different audience segments, dive into how current customers or members in that group came to engage with you.
For example, you could see many engage with you from an industry association page by clicking on and downloading a piece of content you created. And you also notice that many sign up to be a member after getting your newsletter.
With this information, you can map a journey that includes sending the first message when they download your content to ask if they’d like to sign up for your newsletter. From there, you offer events to attend because you know people who attend events are more likely to engage at a higher membership level.
3.) Create your journeys: The most important part of defining your journeys is knowing the triggers for each segment (i.e., their first interaction with you or first indication to further their relationship with your organization). When you know these triggers, you can set up messages to send the moment they happen, such as after a prospect abandons a cart, when they sign up for your newsletter, or after attending an event.
“If-then” triggers should also be part of each journey. These are the different paths a customer can take after they’ve taken specific action (or inaction) in response to your outreach. For example, you can set a member to get a thank you email if they donate but get a follow-up “this is why your donation matters” email if they don’t donate.
4.) Test, track, and improve: Before making your automated customer journeys active, you should first test internally to ensure each is operating correctly. Once you know your journeys work, use them with customers and track progress. Keep track of how each is performing, gathering data to review after a few months to spot areas of improvement.
One of the most impactful ways to improve your journeys is to add personalization, like custom fields, to give them information about how they can connect with you in their locality or build on a past purchase with one of your new releases. Statista data showed open rates for personalized emails were almost 19%, compared to the 13% average. Adding that personal touch makes a difference.
Who can help with automated journeys?
Automated journeys are a powerful tool to increase customer engagement, yet many businesses find they don’t have the up-front bandwidth to create and manage this impactful outreach strategy. That’s where a partner like NuGrowth comes in.
Our team has the experience and knowledge required to get your automated customer journeys up and running almost from day one. We’re fully equipped to implement automated journeys for any business with proven email and journey templates, data-backed processes, and a long-term relationship with one of the best-in-business marketing automation tools.
Sarah Deak is a veteran copywriter and content strategist with NuGrowth Solutions. She likes to look for the unexpected angle and uses her background in education, business development, and marketing to create interesting and informative pieces to equip readers with actionable data