18. July 2023 By Sarah Maulbetsch
E-mail campaign management with marketing automation
Campaigning as a service – the easy way to prepare for your e-mail campaigns
When it comes to the digitalisation of sales and marketing processes, companies are now looking into the rollout of a marketing automation tool. There is a great deal of responsibility that comes with this. You have to create interface connections and implement the right setup. However, if you have the right implementation partner, you should not run into any problems. The main work has been done when the tool is fully implemented and ready to help you set up campaigns and journey flows. Everything is working well and ready to go?
As we have seen from past experience, the real work of the marketing department, in cooperation with sales, is just getting started. I will show you how to take the next step in a smart and professional way.
Marketing automation system is now in place: what comes next...?
For many companies, rolling out a marketing automation system is unquestionably an important step towards making their business processes more efficient and modern. But when this is done, what comes next? Companies face the constant challenge of having to build up the capacity and knowledge required to work with the new tool.
These are often pain points following the rollout of the marketing automation system:
- Limited resources: It takes a lot of time to on-board new employees and teach them the change management process in the software. This is often not possible due to capacity constraints. And because resources are limited, steps to expand marketing automation that arise during the campaign planning phase are neglected.
- Lack of expertise: There is no one at the company who knows how to set up processes and campaigns.
- Lack of success: Campaigns that are not done professionally do not bring the expected conversion rates or turnover.
- Inflexible campaigns: Employees neglect to regularly make adjustments to campaigns.
- Lack of monitoring: Monitoring whether a campaign is delivering the desired results is not given due attention. As a result, transparency regarding how the campaign is performing can no longer be guaranteed.
- Steps to improve the campaigns are not taken: Due to a lack of monitoring, targeted improvements to journeys and campaigns can no longer be made.
- Lack of transparency: Campaigns are not tracked, which means that the customer journey is not fully transparent.
- No 360-degree view of the customer journey: Since not all touchpoints can be documented because tracking is not taking place, a 360-degree view of the customer journey is also not possible.
As a result, the full potential of marketing automation is not tapped for months and sometimes even years. The process of creating new flows, journeys and procedures that conserve valuable resources in marketing and sales is slow or stalled, even though all the necessary tools are ready to go. That is a pity, because the process could be improved a whole lot. Do you want to know how?
Five pillars of successful e-mail campaign management
I will show you how to manage a campaign correctly and achieve everything you set out to do with your campaigns.
Firstly, the problem is tackled by taking a look at each of the pillars that help you create successful e-mail campaigns and journeys. You need to set aside the necessary time and do the necessary planning in order for a marketing automation campaign to be successful.
1. Campaigning ideation – use your creativity to design successful campaigns
Before campaigns are created, it is essential that you clarify key parameters in advance. Here are just a few of the questions you need to ask:
- What is your ultimate goal? Is it to generate more leads, more opt-ins, more sales? Or is it to pre-qualify leads or perhaps some other goals?
- What are the touchpoints and what type of tracking is being used?
- What are the interfaces between the marketing automation system and other systems in the system infrastructure? And is it possible to set up multi-channel campaigns, or does the main form of communication remain e-mail?
- Which parameters are decisive in the selection of the target group? And should A/B tests be scheduled in order to further optimise the performance of the campaign over the long term?
Once these and other basic questions have been discussed, it is possible to start designing campaigns that address the relevant sales and marketing objectives.
2. Content creation – develop all assets for the (e-mail) campaign
For each touchpoint, campaigns need assets, also referred to as content pieces, that are distributed to the leads or customers. Examples of this include e-mails and landing pages, but this could also be a letter or flyer (link-up of a lettershop to the marketing automation system) or the setup of social media campaigns that play a role in the campaign.
Different content is required for each asset. Texts and images must be designed specifically for the communication channel, they have to have the right format and size and they need to take into account where the customer is along the customer journey. At the same time, the corporate design must be incorporated in every content piece in order to preserve the brand identity across all channels. The content for each touchpoint needs to mesh well so that the person being targeted can orientate themselves at any point in a multi-step campaign and keep moving down the conversion funnel. It is therefore imperative that professionals from design, content and front-end development (who, for example, create e-mail templates or landing pages) work closely together to develop a consistent experience for leads and customers.
3. Marketing activation – implement the campaign in the marketing automation tool
What you now need are employees who know how to use the tool. The campaign has now been planned and the final design is ready. The next step is marketing activation. If this is something you want to do, you will need to create A/B tests in accordance with the tool’s testing standards. Always make sure that the right target group is being addressed, that all interfaces do what they are designed to do and that the entire campaign is tracked from start to finish so that you can evaluate its performance.
The main goal of activation is to aggregate all key information, content and specifications in a campaign in a meaningful way, in line with the best practices of marketing automation. You need to properly segment a target group and implement journeys according to the guidelines of the campaign you designed. Among others, this entails managing the content you created (text and images), specifying tracking and links, configuring the journey and planning sendouts (including those that have been triggered or scheduled). If you lack expertise in any of these areas within marketing activation, mistakes can quickly happen. It is therefore important to always check every element and every step in the configuration of a campaign before each launch.
4. Analytics and reporting – do a professional analysis and assessment of the campaign
If you wish to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign, the post-campaign assessment is of great value for future campaigns. Values such as opening and click rates are just as important as visits to a landing page, clicks on call-to-actions or (soft) conversions. Furthermore, if you have a professional setup, it is even possible to expand the analysis beyond the website or e-mails to see which platforms leads are using (social media, for example), which allows you to gain a full overview of the customer journey within the campaign.
To ensure that management does not lose focus in view of the many figures and numbers they can use to analyse the campaign, the KPIs can be prepared in a clear and structured way in a report. This ensures that the evaluation of the campaign and the measurement of its performance and relevance are clear to see at a glance. These reports can be prepared on the dashboards of the marketing automation tool, integrated into existing reporting tools or sent automatically by e-mail.
5. Optimisation – lessons learned: once the evaluation is complete, it is time to look at where improvements can be made
If you were able to do a holistic assessment of a campaign through tracking and reporting, you can now see how you might be able to improve future campaigns. This allows you to constantly optimise campaigns and boost your return on investment (ROI).
But what if you only have limited resources for e-mail campaign management?
When carrying out marketing automation campaigns, companies are faced with the challenge of either developing the skills needed to use the tool in-house or bringing in the necessary experts from outside the firm. Is this a situation that is familiar to you?
The advantage of bringing in outside professionals is that a campaign can be carried out more quickly, it can be launched shortly after the marketing automation tool is rolled out and seamless support is available across all pillars of e-mail campaign management.
This reduces the workload of the in-house marketing department, especially in the early days of the campaign. Companies can then look into gradually replacing the outside experts who were brought on board to handle individual pillars of campaign management in the marketing automation tool with their own staff later on. This means taking an intelligent approach from the beginning and making a simple and seamless transition post-implementation to the active campaign creation phase. And by having outside professionals there to assist them, the company has access to in-depth expertise on how to use the tool and implement a campaign.
Get support from a professional team
Do the five pillars sound more complicated than you originally envisioned? Do you already know about marketing automation tool implementation and the subsequent challenges during the professional planning of the subsequent campaigns?
Not a problem. The adesso Digital Experience team not only offers full-service professional and technical support during the implementation of a marketing automation tool. Along with that, we also closely monitor the professional, tool-agnostic development, design, implementation, evaluation and optimisation of campaigns in marketing automation for you.
This also applies with regards to technology and subject-matter expertise. Thanks to our many years of in-depth experience with all popular marketing automation tools, we are always on the lookout for opportunities for technical optimisations during the campaign creation phase and are able to pass this information on directly to you, your team or your technical department, both inside and outside your company.
Regardless of whether you only need support with specific pillars of campaign management or require advice and implementation support across all five pillars, we are your partner with years of expertise in marketing automation and personalisation.
Are you interested? Then get in touch with us.
Would you like to learn more about exciting topics from the adesso world? Then take a look at our blog posts that have appeared so far.