Marketing Automation Demo
Let’s take you through a quick spin around the capabilities of marketing automation. Please take a look at the note on the speed of the demo and running it multiple times.
Step 1: Marketing automation helps identify anonymous visitors
The first challenge is to identify who’s on your website. Most of its visitors are anonymous. Your fantastic SEO work got them to your site but you can’t nurture their interest or make money from them until you know who they are.
Marketing automation helps by tracking what visitors do on your website even while they’re anonymous. If they show an interest in Topic X, you can use a pop-up to offer more information about it:
- sign-up for a mailing list.
- attend a webinar.
- visit your premises for a live demonstration.
- join you at an exhibition.
- download a guide.
- visit a governing body’s site.
- and so on.
These aren’t the sort of pop-ups that annoy visitors and threaten your Google rankings. These are small pop-ups that only appear if we detect an interest in a specific topic.
- they’re limited – visitors only see them if they’ve shown an interest in a topic.
- they’re relevant – the pop-ups visitors see are linked to the topic they’re interested in.
- they’re not intrusive (well, only a little bit) – if we already know who the visitors are, they don’t see the pop-up. Nor do we keep on throwing it on their screens.
- they’re flexible – if the visitor doesn’t respond to the pop-up, we can stop it appearing for the next nn hours or days. Or ever.
To see this in action (we’re assuming you haven’t signed up to any of our mailing lists), visit these three pages:
You can close each window after they’ve opened.
Nothing will happen immediately. In the background, your interest has been noted (even though we don’t know who you are yet). When you visit other pages later in this demo, you’ll reach a threshold at which we say “you’re interested in Topic X” and a pop-up will appear. You can close it. It only appears to demonstrate what we can do.
The ability to track activity before visitors have identified themselves is spectacularly useful. And unusual.
Most marketing automation systems only track identified visitors. Just imagine what that misses.
Visitors have to be persuaded to give you their contact details. They’ll visit loads of pages and view lots of content before they decide you’re professional and trustworthy enough to know their name.
With our marketing automation, that history will be attached to the visitor’s record once they’ve identified themselves. With other systems, it’s lost.
Step 2: Identifying you
Now let’s move on to how we nurture a visitor’s interest.
We’ll start with a really basic capability (one that we’d advise against using in real life, by the way): when somebody visits a web page, they’re automatically sent an email.
The demo starts when you enter your details in the form. If you don’t want to tell us who you are – no problem. Set up a free, temporary email address at EmailOnDeck.
The contact details form raises an important point about marketing automation. Nothing happens until you’ve chosen to give your contact details to the website. This is an advantage, not a limitation. You don’t want automation to ferret out somebody’s contact details in some nefarious way. Apart from being illegal, it’s counter-productive. If you get their email address stealthily they don’t think “oh, you’re clever”. No, they think you’re creepy and intrusive.
Only work with contact details that are given willingly.
Once you’ve filled in the form you’ll get an email to confirm it was really you who sent in your email address. On average, this email takes 11 minutes to arrive. This double opt-in process is standard practice for reputable businesses.
Step 3: Basic automation – web page to email
This demo portrays you as somebody interested in brand marketing. Take a look at this page:
The page will open in a new window that you can close as soon as you like. On average, this email takes 24 minutes to arrive.
You can use this capability to send visitors extra information about the product, service or topic the page was about. In real life, you wouldn’t bombard anyone with an email just because they visited one solitary page. That level of interest doesn’t justify it.
Step 4: Better automation – multiple web pages to email
Let’s see a more realistic example. To further your interest in brand marketing, clck on the links below to visit other pages about branding:
Having visited three different pages about branding (not the same page three times), we might reasonably assume that you’re interested in it. Now would be a more appropriate time to send you an email series offering extra information. We could offer information, downloads, links to industry authorities, webinar invitations, video demonstrations – the list is almost endless. The key, though, is that all the content is relevant to the topic we know you’re interested in.
A series of three emails is on its way to you. On average, they take 19 minutes to arrive.
Step 5: Smarter marketing automation
If we design our website well, we can send emails depending on the type of pages visited, not just the quantity. You might just be browsing. You might be quite interested in purchasing. Or you might be on the verge of making a decision. If we put our thinking caps on, we can design pages that cater to each of these buyer personas.
Click on one of the following three links (or all of them if you like):
- The first option discusses broadening a narrow brand. If you go to this page we’d assume you’re still just browsing. Your level of interest justifies an email but you’re not ready to buy. We don’t want to try to sell to you. We’ll just send you more relevant information about past users. That email will be on its way to you if that’s the link you clicked. On average, it takes 16 minutes to arrive.
- The second option is a page that contains a lot of detail about building a strong brand. If you go to this page it tells us you’re thinking about taking action. You’re more than a browser. Now would be an appropriate time to tell you about how you get the rest of your management team on-board with the project. If you picked this option, the email’s on its way. On average, it takes 12 minutes to arrive.
- The third option shows our Terms & Conditions of Sale. If you go there you’re seriously thinking about buying. We won’t try to sell to you through an email but we will tell you about how we make it easy to buy from us. We’ll send you details of finance packages that spread the costs over time. That email will be on its way to you if that’s the link you clicked. On average, it takes 15 minutes to arrive.
Step 6: Behind the scenes of marketing automation
Let’s reveal something else that’s happening in the background as you click on these links. Your scores are being adjusted to reflect what products or services you’re interested in and how interested you are. You could be very interested in brand marketing but not at all interested in social media. By knowing this, we make sure our marketing automation keeps emails relevant and timely.
Click on the picture of the golfer checking his score. Our automation will send you an email telling you what your scores are. On average, it takes 1 minute to arrive. We’d normally keep scores private but this is a demo! The email serves two purposes:
- Yes, it tells you your scores.
- It also shows that marketing automation does more than react to which pages you visit. It reacts to what you do on those pages e.g. actions like clicking on pictures.
Step 7: Marketing automation even watches parts of images
The golf scores image above shows you how marketing automation can react to the images you click on. But it’s even cleverer than that. It can react to the parts of an image you click on.
The plane in the picture below is part of the image map demo we use elsewhere on our website. Let’s just focus on one part of it: the cargo bay just behind the wing. Click on that (in this demo, nothing will happen).
In a couple of minutes, you’ll get an email reacting to your click. In real life, we wouldn’t send you an email. We’d just remember that you were interested in the cargo-handling capacity of our plane. It’s another snippet of information that indicates your areas of interest. It’s another snippet we can use to make sure our communications are relevant to what you care about.
Summary: Marketing automation combines web and email activity with stored data
The form at the top of the page asked you for a Job Title. It wasn’t a mandatory field so you may have skipped over it. In real life, that wouldn’t matter if you never looked at another web page and ignored our emails – you’re not interested in buying from us.
But if you did visit lots of pages and clicked on email links, you probably like what you see. We’d want to know as much as we can about you. By now, you probably trust us enough to tell us more. So it would be a good time to ask again.
Our system has sent another email to anyone who didn’t enter a Job Title. It’s asking for more information about you. It doesn’t say “give us information because we’re nosy”. It explains why more information means more relevant emails. After all, we don’t send technical specifications to Financial Directors.
We could use the same process to collect phone numbers, company names, market sectors, seniority or any other useful information.
Processes can be triggered by any of the information we hold: products purchased, markets served, events attended, etc. It’s worth remembering that Zoho MarketingHub (the power behind our marketing automation) accesses information held in Zoho CRM, Zoho Books (accounts), Zoho Backstage and other apps.
Your next steps
We’ve covered the building blocks for most marketing automation systems. Your next step is to plan what visitor activities should trigger which reactions from you. The sky’s the limit.
Your automations will be governed by what materials you have that you could send, what events you could invite people to, which guides you can show, which sites you can recommend, and so on. In short, if you have anything that shows your expertise and experience, it can be used in marketing automation.
A smart website that can do all of this is beyond the grasp of most enterprise organisations. Even those that have invested tens of thousands in Hubspot, Pardot (Salesforce) or Marketo usually fail to use them properly. It’s the ideal opportunity for SMEs to steal a march.
If you’ve got web traffic, make money from it.
But also keep in mind that it’s only worth creating a process for an activity that might make your some money. Technology for technology’s sake is a road to ruin.
Demonstration speed and running it mutiple times
Any email address can only run this demo once. If you’ve run it with your real email address and you want to run it again, grab a temporary email from EmailOnDeck. It’s a free service.
Once you’ve clicked on some of the links, it can take between a minute and an hour for the emails to reach you. In real marketing automations, this isn’t a problem. In a demo, yep, it sucks. We don’t like it but it’s caused by server loads at Zoho and we can’t change it. Zoho is a great system but, alas, it’s not perfect. Sorry.