It is vital that marketers find a method to continue nurturing their existing prospects and customers without using that most precious of all resources – time. As businesses are no longer arranging in-person meetings and face-to-face time is limited by other meetings and commitments now’s a good time to revisit automation and personalisation.
Completely stopping your marketing through the pandemic shouldn’t be an option. Now that almost a third of the world is on lockdown, key decision-makers are using this opportunity to research the products and services that they wish they had before the pandemic struck. By staying silent through this surge of activity, all you are doing is losing share-of-voice and relevance in the Channel.
Maintaining your marketing comms is one of, if not, the best ways to ensure you are seen to be providing genuine support to your contacts. As long as your messaging is appropriate and relevant to your readers it will put you in the best position when things start to get ‘back to normal’, as you will already be the first port-of-call for those prospects’ strategies.
The two principles of automation and personalisation are nothing new. In fact, most modern CRM systems already include these features and many Channel operations already leverage automation and even AI to optimise their networks and services. The same principle, on a more basic technical level, is ideal for your marketing too. Though typically forgotten because the end benefits just aren’t tangible enough for decision-makers to confidently dedicate the necessary resources to. So then, why is it so important that you use automation and personalisation to support your marketing campaigns through COVID-19?
If you’ve got more prospects, existing customers and contacts than you can shake a stick at, then there just isn’t enough time in the day – especially now – to email them all individually. ‘Automation’ may sound cold and clinical but it means you can reach out to your contacts at scale, while still remaining warm and friendly. But then, the question becomes, how do you make your marketing NOT seem like a blanket email that you’ve sent to all your contacts at once? The answer – personalisation.
Bear in mind that customer service and support has always been a major factor in considered purchases, too. Technologies like screen sharing and remote access aren’t exactly ‘bleeding edge’, but any business that offers support or training needs to consider how their customers are going to be cared for, now that onsite visits are highly unlikely. Webinars, online FAQs and ‘How-to’ videos are going to get a lot more popular very soon.
Did you know that 40% of consumers buy more from companies that personalise their shopping experience? While there are some significant differences between B2B and B2C, everyone wants to be treated like an individual and not a ‘contact’! Personalisation has this effect because it increases the perceived value of every message your readers receive and strengthens the bond between company and customer.
Strong automation and personalisation means you can do more, with less and to a higher standard than before.
Greet your prospects warmly
Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened because nothing says ‘I don’t know who you are’ more than a mass-distributed email that doesn’t even acknowledge you as the recipient. Personalisation mitigates this and, depending on your platform, can even extend to websites and landing pages for a truly personal customer journey.
Shorten the sales cycle
Personalisation doesn’t have to be a name, it can even help streamline how you send convincing information like case studies. For example, if ‘Full-Fibre’ infrastructure has just been completed in a certain area, thanks to location-specific tags, you can create a quick email campaign letting customers know that ‘Fibre is available in your area and this is why you need it’
What’s more, you can even add links that go straight to your calendar appointments in your emails, so that when your correspondence convinces a prospect to arrange a meeting, you’re reducing the time in which they can reconsider before physically booking the appointment.
Provide better analytics
Reporting is much easier, quicker and far more insightful when using personalisation. You could check what products are getting most clicks – are hosted solutions more popular right now or hybrid – and for which verticals? You can then use that data to narrow down key-targets or determine whether your PBX campaign is worth continuing or taking back to the drawing board.
Improve customer service
Setting tags for which contacts belong to which account managers allows customer service staff to know exactly who to turn to for a customer enquiry and improves your team-leader’s ability to check up on the progress of accounts.
Adopt more efficient workflows
Ultimately – whether your goal is to move prospects along your customer journey quicker, determine where improvements can be made, increase sales or just keep in touch – strong automation means you can do more with less at a better standard than before.
How to get started
Primarily, you must put the time into learning about your prospects and indeed your customers – who are they, where are they based etc and add that level of detail into your CRM. Once you’ve got your accurate contact data, it’s time to add in all the relevant content; case studies, blogs, testimonials, etc. that may be of use to your prospects and labelling those with the same tags as you use for your contacts, streamlining the automation process significantly. From there, you can create your campaigns and add in personalisation tags to add that extra touch that means your email won’t get ignored because you’re treating the people you connect with as people, not contacts. Besides, isn’t that what we all want when we’re looking for others to collaborate and work with?
If you want help evaluating your contact database, looking for quality data or support in making sure your marketing campaigns are the best they can be, we can help. Blabbermouth is not only an agency with well-over 5 decades of marketing experience in its team, but our extensive knowledge in IT & Telecoms means we know the market and have the brains to ensure your campaigns provide a true return on investment.
We’re here to support you and the Channel through these times of uncertainty