Chris Thomas, Corporate Marketing Manager and AJ Mock, Marketing Coordinator, CRST
Automated communication, through SMS, email, chat apps, etc., has completely changed the way most marketers create campaigns. Even compared to a few years ago, the strategies behind – and the scale – of customer outreach and re-engagement have changed dramatically. Advances in marketing automation software have simplified the previously daunting task of large-scale customer communication to such an extent that even the smallest of small businesses can cultivate and maintain a database of loyal customers.
On the other end of the spectrum, large companies can also streamline and organize their communication. In my role, in charge of recruiting marketing for one of the largest carriers in the transport / logistics field, it is not uncommon to send over 100,000 automated messages per day. The kind of volume that marketing automation allows us to achieve is critical to our success given the current logistics / driver recruiting climate. There is, however, another important factor in the success of any email, text, or other direct communication campaign. Personalization, the feeling that I am addressed directly, is difficult to retain as a company’s communication scale grows.
The answer to many of the challenges of making mass communication more personal exists in the automation tools themselves. Personalization tokens (first name, last name, etc.) have been around for a while, but today there are many more options in most tools. Here are some examples of tools and features that have taken re-engagement campaigns to a much higher level in my team:
Personalization in the main body of the messaging. Personalization tokens in the subject line, especially like the first or two words, are extremely common. It’s a great way to improve open rates, but we’ve found that including them in the body helps click-through rate as well.
Make sure all tokens used are correct and correctly mapped. There are backups built into some tools that warn you if the “first name” field looks a bit odd. These additional features, along with careful checklists beforehand, have increased the success of our mailings.
Use of the full capacity of automation workflows. One of the most impactful uses of our automation platform so far has been to use it to organize our contacts before sending any messages. The first thing that comes to mind when hearing “marketing automation” is the idea of ââsending emails and text messages to contacts who meet certain criteria. Adding segmentation to these contacts beforehand and sending more detailed messages based on those segments has been a big factor in the success of our re-engagement campaigns. It also made the whole process much faster. I can instantly download large lists which are sorted into smaller lists, freeing up hours to complete other tasks.
Every day an increasing number of competitors are fighting for the attention of clients, candidates, readers and any other number of targeted contacts. The not-so-secret weapon for winning is creating and nurturing a bond with every individual you send communications to. It won’t happen with everyone, but the more personal connections are made, the more successful communication will be. I’m optimistic about the future of marketing automation and hope that as innovations in areas like AI continue, that personal touch will be even more accessible on a large scale.