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Rick Ellis

Thinking Through a Marketing Automation Program

Rick Ellis Audience Development - 03/14/2013-11:15 AM

 

I’m spending some time thinking about how I might create a marketing automation plan for new subscribers to my brands. See if you think this makes sense: I want to feed these newbies related content and products based on what I know about them, beginning as soon as is reasonable after signup. I know it all comes down to testing and reviewing the analytics, but there are a lot of layers to think about, so what do you think of these two potential testing plans:

Goals: Increase traffic to the website and signups to other products after initial subscription. 
Method: Automated email messages timed to blast at specific intervals.
Scenario: Jimmy signs up for one of my brands, completing a lengthy form and telling me about himself and his company. (Currently I just send him what he asked for and occasionally send him other offers blasted manually, along with the eventual “renew your subscription” messages.)

Automated program option 1:
• After initial signup, create a subscriber score for Jimmy. This initial scoring will be based his demographic criteria, number of products he signed up for, etc.
• From the data he provided, build a logic program to determine the content that he would like most, and any other products that he didn’t ask for that might apply.
• 10 days after he signs up, send him a “best of” that content.
• 20 days after he signs up, send an offer for products that he should like based on his criteria.
Add to his score based on his response to those steps.

Automated program option 2:
• Set the subscriber score for Jimmy just like in option 1.
• Sweep the database every three weeks for demographic attributes prioritized by business value—those “hot topics” or key markets are sent before less important ones.
• After every database sweep, send content to Jimmy that matches one of the attributes he indicated on his form (over and above the products he asked for) along with a related product offer. 
• Set a counter so he only gets each content type once as part of the campaign.
• Add to his score based on his response to the entire campaign.

Option 1 is more thoughtful and would require a big emphasis on analysis and judgment calls as to what the logic program would send to Jimmy. There are a lot of data modeling and industry/product variables to consider with this one.

Option 2 is more of a trolling-the-waters-to-see-what-gets-Jimmy-to-bite approach, but it’s still based on what he told me about himself. I like it because it’s simpler, with fewer variables, less modeling and this approach gives me a lot of chances to get in front of this guy with topics that he indicated interest in. I have some concerns about this plan sending too many emails though. If I do it wrong I might end up having Jimmy tune me out or worse, unsubscribe altogether.

What do you think, anyone doing something like this out there? 

 

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