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From the Trenches

6 Easy Marketing Automation Wins You Can Implement Now

Yvonne Lyons | March 7, 2019

When you lobbied your organization for that top-of-the-line marketing automation tool, you probably hoped for new, streamlined processes that would save your team time and help you target your customers better. But if you’re months or even years into that pricey contract and your team is still stretched thin and buried in cumbersome data, programs, and flows, it may be time to take a look at your implementation and optimize the way your team is tackling your tech.

We asked our own marketing technology experts for some top tips and best practices for getting MarTech wins. Here are some of their favorites — sure to help your team fine-tune processes, get organized, and get on the same page so that they can spend less time investigating and troubleshooting and more time driving serious results. Go ahead and send these expert marketing automation tips to your team (you can thank us later).

Shannon Walsh, Senior Director of Marketing Technology 

Win: Test Plain Text vs. HTML Designs
Having email deliverability issues? Test sending plain-text versus HTML designs. Often, simple text emails get higher engagement rates. For B2B marketing teams, plain-text emails can be a great way to make your emails more personal and exclusive — like they’re from an actual person— and improve deliverability. A 2017 Marketo test revealed that plain-text emails actually had a similar open rate to HTML emails but yielded a 21 percent higher unique click-to-open rate.

Implement This Win:
No matter what marketing automation tool you’re using, you can create and test plain-text emails with ease. Marketing to an organization with particularly high security, like health care or government? HTML emails are sometimes more likely to be flagged as spam based on security rules, making plain-text an important alternative to explore.

Win: Remove Unmailable Contacts from Your Marketing Database
Many marketing automation subscription costs correspond with the number of records in your database. So, removing unmailable contacts can actually save you a significant amount of money.

Implement This Win:
Tag and remove all records that are invalid, suspended, hard-bounced, or inactive from your marketing database. This will keep your database clean and keep your contact costs down. (Don’t forget to build a process for tagging or maintaining details for these records in your CRM).

KJ Janeiro, Marketing Technology Specialist 

Win: Document Changes
Whether your internal marketing team is made up of generalists or you have a crew of experienced MarTech specialists, make sure that any changes made to your marketing automation platform (or general marketing technology, for that matter) are thoroughly documented. If you have outside help from a MarTech agency, they’ll be able to easily identify changes and pinpoint the root of any problems. As an added bonus, if your team experiences staffing changes, a new recruit or an outside agency can easily pick up where they left off.

Implement This Win:
Most marketing automation tools, including Marketo and Pardot, have a dedicated space for descriptions and notes. Take advantage of them so that everyone on your team knows where to document changes (and where to look for more information about changes made by teammates).

Win: Limit Administrative Access to Select Experts
You’ve heard the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Well, too many administrators in your marketing automation tool can also be a recipe for disaster. By controlling the number of team members who have access to your system, you can easily manage changes and ensure that everyone is on the same page (and consistently documenting goals and changes).

Implement This Win:
Choose two to three administrators at most and make sure to assign administrative roles based on skill level and expertise.

Mandy Hyde, Marketing Services Coordinator 

Win: Create Global Forms, Landing Pages, and Email Assets for Form Submissions
Offering a resource, asset, or downloadable? Rather than delivering the asset directly after a form is submitted, provide a thank-you landing page and email the asset or link so you can verify the email address is accurate. This will also save you some serious time by allowing you to set up a single global form and thank-you page that can be used across each of your programs. In addition, you’ll be able to gather more data about how each particular asset is performing.

Implement This Win:
Instead of creating a separate form, landing page, thank-you page, and follow-up email for every program (which can make your instance pretty messy), it’s much more efficient to set up a UTM operational flow (first touch, last touch, and multi-touch for more accurate data) and then create a single global form and thank-you page. Bonus time saver: create a single email for form submissions and personalize it with tokenization based on form fields and asset content.

Win: Create Master “Clone Me” Programs in Marketo
Creating “clone me” programs for each program you’re using consistently in Marketo (email, webinar, content, etc.) solves a couple of different problems. First, it keeps the nomenclature consistent, which makes it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. But more importantly, if you have multiple people on your team creating programs, it keeps things consistent and ensures that any updates you make are implemented across all of your programs.

Implement This Win:
Make sure your “clone me” programs are as detailed as possible with all of the necessary flow steps. Because your program will be the foundation for future programs, make sure the person tasked with creating them has experience building programs and clearly understands what data needs to carry over to your CRM.

With a few tweaks here and there, you can begin optimizing your marketing automation tool so that it’s more useful to your team and reflects your structure and processes. If you’re still struggling to get a return on your marketing technology investment, it may be time to take a deeper dive into your set up. Check out our Marketing Automation Inspection Checklist and learn where you might be missing the mark or contact our team for a MarTech assessment and we’ll help you identify opportunities for improvement.

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About Yvonne Lyons:

Yvonne Lyons is Right Source’s vice president of creative services, overseeing content and design for all of our clients. She ensures that all creative produced at Right Source is of the highest quality and is aligned with our clients’ business strategy and goals. Yvonne received a bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University in writing and literature and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, branding, and communications.