4 Effective Tactics for Following Up Automated Marketing

By Mathew Sweezey

Marketing automation gives you behavioral tracking, an automated marketing engine, and the power to follow up on every action of every prospect. These actions include web pages visited, videos watched, white papers read, and keywords searched for. This information is super powerful for marketers and helps them to be relevant on a new level.

You can easily overmarket to people if you’re not careful. Many marketers are having a hard time using this data without being “creepy.” Following are two solid tips to avoid creepiness with your automated marketing efforts.

  • Honor thy e-mail subject line. Your e-mail subject lines are critical to creating a great follow up. The key is relevance — and knowing what someone just downloaded gives you something relevant to talk about. The question is how to do it without being too forward.

    Here are two good tactics:

    • Focus on the trend, not the action. Look at what the action says about the prospect, not just at what the prospect did. For example, if someone downloads an early-stage piece of content, you know where that prospect is in the buyer’s journey. Your e-mails should therefore be relevant to early-stage issues. Don’t reference the prospect’s past action, but propose something else that other people found helpful in that stage.

    • Write like a person. Yes, add a personal touch . Don’t make your e-mail seem as though it came from a mass e-mail sending. Following up on an action and having it not come from a person can kill your branding and alienate your prospect. Remember that the e-mails you send to your friends have the highest e-mail open rate of any e-mail you send. Find out why, and follow those same techniques when writing personal follow ups.

  • Follow up with sales leads. Marketing automation isn’t just for marketing. It also gives many companies sales intelligence. Many salespeople aren’t sure how to use this information, however. If your sales team members can see lead activity in their CRM, you need to train them on how to follow up on this information.

    Here are two tactics to use to avoid being creepy with sales follow-ups:

    • Dont focus on the action. Train your sales team to call prospects but avoid asking about the white paper they just downloaded or other action they took. Salespeople should ask about the problem prospects are having, not the action. Put the focus on being helpful.

    • Identify the best actions for follow-up. Train your sales reps to not pounce on every action a prospect takes. Many representatives will want to call and e-mail on every little action a person takes. This is not good for you or your sales reps. Teach reps how to understand actions so that they know which actions deserve a call. If someone is looking on the pricing page, that person deserves a call. If someone reads your blog post, that prospect might not deserve a call.

      The best way to determine these key actions is to sit with your sales team and have an open discussion on good actions and appropriate follow-ups.

If you can follow these few basic keys, you’ll be on the road to success. If you’re not following these rules, the odds are you’re being creepy. Remember that 65 percent of people say that a company’s e-mails shape their view of the company. If you’re not in the business of selling creepy, don’t be.