5 Elements of a Successful Marketing Automation Campaign

    Last updated: May 13, 2024

    Maybe you’re trying to get more paid subscriptions for your newest publication. Maybe you’re trying to increase digital engagement among your new subscribers. Or maybe you’re running a lead generation campaign on behalf of your advertisers.  

    Or, if you’re like most media companies, you’re trying to achieve all of these things at once.   

    Executing all of these campaigns simultaneously requires a lot of time and manpower, most of which can be minimized by marketing automation. However, even the most powerful platforms can’t save a campaign with bad targeting, timing or strategy.

    Stay ahead and read our Q1 2024 email engagement report to uncover trends & best practices for success:

    So in this post, we’re sharing the five essential elements of any marketing automation campaign – and how to perfect your own campaigns.

    1. Define your audience and goals  

    The flashiest sports car won’t get you anywhere if the engine is busted. If your campaign lacks a clear direction and audience? It’s not going anywhere either.  

    Many times, marketing campaigns fail because they’re not focused enough. For example, your welcome campaign for all new readers tells them to check out your website, and also sign up for your newsletter, and also buy a subscription and check out your podcast… and there are CTA buttons for each. All but the most committed recipients will get overwhelmed and click away.  

    Avoid this by making your goal as specific as possible. So instead of “encouraging engagement,” maybe shoot to increase email subscriptions by X percent. This way, all your messaging and calls to action lead to the same place — and you can send less messages to get your point across. 

    A narrow goal also requires a narrow audience. Rather than getting your message in front of as many people as possible, look for opportunities to narrow your audience. This ensures that your recipients will find your message relevant — and take the desired action — without spamming the rest of your list.   

    Sure, nobody wants to cut their potential audience size from 20K to 15K, for instance. But if you get your targeting right, the short-term numbers hit will pay off in the form of more active, engaged and loyal subscribers in the long term. Going back to our welcome campaign example, you might recommend different newsletters, podcasts and/or publications to recipients based on their previous browsing history, rather than recommending the same thing to everyone.  

    On Omeda, you can segment your audience by mixing and matching more than 100+ different demographic, behavioral, and purchase-based filters in your database. So instead of blasting your campaign to everyone in your 35-and-under group, and hope for the best, you can target a smaller group that’s much more likely to engage based on their previous activity (for instance, target “18-to-35-year-olds who read content from the relevant websites, and have engaged in the last 60 days, but haven’t bought a subscription yet.”

    Want to take it a step further? Use dynamic content in your emails so that each recipient gets a message that’s tailored to their unique browsing and purchase history.  

    2. Excellent data quality 

    Segmentation is the foundation of your campaign’s success. But what if you don’t have complete data of everyone in your database?  

    Maybe you have everyone’s email activity in one spreadsheet, but your colleague has their website browsing activity in another platform, and a third person has their payment info somewhere else.  

    With data spread in so many places, how can you tell who your most engaged audience members are? How can you see which audience members are best suited for each campaign?  

    You can’t — unless your data scientists are willing to spend hours transferring data between systems and resolving each customer’s identity to see how they engage across each channel.

    If data silos are stopping your campaigns before they start, consider investing in a customer data platform. These tools take in data from every marketing channel — from email and ads to events, print, etc. — and store it in one easily accessible place. Fields are mapped according to pre-set workflows and incoming records are checked against existing profiles to identify potential duplicates. So you get a single view of each person in your database — without excess manual work.

    With that, you can ensure you’re focusing your efforts only on the people most likely to buy/respond.   

    3. Cross-channel reach 

    With so many channels at your disposal, why limit your campaign to just email? These days, the best marketing campaigns cover multiple channels to maximize reach and ensure consistent messaging.   

    For instance, on Odyssey, Omeda’s marketing automation solution, you can create a traditional drip email campaign, then serve that audience ads on Facebook (and AdRoll), as well as relevant personalizations and content gates on your website. If you’re feeling limited by just email, consider other ways to expand your reach.

    (Bonus: If you use a CDP, you can easily evaluate each piece of your campaign in one place, then tweak it for next time.)   

    4. The right timing  

    Message your audience too frequently and they’ll hit spam before your campaign’s over. (And if this happens too frequently, you’ll have deliverability issues to contend with as well.)  

    But it takes multiple exposures over multiple touchpoints to convince someone to make a purchase. And if you’re too passive, your audience might forget about you before they ever take action.  

    The best sending frequency for your campaign depends on your industry, campaign goals and your audience’s engagement patterns. But generally, best practice says to send each message 3-5 days apart.

    Not sure what’s best for you? Want to experiment with different sending options? On Omeda, you can customize your sending cadence by placing stop and wait elements between each message of your campaign. Pay attention to your campaign stats and email reporting to see what frequency works best for you over time.  

    5. Responsiveness   

    Say that you’re a sales rep doing cold calls to promote your new paper company.  For instance, Person A might tell you that their budget will open up in six months, while Person B might swear at you for calling them during work hours  

    So even if your calls don’t yield an immediate sale, talking one on one with your leads gives you an idea of next steps for each one. While automated campaigns can get you in front of way more people at once, they lack that kind of context. And even if you do know someone’s sick of you, it’s difficult to manually stop or delay your messages to individuals on a 300-person list. 

    However, with fatigue filters, you can adjust your sending cadence based on each person’s responses to previous messages. 

    On Odyssey, you can use the Fatigue Filter to advance only audience members who are not “fatigued” by too many email sends (Note: you can set your criteria for “fatigued” — typically, it’s when someone receives X numbers of emails without opening or clicking any of them). Once the person no longer qualifies as “fatigued,” they receive the next message in the series.  

    This is a great way to address audience and deliverability concerns without abandoning those users entirely. (You can also use the Fatigue Filter to permanently remove recipients from your campaign.)  

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