How To Develop An Effective Multi-Channel Campaign with Automation

Multi-channel campaigns and automation have been two of the most important trends in digital marketing over the past few years. When combined, they make a powerful approach. And it can have a dramatic impact on your conversion rates and your budgets for digital marketing.

Recent research shows the true value of automation. 91% of marketers surveyed by Instapage say that marketing automation is very important to the success of their marketing campaigns. And according to stats published by Protocol80 on lead nurturing through marketing automation, 15-20% of potential buyers that were not ready to purchase converted to sales.

Automating your digital marketing not only brings you benefits in terms of the level of personalization. It can also help you get the best out of your marketing channels. By taking insights – and data – from channels, and using them to inform the approach you take to others, you can build truly omnichannel campaigns without losing the specificity that is the mark of successful digital marketing.

In this short guide, I’ll take you through a strategy for building automated, multi-channel campaigns.

Getting the data right

All successful marketing automation – and all successful marketing, for that matter – rely on high-quality data. In order to start building automation into your multi-channel campaigns, therefore, you need to start by looking at how, when, and where you are collecting information on your customers.

Let’s take the example of financial statistics of your customers. Whether it is personal finances, income, household debt, GDP, consumer spending, and other concepts crucial to gauging the health of the economy, either at a micro or macro level, analyzing quantitative measurements is vital.You should then begin to draw all these data together into a central place, so they can be fed into your automation systems.

For most businesses, this process will be a question of integrating the data acquisition systems they already have. Namely, those that come bundled with your marketing tools. You should systematically work through the marketing (and other) digital systems you are using. And make sure that you are collecting as much data as possible through them. While also abiding, of course, by any data privacy legislation relevant to your business and territory.

Behaviors and automation

Once you have begun to collect high-quality, personalized data on your customers, you can start to automate your marketing. There are many ways of doing this. And it pays to experiment and gain familiarity with how automation works in different aspects of your marketing before attempting to build these into a coordinated campaign.

There are a number of places where automation can make a huge, almost instant difference to your existing marketing efforts. These include lead generation, prospect nurturing, client engagement, and referral generation. Most of these processes, for most businesses, will rely on email marketing services. So you should invest in email marketing software that has – or can be integrated with – automation functionality.

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There is another key way in which even the most basic automation can help your business, though. This is in workflow automation. Ideally, you should put in place as many automated tools as possible. And do it at every stage of your marketing systems, from data acquisition to customer service.

All these automated systems should also be linked to project management software. Thus you can ensure that each instance of customer interaction is focused on your KPIs, from the responses of your chatbot to your follow-up emails. Looking for a quality course on web development will help with the former. Putting in place chatbots for customer service can help with the latter.

Designing an automated multi-channel campaign

Once you are collecting high-quality data, and feeding these into your automation tools, you can begin to use these in a coordinated, strategic way. There are several steps to this process:

  1. Ensure that you define the most important KPIs for your campaign. If you don’t know which metric you are focused on improving, it’s going to be difficult to design and measure your campaign.
  2. Make sure that all of the data you are collecting on your customers is collected in a single repository. Ensure that (as far as is possible) individual customers can be identified by their activity on multiple channels.
  3. Once these data are in place, you can begin to design your campaign. The value of contemporary marketing automation platforms is that you can now design one set of marketing materials, and then automate the process of adapting these for the various channels you want to use in your campaign. 
  4. The marketing channels you normally pay attention to are not necessarily those that are the best for collecting data. While you make think of your blog, for instance, as primarily a PR tool, most blogging platforms will allow you to scrape user comments for relevant, timely information on individual customers. All of these data can then be fed into your automation processes.
  5. You can then set a series of behavioral triggers for each channel – whether this be a customer clicking on a social media ad or responding to an email – and set automated responses to each.

If planned carefully, a system of this type can be left to run by itself, and automatically interact with customers according to their needs.

Wrapping up

Automating all of your channels is a powerful approach and can be a great way of turning your website, social media feed, and email inbox into a conversion funnel. But you take care not to be too keen.

In most cases, and especially during the early stages of their purchasing journey, most customers will be happy to interact with automated systems. However, you should also ensure you provide a human touch – or at least a convincingly simulated simulacrum of this! – where it is required. In other words, automate as much as you can, but don’t put the robots in charge of your business.