The Story Behind Our Crazy Marketing Automation Redesign – Part 1

By Martina Hatonova in Marketing
·5 min read

You’re driving enough people to your site from various campaigns. As they peruse and learn more about your product from various content and articles, you gently push them down the marketing funnel, offering content relevant to their evaluation stage. Finally, they’re downloading the trial version and exploring the product. Great! You‘ve converted your visitors into product evaluators. What now?

In Kentico, we had set up a marketing automation process triggered by somebody submitting a form to download our trial version. We knew the audience contained not only developers but also project managers, marketers, and web designers, so we had content prepared specifically for each audience. When a visitor got to the bottom of the form, they simply selected whether they were a developer, a marketer, or neither. This check box then assigned the visitor to the respective process with its relevant content.

To make these emails personalized, we used a first name macro, and our great Content Strategy Manager Duncan Hendy mailed and signed the email. The emails were sent in a simple email template with the Kentico logo in the upper-left corner and the unsubscribe link in the footer.

 

The Incentive for Our Redesign

These emails worked for us with a decent open rate and interaction rate for quite some time. But during that time, we received various feedback on the process. Some of it was positive; some of our leads, customers, and employees would have liked to see the content in both British and US English (we were only using US English); and some people reported that they would like to receive emails signed by their local sales representatives. In a few unfortunate cases, a person had received multiple marketing automation processes at the same time, so we needed to prioritize processes to avoid this in the future.

Our team sat together to discuss the process with two goals in mind—to implement the feedback, and to make the emails even more personalized so that people would have a hard time distinguishing between these automated emails and ones that are manually sent.

Don’t Overwhelm People with Automated Emails

First of all, we started exploring possibilities of how to make sure that people would only be assigned to one marketing automation process at a time and whether we could give priority to the process for downloading a Kentico trial. We found the solution for the first part of the problem pretty easily:

  • We created a contact group named inMarketingAutomation.
  • After this, we added a “Change group” step and selected the option to “Add to contact group” (which would be the inMarketingAutomation group).
  • At the end of the process, we used the same step but removed the contact from the contact group.
  • As for the trigger, we added a condition that said the process won’t start for people that already are in the inMarketingAutomation contact group.

Simple, right? But this solution wouldn’t have worked if we hadn’t made sure that all our marketing automation processes didn’t contain the same trigger. So we had to update them.

One Process to Rule Them All

Now, people can be assigned to just one process at the time. But how do you figure out which processes are more important? We had multiple brainstorming sessions and consultations with our internal experts to try to come up with the answer. One of the best options was to assign a priority number for each running marketing automation process (at that time, we had about 30 of them) and start the process with the usual trigger. We just had to check before each step of the process if the contact haven’t entered a process with the higher priority number. This would require a huge update of all of our processes, not to mention what would happen if the priority of the processes would change. Considering all the pros and cons, we sadly had to drop the solution.

Send Them the Language Variant They Want

The next challenge was to make sure that people in regions using British English would receive content written in British English (and the same for US English). We were looking for a smarter solution than to set up a condition with a list countries that use British English, so we instead used Localization in Kentico to create a resource string with countries using British English.

Then, we inserted a first win condition to the process that said if the contact has no country, they’ll receive content in US English. If the contact’s country belonged to one from the resource string, they would continue the process with content written in British English. If the condition didn’t apply, they could continue with content written in US English. The great benefit of this solution is that we can use the resource string in other processes requiring a split between British and US English, as well.

More Options for Everyone

For our internal purposes, we decided to add more position options to the question “What is your role?” on our form. This information is stored in the contact’s profile and can be used for further personalized lead nurturing and remarketing. But in order to keep things as simple as possible, we still kept those three original content personas (marketer, developer, and other).

We then adjusted our marketing automation process to reflect the change:

Who Should Be the Sender?

To make the emails more personalized, we changed the email template to an even simpler one and also reconsidered using our Content Strategy Manager as the email sender. One idea was to use all of our Territory sales managers’ names as senders and divide the content by their respective territories. Remember—we had the content prepared for three personas, and we had about 14 territories, so this would mean to have all the content multiplied by 14!

Even though we started to play with some macros using one email and putting the sender’s name and signature according to the lead’s country, this solution was not feasible for us. So we ended up doubling the content (for US and British English) and signing it by the territory’s directors.

The Time is Now

Implementing all of the above, we’ve ended up creating the most complex marketing automation process we’ve ever had:

But now you might be wondering—what does the email template look like? Did we rewrite the old content? And have these changes had an impact on the open rate?

Don’t worry, I wouldn’t leave with just a half of the picture! In the next article, I’ll give insight into the content itself, and I’ll tell you more about the particular changes we made in order to get higher open and interaction rates. Stay tuned!

Think our solution is too complicated? Have a better way of doing it? Don’t be shy—I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments!

By Martina Hatonova in Marketing
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