Marketing Automation FAQ

Considering adding a marketing automation platform to your marketing and sales teams? Here are some frequently asked questions to get you started:

What is marketing automation?

faqMarketing automation is the use of software to automate your marketing processes in a much more efficient way across multiple channels. Marketing automation allows companies to decrease their manual workload and allow processes like email blasts, lead generation, and campaign management to be set up and automatically executed.

Does marketing automation really work?

Yes! Marketers say that the biggest benefits of marketing automation are saving time (74%), increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%), and increased opportunities, including up-selling. Clearly, marketing automation brings many benefits to both your marketing and sales team. From saving time to increasing customer communication across channels, marketing automation truly does work.

Can marketing automation be used for both sales and marketing?

Marketing automation allows companies to push customers and prospects through the sales funnel with limited time and resources. From a sales perspective, marketing automation tools help turn those potential prospects into actual leads with automated actions that keep you on top of the sales process. Keeping track of all of your prospects and sending out the right touches at the right time is key to any sales team. From the marketing side, automating your campaigns gives you the ability to reach your targets with various engagements. From social media posts to email campaigns, there is no better way to push out your content than on an automated basis.

What are the benefits of using marketing automation?

While using a marketing automation platform, you can spend time following up with leads rather than wasting time trying to schedule your next marketing campaign. You can have targeted campaigns ready to go and automatically execute everything with the click of a button. Marketing automation allows you to gain results and actionable knowledge that will allow you to change and gain even better results next time.

If I have an email auto-responder why do I need marketing automation?

An email auto-responder is a single outbound marketing tactic. You have pre-written content that automatically gets sent out to anyone trying to reach you. And while this tactic can be beneficial in some ways, it is vastly different than what can be accomplished through automated marketing. With an automated process, you first will set up a marketing campaign. Then, depending on how you set up your campaign, different automated actions can be put in place based on the actions of the recipients. This process takes communication past simply responding to an email and brings it across multiple channels. Yes, both an email auto-responder and marketing automation platform are created to make your life easier, but that is about as far as the similarities go.

Is my company too small for an automated marketing software?

Marketing automation platforms are for organizations of all sizes. For small organizations, marketing automation allows you to stretch your limited resources and reach just as many prospects as any larger sized entity. For larger organizations, automated processes help keep campaigns organized to make sure you do not lose sight of your contacts. It utilizes efficiency and communication in so many ways that size is not a factor. Whether you have a contact list of 50 names or 500,000, automated marketing makes it easy to reach them in multiple ways.

Do you have any other questions regarding marketing automation? Tweet us, @MarketWithMAX!

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7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Marketing Automation Campaigns

You made the move to marketing automation. But now, the problem is having effective campaigns to get the results you are looking for. Here are seven ways to get the most out of your marketing automation campaigns:

Nurture your Leads

Sending out the right content to the right people at the right time is the key to any successful campaign. By effectively nurturing your leads, staying on top of where they are in the sales process, and delivering the content they want at the right time, you will get the results you are looking for.

Incorporate Social Media

gears_marketingIn this day and age, social media has become an integral part in almost every marketing campaign. If you want to get the most out of your marketing automation campaign, communicating past the emails and landing pages and incorporating posts on social media is key. Whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform, engaging on social along your campaign process will help you reach your end goal.

Short and Sweet

Today, so much is broken down into 140-character tweets, 10-second snapchats or 6-second Vines. When communicating with your customers, keeping things short, sweet, and to the point can help keep them engaged and allow them to fully understand your message.

Timely Evaluations

Taking a step back and evaluating your campaigns every so often helps to make sure your messages are staying on point and your customers are listening. Assessing your campaigns allows you to make changes to areas that are lacking and improve future campaigns to get even better results next time.

Tailor your Content

Part of evaluating your campaigns is figuring out what types of content your customers are looking for. To get the most out of your automated campaigns you need to be sending the right content to the right people. Tailoring your content based off those evaluations and understanding what your customers are looking for will take your automated campaign to the next level.

Build your Contacts

Some marketers fall to the temptation of buying large contact lists. Don’t make that mistake; instead, build genuine contact lists organically. If you really want to get the most out of your marketing automation campaigns, building your contacts through inbound and outbound marketing tactics will help increase your reach and brand awareness.

Combining Efforts with Your Sales Team

Lastly, a major aspect of marketing automation is the connection between marketing and sales. When nurturing those leads and communicating with your customers, it is important to be on the same page with your sales team. If both marketing and sales know which customers are receiving which messages, they can more effectively be pushed through the sales funnel. Your final sales results will help show which marketing efforts are working and which ones are not.

So, when creating your next campaign, keep these tips in mind to make sure you’re getting the most of your marketing automation efforts.

What’s your biggest marketing challenge? Tweet us, @MarketWithMAX and we’ll give you some quick, free advice!

New Editor Released!

What does the design of your email and landing pages say about your organization?

The impression you leave on your current and prospective clients matters!

website-202x300

We recently released a brand new  editing tool for users who want to create customized  email and landing page templates and for those who want to start fresh and give their marketing a “face lift.” 

(We promise, a little creativity goes a long way)

 

With MAX’s new editor, users can quickly and easily:

  • Change font styles, sizes and colors
  • Add background colors for an extra pop
  • Rearrange or add to the layout
  • Add graphics to emails and landing pages

No matter how creative (or not) you are, MAX’s new editing tools will help you easily create visually attractive emails and landing pages that are sure stand out (emphasis on easily).

Surprising Benefits of Marketing Automation

There are a number of benefits to marketing automation that many organizations utilize. Marketing automation allows constant messaging across the multiple channels of an organization. In fact, “91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is very important to the overall success of their marketing across channels.” However, there are many benefits to utilizing a marketing automation software that not every organization is aware of. Here are a few benefits of marketing automation you may not know:

Marketing and Sales Work Together

At the end of the day, the result of a successful marketing campaign is highlighted by sales. In this instance, automation and sales go hand in hand for a number of reasons. One, marketing automation speeds up the sales process. Everyone knows that automating your campaigns will save immense time and effort on the marketing side. However, what a lot of organizations don’t realize is that it can save time for the sales department as well. These marketing efforts provide the right content to the right people at the right time. With constant communication leads are being pushed through the sales funnel and can result in a quicker return on investment.

gears_marketingLead Management

Lead management through marketing efforts is made effectively possible with marketing automation. You can nurture and develop leads by providing the right content. Sales and marketing steps can be taken based on the actions already made by the recipient. This software allows you to understand what they want or need. You can successfully lead them in the direction best fit to gain the most information that will help them and you. You gain a better understanding of your leads as a whole and help develop relationships as you accurately track them through the sales funnel.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is simple. The higher the “score” the more likely a sale will happen. The lower the score means that more marketing efforts and communication is most likely needed. This is another example of how sales and marketing work closely together. Throughout a campaign you have the ability of seeing this information and figuring out what the next step needs to be.

Prepare For The Future

With the right software, your organization can see the reports of which marketing efforts lead to sales and which ones did not. If there were certain content pieces that drove high engagement, it would be smart to do those again. But, if certain campaigns or content pieces did not lead to sales or high engagement, it might be best to change for the future. You can alter your actions to gain better results next time.

No Experts Needed

Do you need an expert to do your grocery shopping? Well, marketing automation is the same way! With the right software, marketing automation can be easily utilized by anyone. Setting up campaigns and tracking leads through an automated process does not take an expert.

Any Sized Company Can Succeed

Marketing automation can work well with any-sized organization. With a small or medium-sized company, automated efforts allow you to increase your reach and saves time and effort. For a large company, it keeps things organized and makes sure leads don’t get lost along the way. Like previously mentioned, it does not take a marketing or sales expert, so for any sized company, you can start campaigns with the employees you have. Whether you have a contact list of 50 people or 500,000, marketing automation can help reach them all!

As a whole, marketing automation platforms are great tool for any business, association or organization. “Nearly 70% of businesses are using a marketing automation platform (MAP) or currently implementing one.” This means your competitors are most likely doing so – so you should be too. Start creating your emails, social posts, landing pages, and all other personalized content today!

*Statistics from Email Monday.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon and try out a marketing automation tool. Tweet us, @MarketWithMAX, and we’ll give you a code for a free trial of MAX, an affordable and user-friendly cloud-based marketing automation solution.

The Difference Between Marketing Automation and Email Marketing

Do you know the difference between marketing automation and email marketing? We all know that email marketing can be a major part of any strategy. However, marketing automation can help take your marketing a step further.

So, before getting into the differences, let’s define what these strategies mean. Marketing automation is the use of software to automate your marketing processes in a much more efficient way. Email marketing is the simple communication of sending a message to one or more person’s inbox. Besides the basic level of building relationships and communicating with customers, prospects, or members, the two do not have much in common.

gears_marketingFor starters, email marketing is time consuming. Having a successful email campaign takes a lot of effort, and heavy manual upkeep. Marketing automation allows companies to decrease their manual workload and allow, not only processes like email blasts but, lead generation and campaign management to be set up and automatically executed. This allows you to time to work on many other aspects of your organization.

Personalization is hard when it comes to mass emails. Sending out emails to a large group of people makes it difficult to customize and understand what each recipient wants or needs. With marketing automation, not only would an email blast be automatically sent out, but also, various messages would be sent on a more personalized level. Automated messages can be directed to each recipient based on certain actions taken by that customer, prospect, or member.

Further, marketing automation allows you to generate, track, nurture, and develop your leads. While an email may be step one in your campaign, the rest can be built off of automated messages. A well-designed campaign can automatically push your customers or prospects through the sales funnel. With constant contact and limited time commitment, you are keeping your leads engaged and giving them the right content at the right time. Email marketing does not allow you to effectively track everything you need to know about your leads to drive a successful campaign – marketing automation does.

A successful marketing campaign needs more than just emails. While having email templates is beneficial and important, content styles such as landing pages or forms play a big role as well. In today’s world, social media also plays a key role in marketing.  Marketing automation can provide all of these capabilities.

In the end, email marketing is simply one element of the larger picture that is marketing automation. Together, the two strategies can turn leads to sales and help get your message to the right people at the right time.

[Press Release] MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. Released!

WILMINGTON, Mass. – (September 7, 2016) interlinkONE, Inc., a leader in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry, is thrilled to announce the launch of their newest marketing solution, MAX.: Marketing Automation. Executed, which went live to the public today, September 7, 2016, and has already been welcomed by organizations nationwide during the soft launch with rave reviews.

iMac 272Countless organizations find it challenging to put consistent communication with their respective audiences at the top of their to-do list. This challenge is what led CEO John Foley, Jr. and his team at interlinkONE to create MAX, a powerful, user-friendly and affordable marketing automation solution that makes staying in touch with audiences effortless. Whether it’s an email, landing page, notification, or social media post, users can easily set up marketing campaigns of any style or size, and then MAX seamlessly executes the campaign on the organization’s behalf.

“We have been following MAX’s development with enthusiasm and are very excited that MAX is officially going live to the public. We know this tool will be effective for any organization, large or small, serious about educating and engaging with their clients. AS beta customers, we know that MAX is a user-friendly and well-designed system that stands apart from any marketing automation platform you’ve probably seen. We were able to jump right in and start building and executing campaigns that yield real results. MAX avoids having to re-invent the wheel to send out each step in a marketing campaign, you can build the entire campaign beforehand with little time investment and have MAX deliver it successfully. Then using MAX’s reporting capability, check out the results,” said Ed Marino, CEO of codeMantra, a technology and services company for the content economy.

What makes MAX different is that it was designed with the user in mind. MAX’s intuitive system requires no training, marketing degree or experience with automated marketing software. Complimenting these benefits is MAX’s one-of-a-kind reporting tool that allows users to generate traditional campaign reports or customize their own to report on areas that matter most to their organization.

“For years we have heard from clients and industry insiders that they were finding it impossible to automate their marketing activities without hiring a specialist or delegating a huge chunk of their budget to it. We saw a problem, and we created a solution that specifically addressed the needs we heard time and time again. The time is right for a product like MAX, and I’m thrilled that we’re officially launched today. Content marketing is the best way to make sales, but you need to be consistently delivering that content or you won’t get a good ROI. Set MAX up, then let it go to work for you” said Foley, Jr.

With three affordable plans tailored to suit organizations of any size, MAX ensures users grab the attention of their audience and increase profits. To sign-up for MAX, view the plans and see how it can work for your organization visit MarketwithMAX.com today.

About interlinkONE, Inc.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, interlinkONE, Inc. has been a pioneer in the SaaS industry since 1996 when they launched their legacy platform, ilinkONEpro, which was one of the first software solutions available for download via the web, while industry peers were providing solutions that needed to be uploaded locally with CD-ROMs. Led by CEO John Foley, Jr., interlinkONE has continued to be an industry leader in new technologies with products and services to fulfill and exceed the needs of businesses and organizations locally and internationally. Visit interlinkONE.com to learn more about interlinkONE and the innovative marketing solutions they offer.

 

Media Contact:

Donna Vieira

Vice President, Marketing

interlinkONE, Inc.

donnav @ interlinkone.com

6 Tips for Providing the Best Social Media Member Service

Your social media profiles require attention. Attention beyond your marketing team posting links, updates, videos, and so on. Social media is all about engagement and interaction. But sometimes that interaction isn’t all light and goodness. You may have disgruntled members post negative comments. You may have confused prospects post misleading statements. With that being said, you need to have your team at the ready to handle issues as they crop up. Here are six ways your association can provide the best social member service possible:

  1. Have a strategy. And make sure everyone on the team knows what that strategy is. There should be specific reasons for why you do things and how you do them. Having a strategy will also help you implement procedures later, as your social member service actions need to evolve.
  2. Have your procedures in writing. Have your procedures in writing. It’s easier for things to fall between the cracks if you don’t have set, written policies and procedures for your team to follow.
  3. Be timely. Social media is very fast paced and you need to keep up with that or you will seriously miss the mark. You need to have eyes on your social media platforms daily (better yet, hourly) in order to see what’s being posted or commented on so that you can respond as soon as possible.
  4. Be openly responsive. If someone posts something on your social media profile page, then address it there. You can always take it somewhere private (direct messaging, email, phone, etc.) as well, but you want to show that you are on top of things, not only to the person who posted, but to others viewing your social media profile. If you take it private without addressing things openly first, then you appear to be unresponsive to the rest of your audience.
  5. Empower your team. Empower your entire team (or the majority) to respond without having to hold hands with management every step of the way. This is easy with the proper training and having policies and procedures in place. Your team should be trained using hypothetical situations and past issues. An emphasis should be placed on how response time is crucial.
  6. Don’t always engage. Every so often a “troll” may come along just to stir things up. Your team shouldn’t be sucked into the crazy. You can either ignore a troll and delete/block the spam accounts, or just have a set answer that your team uses. In either case, you don’t want to feed the beast and continue some sort of silly “argument” with someone who is just there to cause trouble.

Your association’s main goal is to make and keep members happy, and this goal stands true for social media as well. If a problem or complaint arises with a member or prospective member on social media, take a deep breath, and remember these six tips to help make it right.

Create a Content Calendar in 3 Steps

Fresh, well-written, and relevant content is an integral part of the successful marketing plan of any modern association. Effectively managing content is also essential, however. Content management strategies include releasing the right content at the right time, using content designed to speak to a specific audience, and making certain that you’ve got a healthy supply of appropriate content waiting to be published. A good content calendar can do all that and more, but the first step is creating one that’s tailored to your individual organizational needs and the habits of your members and audience.

Identify Your Audience Base

Chances are that your audience base will be comprised of more than one demographic, but those differing demographics will contain significant overlapping properties. Identify the core groups and let them be the deciding factor in developing your main content themes.

Take Stock of Your Existing Content

Keeping in mind the tried-and-true rule that 80 percent of your content should be informational while the remaining 20 percent is promotional. Organize your content for specific audience target groups and according to which category represents your biggest percent of members and move down until your smallest target group is at the bottom.

Organize and Schedule Your Content by Creating a Simple Spreadsheet

Either Excel or Smartsheet are easy-to-use spreadsheet options that will allow you keep your content at your fingertips. Create a weekly or monthly calendar with the spreadsheet using the audience categories created above.

5 Tips for Engaging Millennials with Content

During a recent study targeting 501 millennials, it was found that nearly 62% feel that there is a direct correlation between content marketing and organization loyalty, but the problem is that they are not interested in the content they’re receiving. Finding information that has a balance between intriguing both younger and older generations is difficult, but with the help from these five suggestions below, you will have a better understanding of connecting with both crowds.

  1. Create content that will fulfill their interests. When it comes to connecting with millennials, it’s important to come up with content that is tailored to their interests. You need to constantly be thinking about what their generation is interested in, keeping their age, location, and surroundings in mind. Using different tools to help you grow a better understanding of who they are will only help you find things that can motivate them. Since social media is so prevalent in this generation, sharing content on different social media sites will help keep them involved.
  2. Generate useful content. Interesting content is vital to gaining the attention of your members and enhancing the success of your association, but content needs to be useful and relevant to your organization as well. Try to take interesting content and current events and relate them back to your association. Content should be interesting, helpful, and purposeful. This generation is your association’s future, so if you cannot pertain to their likings, then you will have a difficult time succeeding in the future.
  3. Keep it short and sweet. A recent millennial study found that the majority of participants interviewed said the main reason they can’t grasp on to the content that is shared to them is because of the length. When the content is too long, their attention span shrinks and they become less interested, making them less likely to retain the information. Look for content that is short yet intriguing and can be read quickly, especially since many will be looking from a mobile device. It was also discovered in that research that millennials agreed 300 words is the sweet spot for content – simplifying your job as the content creator as well!
  4. Utilize humor. Adding a touch of humor to your content will make most people interested in the content you’re providing. Invoking emotion in the reader will allow them to bond with both the content and your association and it will also help them to retain the information they’re taking in. Creating an emotional connection will help build a long lasting relationship between members and your organization.
  5. Be real. In addition to adding emotion into your posts, make sure the content you’re sharing is authentic. You want to make sure you are bringing positivity to your association’s reputation, so by providing content that is interesting, has a purpose, and is specific to your organization, you will in turn gain millennial support and enhance your association’s successful future.

Most millennials are looking for content that they gain something from but can also relate too. It is predicted that by 2020, millennials will total more than $1.4 trillion in spending power. If you are not reaching millennials, then you are not keeping up with trends and your members’ needs, and your association will not be prepared for the future. Creative content helps drive your association’s connections, so generate content that will allow you to build relationships with millennials so you can continue to grow your organization and reach current and future members.