“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” -Golda Meir
Feeling like there isn’t enough time in your day? Here are a quick 5 tips to help you save a lot of budget, and a bit of sanity, when you’re working with marketing automation. Sit back, take a breath, and enjoy.
1) Consider Using Email Templates
Skip the hassle of creating each email from scratch. Utilizing templates can be a great way to save time and money while helping ensure a project is branded and well built. Actually, we’ve got a bit more to say about email templates HERE.
2) Keep Those Lists Clean
How many open fields do you have on your lead generation forms? Are any of those fields labeled “job title” “industry” or “interest”? Then you might want to reconsider. It’s alright, don’t panic. It can take some time to understand the impact of open form fields. A lot of people like to use the term “garbage in, garbage out.” Just because you can add a field, doesn’t mean that you should. Limiting functionality can help everyone out. By using specific select lists in your forms you’ll provide the form user guidance on the type of information that you’re looking for.
This keeps your data happy. Chances are that if they don’t fit into those defined select lists then they won’t want to do business with you anyways. So don’t over think it. Remember, our job is to lower the threshold to get a conversion – if you pre-define their options, they have less choices which means they’ll have less to think about. This translates into more form submits.
Alright, so guidance is good, form submits are even better – so what? With select lists it helps keep your database clean! Aww, clean data – it just makes me happy. By using select lists on your forms all of your data is consistent! You really don’t appreciate the power behind this. You need to.
Clean, strategically defined, data is your best friend as a marketer these days. It makes so many things THAT much easier – like segmenting data, profiling website visitors, measuring campaign success, sending emails, building nurturing tracks, talking with sales, and analyzing the results. Clean data will make your day-to-day operations a breeze, so you can focus on improving, testing, and content creation!
3) Implement an Upload Process
Alright, so you have your email templates and beautiful select lists now. Life is good, right? WRONG! Have you seen your data? Cue the panic moment. Deep breaths. It’s going to be okay. All that work wasn’t for nothing. We just need to patch up a few things. Do you run trade shows? Do sales people give marketing lists? Well, do you make sure they standardize the data before uploading it to your database? … No?
Take another deep breath. Alright, as tedious as it sounds you need to roll out a standard spreadsheet/questioner for your field marketers and sales teams to use to keep this from happening. This upload process will help you keep your hair color for a few more years. With this process you won’t end up formatting and guessing with the data they bring back.
Depending on the tools at your disposal there are some creative ways to implement this process, but that’s for another post.
4) Create a Data Guide for 3rd Parties
I won’t run this one into the ground. It’s the same concept as using select lists and standardizing your upload processes. A lot of us marketers get our data from 3rd parties in a nice xls spreadsheet. You need to work with those third parties to see if they can standarize the data they provide you to match your select lists.
Without that, the profile data you get from them is useless. Yes, USELESS. What do you think you’re going to do with 50 new industry values? Nothing. You can’t use basic logic in a program to capture all of that information. It’s useless to your marketing.
Take the time to talk with your 3rd parties about your data. For some there are simply too many to have the same conversation with, so it makes sense to put together a data guide that you can easily pass out to all of your vendors. This way they know and understand that you’re serious about what you want.
Give it a shot, it won’t take long to put together if you have good data practices and you’ll find yourself sending it out once every month or two.
5) Clean up After Yourself
I don’t know about you, but mom always yelled about me about cleaning up after myself. I didn’t truly appreciate this until I lived alone. I believe the same goes for marketing today. There is an incredible amount of pressure to execute quickly while producing stellar results. Your work space, marketing platform, and collaboration tools can get messy fast. This is bad.
When you finally get into a good groove you’ll find yourself repeating the same campaigns with slight tweaks to them to optimize your results. It’s difficult to reference old campaigns when you never took 10 minutes to update your project brief with those last second changes. It is even more difficult to remember why you made those last second changes. Save yourself some sanity – clean up after you’re done with a campaign. It’ll take a lot less time than you think, I promise.
These are just 5 quick wins I thought of. I’ll get more structured, strategic, and succinct as my blog matures and I get feedback from you! Let me know what you thought. Do you have 5 quick tips?