Last week Lon Safko, an expert in Online Marketing and Social Media, explained what marketing automation is and why it’s important. This week Lon explains what the original social medium is, who could benefit most of marketing automation, and gives some words of advice to those who haven’t tried it yet.
Watch the video or follow the transcript below to find out why it’s high time to start using marketing automation, and what is the best time on earth to send an email.
And that’s not all ;)! We’ll be publishing more in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned.
Transcript: Cracking the Code of Marketing Automation pt. 2
Michał Leszczyński: I know marketing automation is often quoted alongside with email marketing so how do you believe these things go together?
Lon Safko: You know, I love email marketing. I have an entire chapter in my book just on email marketing. in my opinion email marketing is the original social medium. If you look at the definition of social media and here it comes… think in your own head right now what the definition of social media is. Can you define it without using examples?
ML: Uh that’s a tough one.
LS: We grew up on, it’s been around for more than a decade but it’s really hard to define. Social media… here it comes everybody write this down – it’s the media that we use to be social.
ML: OK, as simple as that.
LS: Yeah… but now let’s take a look at that just for a second. It’s the media that we use to be social so it could be email because that’s a media and we use that to be social. And as marketers we take social tools. Tools for communication – communication tools – and we turn them into marketing tools. We invented the telephone – we invented telemarketers. We invented the newspaper – we invented the newspaper ads, and it goes on and on.
So our job as a marketer is to communicate with people. Email is a form of communication and it was out 10 years before social media was invented. So I think email is the original social media. Also it’s the most powerful – it is the most powerful way to connect, to build relationships. Here comes another thing that’s really important – we use these tools to build relationships because relationships build trust, trust generates revenue. And email does it best.
ML: Absolutely right. When we think social media, we usually think of Facebook, Twitter Pinterest – these sorts of things. But email – was in fact a way to communicate with others way before that. And these days, audience still chooses email when it comes to communication with brands. They sign up to get newsletters, coupons, discount codes, learn more about new promotional campaigns. So yeah, as you’ve mentioned – email is is in fact social media and it’s one of the most effective channels. Even though the environment changes – we have more and more different channels, people still quote email as one of the ways to generate highest ROI. So you’re absolutely right – it’s out there and it’s interconnected with with the new media.
LS: And it’s the foundation, when you and I communicated through this whole process: where we got to know each other and set up the dates and kind of went through what we wanted to talk about here today we did it through email. We didn’t do it through Facebook messaging, we didn’t do it through Skype, we didn’t do it through snail mail. Almost every relationship that we build on social media when it comes to the close. After we have this relationship almost everything is really transacted through email – most important social platform.
ML: Sure and we didn’t use Snapchat but I don’t know if it’s I’m not cool enough or is it you know I’m just used to email, but that’s how it works, right?
So you sort of touched on it beforehand but who do you believe marketing automation is for? Who could use it? What sort of businesses could benefit most from marketing automation?
LS: This is an easy question: everybody! Honestly, if you have any kind of a business, if it’s a one-person business – I run a one-person business internationally – I couldn’t do my business without email automation. I can’t be everywhere all the time. I travel all over the world – I’ll spend 22 hours on an airplane. Well if I’m doing that I can’t be tweeting, I can’t be sending out emails, I can’t be posting on Facebook. But with automation I can set all that up ahead of time and it still gives me that opportunity to stay in contact, to keep nurturing those leads, to connect with my customers and prospects without losing touch with them.
ML: OK, so do you believe is there like a period of time where you should wait for marketing automation before you for example launch your first campaign? Your company, or is it sometimes too late to use marketing automation?
LS: You know that’s good too because a lot of people say well I’m not ready for it and I’ve heard people say well I’ve never done it before so why bother doing it now? you know it’s like anything else that’s successful it’s taking vitamins if you haven’t taken them – start, it doesn’t. If you’ve never used it – use it. At least try it because it cuts your workload down, it helps make you your efforts more efficient.
And it’s actually fun I find it really a creative process and to watch the automation just kind of run on its own. I think that’s absolutely amazing. If you’ve never tried it, you have to. And if you’ve been using it you need to use it more, you need to explore it more because marketing automation is something that you can grow into. It’s so robust and I’m not kidding. I saw a demonstration and I’m about ready to start moving all my platforms over to GetResponse, you guys are really amazing, you have so many tools I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow it.
ML: That’s great to hear. I myself find it interesting and exciting as well to be able to communicate with so many people at the same time but matching the content with what they actually want, with their needs and the time when they like to consume it most, so as you mentioned, being on the flight for 22 hours – no one is able to tweet and email at the same time and running campaigns. Especially if they’ve been in the industry for that many years and they have huge databases, huge lists of people that are completely different. They are not you know one group that shares the same values and you know needs and preferences. These are all different people you want to be treating differently.
LS: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. The kind of information, first of all the “what’s in it for me” is really the most important thing in every communication that you do. “What’s in it for me” from the customer’s perspective. And too often, as marketers, we put “what’s in it for me” from our perspective: hey we have a larger warehouse, hey Bob’s been promoted to vice president, hey we have whatever … and that doesn’t really apply to the customers. So the most important thing is always keep that “what’s in it for me” in mind when you’re communicating.
Then the other thing is frequency. Frequency varies from platform to platform. I can tweet you five times a day and that’s perfectly acceptable and that’s about what I do – five or more times a day. If I sent you five emails a day, you would call Interpol and have me assassinated.
So that’s not appropriate so understanding the frequency and also by the way, frequency can get increased if the content is better. The better the content, the more frequently you can communicate with your customers. And again that goes back to this whole idea of marketing automation because you can set up each one of these platforms to update itself at the proper frequency.
ML: Sure, yeah, that’s a tough one as well to match the frequency with what your audience wants to hear. So, for example, with Twitter as you mentioned, if you’re going to tweet them five times they will not see it all in one batch and if you email them five times during the same day and they open the email afterwards and they see five messages that haven’t been opened, they will be pretty upset.
LS: Yes, that’s considered spam. So, that gets back to the definition of frequency – assuming that your content is always really good, your customers are going to want to see it but each of the platforms has a different etiquette.
ML: That’s true. That’s absolutely right. So, how do you believe people should go about starting with marketing automation. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and as you mentioned some people think oh, this is too big for me, or it is too late, or you know I don’t need such a robust software to do it solution. So how what do you think should be the starting point for that?
LS: Well the first thing is don’t be afraid. Every time you try to tackle a new technology it’s intimidating because you don’t know how to use it, you don’t want to make a mistake. Especially when you’re sending out to the entire Earth. It can be intimidating. Marketing automation is intimidating because none of us as marketers unless you’re really sophisticated really is comfortable or have possibly even used it in the past.
So the first thing I say is: don’t be afraid of it. It’s not as complicated as it appears at first. Just take it step by step. You don’t have to do everything the first day. So just get in and try something for example with email automation just send out an email at a particular time. By the way, the best time on earth to send an email: ten o’clock Tuesday morning, ten o’clock on Tuesday. That’s one of the first automations I’ve learned is that any time I sent out an email blast — which I don’t set them out that often, once a month maybe. I always do it at ten o’clock on Tuesday but I don’t create it at ten o’clock on Tuesday. So that’s automation – you can go out when I wanted to go out. So when I saw how easy that one step was I was like, wow this isn’t that difficult, let me take it to the next level, what else can I do with it? And then you just take it step by step and have some fun with it. When you see the results that’s what’s going to drive you, that’s what’s going to motivate you to do more.
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