3 Counter-Intuitive Secrets Of Marketing Automation All-Stars


Share on LinkedIn

What if you hosted an event for prospects and customers, but no one turned up? Socially speaking, you’d feel a bit awkward. Except, of course, if you did it on purpose. Then you’d feel cool.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, the basics: When it comes to not just hosting events, but to running top-notch marketing campaigns, businesses today don’t want for effective marketing automation tools.

Indeed, many of our customers are going gangbusters with enterprise-class tools such as Marketo and Eloqua, more lightweight tools such as ExactTarget — which salesforce.com acquired last month — or, for small campaigns, simply using the capabilities built into their cloud CRM application. These tools do a great job of helping you create targeted campaigns, build landing pages and manage campaigns from beginning to end.

Sexy Secrets Of Sophisticated Marketing Practitioners

But let’s be honest. In today’s Internet-obsessed world, email marketers are a dime a dozen. Already, running email campaigns and following up on them feels like the number-four profession in the United States. It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry. Everyone is doing it.

However, as they work to achieve maximum bang for the buck from their marketing programs, some of our customers have discovered powerful ways to turn the marketing automation dial up to 11.

Here are their top three secrets:

1) Keep Running Opt-In Campaigns

Why would you ever keep asking a customer if they want to continue to receive your marketing communications? But in fact, that’s precisely what some of our more sophisticated customers are doing — and we think it’s a best practice to periodically ask your database of prospects and suspects to opt back in to keep receiving your campaign notifications.

Why is this an effective strategy? For starters, our customers have found that people who opt in are much more likely to click on and respond to email campaigns compared to people who don’t get the option to opt in. Secondly, just the process of engaging with people increases the customer satisfaction and respect you’re generating. In fact, “opt in again” campaigns often generate leads all by themselves.

2) Float Fake Events

What’s surprising about the marketing domain known as event management is that it really isn’t about events, but rather about getting people to register. Of course, there’s no harm in having a great event that’s exciting and widely acknowledged to be a success. You can track people’s interest and attendance by using marketing automation tools to follow them all the way from registration landing pages to after-action surveys. And in turn you can use that information to make the next event even better.

Now, for a counterintuitive take: We know of one industrial manufacturer that regularly schedules events that it knows no one can attend simply for the purposes of collecting data on new prospects. The manufacturer does this by not disclosing in its pitches — made via social media, emails or any other channel — what the exact date is for the event. If anyone inquires about when the event will happen, then the company simply apologizes and says the event was rescheduled for a later, to be announced date.

3) Test Not, Succeed Not

Test your marketing campaigns. My final piece of counterintuitive marketing advice may seem less than surprising, but it’s still too often ignored — and at businesses’ peril.

For example, we work with one of the nation’s largest retailers, which has a very healthy online business in addition to its brick and mortar presence. Part of the company’s success stems from its near-obsessive testing of email campaigns: changes in semantics (more/less formal), images (many, some, none), keywords (short or long), formatting (HTML or plain text), time of day that messages are sent and more.

The retailer’s goal is to discover which combination of variations will make people click more often — and, ultimately, buy more goods. Accordingly, the company has been amassing a massive set of related statistics to help it better unlock those secrets.

Again, everyone knows that attaining this level of detail is great for building more effective marketing campaigns. So why aren’t more people taking the time to do so?

Spill: What Are Your Secrets?

And thus wraps my top three counterintuitive campaign and event management secrets for success. What are yours?

Learn More

Cloud Sherpas is one of the world’s leading cloud services brokerages and helps businesses adopt, manage and enhance their CRM investment by identifying desired business goals, finding the right tools and technology for the job, and delivering rapid implementations that remain focused on achieving the desired business capabilities.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user ePi.Longo .

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


  1. Hi Adam,
    Great post.
    I wish everyone took your advice to run opt-in campaigns and saw it as an opportunity to generate leads from this alone. Our marketing automation secrets include tracking all social media posts by network and by campaigns subject. Then we use our own solution to see which anonymous prospects browsed our website. This is how we are able to track what content is most valuable to us and generates the most leads. Tamar, Insightera


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here