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BLOGEleven Key Marketing Automation Sequences

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, CRM, Growth, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Marketing, ServiceTagged as: , , ,

Back in the dark ages of the internet, marketing was simple: send a monthly ezine, sales offers, and any other buzzworthy content down the pipe and a certain percentage of people will “convert.” Money automatically transferred into your account as the list was monetized.  Today, it’s no longer that simple.

There are a number of flies in the ointment that have significantly reduced the effectiveness of this “spray and pray” strategy:

  • Who is actually interested in reading low-value ezines?
  • Who really wants to be a member of a list?  Or be “marketed to”?
  • Who has the time to read the newsletter?

One approach to these problems is to stop producing the ezines/newsletters altogether. Another is to shorten them to their essence, and increase the value provided.  (My Make It Happen Tipsheet follows this strategy.) But a more powerful strategy is to develop a strategic and relevant communications processes: that’s where marketing automation comes in.

Marketing Automation can be defined as the family of initiatives (and underlying technology) that builds trust by automating the improvement in the relationship between your organization and a particular stakeholder. At the most basic, consider Marketing Automation as a sequence of interactions – usually by email – that both educate and increase trust.

Here are nine key marketing automation sequences that every organization should consider:

  1. Web lead generation forms: A whitepaper download form that tags the user with a number of attributes, sends the PDF, and later asks if there are any questions. Here is an example for a white paper that describes how digital can be used for events.
  2. Lead capture from traditional advertising, tradeshows, or partner deals.  A series of emails that are triggered by the user’s registration, that provide more information, usually with a follow-up call-to-action.
  3. Drive to Social Media engagement campaigns. These are campaigns that drive selected segments of your database to engage within your social media communities.
  4. Webinar/event follow-up campaigns. These sequences encourage registration, add value post-registration/pre-event, and then continue the conversation post-event.
  5. Long-term nurture-marketing sequence. A sequence of emails that continue a conversation after an initial touchpoint. When the subscriber is ready to commit, the subscriber will be both better educated and predisposed to work with you. Here is an entire tipsheet on nurture marketing.
  6. Long-term retention sequence. These are a sequence of emails to improve retention within a membership site or learning management system.
  7. Mini how-to education sequence. This is a short sequence that provides specific education on a topic. Here is one example Six Steps to Strategic Blogging.
  8. Sales trigger/Onboarding campaign: This is an email (or series of emails) that kick off when a new organization comes into the fold. It might start with an automated “thank you” email, then perhaps a short series that helps educate them on how to get the most value from their relationship with you.
  9. Exit Recapture sequence: This type of sequence is used when someone decides to “leave” your membership site or LMS.  It usually starts with understanding why they are leaving, with the goal of improving the deficiency (and thus prevent others from leaving), and then making a relevant offer to keep them within your ecosystem, either at a better price point, or perhaps with another offering, such as coaching.
  10. Referral and testimonial capture campaign: This campaign is designed to capture a testimonial, and generate referrals.
  11. Service delivery campaigns: These are the family of campaigns that either improve the efficiency of the delivery of your services, or reduce your customer support costs.

Done right, Marketing Automation can do it all: improve relationships, educate prospects, improve efficiency, and grow the organization. But if you are clumsy, Marketing Automation can kill your brand.


If you currently are using Marketing Automation, how do you know that you are getting the most from your efforts? This week, look carefully at the metrics: what is the one thing that you can do to improve your numbers?

If you don’t have a marketing automation program in place, maybe it is time to look into it. (Happy to share a behind-the-scenes look at how I use this type of system in my business: just ask me at  Or, look for yourself: In my businesses, I have used Keap (Infusionsoft), Active Campaign, and Zoho/SpeakerFlow.

Marketing Insight: While choosing the right technology is clearly important, a successful marketing automation initiative is grounded in the strategy, copywriting, and implementation.  Don’t believe the product vendors when they say it is “quick and easy”.

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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