Get to Third Base With Your Marketing Automation

Marketing automation tools do expand your ability to send messages based on visitor behavior, but if you think about lead generation like dating, you can't move too fast when building a relationship with your visitor.

To illustrate this point, I'll share a recent experience that paints the picture of how a potential marketing "date" turned into a "stalking" experience.

Just recently, I signed up for free trial of a new web service to see what they had to offer. (Caution: Rant Ahead).  I no sooner get the first email from them when I also receive a phone call (on a line that I use strictly for such occasions).

Here is what happened within the next 24 hours:

Thursday:

4:18 p.m. - I submit the form to have my business "scanned".

4:20 p.m. - Email received, but doesn't say "Thank You" or "Welcome!", instead says "Your company has incomplete listings, fix it with our service."

4:31 p.m. - Phone call from sales person.

4:33 p.m. - Email received from sales person. Doesn't say "Thank You" but does say "Hope all is well."

Friday:

4:10 a.m. - Email received, this time with a "Thank You for using our free service", but then reminds me of being incomplete and suggests that I make my life whole by signing up today.

1:54 p.m. - Phone call #2 from sales person.

1:56 p.m. - Email #2 received from sales person, same exact email as the previous one.

4:10 p.m. - Email received: "50% off! Act now! Offer expires! - Your friends at X Company"

Four emails with nothing but sales offers and two phone messages within 24 hours. Outside of my wife and maybe my business partner on some days, I don't communicate that much with most of my friends and family!

Here's what that could have looked like using a slightly different marketing automation strategy:

Thursday:

4:18 p.m. - I submit the form to have my business "scanned".

4:20 p.m. - Email received, welcoming me and thanking me for checking them out. Has three links, one to a real-life case study, one to "tips & tricks" on using their service and one to an article about being more effective with local search results.

Friday - Saturday - Sunday: Wash the car, mow the lawn, ride my bike and grill heavily.

Monday: Don't even think of bothering me.

Tuesday: Email from a live person welcoming me and letting me know they are available to answer any questions I have, call or email me when you do. Includes a link to their blog, if they have one.

Thursday: Email from company with another useful guide to help my business succeed on the web, and maybe an update of how my company is doing on the web according to their site.

From here, the cycle can include another scheduled email, but future sales action is driven by the prospect's action. For example, if the prospect clicked through 2 out of the 3 emails and then visited a certain page, you might put them on a call list for sales people, or send them a targeted email that has more "forward" sales offers. 

Basically, say "Please" and "Thank You" and try to be helpful, not annoying. Keep your sales slobber to yourself until the appropriate time, and you just might get another "date" to become more than a "friend".

You must have similar experiences, please share them in the comments below!