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Five tips to better automated lead interactions

Five tips to better automated lead interactions
By Lisa Arthur, Chief Marketing Officer, Aprimo


Today’s savvy marketers are combining offline and online real-time behaviour information to produce a customer profile that is higher in accuracy.


This, in turn, leads to greater precision marketing communications and new approaches to implementing and measuring the campaigns that present these personalised messages to the contacts. The new approaches mean marketers are replacing transaction-based direct marketing campaigns, for example volume email blast, with interactive ones that are more conversational and ongoing.


Most of the communications between the contact and the B2B marketer occur online, which is ideally suited for automated lead interactions as it supports the flow of information and it is highly automated.


Here are some interactive best practices marketers should know if they intend to use conversational campaign, marketing’s richer, more mutually rewarding interactions, to engage with customers.

1. Email deliverability – make sure customers can hear what is being said

Email bounce rates should be less than two percent. When managing hard and soft bounces (the terms for the reply codes email service providers receive when an email message is refused by an inbox) look closer at the reply message, as there still might be a chance to get through to the inbox.


Scan the refusal message text for key words that explain why it has bounced back. Some codes mean the message will never be delivered, such as ‘invalid user’, or there’s a temporary interruption but they’ll keep trying, for example ‘mailbox is full’.


Marketers can use the information to update their lists and keep it clean, as bounces can work against the brand and its associated email deliverability. Marketers should also keep an eye on the bounce mix – more soft bounces generally means more blocks.

2. Make sure customers and prospects know what they need to do.

Studies consistently show higher email open rates are related to subject lines that are less than 50 characters and contain action words such as “confirm”, “take”, or “reserve.” In addition, higher open rates can be gained when words such as “tips” and “guide,” are used as recipients are expecting resource materials that may be useful to them.


Don’t include the company or brand name in the subject line, as it already appears as the sender. Save precious subject line space for the call-to-action words and phrases.

3. Use descriptive information

Use descriptive demographic information to influence creative choices or message tone, and use behavioural data to create high quality audiences for push campaigns.


It’s time to get real with behavioural data – real-time, that is. Use individual-level web analytic behaviour data to drive variable content in your digital communications (e.g. have they visited specific product pages?).


Capitalise on the varying value of different behaviours as they may warrant the use of different responses. Combine the historical behaviour of each (i.e., assess customer value) with real-time online behaviour and send a follow-up email with versioned copy and unique offers.


Finally, look at the company behaviour as B2B purchases are almost always team efforts. There will be multiple individuals involved in the decision and influencing the deal.


4. Use personalised landing pages for clarity and focus

Interactive marketing campaigns with click-throughs to personalised landing pages have response and conversion rates that are two times higher than campaigns with a corporate site link. They are more focused, contain key words and landing pages can increase inclusion rates for online searches.


Make sure there is a default or non-personalised version to render for unknown visitors. Consider other ways to maximise their ability to move through the buying cycle and improve campaign performance such as:

  • Use branded URLs
  • Limit the use of Flash for instant page loads
  • Keep the landing page to a single-action page

5. Expand performance metrics for actionable insights

Marketing conversations are intended to determine where or whether prospects are in the buying cycle. New measures need to be tracked and reported to demonstrate success. Also align the lead scores with the buying stages and then produce reports to monitor how people are moving through the stages.


The data can be used to determine how well the business’ lead scores correlate with the buying stage assumptions, providing greater confidence in the use of terms such as ‘lead quality’. Use site analytics services and leverage page tagging to monitor how visitors are moving through the website. Marketers need to determine where they are getting “stuck” and make adjustments to make it more obvious where prospects need to go for more information.


Marketing and its associated practices, processes, and enabling technologies will continue to change at a fast pace. Use interactive digital conversations to show the business’s marketing agility to meet the demands of today’s marketplace, with the flexibility to adapt to future ones.


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