Nov 13, 2017
Marketing Automation - Five Essentials
Marketing Automation is a technology that has grown in popularity over the past few years within the sports and entertainment industry.
At its purest form, Marketing Automation enables marketing and sales departments to create and automate campaigns with the ultimate goal of increasing revenue and maximizing efficiency. It provides access to hundreds of opportunities for lead generation, customer engagement, and other sales, marketing, customer service, and fundraising efforts.
It's no wonder; then, why Marketing Automation has been identified and prioritized to help marketing departments and box offices work smarter and faster.
Instead of going through the hundreds of different campaigns that we've seen successfully executed over the last few years, let’s focus on the basics – the essentials. What are the five initiatives that EVERYONE should be doing?
1. New Purchaser Welcome Campaign
Outside of the standard transaction confirmation email, what existing processes are in place to ensure that new customers are being nurtured from day one?
An automated welcome email, sent to brand-new customers who get added to your database, is recommended to serve as the first official touch point following a transaction. The email should be automated to send the day after a transaction and the contents should properly set the stage for what a customer can expect from you moving forward.
For example, what frequently asked questions or unique procedures and policies should customers be aware of before attending their first event? Do you have additional newsletters/subscriptions or social media accounts that customers can engage with?
This is also the perfect opportunity to collect additional information about each of your new customers. Including a link to a form/preference center will allow you to ask for additional demographic information, while also granting them control of what type of communications they might want to receive (or not receive) in the future.
While initially setting the stage and collecting additional details is the ultimate goal of this campaign, it can also serve to separate out bad email addresses from the engaged customers at the very beginning - which is an important step to avoiding future deliverability issues.
2. Web Tracking Scripts
The ability to track the web visit behaviors of your customers can prove to be integral within your organization’s marketing and sales efforts. Knowing what web pages customers are visiting and what day they are visiting them allows you to more easily identify and qualify leads. Average sales conversion rates triple from 4% to 12% when sales reps have the ability to view web tracking data through the Marketing Automation platform.
Identifying the correct pages to track can be very important. For example, pages like a team Roster may be highly trafficked, but what - if anything - does a visit to that page tell you? It could be that they are HUGE fans of the team, but it could also be that they had a friendly wager on how tall your starting Center was, without any real interest in ever attending a game.
Ticketing pages, season ticket holder benefits, donation/fundraising pages, group sales, premium sales, etc. are all pages that visits (especially multiple visits within a short period of time) hold more value and can more easily identify and qualify leads.
Using the Marketing Automation platform, if someone is visiting a group sales page multiple times in a week and isn't a current group sales purchaser – you can automate an email to send them additional information to help close the sale.
3. Cart Abandonment
When web tracking scripts are placed on your ticketing cart pages, you have the opportunity to automate abandonment campaigns. Knowing what customers are adding to their cart and being able to automatically follow-up with those customers is a quick and easy way to add urgency and increase revenue.
Follow-ups can be generic for all events, or completely personalized and specific to the individual item that was abandoned.
4. Ticket Information Request Forms
The best leads are the ones that come directly to you.
Ticket information request forms are placed on your website to allow customers to find and fill out specific ticket interest types that they would like to learn more about. These forms include options for customers to select specific interests based on ticket type and/or sport/genre, so that the sales staff has all of the information needed to follow-up and close a hot lead.
Responses are collected and saved in the Marketing Automation platform and can be automatically funneled over into Salesforce and placed into a dashboard, or sent directly to internal staff members via email notification – which allows reps to make contact within a few hours of the submission.
View examples of Ticket Information Request Forms for Notre Dame, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pocono Raceway.
5. Automated Reporting
While the majority of Marketing Automation campaigns are focused on external engagement and communication, internal reporting is just as critical. Without a true measuring stick, how can you be sure that your automation initiatives are actually working?
Automating internal reports is a quick and easy win to ensure that your team has full clarity on the campaigns that are currently running.
Reports can be set-up to automatically deliver engagement and revenue metrics that were generated through email campaigns over a certain period of time. How much revenue is each email generating? Has your subscriber base grown or shrunk over the last 30 days? Of the new customers who joined your database this past year, how much revenue does that encompass?
Knowing how your customers react to different campaigns and how successful (or not successful) those campaigns are, enables you to make adjustments as needed and ultimately increase effectiveness.
For a link to a recent webinar, detailing customer successes, please click here.
- Kyle Murphy (Kyle is Director, FanOne Marketing Services at Paciolan)