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How Marketing Automation Can Enhance Your Customer Journey

Published by Ana on

Automation is an essential part of digital marketing success. Leveraging it can save time, energy, manpower, AND money. From lead generation to conversions, marketing automation should be at the heart of every stage of your customer journey.

Because of its many benefits, it’s easy to see why incorporating marketing automation into existing plans and strategies is important. Still, it’s easy to miss the big picture. 

Neglecting the all-important customer journey map when it comes to marketing automation can lead to missed opportunities to boost brand awareness, increase engagement, and improve conversions and client retention. 

If you’re not already, begin thinking about using automation to enhance your customer journey. The first step is to understand why outlining the customer journey is even important in the first place. Next, you’ll want to identify all prospect touchpoints – what are the moments that matter in your sales funnel? 

Once those are mapped out, you can begin to use automation to your advantage — enhancing your customer experience and your overall marketing strategy in the process. 

Keep reading to get the details on how marketing automation can enhance your customer journey!

Table of Contents

  1. Understand the Customer Journey
  2. Identify Important Touchpoints
  3. Use Automation to Your Advantage
  4. Create a Customer Journey Map

Understand the Customer Journey

As a business, it’s important to get into the mind of a customer. And while you can’t predict every move a potential client will make, understanding what a customer journey actually is can give you a rough idea of where to start. 

The customer journey (also called the buyer’s journey) is the sum of all business interactions — the how, when, and where potential clients or customers reach you. It’s the complete customer experience. If you think about it in terms of a sales funnel, the customer journey encompasses the entire thing from top to bottom! 

It covers everything from:

  • Awareness → Engagement
  • Engagement → Conversion
  • Conversion → Retention
  • And every touchpoint inbetween!

Once there is clarity on how, when, and where customers interact with a company, those touch points can be optimized for conversions. And when authentic automation is added to the equation, it can be done on autopilot.

Identify Important Touchpoints in Your Customer Journey

The first step to automating your customer journey is to identify where exactly your customers link to your company online. To get to the root of how clients interact with you, stary by asking yourself the following question: what are the moments that matter? 

Do you have a website? That’s a customer touchpoint.
A newsletter? That’s a customer touchpoint.
Use any PPC or social media advertising? The ads are another touchpoint. 
Have social without the ads? No problem! Social media is still a touchpoint. 

This doesn’t have to be complicated. You can get as specific (or keep it as broad) as you like here. The important thing is just to outline them. To make things easier, we like to separate touchpoints into 3 different categories: before, during, and after you obtain a new client or customer.

Touchpoint Categories:

  1. Before Purchase – How potential clients could be introduced to your business.
    1. Social media
    2. Blog content
    3. Paid advertising
  2. During Purchase – Any touchpoints hit once a client is onboard. 
    1. Client onboarding
    2. Customer service or support channels
    3. Reviews
  3. After Purchase – How interactions happen after business is complete. 
    1. Upselling/cross-selling email marketing
    2. Feedback surveys
    3. Thank you notes, letters, or gifts of appreciation

As overwhelming as this list might seem, most touchpoints can be automated!

Use Automation to Your Advantage

Once you begin to understand the customer journey (and after you identify the specific touchpoints) in your business, the next step is to start incorporating marketing automation into your strategy. The good news is… you’re probably already doing this! 

Still, when it comes to automation there is much to learn. Here are a few ways to work automation into your marketing process (that you may not have heard of yet!).

Social Media

If you use a scheduling tool, congratulations, you’re using automation! By and large, this is probably the most common form of marketing automation as it’s pretty accessible to everyone. But there are still a few tricks for automating social you might be overlooking. 

  • Chatbots – automated responses to social media dms/messages (this can also be used on a website as a form of customer service). 
  • Integration automation – Tools like Zapier or IFTTT can take blog content and post it directly to your social channels without you having to lift a finger!

Client Onboarding

Speaking of Zapier, as you may or may not know, it’s one of our absolute favorite tools for business and marketing automation to use. And part of the reason why is the awesome “Zaps” (the automated workflows that tell your apps to follow given commands) that can be implemented for new clients like: 

  • Signed Contract/Paid Invoice → CRM
  • → Client Email Welcome Sequence
  • → Onboarding Tasks in Project Management Software
  • And more!

Thank You Gifts

Once a client is on your roster or a customer has made a purchase, you always want to follow-up with gratitude. This can be a simple email but at Smart Girl, we send physical gifts since most of our business is done digitally. 

We’re fans of MailboxPower, an automated service that seeks to stop digital overload by sending thoughtful, personalized presents that give clients that WOW factor outside the inbox.

These are just a few ways to utilize marketing automation. But with a trusted digital partner, you can push your automation strategy even further!

Create a Customer Journey Map with Smart Girl

At Smart Girl Digital, we are dedicated to using marketing automation for the betterment of your business. The team here is more than happy to help you sort out your customer journey and map out the moments that matter so you can optimize touchpoints every step of the way. 

If you want to streamline your marketing strategy, contact us today! We offer FREE, 20-minutes Digital Discovery calls designed to help give you smart, tangible strategies for your business.

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