getting started with automation

Getting Started with Automated Campaigns

Alex Mastrianni

Think about the steps that go into planning and executing email campaigns.

Do you use a whiteboard to visually flow out comprehensive marketing campaigns? Are you purposefully planning your response to actions that constituents take? Do you want the communications to have a personal touch, almost like the ebb and flow of verbal communication?

You can do all this and more with marketing automation.

Automating campaigns will make your organization more efficient and more effective.

You can even expect to reap tangible benefits, like:

  • Reduction of manual work
  • Improved response to constituent activity from multiple marketing channels
  • Enhanced campaign planning with visual end-to-end process flow
  • Consistency of constituent experience
  • Continuity of campaign execution
  • Documentation of campaign purpose, goals, audience, etc.
  • Improved robustness of strategy without increasing labor costs
  • Measurement of ROI

Campaigns to Automate

A campaign-based marketing approach will help you deliver relevant information beginning with the first interaction you have with a subscriber and continue throughout the entire lifecycle of the subscriber relationship.

Here are a few examples of automated campaigns that will nurture relationships with subscribers throughout different stages of your relationship.

Welcome Campaign

Send the first automated welcome email within 24 hours upon capturing a new email address of a prospect or new member. This is the time to roll out the red carpet with a warm welcome and to reinforce the benefits and value of being a member of your organization.

As a best practice, a welcome campaign should include a series of purposeful communications sent over the first few weeks  of a member joining your organization. Think of the welcome campaign as an onboarding vehicle to equip new members with information to consequently and successfully engage with your organization.

When crafting your campaign, identify what your members need from you and what you need from them.

Here are some items to consider as you develop your welcome campaign:

  • Member Login Information
  • Link to Complete Member Profile
  • Tutorial Welcome Video Link
  • Accredited Educational Courses
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Online Handbook
  • Member Discounts
  • Key Contact Information
  • Industry Newsletter
  • Testimonials
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Fundraising Events

It is crucial to invest in getting new members acclimated and engaged with your organization. Engaged members tend to participate in events, become brand advocates, attend educational sessions, and stay with organizations longer.

The Florida Association of Insurance Agents automated welcome campaign lead to a 201% increase in engagement with new members.

Event Campaigns

An effective event campaign is a series of targeted, multi-part communications beginning with event awareness through event conclusion. Automating the process flow will save you time and ensure thorough execution. Your multi-part series might include some of these items:

  • Save the Date
  • Initial Invitation – Early Bird Registration
  • 2nd Invitation – Register Today – Don’t Delay
  • 3rd Invitation Reminder – Time is running out!
  • Registrant’s Information – What you need to know before you go!
  • Thank You for Attending – Your Feedback is Requested

Be sure to target each message to the applicable audience at every stage of the campaign. For example, you’ll want to suppress registrants from the Invitation Reminder emails.

Illinois ASBO boosted event revenue by $20,000 and saw a 45% increase in event attendance after using an automated event campaign.

Member Appreciation Campaigns

Take the opportunity to connect to members in a meaningful way by recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions, or thanking them for their contributions. These types of campaigns can easily be automated since they are typically triggered by data captured within your database.

Be sure to include appreciation emails into your marketing plan as they go a long way in fostering engagement and loyalty to your organization.

Engagement Campaigns

Activities such as form submissions, web page visits, course completion, or clicking on specific email links provide you with information that can trigger automated relevant follow-up communication. We typically think of responding to what members do, but we can also proactively respond to what they don’t do. Inactivity can be a trigger as well.

Send an automated campaign with specific calls to action to re-engage members that haven’t opened an email in a defined time frame (3+ months), for example.

A continued non-response would trigger additional follow-up communications with a strong and compelling reason to re-engage. As part of any re-engagement campaign, you want to explore all viable channel options for reaching members, especially if one channel is suddenly not producing results.

Nurture Campaigns

Similar to the welcome email series, a nurture series should effectively reinforce an organization’s core purpose and strengthen membership.

The renewal campaign delivers membership value, affirms accomplishments that map back to the core purpose, appeals to future needs, recognizes member participation, and motivates renewal.

Automated nurture campaigns can be set up to trigger at predefined time periods calculated from a member’s join or renewal date.

Win Back Campaigns

If you notice the number of non-renewing, or lapsed, members growing, a campaign designed to win back their membership may be needed.

While a re-engagement campaign concentrates on current members that have decreased their engagement with your brand, a win back campaign focuses on members you have temporarily lost. The content of your message should concentrate on the value that the subscriber gains from their membership with you. Be concise and make renewing their lapsed membership a simple process.

After implementing a targeted lapsed member win back campaign, AARC renewed 800 members in 45 days.

Start Here

If you don’t have any campaigns up and running right now, we recommend starting with a welcome campaign. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Marketing Automation for everything you need to know about getting started. There’s even handy worksheets in order to help you plan your first campaign!

Get your copy here.

About the Author
Alex Mastrianni

As the Marketing Manager at Informz, Alex drives the development and implementation of our content marketing plan and marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Alex is a pop culture junkie, ice cream fanatic, and semi-pro vacation planner.