It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been with Silverpop for 10 years. This is my first company blog post, and I’m happy to be here.
While I’ve filled many sales roles at Silverpop over the years, today I’m the vice president of sales. My team targets mid-market and corporate accounts. As I like to say, we work with “Graduators”: companies that are starting to think at a higher level about marketing automation, and as a result are outgrowing their entry-level email marketing providers.
Such email providers offer easy-to-use solutions that are often appropriate for newer small businesses. However, they don’t typically provide all the functionality needed to develop one-on-one conversations that create relationships and, eventually, sales for the growing business.
This leads me to a question I often hear: How does a company know when it’s time to graduate from its existing email marketing software to a more sophisticated digital marketing platform that will scale with it over time?
Signs It’s Time to Move On
While the reasons for graduating to a new solution will vary from business to business, here are four common signals that it’s time to transition to a different platform:
1) You’re ready for one-to-one messaging. Want to start emailing customers as individuals, rather than one of hundreds in a generic email campaign? Tactics like “batch and blast” and broad segmentation may be old standbys, but personalizing your emails can help you communicate with customers individually — and dramatically increase your average click-through rate.
2) You’re ready to engage in behavioral marketing. An introductory email marketing platform only allows you to collect a few data points, such as email addresses, names, open rates, and clicked links. But capturing more wide-ranging behavioral data can empower you to radically customize your campaigns and improve results. Use new behavioral marketing tools to engage customers individually, based on actions they take, like when they visit your product pages or watch a video on your site.
3) You’re ready to integrate the power of social and mobile. Like many companies, you’ve seen your business’ social media presence grow over the last few years. You may be wondering how to convert this growth into revenue. What if you could create a more personal experience in these channels? For example, you might serve up a customized form on your company Facebook page based on previous interactions with that person, or send a replenishment order reminder via SMS that’s triggered by the individual’s previous purchase date.
4. You want to do more than a one-person marketing department can do — even if you still run the show solo. Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you have to act like it. The tools you bought several years ago worked then. But do they deliver the results you need now? Think big. In fact, think big data. These days, big data isn’t just for giant corporations. With the right tools, your business, regardless of size, can dig deeper into, and then deliver, what your customers want.
New Technology, New Opportunities
So you’re eager to take your marketing and sales to the next level ... but how? Here are a few benefits and capabilities to look for when you start to shop around:
- Data you can actually use, versus superfluous information you don’t care about
- Multiple ways to track marketing behavior across all channels (email, Web, in-person, social, mobile, etc.)
- Ability to customize emails and feature dynamic content based on customer identity and behavior
- Easy integration with other apps and platforms, like your CRM tool and other databases
Graduation is a big step, but one that’s often necessary to take your company to the next level. Once you have a sophisticated marketing technology platform, you’ll be able to harness the untapped power of behavioral marketing and use data in ways you never imagined possible.
1) White Paper: “6 Marketing Trends for 2013 – and Tips for Succeeding in the Year of the Customer”
2) Video: “Silverpop Product Demo”
3) Blog: “Big Data in 2013”