15 Things You Should Know About Marketing Automation

A new year is just around the corner. Many see that as the perfect time to transform their personal lives. Why not make it the perfect time to implement marketing automation as your advertising strategy? If you are not already using marketing automation, here are 15 things your boss wish you knew about it and why it should be your strategy of choice for better performance throughout 2017.

1. Productivity Increases with Marketing Automation:

Take advantage of software that automates the processes of an effective marketing campaign. Make better use of your time with automated solutions for customer segmentation, integrating customer data into a campaign strategy and managing a campaign. For example, create and schedule an entire month's worth of social media posts in a single day.

2. Workflow Efficiency:

Automate the following repetitive tasks: data processing of information collected on forms, managing calls to action (CTAs), generating conversion reports, etc. Complex tasks are smoothly delivered with accuracy through automation.

3. Channel Agnosticism:

A single platform can tie together all cyber venues for a campaign, as well as integrate multiple online tools. This increases your brand's visibility and also allows for customer interaction by the method they prefer. For example:

  • Email
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • CRM Tools
  • Texting

4. Revenue Growth:

The numbers do not lie.

  • 78% of high-performing marketers credit marketing automation for revenue improvement.
  • 68% of companies whose growth is surpassing their competitors use automated marketing strategies.
  • 34% is the average revenue increase for businesses using marketing automation.
  • 10% revenue increases have been reported within 6-9 months of beginning a marketing automation strategy.

5. Customer Retention:

Once a company makes the sale they need to keep a client coming back. Customer insight abilities of marketing automation imbue it with the capacity to gather intelligence on customers, discover their needs and analyze their decision-making process. This information can, in turn, be used to develop methods of engagement that are more appealing to the customer, increasing the likelihood of customer retention.

6. Data, Data, Data:

If you cannot track and monitor a campaign, you cannot measure its success. Campaign managers have access to graphs, statistics and report an analysis of data that are easy to review and utilize. At a glance, you can know which strategies are working and which have bombed. Making the most of the data maximizes leads and conversion rates.

7. Relationship Marketing:

Customer satisfaction is just as important as generating sales leads. A satisfied customer will become a brand loyalist that can also do the work of a brand ambassador. Marketing automation makes it possible to personalize strategies for particular customer relationships through digital footprint analysis, lead qualification, and marketing alignment. By defining specific restrictions, a laser-focused list of customers can be generated to receive a text or email designed especially for them.

8. Consistency:

Mainly where social media and blogs are concerned, consistency matters. Users and viewers become accustomed to the content being posted on particular days, perhaps even specific times during those days. Life happens. Any number of reasons could disrupt a regular post that customers have come to rely on. Marketing automation will deliver the content consistently.

9. Value:

Maximize revenue potential through the value of automated marketing. Time is money. Manpower is money. An automated process saves both as it makes the most of your resources. Industry research reports a potential of 50% more hot leads at a third of the cost.

10. Simplicity:

You do not have to be a technology wizard to manage an automated marketing strategy. Most software solutions are designed like a template that guides the user through the process.

11. Lead Generation:

80% of businesses engaging in marketing automation enjoyed more leads. Qualified leads increased by an incredible 451%.

12. Lead Nurturing:

Marketers report that creating better leads is the number one benefit of marketing automation. On average, nurturing leads resulted in a 47% larger purchase.

13. Detailed Customer Profiles:

It is easy to create customer profiles filled with the perfect kind of data to help marketers create more effective ad campaigns. Data such as:

  • Opened email.
  • Email responses.
  • Purchases.
  • Selected preferences.

14. Conversion:

77% of businesses who employed a marketing automation campaign increased their conversions.

15. Accuracy:

A campaign is only as good as its data. By automating, you can take out the one element that contributes to error, the human element. Whether it is spelling, punctuation, or number crunching, humans get it wrong quite often. One digit or a single letter can mean a complete fail with something like email delivery. Automate and get it right.

To get started on your automated marketing campaign strategy, please contact us. Our experts are ready to help you harness the potential of data automation and put it to work so that your business can grow.



7 Steps to Building an Amazing Patient Nurturing Email Workflow

The ability to use the power of marketing and strategy to advertise, increase sales or improve outreach as a business strategy has application in every industry. Just as a marketing strategy is important for any entrepreneur,  it is equally important for healthcare providers such as doctors, dentists or orthodontists. The power of building a solid patient nurturing email workflow serves to increase engagement, improve care, save staff time, and increase your client base. With just a few simple steps, you can take advantage of powerful tools to be more efficient with your email marketing, getting the right messages to the right people at the right time.

1. Set goals

Determine your objectives for your email campaign. Is it to inform patients about new services? To provide appointment reminders to improve attendance? Is it to inform and improve compliance with treatment recommendations? Is it to improve outreach and bring in new patients? As you identify multiple objectives dependent on the patient type, then you can move to the next step where you will narrow your focus for each group.

2. Target your audience

For each goal, there is an intended target audience. Creating a list of criteria for inclusion into the group helps determine placement. Some patients will belong to the group who receive personalized appointment reminders, while another group receives a newsletter about ongoing care and specials on cosmetic procedures. Sometimes these lists will overlap and other times they will be separate. This is all part of getting the right information to the right people. Laying the groundwork is an important piece predicting the future success of your workflow.

3. Map your content

Determine what content you will deliver, what you intend to accomplish with this piece and when you will deliver it. Thinking about the examples above, the patient who gets appointment reminders might need them when they set the appointment, a week ahead of time and again the day before the appointment. For the patient receiving your newsletter offering a special on cosmetic procedures, perhaps you want to send the first notice three months before the winter holidays and then again monthly as a reminder before party season begins.

4. Compose emails 

Be intentional with the message you send and consider that when you compose the email. For each type of patient, you will focus the content of the message and end with a specific call to action. Perhaps that call to action is for the patient to confirm, cancel or reschedule an appointment. Or, it is a link to learn more about a procedure and an invitation schedule a consultation. Decide here what the message will say, how many times to distribute it and what is the desired outcome.

5. Set workflow rules

You don't want to inundate patients with emails, so carefully setting up rules will prevent this. Workflow rules can specify who receives an email batch and when they receive it, but can also exclude patient groups or certain days or times. If your office is closed on Friday afternoons, you don't want to send an email with a call to action that prompts a patient to schedule via phone and no one is there to respond. Likewise, the patient who has weekly orthodontist visits might lose an important appointment reminder if they are also receiving the email about a cosmetic procedure that they do not qualify for at this time.

6. Go live

After the pre-work is completed, turn the workflow and start collecting data!

7. Analyze and improve

Analyze the data and make changes where needed. Are you meeting the goals? What is your click-through rate? What is your conversion rate? Are you seeing an improvement in adherence? Watch how the workflow performs and prepare to make changes. Change the subject line, the offer, the frequency or the call to action and analyze the impact.

At HARNESS, building email workflows is just one of the services we offer to improve your marketing campaigns, expand your business and increase your exposure. Contact us to learn more about creating a patient-nurturing workflow that will help your practice.

Video Marketing and Marketing Automation

Making sense of marketing: focus on the basics of communication.

When companies begin to consider the process of creating and nurturing new business relationships, they are often bombarded with endless offerings from various software providers, agencies, and other outlets that throw around jargon such as CRM, automation, CPA, CAC - the list goes on and on. The truth is, however, business remains relatively simple when you remember one basic thing - people still buy from people even in our technology-driven culture. 

People buy from people.

Whether you are focused on a digital campaign or outside sales, there are individual humans at each company that are making the decisions about which products and services will best solve their problems.  You simply need to figure out the best way to reach those individuals and let them get to know you as a fellow human.  What makes you special and how should you communicate that in the most efficient and effective manner?

If you are marketing to a large list of prospects, it can be daunting to consider how to go about developing and nurturing relationships with each person at the end of each email address.  However, there are tools that allow you to do that in a way that is still very human with one-to-one communication.  Which tools you ask? The answer: marketing automation combined with video.

The importance of results-driven video

Video marketing has an immeasurable impact on marketing initiatives. In fact, Forbes named it #1 of the Top 7 Online Marketing Trends that Will Dominate 2016. A few of the numerous major benefits of video are:of

  • SEO - Having unique video on your site makes it 50x more likely to appear on top of Google search results
  • Email Marketing - Click-through rates increased as much as 300%
  • Conversions - Prospects that watch video on your site are 64% more likely to make a purchase

If you are not already convinced that the critical nature of video playing a key role in your marketing efforts, be sure to watch the video above.

What is marketing automation?

The power of marketing automation is rooted in an ability to tailor a specific solution for a business based on the business’s unique sales model, marketing funnel, products and/or services sold and the unique behaviors of each lead.  Automation allows companies to optimize and grow their business through nurturing leads from initial awareness through all stages of the sales funnel at substantially reduced marketing costs.  According to Forrester Research, companies that utilize this technology are able to generate 50% more qualified leads at a 33% reduced cost - that is certainly worth noting.

As we have mentioned in other articles such as Email Marketing Refined, email is still a very viable marketing channel if utilized properly.  This is important to realize because email plays a vital role in marketing automation especially when combined with video.  By utilizing results-driven videos, we have seen our clients increase their click-through rates in email marketing by as much as 300%! We try to use video in nearly every email campaign - it just works.

Where do you start? At the finish Line!

So now that you have decided to utilize marketing automation with video, where do you begin? The answer: start at your goal and work your way back. Are you hoping to generate new leads, increase traffic to your site, or increase conversions on your e-commerce platform? Once you identify your ideal result, you can establish the metrics needed to reach that target.

One simple example of these metrics would be to use video analytics such as engagement rate or rewatches in order to score your leads and segment your list.  In doing so, you can send subsequent touch points to each list based on their engagement levels.  For instance, if a person watched 100% of the video, then they are exhibiting deeper interest than a person who bounced after 30 seconds.  These individuals should receive different marketing materials to nurture the respective relationships.

We like to use video heat maps to see areas where individuals watch, rewind, fast-forward, and rewatch to segment our targets.  If a person rewatches an area of the video that is focused on a particular product or service, we can automatically send them subsequent emails that focus on that service.

An example: one of our clients manufactures a men's luxury clothing line.  We sent out a video promoting a new Autumn clothing collection. We created a follow-up touch points around each of the products highlighted in the video in advance of sending the first video campaign.  That way, if a user watched or rewatched a section of the video that highlighted a type of pants, we had an automated workflow to send follow up emails illustrating additional features, advantages, and benefits of those products.  

Using video to create new leads

Video can also be used to create new leads by utilizing a signup form inside the video player to capture email addresses of viewers. If users are interested and want to keep in contact, they can provide contact info, which is then synced with our customer relationship management software as a new account. From there, we are able to cultivate the relationship over time with appropriate materials.

Nurturing with video: awareness, consideration, & decision stages

How do you nurture that new relationship with video? We build our video marketing campaigns over time to cater to each step of the funnel as the individual continues to search for a solution to his or her problem or need.  From broad awareness style videos to more precise videos highlighting an individual value proposition, we walk buyers through the sales funnel from awareness to decision and then later with after-sale service videos.

Further, our automation software will allow us to place the individual accounts into a visual funnel so we know precisely where each buyer is in that process. Most leads fall into the awareness or consideration stage, and may stay there for a short time or longer depending on your particular sales cycle.  The important part is knowing where they are on that journey so that you can send them timely, relevant information to assist them in making the best decision possible.


In the awareness stage, we send our leads more broad educational content about the features advantages and benefits of our services.  Who we are, what we do, how we do it, and what makes us so special compared to others. Those are the basics to build that awareness and establish credibility.


Once a buyer moves into the consideration stage, we work to build a deeper relationship with them.  Let them get to know you a bit. This still stays high-level, but gives them more depth into how we can help them solve their problem by answering questions they have about our solutions.


In the decision stage, we like to leverage the selling power of our current clients by letting them speak for us.  We like to use testimonials and case studies to really paint a picture for our prospects and allow them to see how our relationship will take shape if they work with us.

Scoring leads

Another important aspect is lead scoring, which is another way for us to identify the quality of the lead and their position in the buyer’s journey. A quick example - we assign 20 points to a lead that fills out the form on our site to receive our emails.  We give 50 points to someone that watches our first video in our video marketing series.  We assign 50 points for each subsequent video they watch in the series.  If someone completes all of the videos, we consider them to be in the decision stage and market to them differently than we would a brand new subscriber.

Bring it all together

Another important aspect is lead scoring, which is another way for us to identify the quality of the lead and their position in the buyer’s journey. A quick example - we assign 20 points to a lead that fills out the form on our site to receive our emails.  We give 50 points to someone that watches our first video in our video marketing series.  We assign 50 points for each subsequent video they watch in the series.  If someone completes all of the videos, we consider them to be in the decision stage and market to them differently than we would a brand new subscriber.

Marketing automation has been around for a few years.  As mentioned above, it can have a profound impact on generating and building relationships. Internet video has been around for several years as well and has become critical for any successful marketing campaign.  By combining these two technologies, we are able to help our clients build substantially deeper relationships that allow us to anticipate needs and create recurring revenue from repeat buyers.