The Personalized Marketing Automation Lifecycle

By Dana Severson

About a week ago, I received an out-of-the-blue email from Arianna Huffington.

I don’t know Arianna personally, nor have I ever reached out to her myself … so seeing her name pop up in my inbox caught me a bit off-guard (and honestly … a little suspicious).

The email was short, unformatted and devoid of any subject line or signature … but, it felt personal.

All of my instincts as a marketer were pulling me towards not responding to what I could only imagine was a decently-disguised mass outreach to content creators, et al.

But ... my instincts as a human-being were convincing me otherwise.

Her message seemed sincere and some of my posts on LinkedIn have topped nearly 300,000 views, so it wasn’t completely outlandish to believe that she may have stumbled across one of them. Plus, her email address, and that of the Deputy Editor she “cc’d” seemed legitimate.

So I bit and hit reply. (Responding in a way that allowed me to save a sliver of dignity if I ended up being wrong).

Hi Arianna - I’m either extremely honored or terribly gullible. :)

Is this a mass email to LinkedIn writers, or sincerely from you? Sorry for the hesitation, but it’s ingrained in me as a marketer. - Dana

The next morning, I received her reply:

From me! :) I love your pieces on LinkedIn and know they would resonate so much with our readers. Our deputy editor Emily, CC'd here, will follow up to help you crosspost.

I was sincerely blown away. Not just based on who she was, but more so that she took the time to 1. Find my personal email and 2. Reach out to me personally and 3. Compliment my writing.

That my friends, is the power of attention.

I’m not sharing that experience with you only to humblebrag, but rather to illustrate how our instincts as emotional human beings can outweigh our trained brains skeptical nature when messages connect with us on a personal level.

The truth is, even though Arianna replied back, I’m still not entirely convinced it was truly her. But, it doesn’t matter now, because it worked … I’ll soon be contributing to the Thrive Global community due to the power of a personal email.

Power of Email Marketing

Even in today's world of hyper-targeted advertising, email marketing continues to be one of the simplest and most effective methods for growing your business.

Just think about all of the cold outreach emails that you receive. What would make you decide to respond to one over another?

I’m guessing your answer is the same as everyone else — you respond to emails when they are about … well, you.

That’s just human nature.

While we all know that writing personal 1-to-1 emails is drastically more impactful than writing 1-to-many mass emails, it’s just not a reasonable approach to building a business at scale.

This is where email marketing comes into play.

Utilizing the data points that you have stored on an individual within your email marketing software, it’s possible to send out a mass email, yet every person receives a slightly different message, which is based entirely on their own individual data points.

Is this what Arianna and her team did to me? It’s possible … and if that’s the case, kudos to them because it worked.

But, are sending personalized emails at scale enough to meaningfully move the potential customers through your funnel? What happens when one of these highly personalized emails actually drives someone to your website? Is the relevancy of that email extended to a similar personalized experience on your website?

If your answer is “no”, don't worry, you're not alone. This is where things disconnect for most businesses today. 

This is where website personalization comes into play.

Ideally, you want the same data you’re using to personalize individual emails to also be used to personalize the messaging (and visitor experience) on your website. Because, after all, while the job of selling may occur over email, the actual sale itself most often takes place on your website.

Going back to my experience with Arianna … the email was convincing enough to get me to respond. From her response, I was given a link to take the next step. Once I got to the page they had linked me to, the individualized attention was gone. :(

For the consumer (ie. your prospective customer), that individual attention and personalized experience over email should never end when they get to your website.

Personalized Marketing Automation

When your email marketing and website personalization are in sync, there isn't anything more impactful at converting anonymous prospects into paying customers.  

This process is what we call the Personalized Marketing Automation Cycle. 

It all begins with an anonymous visitor ...

Every new person that comes to your site is a potential customer or subscriber on your list. The job of your website at this point is just to get them to that next step. But, that’s not always easy to do when that person is ... well, anonymous.

This is where the personalized marketing journey begins.

Using RightMessage, you can discover who your visitor is and what they need most based on their on-site behaviors and actions — where they came from, what pages they look at, questions they’ve answered, etc.

With a better understanding of your visitor, you can easily change the messages they see, drastically improving the likelihood that they’ll opt into your list.

Once they opt-in, they become a subscriber in ActiveCampaign. And, everything you’ve learned about them as an anonymous visitor is pulled in (along with their contact information from RightMessage).

Using ActiveCampaign, you can set up automations that trigger the most relevant email content using the tags and custom field values we’ve been collecting throughout your new subscribers' journey.

As these targeted emails are being sent to your subscriber, you’re continuing to collect more information and enriching their record based on what’s resonating and what isn’t.

This all comes full circle when the emails begin driving them back to your website, where we’re now using the subscriber tags stored in ActiveCampaign to continue the same relevant messaging on your site with RightMessage to convert them into a paying customer.

The end result is a custom tailored experience for every visitor that comes to your site that runs on auto-pilot, improving conversions by 10x or greater!

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