Marketing automation best practices

Marketing is an integral part of all business organizations and involves many different processes, from finding prospects interested in your business to maintaining customer relationships long-term. Given the time constraints every business operates within, juggling multiple applications to implement separate marketing operations adds unnecessary challenge. To plan, execute, and optimize your complete vision for your business, you need a one-stop shop. This brings us to marketing automation.

It is usual for anyone to search for a “Best practice” list when venturing into a new technology. In that light, we’ve researched and documented the best practices that might help you while you’re carrying out your next marketing program.

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  • Know your audience
  • Hyper-personalize your content
  • Make dynamic segments
  • Set up lead scoring
  • Multi-channel experience
  • Schedule emails
  • Make privacy a priority
  • Track your performance
  • Put theory into action

Know your audience

When you start using marketing automation, it doesn't mean you should indiscriminately send out random emails en masse. The key is to create campaigns with your target audience in mind, and the best way to understand your target audience is to identify buyer personas for your business.

Here are some of the tips to work through for creating buyer personas:

Talk to customer-facing employees to know the pain points customers are facing.

Conduct surveys, focus groups, and customer meetings.

Segment your personas.

Gather website visitor information and social media analytics.

With these insights, you can write engaging marketing content that matches your audience’s interests.

Hyper-personalize your content

Hyper-personalization entails customizing the marketing experience for every customer, making them feel unique, and providing a sense of exclusivity.

When you’re trying to capture a customer’s attention, it’s not enough to know their preferred type of food, favorite clothing brand, or what their favorite sport is. In order to run a successful campaign, you need to understand their preferences on an emotional level.

Hyper-personalization is also necessary because your competitors are probably already using AI software to increase their sales and interest towards customers. So if you want to stay on top of the game, adapting your marketing campaign to the right audience is essential.

Put simply, implementing hyper-personalization combined with AI into your marketing campaigns should be your next move.

Make dynamic segments

Segmentation refers to putting collected data, like user information, user behavior on the website, email engagement, user preferences, and other data points into targeted buckets called dynamic segments. All people in a segment are defined by the same criteria.

When you create a dynamic segment with Zoho Marketing Automation, you choose the type of segment you want to create, create a segment group, and the criteria that define those segments.

Here are some of the common characteristics to segment your audience:


Age, income, gender, education, etc.


Country, state, city, or region


Personality, attitude, values, hobbies, and interests


Mobile use, desktop use, and other apps


How users use your product, frequent actions performed, features used, email engagement


Product/service must-haves, what pain points your business should solve, and what drove them to your brand


Economic value of specific customer groups for your business

Set up lead scoring

Lead scoring gives you an overall idea of each lead’s behavior and level of interest in your brand. With this score, you can roll out automated campaigns personalized to every contact.

You can score your leads based on different levels of interest they show in your business. It could be any action, from opening your emails, signing up for a webinar, downloading an ebook, or viewing a particular page on your website. Set up automation, score your leads based on these actions, and pass sales-ready leads to your sales team for improved conversions.

Create a multi-channel experience

Email marketing is the most common strategy marketing teams adopt when they begin a campaign. But limiting marketing to just one channel may not yield the desired results. When you start using multiple channels like SMS, social, and push notifications, you can engage with your customers across all touchpoints, which in turn optimizes customer experience.

For example, you can set up automated workflows to send abandoned cart emails to your customers, SMS messages to track their purchased products, and Google ads to re-target those customers who are yet to complete their checkout process.

Different channels can be used for different purposes. Emails can be used for brand awareness and educational purposes, SMS for time-sensitive messages like payment renewals, social media for active engagement, ad campaigns for re-targeting, and so on. Leverage all the channels at your disposal based on your campaign’s goals and boost conversions.

Find the best time to schedule emails

For any email campaign that you send, you ultimately want to maximize open and click-through rates to increase your website traffic. Apart from creating engaging content, appealing design, and adding a recognizable sender address, there is another important factor you need to look into - timing.

While there are many standard time slots considered as the best times to send emails, these may not always work, because audience groups differ. The best approach is to understand your audience, their time zones, and determine what works best for them.

That said, you can start with the global standards of which times are best, and then improve your schedule based on trial and error. This will help you find the perfect time to schedule your emails.

Make privacy a priority

In automated marketing, where so much of your leads’ information is stored in your product, it’s crucial to adhere strictly to laws and to commit to the privacy of your customers. The first step you can take to ensure your data is as secure as possible is to adhere to GDPR, regardless of the country you live in.

Next, get consent from your website visitors and let them know that you’ll be tracking their activity on your website using cookies.

Finally, maintain a quality list of leads by enabling double opt-in for your users at the time of signup. With double opt-in, the chances of spam addresses are reduced and it also indicates that the signed-up user has a high level of interest in your business. This will help you orchestrate your marketing.

Track your performance

Once you’ve implemented your marketing strategy, assessing its performance is critical. Tracking your efforts using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) enables you to estimate your marketing spend. With this insight, you can decide where to invest your money further.

Common KPIs that you can track for marketing automation are as follows:

  •  Landing page conversion rates
  •  Email open and click rates
  •  Lead volume
  •  Lead quality
  •  Social media traffic
  •  Number of active and inactive customers
  •  Unsubscribe rate

When thinking about choosing KPIs for your business, consider these questions:

  •  Which marketing KPIs you should track?
  •  Why do you need to track them?
  •  What activities do you need to track for those KPIs?

Put theory into action

Regardless of how much theoretical knowledge you gather, only when you start trying things out for yourself you will be able to determine what works for your business and what doesn’t. Marketing automation is one of the most beneficial approaches to marketing, and takes the marketing journey to the next level. Make it work by putting these best practices into action!