How to Choose the Best CRM Solution for Your Enterprise

When it comes to customer relationship management, not all technology is created equal—especially when operating on an enterprise scale. The solution you ultimately choose will provide the foundation for understanding your customers and meeting their growing expectations. That, in turn, will determine the ROI of your marketing and success of your brand for years to come.

Choose wisely.

Diamonds in the Digital Rough

The marketing technology landscape is expanding at a terrific pace. Thousands of solutions provided by no fewer than 6,242 different vendors are available to today’s CMO—27% YoY that’s likely to continue.

Included in the flood of evolving technology are at least 200 customer relationship management solutions, including established providers and disruptive new startups. How does a marketing leader at a large business with an enormous audience chose the right one?

Key Considerations for Choosing an Enterprise CRM

Enterprises have some unique challenges in meeting the ever-changing expectations of today’s connected consumer. It’s one thing to recognize the value of personalized, relevant experiences—but delivering them to hundreds of thousands ,or even millions, of individuals around the world is a daunting task for the most capable CMO.

enterprise CRM quote

Choosing an enterprise CRM that enables you to serve 1:1 experiences on a massive scale can mean the difference between earning loyalty and being forgotten. When comparing your options, take special care to consider the following factors:

Data Treatment

The key to understanding your customers as individuals, anticipating their needs, and engaging them in real-time lies in data.

Big data has been at CMOs’ top-of-mind for years now; finding ways to organize, interpret and act on the mountains of consumer information now available remains a high priority.

Almost every CRM has some amount of data analytics capabilities. But that can range from rudimentary web analytics to sophisticated deterministic data science.

Ideally, an enterprise CRM will provide access to a large pool of proprietary data that can be used to supplement and enhance your own first-party customer data. Enterprises often struggle with large silos of disparate data—a good CRM option also will be able to flexibly adapt and unify those scattered resources into a single view of your customers.

Today’s consumers are active on a broad selection of channels and devices at any given time. An effective enterprise CRM must be able to accumulate real-time signals from any input and translate them into thoughtful omnichannel responses.

Finally, a great enterprise CRM needs to be extremely secure when it comes to data and align to quickly-evolving social and regulatory privacy standards. Given the sheer volume of data a large organization handles and the sensitivity of the information within, enterprises can’t afford to take chances. Recent history is full of high-profile breaches that compromised corporate and customer data and tarnished brands—don’t let your marketing technology platform be your biggest vulnerability!

Automation Capabilities

Automation is what enables an enterprise to take a powerful, relevant, personalized customer experience and scale it up to thousands or even millions of individuals around the world.

Most CRMs have some automation capability, many of them lack the capacity to constantly process and manage a compelling relationship with every customer. Seek out a provider that has the sophisticated AI technology needed to capture and interpret a flood of real-time customer signals and decide when, why and how to respond.


Most enterprises have an enormous tech environment that includes legacy systems, scattered databases, and third-party vendors. Even large organizations with robust IT teams find integrating new tools and platforms into their stack to be incredibly difficult.

An ideal CRM tool for enterprises is one that can flexibly adapt to your existing technology and data infrastructure. A quick onboarding process and the ability to unify customer data all in one place is a huge advantage in the perpetual battle for consumer attention and loyalty.

What the Experts Say

Shopping for the best CRM for your enterprise is an arduous process, but choosing the right one can quite literally determine the success of your company for the indefinite future. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of resources and expertise to pull from when selecting a solution that will bring the most value to your customers.

One such authority is the prestigious MarTech Breakthrough Awards, which recognizes leaders and innovators in the diverse and ever-changing world of marketing and advertising technology. This year, Zeta Global’s technology platform ZetaHub was awarded ‘Best CRM Solution for Enterprise’—standing out in a pool of over 2,000 nominees.

marktech breakthrough best CRM for enterprise

“The days of linear marketing are long gone, and multichannel marketing is now a necessity, but we find that many enterprise organizations are struggling with the challenge of managing this more complex customer journey,” said James Johnson, Managing Director at MarTech Breakthrough. “Zeta Global’s ZetaHub shines when it comes to enabling multichannel dialogue, empowering global brands to engage with customers and prospects across email, mobile, social, direct, and web. Congratulations to Zeta Global on its 2018 MarTech Breakthrough Award!”

Read the complete press release from MarTech Breakthrough here.

Click here to see Zeta’s announcement of the award.

Every day we work closely with our enterprise clients in Retail, Travel, Finance, Insurance, Media and beyond to better understand their customers and develop lasting 1:1 relationships. It’s not hyperbole: to see for yourself how our solution makes people-based marketing at scale possible, request a demo today.

Temperatures may be rising, but Peak planning is top of mind

We may be in the middle of summer, but we’re also just eleven short weeks away before the holiday season and holiday messaging officially begins.

As marketers, the pressure is on for us to ramp up for the most crucial time of the year. Now is the time to bring back tried and true tactics – with innovative new applications – to make campaigns feel updated.  Now is the time to evaluate what can be done to lay the groundwork for a successful 2017 Peak.

Speaking of time, make the most of yours by investing 30 minutes on July 12th at 2p ET to learn how to enhance your holiday campaigns and drive revenue.  Want more reasons to join? We’ll highlight impactful topics such as: enriching your data set for stronger future customer connections, building touchpoints to support your customers’ personalized holiday shopping experiences, machine learning’s potential impact and more. After the seminar, you’ll have timely checklists to use as you perfect your holiday plan.

Can’t make it but don’t want to miss out?  Register now and we’ll send you a link with audio playback so you can listen at a later time. Ready? Register Now.

upselling and cross selling

The Art of Upselling and Cross-selling to Your Customers Using Marketing Automation

The concepts of upselling and cross selling have been around for a long time. From traditional businesses like hotels & restuarants to new age enterprises like eCommerce; almost everyone uses them to increase their bottom line. However, most sales personnel are usually apprehensive of upselling. They get nervous while pitching extra services or add-ons to their customers since that might put them off. Afterall, nobody likes the feeling of being sold to right? However, when done right, upselling doesn’t feel like a sales experience. Rather than scaring the customers away, it actually brings them closer to the brand. That’s exactly what we’re going to explain in this article. We’re going to discuss how marketing automation adds a whole new dimension to upselling and cross selling strategies.

Before we begin

For the uninitiated, upselling refers to techniques used by a seller to persuade customers to purchase similar but more expensive items, upgrades or other add-ons to make a more profitable sale. Whereas cross selling is the practice of selling an additional product or service (which is often complementary to the first product) to an existing customer. The two practices can affect both your top-line sales and bottom-line revenues all the while ensuring that the customers are still served with a great experience.

Now to the question: How important is upselling and cross selling for a business?

Studies have repeatedly proven that, after a point, upselling and cross-selling can be more fruitful than finding new prospects and customers. Just sample these incredible stats:

  • According to a Gartner report, on an average, 80% of a company’s future profits come from 20% of their existing customers.

  • Only 10% of B2B companies’ revenue comes from initial sales. 90% of the revenue actually comes from upsells and cross sells after. (Source)

upselling cross selling

How Marketing Automation can help

One of the prevalent misconceptions regarding upselling and cross selling is that they fall under the kitty of sales teams and marketing doesn’t have much to do with them. But marketing (especially automation) actually plays a vital role in enabling the sales team in this regard. Here’s how:

Personalized recommendations

Most B2C companies today rely on the power of personalized recommendations on their website to drive extra sales and revenue. eCommerce websites in particular can make a killing by showing personalized recommendations to their customers based on the product that they’re looking to purchase or based on their past browsing history. Amazon has one of the best recommendation strategies out there. Browse any product on their website and you’ll see sections called ‘Frequently bought together’ and ‘Customers who bought this item also bought’; that list down other related items that can be purchased along with the product.

Amazon product recommendation

recommendations by amazon

We in fact did a detailed article on the same topic. You should check it out: How to Ace Product Recommendation like Amazon

Transactional emails

One of the simpler uses of marketing automation is the triggering of transactional emails. Any email that is triggered by a user’s interaction with a website/app is called a transactional email.


– The welcome email that you get whenever you create an account in a website

– Order confirmation email that you get after purchasing a product from an eCommerce website

Apart from relaying important information to the customers, transactional emails can also be used to upsell other products or services. Check out this order confirmation email by online shop Huckberry:

Huckberry transactional email

It not only conveys an important information (i.e., confirmation of the order for the mugs), but also showcases other products that can be purchased from their online shop.

Use purchase information to cross sell

The purchase information of a user gives businesses a great opportunity to cross sell auxiliary services or products. Travel booking brands utilize this the best by offering other relevant services like airport transfers, hotel bookings, etc.

redbus cross selling

I got the above email by redBus, a popular bus booking website, a few hours after I booked my travel to the town of Kathgodam near Nainital, a popular hill station in India. You can notice that the email gives me an option to book hotels for my stay in Kathgodam. This is a perfect example for cross selling of services based on your purchase.

Leverage lead nurturing and customer onboarding

Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with customers at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the customer journey. It involves customized communications that are sent to the customers based on their activities and behaviors. Lead nurturing processes are usually aimed at customer retention but can also be used to upsell or cross sell services.

For example: A software product company provides self-help tools for SEO optimization. The company also offers personal one to one counseling sessions (which come at a nominal cost) to its users who are unable to optimally utilize the different features of the tools. It tracks user behaviors constantly and uses that data in its marketing automation campaigns. If a customer is found to be using the features intermittently, an automatic email is sent showcasing the personal counseling service.

A great read: The Art of Customer Onboarding using Email Nurturing

What is your upselling and cross selling story?

Have you tried incorporating upselling and cross selling strategies into your automation campaigns? If you have, how has the experience been? Let us know in the comments below. If you haven’t tried it yet and want to know how your business can leverage automation to upsell products and services, you can reach out to our customer success team here.

data marketing automation

How to Use Data Backed Marketing Automation to Earn Customer Loyalty

There was a time when most businesses just focused on customer acquisition in their marketing efforts. Brand loyalty was just a byproduct of the scheme of things. Today’s businesses however have to deal with a lot more competition and customers who are always ready to switch to a better brand; a brand that gives them products and services of better quality. That’s why, customer loyalty marketing has become an important piece of the marketing puzzle these days. Maintaining a steady customer base has become more important than ever to survive in a fiercely competitive marketplace.

Providing offers and discounts to customers is arguably the easiest way to build customer loyalty. But that’s not enough to convince the savvy customers of the internet age. They know that there is always a better bargain around just a click away. Brands need to do a lot more to keep them hooked and engaged. And the key to building such a strong engagement with the customers is data. Data that can tell the brand a lot more than just the name, email and location of the customers. When the marketing efforts are tuned to collect vital data signals, marketing automation can kick in and do wonders. In this article we’re going to look at how marketing automation can help brands earn the much needed brand loyalty from its customers:

The Importance of Customer Retention

If you have a great product/service, customers will develop a brand loyalty on their own. That’s the belief that most people had before the marketing world started to take customer retention strategies seriously. While it is absolutely true that loyalty follows great products and services; one should also remember that this only works in short term today. The market is so competitive that your customers will eventually find a brand that is better or cheaper than you. The only way to build brand loyalty is to make them feel that you care about them and listen to them; apart from providing a great product/service.

According to a research conducted by Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases the overall profits of a business by 25% to 95%! No wonder data oriented marketers take customer retention seriously!  It has become an important metric to measure the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. Most companies however measure the opposite of retention rate, i.e., churn rate (Percentage of customers who decide to quit using the products/services of the company). Both of these metrics have gained high importance even for investors while they study the viability of a business.

customer retention stats

How Marketing Automation Helps

Marketing automation allows businesses to better understand their customers’ preferences and desires. When marketers use this information strategically, it translates into a stronger relationship between the customers and the brand. Let’s discuss this in detail:

Event Based Automation

Imagine this scenario: You’re planning a trip to Agra to catch a glimpse of the Taj Mahal. You want to check out multiple travel deals and booking sites before you make up your mind about a place to stay. You search Airbnb, Trivago, Kayak and a bunch of other booking sites but still aren’t sure. After a while you’re tired and are in no mood to do all the searching again. But you still want to book your stay because the travel is already planned.

Just when you’re about to throw up your hands in exasperation, you get an email notification! Airbnb has sent you a pick of places that you can choose from in Agra! Wouldn’t that be awesome?! That’s the power of event based automation. You realize that the brand that you wanted to try out actually knows your needs and is ready to make the experience smoother for you.

airbnb email suggestions

(Image Source)

Sending cart abandonment emails, discount emails based on your previous purchase are a couple of other examples for event based automation aimed at building brand loyalty.

Useful read: Marketing Automation Mistakes that You Should Avoid

Customer Data is a Goldmine

When thinking about data signals related to automation, marketers usually think about activities and behaviors of the customers. They forget that some of the most basic information that the customer provides during his/her interaction with different touch points of the brand can also be really useful. Check out how popular fashion brand Macy’s does it effectively, by sending out emails to customers on their birthdays:

macys birthday email

(Image Source)

Likes and dislikes of the customers

It’s a hot day and one of your close friends comes to visit your place. When you’re busy cursing the temperature, he takes out a pack of your favourite beer and gives it to you! Won’t you feel ecstatic? The fact that he went out of his way to buy a pack of beer proves that he is your friend. But the fact that he knew which brand of beer to choose, proves that he is one of your closer friends who knows what your likes and dislikes are.

That’s exactly how it works in a customer-brand relationship as well. When the brand sends messages or emails to the customer about things that he/she cares about, the customer feels closer to the brand. Internet’s foremost fact checking website Snopes does it really well with its customized newsletters. All of its emails are one-to-one personalized. The articles mentioned in the email are all placed there based on the reader’s’ topic preferences.

snopes personalized email content

Check out this interesting article to know how Snopes does it.

Customer opinion matters the most

Feedback emails is one of the most effective forms of communication that a brand can send to its customers during their lifecycle. Feedback emails not only give valuable insights that can help improve the products/services, they also show your customers that you genuinely care about doing things better. And that has a major impact on brand loyalty. Gifting platform Artifact Uprising does it really well in this feedback email:

artifact uprising feedback email

(Image Source)

But care should be taken to ensure that feedback emails are only sent to customers who have tried the products/services for a good amount of time. There is no point sending a feedback email to a customer about a phone that was bought just one day ago! Marketing automation can help you set the feedback emails to go exactly when they’re supposed to go.

Wrapping it up

Have you tried leveraging Marketing Automation and user data to build brand loyalty in your customers? If you have, how was the experience? Please share it with us in the comments below. You can also share some of the other ways of building customer loyalty to help us enhance and improve this article.

omnichannel personalization ecommerce

Omnichannel Personalization for eCommerce – A Modern Approach

How do eCommerce enterprises earn loyalty from their users? Simply by offering them an engaging and delightful experience. And, notably, one of the most popular means to delight eCommerce users is personalization.

However, for eCommerce enterprises, personalization has been largely limited to their websites. Moreover, website personalization itself is mostly segment-based and not implemented at a 1:1 scale.

To achieve remarkable customer loyalty and engagement rates, it is imperative for eCommerce brands to provide a highly personalized experience to users across all touchpoints.

This post illustrates how a modern eCommerce enterprise can facilitate omnichannel personalization at a 1:1 scale for users across multiple channels.

It highlights ways in which an eCommerce brand can create engaging communication over website, email, mobile, online advertisements, and so on.

Let’s begin.

Website Personalization

The behavior of each user on your eCommerce website tells you a lot about their personality; their actions on the website define their interests and preferences.

With the knowledge of users’ interests, your eCommerce website can present relevant products in front of them. That’s where Amazon is so effective—35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from its personalized recommendation engine.

Amazon’s personalized recommendations

The recommendation engine of Amazon and other eCommerce giants is based on sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. The personalization engine works on deep learning, which tracks a user’s browsing behavior and search queries, and gradually understands what they are likely to search/buy on the website.

Similarly, a few eCommerce brands take advantage of collaborative filtering by offering users recommendations based on the behavior of other users similar to them. Amazon, again, practices this:

Example of collaborative filtering on Amazon

The same intelligence can even be extended to promotional campaigns by eCommerce brands. New users can be offered discount for their first purchase, and returning customers can be offered interesting loyalty programs.

All this can be achieved using Boomtrain’s advanced AI-powered marketing engine. (Here is a quick demo video that shows how it works.)

eCommerce brands which are looking to just start with personalization can begin with a basic approach. This approach can be considered more of customization than personalization. It involves asking users to define their interests and preference at the start of an interaction.

For instance, eCommerce websites could present different product categories to users on homepage and ask them to choose the ones they’d like to explore or buy. This way, you can track users that browse specific products and recommend them items from similar categories.

Image source

Email Personalization

Email marketing has consistently been one of the most popular channels for companies to communicate with customers. It has evolved with time, undergoing various technological advancements.

Personalization in email marketing, similarly, has come a long way—it’s no longer about just adding a user’s first name in the email greeting. Today, emails too can be personalized at a 1:1 scale.

Broadcast (Bulk) Emails

eCommerce brands regularly send bulk emails to their users, promoting products on their website. The emails could either contain promotional offers or simply a list of products based on the likings of users.

eCommerce brands using AI-powered marketing engine already have the knowledge of each user’s interests and behavior. They can send broadcast/bulk emails to users with highly-personalized product recommendations.

For instance, an eCommerce company selling electronic goods could send a bulk email to all users, except each user will receive recommended gadgets that he/she is interested in.

Sample personalized email (Source)

The subject line of bulk emails also can be personalized by mentioning recommended products/categories for users.

Furthermore, a smart marketing platform can let you learn about the time when each user likes to engage with your emails. The marketing platform, next, sends out broadcast emails at a time when a person is most likely to engage. (In Boomtrain, this feature is known as Prime Time Messaging.)

Hence, the email content and its delivery time, both, are personalized for every user.

Triggered Emails

eCommerce brands can send emails triggered by certain user activity or behavior. These emails can again be personalized for better engagement.

For instance, when users abandon a cart, you can send them an email offering a discount. The quantity of discount could be personalized for each user based on their history of interaction with you.

Similarly, you could send users an email whenever there is a price drop on their favorite items. Here is an example:

Image source

Mobile Personalization

Mobile is, arguably, the most important channel for eCommerce companies to engage with users. Reports suggest that, by 2020, mobile will be contributing 45% of total US eCommerce market.

To capture the attention of millennials, eCommerce enterprises require offering a personalized and seamless experience on mobile. They can use a central AI-powered marketing automation system to track activities and behavior of users on mobile, and combine it with their behavior across other channels (such as website and email). This will enable an eCommerce enterprise to truly build a graph for each user’s personality and serve them only the most relevant and personalized content.

With the AI-powered marketing platform, eCommerce companies can personalize the mobile experience for users on the same lines as website personalization. Users can find recommended products right below their thumb:

Image source

Push Notifications

Mobile push has proved to be an effective channel for brands to engage with users. Brands have already witnessed higher open rates compared to email and other channels. Understandably, eCommerce enterprises are actively using the push channel to woo users.

However, the mobile push channel also requires personalization for higher user engagement.

Similar to email (as discussed previously), push notifications can be sent out as broadcast (bulk) or triggered.

Broadcast Push Notifications

Broadcast push notifications can carry personalized recommendations for users, which encourage them to visit app or website on mobile and complete a purchase.

The personalized product recommendations will be generated for each individual using the AI engine.

Triggered Push Notifications

These push notifications will be triggered by certain defined behavior of users on website or mobile. The behavior can be a complex sequence of user activities.

The content of the push notification can further be personalized using the AI engine.

Here is an example:

Wrapping Up

Personalization is an effective way for eCommerce enterprises to delight their customers and increase purchases. However, personalization can be most effective only when you implement it across all your marketing channels in a seamless manner. Your website, email campaigns, mobile app, push notifications, and every other channel should offer a personalized experience to users, and conversions will start to grow.
ai marketing automation

How AI Brings a Positive Change to Marketing Automation

AI is usually the last missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to a will-rounded marketing automation implementation.

Even after its growing popularity over the past decade, marketing automation by most brands is still devoid of the all important ‘human touch’. Most of the communication that we receive from various brands still feels machine-like. But, with the advent of AI technologies and machine learning, things have slowly started to change.

AI has brought in tech like predictive analysis, cognitive filtering and semantic analysis which improve the performance of marketing automation.

In this article, I’m going to explain how AI can impart a positive change on traditional marketing automation.

Related read: How Digital Marketers can use Cognitive Marketing

Rule based Settings don’t cut it

Most marketing automation softwares today operate primarily based on the rules set by the marketers. These rules are based on analysis of their user base and their online behavior; like their browsing habits, how they interact with your emails, push notifications, chat messages etc

However this is not the most effective way of setting your marketing automation flow, as it requires a lot of manual input and constant monitoring.To make the task easier and to keep the automation relatively human intervention free, one can use an AI based marketing automation platform. AI can help monitor user activity better and implement changes on the fly when needed.

AI helps you understand your customers better

The success of marketing automation is highly dependent on the user data that is collected. Here are some of the most important user data pointers that need to be collected:

  1. Online user behavior – Product usage and website browsing behavior

  2. Social Media activity

  3. Email and Mobile usage behavior

  4. Product interests

  5. Purchase History

And more.

Important information like this used to be fed into the traditional marketing automation services manually or through tedious rules set up by marketers.

On the other hand, AI based marketing automation platforms can be set to fetch this data easily while setting them up.

Once set up, AI will keep a close watch on all the interactions that take place between you and your customers. And all the data gathered from these interactions are pulled in and combined with the user profile data to keep a detailed account of every customer.

A MUST READ: The state of AI powered email marketing in 2017 – Comprehensive report based on the analysis of over 230 million emails sent using AI personalization

Customer segmentation like you have never seen before

All of this data is useless if you can’t leverage it to your advantage. AI can come to your rescue here. AI engines are capable of segmenting this data into intuitive customer segments. For example, an AI engine can help an eCommerce brand by segmenting its users based on their recent purchase, purchase cycle, product interests, browsing activity and more. Using these segments it can deliver a complete personalized 1:1 communication to the customers.

Having a properly segmented customer list opens the door for an intuitive digital experience that you can provide to your prospects and customers.

AI will completely change Digital Experience for your customers

Using the expansive user data that is collected (as explained in the previous 2 pointers) , here’s how AI based automation can give a WOW experience to your customers:.

  • 1:1 Personlized Experience: From implementing simple personalization like – adding name tags to your emails’ subject lines to more complex ones like sending out a personalized “Things you might like” email, AI can help you personalize each and every aspect of your customer communication. This in turn would lead to better engagement between you and your customers.
  • Recommend Product and Content that your users find relevant: AI and Machine learning engines can continuously monitor user activity on your website and app. You can use this data to show specific product pages, blog posts etc that the users would find useful/interesting.. Check out  how Amazon leverages user behavior data to provide product recommendations to its customers.
  • Lead Nurturing: AI based marketing automation platforms can help in identifying prospects that need to be nurtured and educated to move them to the next step of your sales funnel. They can deliver messages to these prospects to educate them about your product. Such lead nurturing campaigns can also be custom designed for different types of prospects based on their online behavior!

Final Words

Have you ever tried implementing marketing automation for your business? If you already have implemented it, have you thought about leveraging AI to make it more effective? I’ve seen many marketers from SMEs hesitating to try out AI based automation because of the misconception that it can only be implemented by big corporations like Amazon, Google, Apple etc. But this is far from the truth. We at Boomtrain have many customers who fall into the SME bracket, utilizing our AI based automation platform. If you want to know how you can implement it for your business, you can talk to us by clicking here.

marketing automation mistakes

Marketing Automation Mistakes That You Should Avoid

I have been writing about Marketing and Sales niches for over 3 years now. During the course of this time, I have seen numerous brands utilizing the power of  Marketing Automation to streamline their sales and marketing efforts. .

At the same time, I have also noticed how under-utilized it is as a discipline. Open any B2B or B2C website and you’ll find all kinds of lead magnets – from simple sign-up prompts to highly targeted messengers and light box messages. However, most of these communications are below par at best when it comes to execution and usefulness

Scattered emails and push messages,  irrelevant product and content recommendations, random support tickets, the list goes on and on.

Businesses should consider Marketing Automation as an investment. If you implement it strategically, you might not just get back the principal amount you invested but a hefty interest as well!

Marketing Automation can play an important role in your business, provided you do not under-utilize it.

If you want to setup your automation efforts to yield proper results, make sure that you do not make the following mistakes:

Marketing automation mistakes that most marketers fail to notice

Failing to segment visitors into users, prospects and readers

This is quite a common issue faced by marketing automation beginners. They fail to understand that segmentation of visitors is crucial before setting up automation rules.

Here’s how you should ideally segment your website/app visitors –
  • User/Customer – A visitor who lands on your website, learns about your services, looks at your product’s page and its features, reads a few blog articles and then signs up. It can also be a direct sign up without much activity.
  • Prospect or lead– A visitor that might visit your website, go through the same flow but does not sign-up for your product or services immediately. Instead he or she might, download an eBook by entering contact details like name, phone number and email address. Or, maybe he/she signs up for your newsletter.
  • Reader (Plain-visitor) – Generally this constitutes a majority of visitors on your website. They either land on your website via organic search or through social media channels or other referral websites. They are on your website to look for something specific, read it and leave. In most instances it might take them a couple of weeks or months to come back to your website. These users can be classified as readers.

The different kinds of users who land on your website can be further segmented. For example, prospects can be segmented as –
  • Hot Prospects – Prospects who sign up with you soon after their initial interactions with your customer facing channels (website, mobile app etc). These prospects have a higher chance of becoming your customers since they have shown interest in your products/services. The time period to close these deals are fairly short; in most cases, it is under a month. Hence, they must be prioritized above other incoming prospects.
  • Cold Prospects – On the other hand, cold prospects are the folks who have been on your website or have used your mobile app multiple times, have signed up for a newsletter, but haven’t engaged with your communications over a considerable amount of time. Such prospects require better targeting via marketing collateral like email, social media interaction and other offerings. The process is called Lead Nurturing.

Bottom line – It is very important to use your marketing automation platform to segment your users. Most platforms provide user segmentation as one of their primary features.

Wanna do one better? Read – Personalization is meant to perfect your user segments.

Email Marketing Automation: You don’t segment your email list

This pointer is like an extension of our previous point. Since, email marketing on it’s own is a big deal for most businesses, we thought it deserved its own section.

Email is arguably the most integral part of a marketing automation software. The very first thing you do when you start using email as a source of reaching out to your users or prospects, is building an email list. Without a strong email list, you can’t build a consistent flow of new users. Moreover, email marketing provides opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to your existing customers.

Let’s say, you do have a strong email list but still are not able to achieve the desired results. Can you guess why?

Well, probably because you might not be segmenting your email list properly, or for that matter, not at all. As a result, your leads might be dropping out of the funnel as they find your emails generic and useless in addressing the problems they face.

Let’s discuss how we can solve this problem.

The Solution:

Develop an email list building strategy which includes email list segmentation so that you’re able to send targeted messages to your leads.

There a 2 major ways in which you can implement email list segmentation –

Use Rule-based targeting to segment your email lists – Traditional marketing automation softwares use rule-based targeting to segment your email lists. You or someone from your team will set up rules – like number of user sessions, number of pages visited, landing page, exit page. Based on these rules, the MA service will allot a segment to the prospect if he or she opts in to your email list. The con of this method is that, a marketer has to constantly monitor and change the rules for optimal results.

AI Based Targeting to segment your email list on the fly – Modern marketing automation services like Boomtrain, use AI and machine learning to segment your email list. This is a far more effective method than the one we discussed above. It takes away all the heavy lifting that marketers have to do to segment users. Instead the rules are set by the AI engine that monitors user activity on all customer-facing channels as well as inside your product (web and mobile).

With the right marketing automation tactic, you can easily segment your email list and expect substantial improvement in your conversion and user engagement rate.

Bonus: 70+ Email Marketing Resources you Should Not Miss

Irregularity at optimizing your automation strategy

Standard turnkey marketing automation SaaS requires continuous monitoring by marketers. Maybe your marketing automation flow works the way you want it to. Even then, it does not mean that it will work the same way 3-6 months down the line. User-behaviour keeps on changing and is considered volatile in modern marketing.

Hence, you need to constantly monitor all the efforts that you make by regularly keeping on eye on –
  • User reports and analytics
  • Email marketing reports
  • User web activity
  • Lead scores
  • Product usage

Marketers who are new to automation think that the concept is magical and will take care of itself once the initial automation flow has been set up. This is far from the truth. You need to constantly monitor your automation process to achieve desired results.

Note: You can use an AI and machine learning marketing engine like Boomtrain to optimize your marketing strategy on the fly without any assistance. Click here to learn more.

Your sole focus is on Lead Nurturing

One of the most common mistakes done while using automation services is, forgetting about user engagement and going all out with lead nurturing programs. Even seasoned veterans in marketing automation are prone to this oversight.

Most organizations feel that getting new customers is far more important than increasing engagement with existing customers.

Here is a great article on Forbes that argues on the same lines – Selling to existing customers leads to profitable growth.

Customer engagement is as important as lead nurturing, if not more. Providing a stellar customer support by using marketing automation could result in promising rewards like –

You send far too many emails

Perhaps you are of the mindset that a large number of emails to your subscribers is one of the best ways to achieve desired results. But, in reality this is just annoying and sending your leads away from.


When it comes to your email list, always focus on providing useful information to your leads. It’s way better to have a low email count that is useful to the readers than a high count that does not provide any handy information.

Try to send out emails that you feel provide true value to your customers. It can be a welcome series that guides new customers on how to use your product, or a series of blog posts that explain how to build supporting strategies

It’s not just about automating your email marketing efforts

Most marketing automation services are good at email marketing. Even though marketers know that MA services are mix of different marketing functionalities, they still focus only on email marketing automation.Let me tell you, other channels are as important as email marketing.

If you concentrate on just one bit, you are failing to provide your customers a consistent and seamless experience. On the other hand if you are able to provide a similar experience over different customer channels(like email, mobile and web), you are increasing the chances of improving your customer engagement and conversion ratio.

Bonus: Read about creating an Omnichannel approach to Marketing Automation.

It will also help you address the diverse nature of your customers. For example, 30% of your customers might be mobile first users of your product. Reaching them on email is not going to be as effective as mobile push and in-mobile communication.

Not testing your Marketing Automation Flow

It’s pretty common that your first few automated flows will have errors or won’t behave as you expect them to. That’s why it is extremely important that you test your automation flow before deploying it.

You can either test your marketing automation flow with limited users from your database or use it with your colleagues on your test account. It might delay your marketing automation implementation by a week to a month. But at least you’ll correct all the possible anomalies in the automation flow.

Here are few important things you should check before deploying it publicly for all your customers –
  • Message flow and channel targeting
  • Email Design and appearance on various devices
  • Behavior based triggers in the flow
  • Deliverability and compatibility

Not having a clear goal for your marketing automation strategy

If you deploy multiple automation flows without a clear goal in mind, you end up frustrating yourself and your customers.

Note down clear goals for the efforts, like social media, email marketing, in-app communication etc.

For example: Chowhound deployed marketing automation with the goal of increasing email engagement by a certain amount with a clear workflow in mind. These goals were achieved by segmenting and personalizing email experience for each and every reader that came to their website and subscribed to their newsletter.

End Result:

Using Boomtrain, Chowhound sent out more than 1.2 million emails over a period of around 3 months. Chowhound saw a clear lift in engagement:
  • 2.5x higher click-to-open rate for users receiving personalized content vs. popular content
  • 28 percent better open rate across personalized emails.

Wrapping Up

Marketing Automation can feel complex and intimidate most marketing rookies. These are just a few major mistakes that marketers commit and I’m pretty sure there are more..

Which brings us to the end of this post. There are few things we would like to know from our readers as well.

We would like to hear what are the challenges that you face when it comes to Marketing Automation? What are the marketing automation mistakes you might think are blasphemous and should be dealt with immediately. Please share your insights and comments in the section below or tweet to us @Boomtrain.

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marketing automation sales

4 Marketing Automation Tactics That Will Boost Your Sales

Sales and marketing are often treated as two different disciplines, but they are more like two sides of the same coin. These two disciplines are tightly interwoven and interdependent: marketing attracts and nurtures a prospect, and sales converts that prospect into a customer. Marketing provides an environment where sales are possible and abundant, and sales leverages that marketing investment to its full potential. When sales and marketing are working in concert, businesses run like well-oiled machines, and growth seems to come easily.

In the last decade or so, the most notable development in the marketing ecosystem has been automation. When done right, marketing automation not only helps the marketing team become more efficient and effective, it can also empower your sales team by increasing their efficiency and by giving them more—and more relevant—leads.

Here are four tactics that can help your sales team get the most out of your marketing automation platforms by leveraging it to increase sales, increase customer value and shorten the sales cycle.  

Analyze every visitor on every customer facing channel

Omnichannel Marketing automation

It’s important to understand your visitors. A visitor can be a first-time reader, a prospect, a lead or an existing customer. Segmentation starts the moment an individual land on your website or other channels for the first time. But segments are only powerful when they are accurate and specific. It’s essential that you use all the behavioral data you can to create rich segments that you can then target with highly relevant messaging.

That’s why analyzing your visitors individually (not just as bulk segments) is every bit as important as producing the material that attracted the user in the first place.

How can you do this?

User analysis can be done in a variety of ways. The important thing is to choose tools and approaches that enable you to identify key insights about your individual users: What are they interested in? How engaged are they? Where are they in the sales cycle? Here are a few tools that could help you out:

  1. Google Analytics – Google Analytics is a very powerful tool that every webmaster and marketer should learn to take full advantage of. For instance, you can set up goals and user funnel flows to create different user segments based on behavior, demographics, and content. [Image to be added]

  2. Kissmetrics Kissmetrics is another tool that is adept at targeting users on an individual level. You can connect Kissmetrics directly to your marketing automation platform and automatically segment users and trigger communication based on their behavior.

  3. Heatmaps – Heatmap Tools help you see how your users are interacting with your website. What CTAs are working, what regions of your landing page are most engaging, and what parts are getting ignored. When connected to marketing automation platforms, heatmaps can help you tailor messaging automatically, based on the content a user is most interested in. There are various services that you can use to deploy heatmaps, including Hotjar, Zarget, Crazyegg, and more.

Personalize each interaction

Smarter platforms don’t just automate their sales and marketing communication, they personalize it. Despite the fact that studies have repeatedly shown how user personalization lifts results, many sales teams are still only basic marketing automation features (e.g. sending one-size-fits-all messages to new leads).  

Marketing and Personalization

Bonus: How Ellevate increased user engagement and web traffic by 77% using Boomtrain

When done right, user personalization gives you a 1:1 interaction model with all your customers, while minimizing manual communication. Customers get communication and content that is personalized based on their behavior and their interests, and as you get to know the prospect better, the communication can be further personalized based on their relationship and where they are in the sales funnel.

A 1:1 interaction model improves customer engagement and loyalty as they receive an exclusive and highly relevant experience, demonstrating that the brand “gets them” and considers them to be important customers.

So, how do you provide a user experience like that?

  1. Offer exclusive incentives to customers based on their activity – Customers who purchase more from you, or use your service regularly are the ones that you should hold on to. They deliver more value and can become advocates for your brand. Here are a few ideas to offer incentives for your customers and prospects:

    • Personalized discounts based on user activity level and price sensitivity.

    • Customer loyalty programs with exclusive rewards – Look at Starbucks’ reward program to get inspired

    • Extend your service or offer discounts when the customer prepays for a longer period.

  1. Behavior-based user targeting – Behavior based targeting helps increase user interaction. An example of user behavior targeting would be Etsy triggering cart reminders when a user abandons their shopping cart. This provides Etsy a way to bring back the customers who did not complete their purchase by reminding them of the specific content they were interested in.

  2. Use Mobile Push and SMS – Mobile Push and SMS are  great ways to interact with modern consumers. In fact, it’s probably the best way to interact with consumers who have abandoned their cart or reach out to your most frequent shoppers to notify them about a sale event, because the response is nearly immediate and unlikely to get overlooked in an inbox. You can trigger individually personalized mobile push messages and SMS messages based on what content these users have engaged with. Want more? 6 advantages of implementing mobile push in your marketing stack.

  3. Use AI and Machine learning to personalize communication – Being able to create highly-relevant product/content recommendations based on user behavior are the holy grail of sales and marketing. Just ask Amazon, Netflix, Facebook… When you initiate a sales communication based on the content you know to be relevant to a user, you earn credibility, which is the first step towards earning loyalty. Amazon (like many other category leaders) uses machine learning to identify and deliver product recommendations, which makes their recommendations more accurate because they are constantly evolving and improving their understanding of that individual. 

Want more? You can learn about the wonders of AI-powered marketing automation here.

  1. Implement a “Recommended for you” section on your app or website – Sales and marketing communications are highly controlled, but users will also want to do their own research, and your website will likely be a place they look. Using marketing automation platforms, you can actually leverage everything you know about a user to personalize their experience on your site as well. Using algorithms and rule based settings, you can automatically adapt certain content sections on your site based on past—or real-time—customer behavior. A great example of this is Spotify’s “Your Daily Mix” section, which is curated based on your recent listening preferences.

Provide an Omnichannel Experience to your customers

Omnichannel Marketing and platforms

Have you ever browsed a product on Amazon’s website in your office then purchased that product from your cart on Amazon’s mobile app while you are taking a taxi back home? That seemingly effortless transition from one environment to another is incredibly powerful, and is something users are coming to expect. Your digital experience is your brand, and users expect that brand to function as a seamless entity, no matter what channel or device they use to engage with it.

This new level of expectations from customers has given rise to Omnichannel Marketing Automation. This big buzzword simply means providing the best and most uniform user experience across all consumer touchpoints: web, mobile, app, social, email, ads, push notifications, and even IRL/brick and mortar experiences. The result is an omnichannel environment where the user has the freedom to engage the brand on their terms, online or offline, in app or in browser, and across any device.

Want more? Check out 5 reasons to implement Omnichannel Marketing Automation.

Use a platform that can collect data from all customer facing channels

Traditional Marketing Automation services lack the means to extract useful customer data from mobile platforms. This means that even if your mobile user experience is solid, you’re not learning from customers interactions there and you’re not able to merge that data with what you already know about them from interactions in other channels. And if you’re ignoring mobile data today, chances are you’re missing A LOT. Every channel you ignore is a leak in your sales funnel. Smart marketing automation tactics can plug those leaks.

By using cutting edge Marketing Automation services like Boomtrain, you can track user activity regardless of what channel they are active on. These platforms enable any brand or business to collect valuable user-information. Implementers get real time insights into which tactics are working where, and high-level decision makers get a single comprehensive set of insights to build their marketing and sales strategy around.

Another advantage is that by collecting and analyzing data across all channels, you can reduce the need for continuous experiments like A/B testing, constant email open rate and push penetration rate tracking, and overproduction of marketing creative. The system is smart enough to figure out what works and what doesn’t and automatically optimize around the metrics you choose.

Wrap up

Marketing Automation systems are getting smarter day by day, giving brands more control over personalized customer communication and personalized customer experiences. And let’s face it, your customers have been conditioned to expect nothing less. In today’s sales environment, the personal touch still matters, but you need to be able to deliver that personalization instantly and at scale. Marketing automation platforms don’t just lighten your workload, they help you tap into vast wells of customer data to build better relationships faster.

automation hacks

11 Surprising Marketing Automation Hacks That Will Skyrocket Your Sales

As many marketers know, we are quickly entering the world of automate or perish. Marketing Automation platforms simply enable you to do less with more, which is the eternal mantra of the modern marketer.

The premise is clear: Engage with your customers as much as possible (without spamming them) while minimizing the amount of manual labor required to do it.

Whether you’re engaging via a messenger, sharing social media updates or constructing a full-fledged email marketing and sales funnel, automation can make every channel easier and more effective for you.

To inspire the (few) remaining automation skeptics, we’ve put together 11 Marketing Automation Hacks that highlight the true “power of the platform” in modern marketing.

1. Personalize your email campaigns – from discounts to product recommendation

Price is a key decision driver for nearly every customer, but we all have different triggers and tolerances when it comes to cost. The price that will scare one person away may not phase another person, and the discount percentage that will spur one customer to purchase may not entice another.

By offering personalized discounts to people on products you know they’ll love (because your platform can access their browsing data!), you can boost sales and avoid losing customers to sticker shock. This works especially well for customers who have items left in their cart, which indicates an interest, but also some potential indecisiveness around price.

Here is an actual case study on how Valve used user discounts and product recommendation to increase their sales by 528%.

Valve's Discount email offer

2. Adjust discounts based on user engagement level

Building upon the first marketing automation hack, this tactic leverages targeted user engagement to boost sales and conversion and help you build customer loyalty.

Offering discounts based on user engagement can help you retain and grow high-value customer relationships. For example, providing frequent shoppers with a larger discount to incentivize larger basket sizes.

It can also help you re-engage users who haven’t engaged in a while and may be at risk of churning or becoming inactive. If their inactivity (in this case, their lack thereof) triggers a one-off discount coupon, you can increase retention and win-back rates dramatically.

3. Build omnichannel customer profiles

Traditional marketing automation software platforms focus on one channel at a time. That just doesn’t fly anymore. Customers engage your brand in multiple channels, sometimes simultaneously. Your communication strategy needs to take their behavior in ALL channels into account and connect with them wherever they are.

This requires a platform that can build intuitive and insightful customer profiles based on a user interaction off-product as well as in-product.

4. Use personalized customer recommendations to increase engagement

Why are brands like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify growing so fast? What makes their offerings so sticky?

One answer: Personalized product and content recommendations. These products all leverage AI and machine learning to surface the products and content that users will find compelling and addictive—not as a segment or a cohort, but as individuals.

AI Marketing hack - Product recommendation

Publishers and content brands like Forbes, CBS, Chowhound are already tapping the power of AI to optimize their recommendation engines, which it turns out provides a huge boost to both customer loyalty and customer value.

5. Recover your abandoned cart using Facebook Messenger

A staggering 69% of all carts are abandoned on eCommerce stores. To address this problem, most marketers delve into email and mobile push campaigns to win the customers back or nudge them over the line. But most of the times these messages are ignored. So what can they do to improve message penetration?

Surprisingly, Facebook Messenger may have the answer.

Marketing Automation hack - Facebook Messenger for Shopping


You can use Facebook Messenger to engage users via their unpurchased items. Because many sites use Facebook logins, Messenger can actually deliver a list to users of all the products they have added to their carts, and option to complete the purchase right from the messenger App.

6. Pre-fill Personal data in form fields

We’ve all experienced the pain of “gate forms.” Those tedious data capture fields that lead us to question whether or not the content on the other side is worth the time and effort. Form fields are a barrier to engagement for many users, but the information they provide is gold for marketers.

By pre-filling those form fields (with data from your marketing automation platform), you can boost conversion rates by 30% or more.

Marketing automation hack - Pre fill forms

Many platforms will offer form pre-filling as a part of their marketing automation suite, and others require a bit of integration with products like segment, and your forms can become smart forms, filling themselves with information about new or existing users.

7. Use social media to recommend products to your users

Social Media outreach and advocacy is one of the best ways to build brand awareness, but it is also a powerful engagement channel.

Many marketers don’t leverage social media to its full potential because they are not tapping into their rich troves of social data to make product and content recommendations.

For example Mention and Clearbit can be integrated together to enable you to personalize your outreach efforts, not just on email or mobile devices but also on social media channels by fetching personalized—and channel relevant—content for them.

8. Start using retargeted advertisements

Modern marketing automation platforms can collect a humungous amount of user data based on their activities on your website or app, but they can also take advantage of what users do when they are not on your app or site (which is probably most of the time, even if you’re really popular).

These platforms can be integrated with a plethora of advertising networks to push relevant content to your users across all the sites and apps they use.

Amazon is the example nearly everyone recognizes:

Amazon's retargeted ads

Almost as soon as you browse a product on Amazon, Amazon ads start showing up on Facebook and Google’s ad network. This helps them in two ways: It encourages users to resume their purchase, and it creates a lasting impression that Amazon, as a brand, gets them and knows what they want.   

9. Create lead magnets based on user’s activity

This tactic is downright simple. Instead of asking your users and readers to subscribe to your generic newsletter, give them an incentive to connect by showing them that you understand what they value.

For example: If you’re an online store selling cars, and someone is checking out a BMW 3-Series, you’d want at least to get their name, email address and phone number, so you can reach out to them if they don’t purchase (which, for big ticket items is most of the time).

This is why lead magnets play such a crucial role in the marketing and sales process. A generic “sign up for our newsletter” lead magnet is not likely to entice as many users as one that is more specific and personalized. “Get updates on new 3-Series offers and other discounts.” is targeted to that user and specific enough to convey real value.

You can experiment with different styles, wording, locations and triggers to optimize your lead gen forms for maximum conversion.

10. Deliver messages at the right time

Ever wondered when the best time is to send an email or push notification? There are all kinds of stats on optimal send times for different channel, but the reality is that the optimal send time varies dramatically for every person and across every channel that they engage with.

A solid marketing automation platform will do the legwork for you, automatically delivering messages at the individual recipient’s preferred time for that channel. This little detail is massively important: Simply sending emails or mobile push notifications at the right time can give you as much as a 60% lift in engagement rates.

Here is a post that talks in greater depth about Send time optimization for Messaging.

11. Identify important product categories with user segmentation

Your marketing platform is a very powerful tool. It notices all sort of user behavior and can fetch you a lot of important user data. One such piece of information is identifying which product categories that make the most money for you.

Identifying this one bucket of content will allow you to dramatically streamline your marketing strategy by focusing creative and campaign efforts on products you know sell like hot cakes on your site or app.

You can now easily group products together and group new users into various product buckets based on their similarity to existing “smart segments” in your user database. This simple step moves users one step further down the funnel before you even reach out to them, resulting in shorter conversion and sales cycles.

Wrap Up

Automation services and platforms are continuing to evolve even as you read this. Intense competition in the space is yielding big benefits for customers, but it’s also making partner selection more challenging. It’s essential that you remember that ANY marketing automation platform is better than none, but that they are not created equal. Look for partners that are going beyond the basics and leveraging technology like AI and machine learning because those are the partners that will enable you to outcompete your competition, not just your last month’s metrics.

Thanks to Jeff Bullas for the inspiration.



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