1. You’re sending email blasts rather than engaging in customer dialogue. Customers are savvy. They don’t want to be blatantly marketed to, and they are getting better and better at screening out mass emails. However, customers are willing to engage with relevant content, and they’re willing to build relationships with companies that they like, who approach them in the right way. In order to engage in a relevant customer dialogue, you need what we call “multi-step drip campaigns” to nurture your relationships with customers patiently, over time, and move them through their purchase journey.
The rst step in making your email blasts engaging is to map out work ows, but it’s important to note that the work ows must be adaptable — never static. You should always adjust your email campaigns to the responses and behaviors of your prospective customers. This is where marketing automation comes in. Without it, you are limited to “batch and blast” email campaigns that are based on your own timetable — not the buyers’. You’re decreasing your ability to get relevant content to your customers on time.

2. You’re being inef cient by wasting time on manual campaigns.
Consider ShipServ, the world’s leading marine marketplace. Before they started using marketing automation, they had a set of marketing tools, but were ineffective when it came to nurturing customer relationships. They could see the open rate on an email campaign, but they had no way to take the next step and respond to these stats in an automated way. As a result, they were constantly analyzing data manually, creating lists and setting calendar notices in order to simulate a personalized marketing experience for each customer. Needless to say, this dif cult and cumbersome task limited their ability to scale their business. Instead of being able to clone and individually tweak similar campaigns, they were stuck building fresh campaigns from scratch each time — a huge time-suck.

3. Your email marketing exists
in a silo. Email is divorced from your other customer interaction channels. It would be awkward to walk up to a customer in person and start a conversation without referencing the conversation where you left off last time you talked. Yet that is exactly what happens with most marketing emails. In addition, email marketing platforms are generally divorced from web site pages.
A customer who clicks through to your company’s web site after receiving an email campaign becomes lost. You’re leaking opportunity because your email marketing is unrelated to other marketing.

4. Your segmentation and targeting are subpar. This is arguably the most important of the seven signs. The ability to precisely micro-segment your database and target your list of leads and contacts is a crucial part of your marketing campaign. An old (and still valid) rule of thumb is that 50% of your success in a campaign comes from how well and how speci cally you target your list. The more you target, the more relevant your message, the better your response rates… and your economics.
Good targeting today means both demographic and rmographic lters— in other words, who the person is, and if necessary what company the person
works for. In addition, behavioral lters— which web sites customers visit, what keywords they click on, what they say on social networks—are key metrics. If your email exists in a silo, you’re missing out on the ability to target the right people in the right way based on their behaviors.
Jupiter (now part of Forrester) did a study a few years ago and found that companies who target their emails based on behavior have up to a 350% increase in open rates and a 50% increase in conversions. That’s a lot.
It’s also important to know where your buyer is in their buying cycle. Are they an early-stage prospect? An active lead? An engaged customer? Without a way to segment your customers according to where they are in the buying cycle, you can’t send the right message at the
right time.

5. You have “trigger insensitivity” problems. Triggers are the ability to listen and respond in real-time with a one-to-one response that goes directly to the customer displaying a particular behavior. Real-time triggers can include:
• When a customer visits a web page
• When a customer lls out a form
• When a customer’s lead score changes
• When an opportunity is updated in the CRM system
• When an activity is logged
When any of these activities occurs, marketing automation can trigger an email to that customer. It’s relevant and timely. And timeliness is everything
with marketing.
According to research done at MIT recently, the difference between following up to a customer hand-raise in 30 minutes versus 5 minutes means the difference between a 100 exchange in the contact rate and a 21 exchange in the likelihood of actually qualifying that lead.

6. You can’t tell if your email is driving pipeline or revenue. Email platforms can tell you about open rates and click-through rates, but what you really need to nd out is which activities are leading to actual revenue. If you can’t make this connection, you can’t determine marketing ROI.

7. You’ve got a “sad Sales team.”
They don’t know which leads are good or who to follow up with, and they can’t send their own marketing emails. When you don’t have Marketing and Sales working closely together, Sales becomes frustrated and sees less value in Marketing. Sales and Marketing must be closely aligned for success.