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How Marketing Automation Can Increase Customer Loyalty

How Marketing Automation Can Increase Customer Loyalty

Marketing automation has changed the way we connect with our customers. Through automation we implement follow-up messages to ask for feedback, send promotions, build on personal connection, and increase customer loyalty. I’m surprised at the amount of companies who don’t have an effective way to automate their marketing. The more you automate this process, the more effectively you can focus on the things that matter like customer service, creating great products, and building your brand. The process of marketing automation is something which should be implemented into your business, especially because it’s become a lot more affordable than in the past.

Today, we’ll be exploring some of the ways automating your marketing process can increase your customer loyalty.

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1. Retention After Purchase

One of the biggest issues I’ve seen in business is the neglect of customers after they have purchased products. Larger companies have an easier time following up with customers after a purchase because they have a dedicated team in charge of this task. However, smaller companies don’t have the resources to invest in a customer service team to follow-up with an email or phone call. Therefore, this process should be automated by implementing an email follow-up sequence to trigger after a customer makes a purchase online. Many email service providers have a complete solution in place that can integrate with your current business model. For example, the process could look something like this:

  • Customer completes purchase
  • Customer gets subscribed to a list
  • Customer goes through the initial feedback email
  • Customer is sent promotions based on their previous purchase
  • Customer makes another purchase.

Having this solution in place will keep the customer in the loop on new promotions and products furthermore increasing the likelihood of future purchases.

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2. Personalized Interactions

Marketing automation through emails has come a long way, and many interactions can now be tracked. For example, you’ll know when the email was sent, when it was opened, if it was replied to and when a link was clicked. You can also integrate Google Analytics to find out more about the customer interaction with your email message. By understanding what links the subscriber clicks, you can tweak your marketing efforts specifically for them creating a more personalized experience.

Agile CRM is one of the best email marketing tools providing a breakdown of the emails sent, new contacts, what links were clicks, and even what deals were purchased. You can then continue to segment the subscriber into more specific lists.

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    3. Advanced Segmentation

    By automating your marketing using the right software, you’ll be able to segregate based on their interactions and loyalty. Imagine having the ability to number your customers based on duration, then giving customers who have been with you a long-time VIP privileges. In essence, new customers should have a difference experienced based on different preferences compared to one which has been around for 5 years…right?

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    4. Understand Social Behaviors

    Social media has changed the way we interact online and connect with people. Think about how brands like Coke and Apple are using social media to run contests, promote new products and understand people’s buying habits. Someone who purchases a new computer will most likely post an update on their social profile giving other companies a chance to understand what type of products this individual respects.

    Some marketing automation tools understand the power of social media and have optimized their tools with social integration. These tools will connect their email with their social profiles to understand how they engage on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Once you understand their pattern, you can engage them with a more personalized experience by sending offers they resonate with more than others.

    Final Thoughts

    Marketing automation is a growing trend, especially since it’s becoming more affordable over the years. By having this system in place, you can automate tasks which otherwise would cost enormous time and money. If you do a quick search in Google, you’ll find a handful of tools all offering the features above. One company you should check out is agilecrm.com, because they are leading the development of marketing automation by offering features not found anywhere else.

    Featured photo credit: convertlab.com via convertlab.com

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    Rizvan Ullah

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    Last Updated on June 18, 2019

    5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

    5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

    It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

    The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

    With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

    5 Types of Leadership Styles

    I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

    The Democratic Style

    The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

    The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

      The Autocratic Style

      The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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      The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

      While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

        The Transformational Style

        Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

        Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

        Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

          The Transactional Style

          Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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          The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

          The Laissez-Faire Style

          The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

          In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

          Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

          You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

          Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

          The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

          Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

          I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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          In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

          What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

          Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

          1. Context Matters

          Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

          2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

          When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

          As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

          “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

          The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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          As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

          When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

          The Way Forward

          To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

          As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

          “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

          The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

          If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

          Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

          Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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