10 Marketing Automation Hacks All Businesses Should Be Using With a bit of creative problem-solving, you can come up with several techniques to boost your company's attention, acquisition, activation and retention rates.

By Aaron Agius

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Companies such as Dropbox, Airbnb and countless others have used growth hacking to rapidly increase their acquisition rate. As a result, it's no wonder that the term growth hacker has become nearly synonymous with digital marketing success.

In case you're unfamiliar with the term, Neil Patel makes it clear in his definitive guide:

"A growth hacker is not a replacement for a marketer. A growth hacker is not better than a marketer. A growth hacker is just different than a marketer. To use the most succinct definition from Sean's post, 'A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.'"

When it comes to marketing automation, entrepreneurs want growth. Why else would you spend hundreds of dollars on software each month? It's quite a hefty investment for most small-business owners.

That's why you must ensure you're getting the most out of your system.

Related: How Growth Hacking Is Redefining Marketing

I love the growth hacking culture. It's centered around people that think outside the box and use creative solutions to solve everyday problems. When you overlap the benefits of marketing automation and growth hacking, magic happens.

With a bit of creative problem-solving, you can come up with several marketing automation hacks to boost your company's attention, acquisition, activation and retention rates.

1. Create sequences of hyper-targeted content.

Essentially, you'll use the information you gather about leads to tailor your offer to their unique pain points, triggers and needs. Think about it as if you were having a one-on-one conversation with them.

As an example, here's how Wishpond segments its content automation:

Its team goes even deeper with the workflow:

2. Gain behavior insight with alerts.

It's difficult to figure out how to properly work the new leads you gain. That's why many of the top marketing automation software have a feature called Alerts. Some things that you can receive an email alert about include:
  • When a new lead is assigned to a rep.
  • Activity alerts when a lead lands on your site.
  • If a lead requests a demo or trial.
  • When a lead watches a video marketing piece on your site.
  • When leads attend webinars or virtual events.

A few well-placed alerts can hack your sales process and give your team an advantage.

3. Go viral with automated incentives.

If I asked 100 entrepreneurs the following question, I'd guess that all 100 of them would give me an emphatic yes:

"Would you like to reduce your cost per acquisition?"

It can happen through automated incentives. This kind of marketing automation hack is exactly what Dropbox used to increase signups by 60 percent.

4. Remove yourself from the sales cycle.

What if you could completely remove the element of human error from the sales process?

Certainly, that'd be an amazing feat. But while it's not 100 percent possible, you can use sales automation to systemize and automate the sales process. A few ideas include:

  • Setting up dynamic email workflows to interact with customers.
  • Automating your follow-up process.
  • Using intelligence to make a more efficient sales pitch.

5. Send a drip campaign after each purchase.

In the business-to-business marketing world, it's all about engagement and education. You want to keep people interested in your service long after they made the purchase. This continuous education cycle makes you a valuable partner.

Use post-purchase drip campaigns to keep the conversation going. It could be a simple weekly newsletter about industry developments or an in-depth course for getting the most out of their purchase from you.

Related: Why Every Company Needs a 'Hack, Deploy, Scale' Business Model

6. Automate content marketing with a user-generated system.

If you're invested in long-term user acquisition, invest in content marketing. And once you build up a large enough audience, consider hacking the process by experimenting with an automated user generated content system (UGC).

One of my favorite B2B examples comes from Moz with its YouMoz blog.

7. Restart the nurturing process with inactive leads.

You won't close every lead that makes it through the sales process. At any given time, a lead may become inactive due to lack of engagement or lost interest.

Teach salespeople to move inactive leads into a re-engagement campaign. These initiatives work to revitalize interest in your company's offerings through a new lead nurturing campaign. Sometimes it's the best -- and only -- way to get the sales process back on track.

8. Segment promotions based on purchase behavior.

Once you learn something about a lead, don't let that information gather dust. You want to use it to further customize your marketing message.

Some general segment ideas include:

  • Previous activity history
  • Personal information
  • Company information

Using this information, customize your promotions for each marketing segment. Then use dynamic marketing to grab attention on the website and through re-marketing.

9. Send a tweet for each Twitter card lead.

You can use a nimble tool such as Zapier to implement a number of marketing automation hacks. I love the idea of sending a tweet each time someone signs up on a Twitter Card.

The idea is simple -- each time someone fills out a lead card, send them a personalized tweet. It doesn't get any easier than that.

10. Know exactly when to call with real-time notifications.

This feeds into the alerts hack, but goes a bit deeper into the concept.

Let's say that a lead has landed on your site and visited the pricing page. A sales rep can receive a real-time alert that shares that information. Assuming that the lead has a few moments to talk, the sales rep can call at the exact time that a lead is looking at your pricing.

It's automated serendipity at its finest.

At the end of the day, it's all about revenue. Both marketing automation and growth hacking, including all of the tips above, make this happen.

How are you combining these disciplines to create a more effective marketing machine? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section below!

Wavy Line
Aaron Agius

Search, Content and Social Marketer

Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with IBM, Ford, LG, Unilever and many more of the world's largest and most recognized brands, to grow their revenue. See more from Agius at Louder Online.

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