Do You Make These 5 Marketing Automation Mistakes?

Marketing automation has become a vital tool for businesses of every size. It can help you gain and sustain a competitive advantage. Speed up sales results. Plus, enable you to engage more contacts with personalized messages sent at the right time. So you can build good relationships.Yet not each marketing automation system is the same. In fact, very few have all the essential tools in one package of services. If so, that can cause you to integrate system parts from third parties that can cost you time and money, especially when things go wrong down the road.That is why it’s vital to first know what a full all-in-one marketing automation system is all about.Marketing automation is a server-based software that integrates different technologies.4 Automation Technologies Most Vital for Marketing CampaignsFirst, it includes a CRM that allows you to collect, store and use information about your contacts. To be able to segment your contacts by custom fields and tags, behavior – such as opening emails and clicking on links, plus purchases.Second, it includes an automated messaging system for emails, text, postcards and tasks. This allows you to send each message to contacts based on when they opted in, a date, behavior, purchase and more.Third, it has eCommerce functionality. It integrates order pages with a form and payment gateway for one-click purchases. Plus it can allow you to integrate with a shopping cart if you prefer. Most of all, it can automate processes based on successful or failed transactions, subscriptions, trial periods, payment plans, coupons and more.Fourth, it must have a campaign builder that enables you to take each contact on a personalized journey with measurable results. This allows you to create multiple campaigns for opt-in, sales, upsell, downsell and retention.A marketing automation system such as one by Ontraport can provide additional features. These include marketing tracking to help you see which ads, landing pages and emails are generating the most cost-effective results. Affiliate marketing and membership site to help you boost the number of customers and sales. Landing page and form builder to enable you to design professional looking sites in minutes. And a lead router and scoring system to help you and your sales team follow up leads and convert them into customers.Three key benefits of a marketing automation system are that you can customize it for your business. You can have multiple marketing campaigns at the same time that operate 24/7. Plus you can automate processes specific to contacts along their journey. But there are also marketing automation mistakes you can make along the way.Marketing Automation Mistake #1: Sending eMails to Contacts Who Did NOT Opt-in
Marketing automation involves permission based emails. That means you send emails to contacts who give you permission to send them information. You can get permission when each contact opt-in to your system. However, importing a list or manually adding contacts to your marketing automation system is a violation of SPAM rules. If you do this you can compromise the delivery of emails even to those whom give you permission.Marketing Automation Mistake #2: Not Maintaining a Database of Active Contacts
Even after you get a contact to opt-in, you must keep them active. That means, you must continually send them emails with relevant content to engage with at least once per week. Otherwise, they may forget you and not open the few emails you send. Over time, they can become less engaged, diminishing email delivery of your entire database. A re-engagement campaign is an effective method to get non-engaged contacts to interact with your emails again. You get these contacts to tell you if they’d like to remain on your list or opt-out. So you can maintain a consistent and clean contact database.Marketing Automation Mistake #3: Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
Marketing automation allows you to measure the results of your campaigns. This includes opt-ins, sales conversion, email open and click link rates, landing page visits, sales, ROI and more.However, focusing on the wrong metrics can cause you to misinterpret the true results. For example, you may have two campaigns where one has much higher open rates and lower click rates. Yet when you calculate click to open rates you can see an entirely different result. Before starting each campaign, it is vital to know the metric you seek to focus on to determine success.Marketing Automation Mistake #4: Not Split Testing Campaigns
All campaigns differ by the type and number of contacts, content and more. Split testing campaigns is the key to finding what works right. But the key to split testing is to test just one variable at a time. Such as a headline, price, offer, design or target audience. The campaign that wins is the new control. Then you can test other campaigns against the control.Marketing Automation Mistake #5: Not Having a Certified Consultant on Your Team
Marketing automation is both an art and a science. It requires a mix of technology know-how with direct response marketing expertise. Plus an objective mindset that is not biased toward the company or product. These are why it is best to have an independent consultant certified in the use of the marketing automation software on your team. To develop the strategy and build a custom automation system for your business. Plus, to train your team on using the system.

Cashing in on the Chinese Cash Cow and How Realtors Can Win Business ‘Made in China’

Growing Chinese interest in investing overseas was a top global business trend in 2014. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, the U.S. real estate market attracted $3.1 billion of capital from Chinese investors last year – an increase of more than 900% from just $264 million invested the year before.

The headline figure could exceed the $10 billion mark this year, although the reported numbers by themselves are a small fraction of the true number.

This phenomenal growth has been driven by two key drivers: First, the Chinese government is now actively encouraging outbound investment thanks to a new ‘go global’ policy introduced by them last year. Second, diminishing yields on domestic real estate investments are making international ones seem more attractive.

Chinese investment hotspots at this time include New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Memphis, San Diego, and Detroit – where investors have been busy snapping up vast swathes of distressed industrial real estate.

But it’s not just Chinese institutions that are investing: as all those cherished only children reach maturity, their parents want them to have the best education that money can buy. Since the United States remains home to the best Universities in the world, so it therefore comes as no surprise that Chinese parents are looking to acquire property in which their offspring can live whilst studying.

So, the opportunities are clear. But how can you start reaching out to this colossal growing market? Given the significant cultural and linguistical differences, this is no easy task. But, hey, we all now know that there’s no such thing as easy money anymore, right?

Well, due to the global architecture of the internet, creating a Chinese language section of your website is probably a good place to start. For this, it is best to engage in the services of a native since automation tools like Google translate usually do more harm than good.

Next, you should ensure that any inbound inquiries are dealt with in the prospect’s native language. Whilst hiring a Mandarin or Cantonese speaker ‘in house’ is an option, it also poses a risk: once trained, your intern might just one day decide to acquire their own realtor’s licence and compete against you.

To mitigate this risk, it can be more effective, as well as cost effective, to engage in the services of a ‘virtual assistant’ located in China itself. He or she can then take inbound calls on your behalf, make outbound ones, receive and send emails, source data, and other administrative tasks. Two birds, one stone: Not only will your new assistant will act as your gateway to China, they can also help in a back-office capacity – leaving you free to get out there and grow your business.

Irrespective of whether you elect to go down the insourcing route or the outsourcing one, make sure that Chinese prospects and customers can reach you by calling a regular Chinese telephone number. Making an international call still remains a psychological block for many people, not only in China, but also in the USA and elsewhere too.

Once you have your Chinese contact infrastructure in place, you can begin the herculean process of reaching out to this massive market.

One way to do this might be to task your Chinese assistant with reaching out to realtors in China who might have clients interested in overseas property. Your listings could then appear on theirs. As with anywhere, identifying the good ones will take time.

Another strategy might be to start reaching out to potential customers directly. Like us, the Chinese are voracious consumers of social media. However, ramping-up your existing campaigns in an attempt to win more business from China is an exercise in futility since Facebook and Twitter have not gotten any traction there.

The good news is that agencies exist that will grab your existing social media content and check that it is compliant with Government guidelines, and then publish it across popular Chinese social media networks such as Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, RenRen and WeChat. This is a neat way of hopping over the almost mythical great Chinese firewall and being on the inside.

Of these, WeChat, has become defacto a standard way of communicating in China. An English version is available for free, and should be downloaded to your smartphone as part of your new armory of tools to help you win more business from China.

Whilst the Chinese might share our love affair with social media, a face-to-face meeting in Chinese culture holds perhaps even more significance than it does in ours. Any hard selling will be counterproductive. Whilst relationship building is important in any culture, it is of utmost importance in this one.

Bear in mind also that the Chinese are avid researchers and might end up knowing more about the property than you do. Be patient, and treat them with respect.

When it comes to setting pricing, bear in mind that the Chinese are a superstitious people. Try and avoid the number 4 if possible. Instead, be liberal with the number 8.

Prior to viewings, you should consider engaging in the services of a Feng Shui consultant who can advise of the best way to present property using the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing human existence with the environment.

This will be a slow burn. Do not expect results overnight. It’s all about relationship building. It will take time. China’s a tough nut to crack. But if you do crack it, he rewards can be truly enormous both financially and, given the esoteric propensity of the Chinese mind-set, possibly spiritually too.

It would seem that now is indeed the perfect time to start looking eastwards and reaching out to this enormous market.

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