What if you could say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time (while you sleep)?
The future of communications is increasingly personalized. Segmentation, profiling, and pipelines are critical building blocks of any current e-comms strategy. But there’s a limit to how far you can tailor communication before managing it manually becomes unsustainable. As your list grows and more of your supporters find their way into your pipelines, you may find yourself needing a small army to oversee content delivery. At scale, it becomes impossible to manually deliver all the right messages to all the right people at all the right times.
Imagine if you could teach your e-comms system to do this for you... That’s the idea behind automated supporter journeys, also known as marketing automation.
Imagine not only tailoring the content of your communication—but also tailoring its timing to meet individual supporters’ needs. Then imagine in-built decision-making smarts that can guide each supporter down different pre-defined pathways, depending on their reactions to different content.
Automated supporter journeys could enable you to:
Automation takes the ‘hard labour’ out of your communications strategy so that you can focus more on being the ‘architect’. It does this by reducing dependency on large-scale singular ‘bursts’ and shifting focus to pre-mapped pathways that can nurture the entire supporter relationship.
Journey automation won’t replace time-sensitive broadcast communication; it compliments it by nurturing the supporter pipelines that help fuel your organization’s mission.
The most frequent mode of personalized communication is email. Many email broadcast systems enable you to create email series to meet this basic need. Holistic journey systems complete this picture by integrating other modes like SMS, social media, outbound phone calls, and postal items.
Think of ‘triggers’ as the ‘entry points’ to your automated journeys. Triggers pull supporters into journeys in three ways:
Trusting a computer to process a chain of sensitive communication touchpoints would be easy if every supporter reacted the same way to every step of every journey. But of course, they don’t. Keen supporters will convert after a single prompt. Others need more encouragement. Some will ignore your messages entirely.
A smart journey system should be able to adapt to individual supporter behavior.
By querying profile and activity data, automated decision-making can identify when to exit a journey or change course. For example, if a supporter fails to open a critical email, you might schedule for them to receive a follow-up chaser. Or, if someone signs up to be a monthly donor half-way through a monthly donor conversion journey, you’ll want to ensure they instantly stop receiving scheduled asks.
If you place email scheduling in the hands of a machine, you’d better teach it some manners, first. One of the biggest risks of journey automation is that some supporters will find their way into multiple journeys—or journeys with redundant or incompatible goals—and be sent a series of inappropriate messages that a human would never choose to schedule.
Automated systems need conflict management protocols to prevent scenarios like:
By defining email volume limits, assigning journey priorities, and conflict resolution settings, these traps can be avoided.
Was this tip useful?
Like this tip? Share it!