Here’s What Your 2017 Digital Marketing Strategy Needs to Include

You’re working on your 2017 digital marketing strategy.

Of course you are!

You want to kick-off the new year with a bang and make a huge impact right out of the gate.

There is one strategy that many SMBs, non-profits, and other companies are sorely missing from their 2017 plan—marketing automation.

Listen to this:

B2C marketing professionals leveraging automation are seeing conversion rates as high as 50 percent.

That’s because automated email messages average a 70.5 percent higher open rate and 152 percent higher click-through rates than “business as usual” type email messages.

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These statistics can’t be ignored, as your competitors may already be utilizing marketing automation to their advantage.

Quick tip: Subscribe to your competitors!

See what message they’re conveying and what tactics they’re using to grow their number of leads and sales.

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”  — Bill Gates

When it comes to marketing automation, you need to be on your A game.

Anything less than that and you can make a real mess of things.

Many companies view marketing automation as the magic trick that will automatically generate new leads and more revenue.

But without the correct strategy and tactics, you could be painfully mistaken about your expectations.

It’s like lying on your resume and getting a job you have no idea how to do.

Time to listen up:

Here are six reasons why you should consider marketing automation.

Leverage marketing automation as a tool

Chances are you’re already taking advantage of the automation tools provided by an email marketing software.

If not, it’s time to make the switch.

About 78 percent of marketers surveyed said automation directly increased their revenues, according to the marketing consultant firm The Lenskold Group.

Marketing automation software and platforms are constantly evolving.

These user-friendly tools allow marketers to gain efficiencies as well as invaluable data through tracking and analytics.

This type of insight enables you to quickly make adjustments in your strategy to improve open and click-through rates.

If you’re already implementing marketing automation campaign, talk to your service provider to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the features it has to offer.

Adapt to mobile

Part of email marketing’s renewed popularity can be attributed to mobile devices that enable people to open emails everywhere they go.

It’s no wonder.

According to the Pew Internet Project, 90 percent of American adults own a cell phone; 64 percent own a smartphone, and 42 percent own a tablet.

Some studies show that 72 percent of American adults are now using their mobile phones to send or receive emails at least once a week.

However, it’s not enough to say, “That’s nice,” and continue with your current strategy.

If you don’t have a responsive email design, one that automatically adjusts to accommodate the various sizes of cell phones and tablets, you could be discouraging your subscribers from opening or clicking through your messages.

Without a responsive design, it’s difficult to read your email.

As a result, your subscribers may be reluctant to open your emails in the future.

Take a minute to check your email messages on various devices.

If they don’t fit in the window, then your email design is not responsive. It’s time for an update.

Talk to your subscribers as individuals

If your emails are still being delivered as if you’re speaking to a room full of people — not as if you’re talking to an individual face-to-face, you definitely need to make a major adjustment.

With so many marketers vying for your subscribers’ attention, it’s important to personalize your messages to capture your targets’ particular interests.

This type of segmentation is not as difficult as it sounds, thanks to the data you can gain from analytics.

They can provide insights on click-through behavior, purchase interests, gender, age and geographical location —allowing you to tailor messages to various segmented audiences.

Dynamic content

Dynamic content, also frequently referred to as smart content or adaptive content, is one of the most powerful tools you can use as part of your marketing campaigns.

However, chances are you’re not leveraging it as much as you could.

As a simple reminder, dynamic content is content that actually “talks” to your subscribers — as if you really know them.

Think of it like this:

The more personal you are, the more likely you’ll convert subscribers into customers.


Now, let’s start at the beginning.

You’ve built your list of contacts, and you’ve found a surprising amount of information stored in your CRM.

Dynamic email content can deliver that personalized content based on the behaviors your system is collecting on your customers.

Here’s the crazy part:

You could do all of this manually — slaving away over spreadsheets and data.

But why would you?

This is where marketing automation shines.

Say you are promoting a podcast you just recorded.

You could vary your call-to-actions (CTAs) depending on the role of the recipient.

Another example would be an email with a special discount that is only sent to people with a specific purchase history.

Segmentation along with differentiation makes dynamic content perform at much higher rates.

In fact, this type of segmentation has led to higher open rates among 39 percent of marketers and lower unsubscribe rates among 34 percent of marketers.

Take the time to explore and tailor different CTAs, headlines, and email messages based on all those great pieces of data you’re collecting on your subscribers.

Then put automation to work.

All right, on to drips:

Drip campaigns

No matter where your customers are in their relationship with you, a series of timely sent emails can bring about the engagement and results you want.

Write this down:

Drip campaigns can be especially relevant for businesses with long sales cycles, helping your team stay in contact with prospects as well as providing multiple touch points to close the sale.  

Also known as drip marketing, drip campaigns also sometimes are thrown under the big umbrella of marketing automation.

But the bottom line is that they’re automated to be delivered based on a schedule.


Drip campaigns can be used in almost every industry for engaging, nurturing, and building a community around your company.

Not only are they easy to get going, with automation, drip campaigns can run efficiently without you constantly monitoring them.

Basically, drip campaigns do the hard work for you.

However, it’s important to measure engagement with your campaign.

And here’s why:

The key is establishing signals that will allow you to know when the prospect is ready for more direct contact.

Depending upon the industry and the prospects’ readiness to take the next step, it could be after just two or three messages or as many as 15 to 20.

Automating lead scoring by behavior during your drip campaigns can help you know when this perfect stopping point will be.

Longer campaigns will keep your audience engaged, and continue to provide you with information for further segmentation.

Nurture campaigns

Any discussions about nurturing campaigns should include conversations about building relationships.

Think of it like this:

If you were just getting to know someone, you wouldn’t immediately ask them for any type of commitment, such as, say, ‘Can you spare $300?”

Well, in the same way, you should not expect to approach a prospect about making an investment in your product or service right away. 

Take time getting to know your customers, and what they want to hear about before trying to sell them your product or service.

Just as dynamic email content should change depending on who you are sending to, a nurture campaign will segment your audience based on their interaction with your emails.

But here’s the key:

Automating the segmentation based on their behavior so you can learn how to nurture them along the sales funnel.


When implemented correctly, this can help to generate more leads at a much lower cost than using the broad approach normal email campaigns take.

A nurturing campaign can be particularly good for leads who are on the fence about you or your product.

3 mistakes that could sabotage your digital marketing strategy

When developing your marketing strategy, it’s likely you applied best practices to ensure that you got it right — covering all the bases to ensure that you have a multi-faceted plan that will help you grow your business and increase your brand awareness.

You developed activities, metrics, personas, and targeted your team to execute the plan.

Yet, just hitting all those points doesn’t necessarily spell success.

You must avoid the common pitfalls that could sabotage your efforts to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that is ideally tailored to your company.

Here are 3 common digital marketing strategy mistakes to steer clear of:

  • Creating a project in a vacuum. It’s easy to keep departments and assignments siloed … isolated. Don’t make the mistake of limiting input to the marketing department. Ask numerous employees in various departments to review the ideas and provide candid feedback. And, at all costs, avoid the yes-man who will go along with whatever you propose.
  • Failing to adequately diversify. Keeping too narrow of a focus, no matter how robust the efforts are, can lead to weaknesses in your marketing plan. True, there are seemingly endless ways to get your brand and your message across … at times, it seems too complicated. Invest in tools that will help you effectively manage various platforms, tactics, and strategies.
  • Not regularly updating your strategy. Things change. And they change fast, especially in today’s tech-driven society. It’s important to constantly educate yourself on what’s going on in your industry and in marketing; it’s the best way to keep up-to-date on the best methods to target your audience as well. And, of course, it’s not enough to just be aware of those strategies. Equally important is testing the effectiveness of your current messaging and tactics. Use those reviews to regularly adapt.

Collaboration, planning, self-evaluation, diversification, testing, and revision are all essential tactics for the longevity of marketers. Make sure that you’re including them as part of your strategy.

So what did we learn?

Marketing automation is the current craze in the marketing world.

And rightly so.

It is an incredibly powerful tool that is simple to implement.

It can efficiently increase the number of quality leads for your sales department, and help with revenue growth.  

When used correctly, marketing automation is a fantastic tool.

It allows small businesses to run complex campaigns efficiently and successfully.

It also can allow larger companies to connect and create communities with their customers in a personalized way — a proposition that would be time-consuming and challenging otherwise.

For more than 16 years, Delivra has been in the business of helping companies with their digital marketing strategies.

If you want to see how we’re helping hundreds of companies get the most out of their marketing automation campaigns, check out our 6-minute overview video.

If you’re not experiencing the results you’d hope for, we can get your 2017 digital marketing strategy on the road to better campaigns that speaks to your audience.


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