As a busy senior living community marketer, you know that the best marketing strategy is only as effective as your team’s ability to deliver its components. Incorporating automation can save your team time, increase conversions, and maximize your marketing budget.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is when a marketing professional uses digital tools to complete campaign steps automatically. Usually, these are the prompts that guide your prospective residents through their new move-in journey.
Technological advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data have made automation possible for most marketing campaigns in the last several years. Developers are building intuitive, practical tools that reduce the tedious, repetitive steps marketers take to complete basic promotional functions. This leaves you and your team with more time to focus on strategy, urgent asks, and new opportunities.
Automation isn’t a new concept. Consider the contact form on your website. After a new resident lead completes the form, a response email is automatically sent to thank them and encourage them to take the new step on their new move-in journey. That’s an example of old-school marketing automation, and it’s just the beginning.
What Functions Can I Automate?
Between email campaigns, TV spots, social media accounts, and blog articles, you’re juggling quite a bit. But what if maintaining everything was easier? What if you didn’t have to run to your phone every time you hear the ding of a message from a new resident lead?
Marketing automation offers almost endless possibilities to automate your digital marketing. Here are a few examples of different marketing automation techniques to consider.
Email was probably the first digital marketing tool to benefit from automation, but that doesn’t make it antiquated! On the contrary, email automation has come a long way in the last 20 years. And your campaign’s success depends on the insights and assistance these advances offer.
In addition to automated drip campaigns and sales funnels, most email automation tools send adaptive auto-responses with custom welcome sequences, customer service responders, and customer service confirmations. Some email marketing applications also help marketing teams quickly embed custom forms on landing pages. And just about every tool provides insightful reporting to inform future campaigns.
As a side note, if you aren’t using email to promote your senior living community, you should be. Studies show that 95% of baby boomers actively use email, and email campaigns will help you capture a large portion of your audience.1
Similarly, 92% of seniors own a cell phone and most of them text. Unlike email, which has a 20% open rate, recipients read text messages 98% of the time.2,3,4 What an opportunity! But who has time to text all their leads individually? No one.
Automating your text marketing connects you with a completely different portion of your new resident leads. This is important because 57% of baby boomers say they have a favorable view of a company that texts them.4
Marketing automation tools help with nearly every aspect of social media management. And if you didn’t already know, almost half of all seniors use at least one social media site.2
There are several tools for automatically responding to comments, direct messages, and customer service queries. But make sure to balance automation with personalized, considered responses and posts. Your presence on social media platforms is a personal connection that needs an appropriate degree of human management, no matter how great your automation.
What About Personalization?
Here’s where we address that personal connection. You know the power of personalization.7 Based on data from Salesforce, 97% of marketers experience lift across the board after incorporating personalization.
And now you know the power of automation. Combine them, and you might just be unstoppable.
In the past, you may have dismissed automation as a bad fit. Probably because marketing automation seems sterile—missing the vital personal connection that stems from real interactions. For senior living communities, establishing that personal connection quickly is vital to conversion.
But automation can be personalized for new resident leads. At the simplest level, use their name whenever possible. For more complex personalization, gather data and use that data to continually refine your market segmentation and targeted messaging. Interactive content, like quizzes, surveys, or videos, collect information that can be used to personalize future automations with the new resident lead.
Of course, the key to personal connection in automation is knowing when to insert the human touch. Automation can take you far, but not all the way. Set up your automations to gently nudge the potential resident toward requesting or making a call to your sales team.
Interested in incorporating automation into your digital marketing strategy? Dreamscape can help. Contact us at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session and learn more about the different marketing automation tools you can use to maximize your budget and drive more conversions.