Marketing automation instances can be like dirty closets. That’s because when you’re focused on getting things out, organizing probably isn’t a high priority. But keeping things tidy means you and your team will be more effective. Here are my tips:
- First, never give responsibility for your marketing automation to just one person. Always have a marketing automation lead, a backup and a manager who are all trained to use your software. All three should have full admin rights to be able to delete users, issue new accounts and have full access for settings. This protects the company in case the person running your marketing automation is ill, on vacation or leaves.*
- The first thing to teach the backup team? How to turn something off. It’s guaranteed the one day that your lead is soaking up the sun on a beach, your product announcement is delayed and you need to turn off an email.
- Next, make rules on how you create, name and file programs to keep your instance easy to navigate. That can often start with naming conventions that have the date, the channel and the name of the offer so someone can quickly understand what each program is. For instance, “WBR-5-20-DGBestPractice” or “NEWSLTR-8-20-StateOfSurvey” is much more helpful than “May Webinar” or “August Newsletter”. If the software allows, file programs together by year and type of program or asset. If it doesn’t (HubSpot for instance), try using coordinating the names of emails, landing pages, etc. so you can pull all parts of the program together easily. Most important is to document it and stick to it.
- Do a digital cleanse. The first one’s a pain, but you’ll be grateful going forward. Remove out of date programs – particularly out of date PDF assets and offers so you don’t clone a program with last year’s report. Remove any tests and make sure everything fits your naming conventions. If your instance has been around a while, maybe eliminate anything that’s more than 2 years old unless it’s still active. Then review everything else to see what’s worth keeping. Once you’ve cleaned the first time, you’ll just need a quick tidy once a month or quarter going forward.
- Now, tidy your users. See who has access to your automation, how long it’s been since they’ve logged in and how they’re using it. Remove dormant users or offer support to get them what they need.
- Document how you use your automation. You don’t need to note every little thing, but at least the naming conventions for programs and how they are filed, any special rules for your campaigns (you like certain preview text for example) and draft a checklist for each type of program with things to review before they go live. Two vital things? How to turn something off and how to load a list, particularly if your marketing automation syncs with a CRM.
- Also document any other technology or plug ins that sync with your marketing automation. Have an up to date list of what they are, where they run, the cost, renewal date and how you use them. That way, if something glitches or if you decide you no longer need a certain tool, you know where to find it.
- And last, be sure you know when the software itself renews and the cost. This helps manage your budget, plus if you are thinking of moving to a new platform, you can plan ahead for the time it takes to complete a migration.
Struggling with this? Let me know!
*(Hint if you skip this step and you lose your only user, contact customer support. Often, they have a specialist who helps you get back in and will do some training.)