Open rates over 300%: How to build successful automated campaigns that cut through the noise

Questions to ask when planning a successful automated campaign

You don’t get a 303% open rate from a poorly planned campaign. No, that’s not a typo; I recently planned an extensive, highly personalised campaign for a university and that was the result from the first email sent. How, you ask? I was realistic with timing, and started planning months ahead of launch. I thoroughly researched my target audience and then planned a customer journey with engaging content that recipients would want to keep coming back to. It all started at the right time, with the first email sent at the point of interest. It’s actually quite simple if you break it down.

Steps to building a successful marketing automation campaign

1. Be realistic about your deadline

Know your deadline and cater for slip-ups. If you need content created by third parties, ensure that they know your deadline and can cater for it. Not possible? Utilise existing content instead of pushing back your launch date. Strong project management is crucial in planning timely campaigns, so work out your launch date and then work back from there. I also recommend using a content management tool, like Oracle Content Marketing, to engage with different teams contributing and make sure all content and copy is signed off on before it’s built in your marketing automation platform.

2. Understand your audience

Who are they? Where are they? What’s their priority? If they’re a prospect looking to bring their family from overseas while they complete their Masters, chances are they’re not looking at on-campus accommodation – so be relevant! Watch your wording – slang and relaxed conversation style may work with domestic undergraduates, however your typical ‘up-skiller’ in postgraduate or research is looking for a mature institution to expand their knowledge. Another thing, don’t use slang words if you’re speaking to international students. For example, ‘heaps’ isn’t a word used widely in other countries; save that for when you’re chucking heaps of snags on the barbie this arvo.

3. Plan a customer journey, not a quick sale

While it may be tempting to put all your key selling points in your first email, you’re not having a summer clearance and you need to build trust with your prospect before getting all salesy. Most of our clients’ products, higher education in this case, are considered purchases. This means the prospect is putting a lot of thought into their investment. You want to be with them on that journey with the right message, at the right time with peak personalisation to show them that they’re valued. Which brings me to my next point…

4. Consider consistency and timing when contacting leads

Talk to your prospect from the first point of contact, while they’re a hot lead! Don’t leave a list comprising website enquirers to ‘eventually’ send an email to and maybe even a second email when you ‘get around to it’. I have three words for you: automate, automate, automate. I’m continually surprised by the amount of manual work being done by marketing teams. A well-planned, automated nurture campaign will save you hours and subsequently increase your engagement.

Still not sure where to begin with your campaign planning? We can help. We start with facilitating a journey planning workshop and take it from there. Send us an enquiry if you’d like to collaborate on your next campaign.