Marketing automation with the Eisenhower matrix

The Eisenhower matrix is a smart and simple tool for prioritizing when you have lots on your mind. I use the matrix a lot for our clients, marketers, who want to apply automatic interactions with their relations.

eisenhower matrix -

To most marketers, marketing automation seems like something huge to implement.
Companies who have been able to automate certain parts of their marketing see results rising, often doubling. But, to be honest, in most companies the implementation dies of beauty, because it never gets to the implementation phase.

In my experience, the Eisenhower matrix shows where to begin. In this article we will explain how to determine interactions, rate the interactions, and finally, how you determine the first 5 interactions to automate, using the Eisenhower matrix.

Determining the interaction for the Eisenhower matrix

First, we need to decide what interactions we want to start off with. In this case we are talking about marketing automation. So, customer interactions that you can schedule based on one’s available personal data, behavior, interests or persona.

We start by making a list of possible interactions. A list of touch points could look like this:

  1. Weekly newsletter to all newsletter subscribers
  2. Birthday mailing
  3. Abandoned shop cart campaign
  4. Unconfirmed newsletter optins
  5. Retain customers who have not bought for a year
  6. Update profile request for relations who have not updated their data in 6 months
  7. Follow-up of all brochure downloads from the website with lead nurturing
  8. Cross-selling after a purchase
  9. Follow-up of bounces on your e-mail messages
  10. Customer satisfaction survey to all first time buyers
  11. Welcoming buyers to the ‘VIP’-club after their fifth purchase in a year
  12. etc…

A list like this could be infinitely long, but don’t worry to much about that. I would suggest spending no more than an hour with your team to make a list of current manual customer interactions and add a handful possible additions.

After all, the good thing about online marketing is that with real-time results you can test, expand and cancel a campaign at any time.

It’s not the planning of marketing campains, it’s the execution that makes the difference between marketing failure or success


Rating the interactions

Marketing automation is not only about loyalty and retention, but also about improving conversion rates. In this case, let’s say that we are looking for the interactions that we expect, beside improving loyalty and retention, also will generate conversion on short term.

Therefor,  we are going to add to the list of 10 interactions the level of difficulty, and the level of ROI on short term we expect from each interaction.

E.g. a birthday mailing is easy to implement, but the ROI on short term is reasonably low. Whereas upselling based on previous purchases is more difficult to implement, because you need to know for all of your products what products are related, but .the expected ROI on short term is pretty high.

Once you have added these two factors to all of your interactions, it’s time to make it all come together in the Eisenhower matrix.

The end result: the Eisenhower matrix

Based on the interactions and the addition of the factors Difficulty to implement and Expected ROI, our Eisehower matrix could look as follows:

As we have a focus on direct ROI, we will start in the top left corner, working our way to the right.

eisenhower matrix -

In this case there’s a few things we can do:

  1. Start with implementing the four interactions in the top row
  2. Brainstorm about other interactions that will improve direct conversion
  3. Add some loyalty / retention improving interactions to the project

In my experience, starting with 5 interactions for the first quarter is ideal. Then you have the time to implement, test, compare results of the various interactions. Based on these experiences, thanks to the Eisenhower matrix, finding the next step is easy enough.

About the author

Over the past few years Walter van der Scheer has been evangelizing marketing automation to advertising agencies, e-commerce companies and co-workers alike and has been building a team of determined sales professionals. He has made progress, but the road ahead is still very long. Walter shares his personal experiences and challenges along the road of changing the way that marketing is done, while trying to stick to the strategically chosen path. +

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