Plan for desired behaviour with marketing automation

How to plan marketing automation campaigns for desired behaviour

Once upon a time, a business got brilliant sign-up rates for their lead magnets. 

But, something odd was happening in the business kingdom…

Despite signing up for the lead magnets, only 60% of them open the first email after sign-up. 

So, what is happening to the other 40%?

There is no denying that human behaviour is illogical — the only thing we can predict with absolute certainty is that humans are fickle and illogical. 

So, how are you supposed to use marketing to predict behaviour if it changes?

Luckily, once you accept this illogical conundrum, you can account for that and adjust your approach accordingly. This is important, as many businesses view behaviour as something to be observed and responded to reactively. 

But marketing automation allows you to proactively plan and enable the behaviour you wish to see from your prospects. You must decide what behaviour you want to see and design campaigns to achieve that. 

This blog explores how to proactively build campaigns around the behaviour you want to see and how to do this effectively.

Figure out the behaviour you want to see…

Firstly you need to figure out what type of behaviour you want to see from your potential customers. 

How will you get there if you don’t know what you want to achieve?

For most businesses, the behaviour they want to see is something like this:

  • Reading a particular blog

  • Download a lead magnets

  • Sign-up to newsletter

  • Click-through an email

  • Fill in the contact form


From here, you can reverse-engineer the behaviour you want to see proactively rather than merely hoping. 

How - using marketing automation

Using marketing automation to plan for desired behaviour

Sure, you could plan for desired behaviour and then manually implement it all - but where is the fun in that? 

Marketing automation is what we are all about, and in this case, it allows us to deliver the right content at the right time in the awareness stages - allowing us to push prospects through the buyer journey. 

If you want to catch up more on awareness stages before going further, we recommend you read this - you will need to be clued up. 

Let’s go back to that initial problem we faced - you’ve got a lead magnet that is performing well - but only 60% of people are opening the initial email post-sign-up. 

And because of this (and a few other things), most businesses stop nurturing once the lead magnet has been downloaded. They think it’s the end game, and their job is done. 

Big mistake! Big… HUGE

The key is to educate your leads to move them along the awareness journey. Then, give them the next thing they need to move them closer to purchase.

Implementing our ARMI methodology to plan for behaviour

We use our awesome ARMI methodology to plan for behaviour. It’s our winning strategy for marketing automation that gets our customers awesome results. 

As a very brief run down, the methodology is as follows - Assessment, Recommendation, Machination and Implementation.

  • Assessment
  • Recommendation
  • Machination
  • Implementation


Assessment is all about information. Knowing where you are and making sure you’ve got all the data. Assessing your position.

The recommendation is all about getting strategic - doing any research, making suggestions for improvement etc.

Machination is all about the PLAN. It’s about getting into the detail and figuring out how to execute for optimum success.

And then implementation is all about getting shit done. Sticking to the plan you set.

Because next, you’re going to assess your efforts, recommend improvements, plan for execution and so on in a never-ending cycle of awesome.

That’s a whole other conversation to have. But I mention this because it’s in Machination that we plan for specific behaviour.

Knowing your prospects will behave batshit crazy help - because you can put something we call “buckets” in place.

“Good marketing affects behaviour towards a specific outcome.”

That’s probably my favourite self-quote - you can quote me on that.

And that’s exactly what the buckets are for.

Most marketing is built in a very linear fashion. I want the prospect to move from A to B, then to C, and then we’re terribly upset when the prospects come along and mess everything up. 

Good marketing takes that weirdness into consideration.

So here’s how you do that.

A real-life example of ARMI in action

First, you wanna build a flow chart.

Here's our own Customer Journey flowchart in all its glory...

Marketing Automation Customer Journey Mapping B2B B2C

Yes, I’m a total flow chart freak, but it’s for good reason. Only once you’ve mapped your entire process out can you start to find the gaps, holes, and areas in which your prospects will go AWOL.

You don’t have to get all fancy with it; a piece of paper will do.

Once you’ve done that, go back and look for gaps and holes.

Holes are the parts of your flowchart that people either can’t progress past or leak out of. These are the points where their behaviour falls into the void.

And this is where your buckets come in and save the day. Buckets are the things you put in place to capture the leaks…

You’re looking for areas where you have failed to plan for “if this, then that”.

It’s all about planning for what happens when people don’t do what you want them to.

Fancy getting some Ninja know-how when mapping a customer journey? Hit download to get a guide!

What happens if a marketing automation campaign doesn’t result in your desired behaviour?

The ideal scenario…

You get a lead, and they move smoothly through the awareness journey and buy something from you. 

But let’s face it…it doesn’t always happen this way. Especially for B2B, it often takes months (if not years) to move from marketing-qualified to sales qualified. 

That’s where our “if this, then that...” planning comes into play. 

It’s all based on certain behaviours triggering conditional statements and putting place sequences that plan for desired behaviour, including contingencies. 

To help, you’re looking for two things here:

  • Positive actions
  • Negative actions


Positive actions are where they haven’t quite done the thing you wanted to - so they’re not 100% committed - but they’re showing you with their behaviour that they are interested.

Negative actions are the absence of behaviour. This is where they haven’t done anything, and they’re showing you with their behaviour that something isn’t right. Either they’re not interested, or if something else is happening in their lives, they’re not interested enough.

What is positive behaviour in marketing?

So let’s look at an example of positive behaviour - this could be clicking through to the sales page when you send out an offer but not buying. 

They were interested enough to take an action - but they’re not committed - don’t ignore that -  this is your opportunity to help them make a choice. 

Help them.

What is negative behaviour in marketing?

And for negative behaviour - let’s say they get to the end of a campaign and haven’t done what you want them to. 

Why? 

Is it because they are not interested in your offer? 

It’s your chance to engage them with something else entirely.

So before you do stuff, you’re looking at the process and accounting for behaviour. And that’s where awesome marketing comes from.

What tactics can you put in place to optimise your marketing?

So, things don’t go to plan! 

Your prospects have exhibited negative behaviour, and you want to know what to do to help engage them and move them towards purchase. 

You can do a few things to catch prospects who have yet to convert from MQL to SQL. 

  • Retargeting
  • Long term nurture
  • Bring sales into the loop


1. Retargeting

According to Google, you can sell 50% more with a good retargeting strategy. 

How do you do this with marketing automation?

It all comes back to those awareness stages we told you to go and read about. 

If a prospect is early in the awareness stages and doesn’t know what solution they want, retargeting might be unsuccessful. 

Later on in the awareness stages (i.e. most aware), you can use retargeting to build on existing relationships and improve the chances of conversion. 

2. Long-term nurture sequence

Did you know that 96% of visitors who land on your website arent’ yet ready to buy from you? 

And yet we know that companies who nurture generate 50% more leads at 33% lower cost. 

If your leads are not yet ready to buy, then you should move them into a long-term nurture sequence, so they don’t fall through the cracks. 

Long-term nurture sequences are essential for B2B companies with a long sales process and allow you to keep in touch with customers in a meaningful way.

3. Bring sales in to help close

There is nothing more off-putting than getting a call from sales too early in the awareness stage. 

However, sometimes (just sometimes), it might be appropriate to get the sales team to reach out to prospects and overcome objections. Again, NOT in the early stages of awareness, but if you have leads engaging with your email marketing and not converting, it might be time to call sales.

Ready to plan your desired behaviour?

Most businesses react to behaviour - instead of proactively planning for behaviour and enabling it through marketing automation. 

Marketing automation not only allows you to plan for the desired behaviour, but it allows you to optimise and “catch” anyone that doesn’t do as you wish. 

Contact our ninja team if you need help implementing your marketing automation campaigns for desired behaviour. 

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