Lori Highby headshot for June's craft marketing event

Lori Highby, Keystone Click, shared the power of automation in marketing processes at AMA Madison’s Craft Marketing presentation on June 29th. In her presentation, Lori showed attendees how automating marketing processes can streamline their digital marketing efforts for better results.

What’s the value of marketing automation? Marketing automation, Lori explained, is technology that automatically manages your marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns across multiple channels.

Automating your marketing processes not only streamlines them, but reduces human error, improves the overall customer experience, and gives you greater visibility into your customers’ behavior. Plus, it frees you from those repetitive, manual tasks that you used to dread. The bottom line: Marketing automation delivers invaluable productivity and efficiency gains.

During the presentation, Lori reviewed the following:

  • How to Master the Basics of Automation
  • How to Prioritize Automation Best Practices
  • How to Build Campaigns that Convert
  • Tools & Resources for Starters

Master the Basics of Marketing Automation

Get to Know Your Leads and Contacts

Marketing automation enables you to keep track of your leads and contacts, including their behaviors down to the last detail, from “was this email opened?” to “did they download a whitepaper?” Lori revealed that you can even investigate the behaviors of your ideal customer and track patterns using marketing automation.

List Segmentation

Lori emphasized the importance of segmenting your contacts into lists, as doing so allows you to be more strategic with your messaging from one audience to another. Sure, you can use manual lists to hand pick contacts one by one to build lists. But the beauty of automation is that you can easily segment your lists based on tracked audience behaviors.

Email List Scrubbing

The quality of your email lists is critical to automation success. By carefully scrubbing your lists, you can reduce marketing costs and spam complaints while increasing your open and click through rates.

How to Scrub Your Email List

Lori shared some tips for keeping your lists clean:

  • Check for hard and soft bounces
  • Send a re-engagement email
  • Review your most active lists first
  • Remove duplicates
  • Remove spammy addresses
  • Remove ‘role’ accounts: support@, info@, etc.
  • Fix typos
  • Consider using a third party service


Workflows are actions that occur on demand based on pre-specified triggers. You can build workflows based on the behavior of your established clients. For example, Lori shared that you can set up a workflow for customer newsletter signups that will track the customer’s behavior. This way, you can understand what led them to signing up, be it a social media post, a digital advertisement, or otherwise.

Marketing Automation Best Practices

Start Simple

Quality > Quantity. You’ve heard it time and time again, and it couldn’t be more relevant to segments. Simple is better to start. Lori advises that marketers keep segments as simple as possible. Starting with 2-3 segments is an excellent starting point. From here, as you become more acquainted with your automation tools, you can grow and evolve further to build up to your goals. If you try to automate everything at once and dive right in, it’ll likely be a confusing, frustrating experience, Lori warned.

Prioritizing the Best Leads

A great way to spot and prioritize your highest quality leads is through lead scoring, or behavioral scoring. This process involves scoring potential leads when they facilitate specified actions that may indicate an interest in what you have to offer. A higher score may indicate a hot lead, whereas a lower score may indicate a newer lead. With automation, you can ensure that leads within a certain score range end up on a specific list, allowing you to target them more accurately.

Building Campaigns that Convert

Lori offered tips on how to build campaigns with results:

Email Nurturing

  • This presents an excellent opportunity for you to leverage your lists.

Social Media Integration

  • Social media can help you widen your campaigns further.

Onboarding/Welcome Campaigns

  • Minimize buyer’s remorse by providing customers smooth, friendly introductions to your brand.
  • Improve customer satisfaction overall.

Tools and Resources for Automation Beginners

To help automation newcomers kickstart their automation journeys, Lori shared some handy tools and resources:


Mixmax enables gmail users to easily schedule meetings, send emails later, and utilize templates.


Buffer is a simple tool for social media scheduling. Plus, with its Chrome browser extension, adding articles to your queue is simple.


Calendly makes scheduling easy, featuring auto generated reminder emails.


Sendible allows you to queue your evergreen content to continue publishing it as many times as you want.

Many thanks to our presenter, Lori Highby of Keystone Click, Greg Mischio of Winbound, moderator and event sponsor, plus all our attendees and volunteers.



Kara Martin, Content Writer at Naviant, specializes in written B2B content, from case studies to blogs. She transforms complex technical information into compelling, data-driven content.

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