There’s no doubt that email marketing is here to stay: research has found that customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human by 2020. Marketing automation software is, on one hand, a marketer’s greatest ally when it comes to email marketing but on the other, it can be their biggest nightmare. Marketing email lists can naturally deteriorate by up to 25% per year, having a significant impact on effective communications. But with the right tools at their fingertips, marketers can not only ensure contacts remain current but that fresh ones are also gathered.

Good data equals good foundations

Whether B2B or B2C, and whatever the size of your business, the key to effective email marketing is constant dialogue with your customers – and this can only be achieved if you have the most current visitor data available, because this will enable you to achieve good conversions and a positive ROI on any campaign you carry out.

Here’s how two technology tools, marketing automation software and survey forms, can work together to ensure your communications are always at their most effective.

Automation for personalised, targeted communications

Most marketing automation solutions are a marketer’s dream when it comes to customer engagement, thanks to their real-time personalisation and rich management features. As prospects engage with your marketing campaigns, the software will score them based on demographic and behavioural criteria specific to your business. Intuitive features such as visual performance reports for marketing campaigns enable marketers to stay in control of their performance at all times, and automated follow-up messages ensure you never lose sight of a lead.

Email automation is a breeze because a marketing solution can personalise lists with filtering based on various criteria, ensuring that emails are sent precisely to your target audience. But that, of course, requires good lists with accurate and up-to-date contact details: rich data helps better segmentation.

But what’s the best way to gather this data? What if you, as a marketer, could stay close to your community as well as gathering data from prospects on any email campaign? And at the same time, keep an open dialogue with customers and grow email lists with fresh leads? That would solve a number of common marketing challenges – and this is where is where smart surveys come in.

Smart surveys for data collection and engagement

Smart is the key word here: because these surveys are both data collection tools and engagement tools, while also behaving dynamically naturally when the visitor fills them in, offering opt-in, opt-out and complex data collection. Surveys with conditional logic ensure intelligent behaviour, with survey questions being shown or hidden depending on the user’s selections, along with custom notifications in the form of direct email alerts which are sent straight to the appropriate team member.

Building custom surveys to gain insight and add prospects to their marketing database enables marketers to not only grow their reach but also convert traffic into leads. Online forms and surveys can be placed anywhere: on a website or blog, in email messages, on social media, on the sidebar of a webpage, or on landing pages. They collect leads which can then be imported into marketing software, continuously and in real-time.

The right tools

There are a number of tools on the market that offer easy-to-use form builders integrated into marketing platforms. Look for those that are easy to use, which work directly in the browser so there is no download or install required and which offer customer support to help bring you up to speed quickly and painlessly. Whatever solution you opt for, you should also ensure that it will enable you to interact with visitors in a user-friendly way, with auto-responders, “thank you” messages and branded surveys or forms.

Take a look at 123FormBuilder for Marketo which integrates our form-building capabilities into Marketo. You can use it to build any survey (or form) and then synchronise it with the Marketo lists in order to import your new contacts there. You can define how you want to manage those contacts: either subscribe a new lead, or unsubscribe one from your existing list, depending on what the aim of your form is. The contacts you import via your forms or surveys can also be used in building Smart Lists in Marketo later.

The power of two

Bringing together online forms with marketing automation platforms combines the power of immediate data gathering of quantitative or qualitative research with powerful marketing administration software. Users can build forms and surveys, share them where needed and collect data, all inside their marketing platform. The data can be used for email campaigns, market research or making informed marketing decisions. From knowing the referral of each visitor who submitted the form or survey to getting custom reports, everything is designed to be user-friendly and highly accessible.

In this way, you will have a completely holistic and continuously updated database of contacts. Bringing together surveys and marketing platforms ensures that contacts not only remain current but that fresh ones are also gathered, and brings with it the added benefit of engaging customers and prospects via a well-placed survey.

By integrating two powerful services – forms and marketing platforms – you can save time, keep everything together, secure leads and allow marketers to instantly target campaigns based on the results.

Laura Moisei

Laura Moisei


Laura Moisei, Marketing Manager, 123ContactForm