Despite shrinking budgets and resources, today’s marketing teams have the ability to maximize their efficiency, with a critical tool at their disposal: marketing automation. With it, marketers can create complex campaigns and engagements with their prospects over time, priming them for an eventual conversion or purchase.
85% of B2B marketers using marketing automation platforms feel that they’re not using them to their full potential.
Marketing automation is not new, but it’s now become a common tool for many marketing teams. For any team using a CMS with marketing automation capabilities “baked-in” I’d recommend the following three essentials to any strategy.
1. Roll Out The Welcome Wagon
Build a strong welcome campaign that is more than just a simple auto-responder email to a visitor who has filled out a form on your website. Welcome campaigns present a fantastic opportunity for marketers and brands to keep their business top-of-mind for those visitors who recently engaged with them.
Think of it this way: have you ever met a like-minded professional at a networking event, felt excited about making a new contact in your industry, and then not heard from them, only to see a random email from them eight months later, asking for your help in securing a job at your company?
You felt used, didn’t you?
Think of a welcome campaign as that contact in your industry who’s exceptionally good at networking and dialoguing. They:
- Send you an email a couple of days after meeting you
- Send you another email two weeks later with a whitepaper they found useful
- Call you a month after meeting you, mentioning an event in your city they thought you’d be interested in
- Invite you out for lunch or coffee six weeks after meeting you
Similarly, a proper welcome campaign takes advantage of the critical few weeks after your first point of contact to develop a relationship. Not only does the welcome campaign period provide you with something of value (i.e., an invite to a local event, or a knowledge resource to help you do your job better), it also provides the other with an adequate gauge of your interest. If you don’t respond to the first two emails, for example, it’s unlikely that you’ll get a lunch invitation.
Similarly, marketers can track the behavior of the recipients in their campaign, expediting those leads that demonstrate a high level of activity to their sales team. If you’re using a marketing automation software, or a CMS with MA features, these strings of emails can be automated and applied to segment your prospects based on what they’re interested in.
2. Lead Scoring
This is one of the best ways to help sales and marketing in prioritizing leads, allowing them to assign a “ranking” to every contact based on their behavior (i.e., pages viewed, email reads, etc.) and information.
With marketing automation, you can automatically set up rules that assign these scores, instead of having to manually go through each and every lead record in your database. These scores can help determine which leads are ready to be contacted by your sales team, and which ones require more time to “marinate.”
3. Create an Automated Contact Update Program
With marketing automation, you can schedule an email to go out every six months prompting your contacts to update their contact information and preferences. Not only does this relieve you of the time burdens of manual data cleansing, but it will also reduce your email bounce rates and improve your ability to segment your database and send effective campaigns.
Are there any other tips and tricks that you have for making the most of your marketing automation software? If you’re looking to learn more about the benefits of marketing automation, there are many books and videos online that can help with learning the ever-growing marketing strategy of automation.
Making A Case For Marketing Automation: Doing More With Less
If you’re involved in the sales or marketing process, you clearly understand the constant pressure of having to do more with less. I’m sure you’re tasked with having to increase sales and productivity with fewer resources and less time. Luckily, over these past few years, we’ve also had the further development of marketing automation to support our efforts.
The ever-advancing technology of marketing automation has the power to help increase leads, drive conversions, and ultimately generate more sales for your business. Furthermore, even the less advanced marketing automation platform is more than merely a support tool. For the more technologically advanced systems are actually changing the role in marketing by streamlining, or even eliminating, the more demanding day-to-day tasks in their workloads.
Automation in marketing has quickly become a critical component of today’s more successful marketing strategies. Marketing automation done right can boost sales productivity by 14.5% on average, and reduce marketing overhead by 12.2%. The continually growing number of marketing automation platforms and channels allows brands to more easily reach their customers than ever before, and as such, many brands are eager to implement cross-platform and omnichannel campaigns.
To gain the competitive edge over your niche by investing time into really researching real-time marketing automation platforms. Make a list of all the platforms that stick out to you and narrow down on those platforms that allow you to,
- Run all aspects of your marketing strategy with ease. Automation should handle everything from the first welcome notification your customers/leads get to more complex multi-step program across all channels which might include things like segmentation, social media chatbots, or integrating artificial intelligence in email marketing.
- Leverage high-quality design and create intelligent programs that take care of customer engagement so you can spend more time focusing on what you enjoy such as, strategy, content, and creative.