Marketing automation has generated a lot of buzz in recent years, and for good reason. According to research:
49% of companies are currently using marketing automation, with more than half of B2B companies (55%) adopting the technology
Marketing automation drives a 15% increase in sales productivity
Marketers using automation software generate 2X the number of leads than those using blast email software, and are perceived by their peers to be 2X as effective at communicating
67% of B2B marketers say they see at least a 10% increase in sales opportunities through lead nurturing, with 15% seeing opportunities increase by 30% or more
In a previous post, we reviewed the basics of marketing automation – what it is, why it’s important, the type of tools and platforms that exist, and how to get started. In this article, we’re going to go a step further by breaking down our best practices for marketing automation. Whether you’re already set up with a marketing automation platform and want to improve your use of the tool, or you’re brand new to the concept and want to learn how it can benefit your growing business, read on to go deeper into marketing automation.
Our Top 6 Marketing Automation Best Practices
1. Follow-up emails
Put time back into your day by sending automatic follow-up emails to prospects or customers. You can do this by setting up automated workflows that are triggered depending on how a user engages with your content, website, email, etc. Here are some examples:
- Content Download: When someone clicks the “download” button in one of your emails or on your website, you can set up a rule that allows you to immediately send them an email with the downloaded piece of content.
- Contact Us Form: If someone fills out a contact form on your website, you can automatically send them a “thank you” email.
- Product Review: In e-commerce, you can send an automated follow-up asking the customer who made a purchase to review your product.
- Sales Pipeline: If a sales contact has been “ghosting” on a contract, you can send them an automated follow-up.
2. Segmentation lists
Organize your contacts into groups based on demographics or behaviors. Make sure the lists are distinct and create personas for each that outline who they are and what their motivations or interests might be. You can also create lists based on industry, geography, company size, or revenue. From here, you can create tailored messaging for each list with content that will resonate.
Let’s take things a step further. When it comes to segmenting your lists, a marketing automation platform serves two main purposes.
- The system organizes leads dynamically through lists. It continuously checks for certain fields (or tags) within the contact data, and adds contacts based on the respective information (or tags) in the system. Further, when a visitor fills out a form, the information they entered is scanned, enabling them to be sort immediately when they come in. It’s like a digital sorting hat via Harry Potter.
- Marketing automation also plays a role when creating emails. You can create dynamic email content that changes depending on the segment. Think geographics, for example. When sending an email to specific cities, you can program the word “, Happy New Year”, so that when the email goes out, the system automatically fills in location with the contact’s state.
3. Cart abandonment
Nearly 70 percent of online shoppers leave items in their cart without making a purchase. The bad news is that this is lost revenue for your business, but the good news is that typically when a customer enters your checkout flow, they are prompted to provide their email address before purchasing. This means there is an opportunity to combat cart abandonment through marketing automation emails. We recommend setting up three automated emails:
- A reminder email within 30 minutes after the cart is abandoned
- A second email 24 hours after your first follow-up that conveys a sense of urgency. Tell your customer that their cart will soon expire. You could also consider adding some sort of incentive (perhaps a discount code, if your business can accommodate this) to help encourage your customer to make the purchase.
4. B2B reactivation campaign (also called “Wake The Dead” Campaign)
Marketing automation is a great way to reactivate lost leads. Take a look at your data over the past 3-6 months and create a separate contact list of all closed-lost opportunities. Add these prospects to a drip campaign (a series of longer-lead emails to prospects) to re-nurture them and pique their interest by sending them content based on what they click in each email.
To get more specific, consider this example. Your prospects have already been through your sales process, so you’ve collected data on them (which is why it’s called a “reactivation” campaign). Take that data and build a drip campaign based on why you think they haven’t been converting. For example, perhaps the prospect was unable to justify the cost. Consider sending—or creating— content around how you can help save money or time, such as an incentive offer or a couple of case studies that demonstrate how similar companies have engaged with their brand. The goal is to get them to bite and remember who you are so the conversation will pick up again. It’s easier to convert a customer who has been at the bottom of your funnel once than to get a whole new prospect to convert from scratch.
5. Lead scoring
Lead scoring uses marketing automation to attribute points to a prospect based on how they interact with your content or product. For example, you can attribute points based on content downloads, form fill-outs on your website, product purchases, product page visits, and viewing store locations, among others. When a user reaches a certain threshold of points, notify your sales rep to contact the user via phone or email. An email notification from your automation platform will help drive action for your sales rep, increasing engagement and gathering information on important decision makers. For leads with a low score, you can set up an awareness campaign through email, social media, or Google paid search to drive lead scores over the threshold you’ve established.
6. Referral program
In a referral program, you offer incentives/rewards to current customers and, in exchange, they recommend your business to prospects in their network. According to research, 60 percent of companies with a referral process experience faster close rates, 59 percent report higher customer lifetime value, and 71 percent report higher conversion from contact to customer. At &Marketing, we are partnered with Warm-Up, a company that automates the referral process. They send emails to current clients, create personalized landing pages, and help determine a specific incentive’s impact on your ROI.
We’re also partnered with SharpSpring, a platform that has made marketing automation easier than ever. If you’re interested in learning more about the platform, what it offers, and how it would benefit your business, click the link below.
About the Author
About the Author: Marketing Manager Dexter Burgess takes the lead on implementing new tactics and promoting change through data-driven strategies. Dex works hard at client relations through consistent communication and positive feedback, never settling until the customer is understood and happy.
In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.
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