Did you know, 79% of top-performing companies use marketing automation? If the word “automation” makes you cringe, we don’t blame you. After all, it sounds cold and robotic, as if it’s going to suck the living soul—and our jobs—out of us. Thankfully, in the marketing world, the potential for such tragedy doesn’t exist.
Though the content and messaging are automated, marketing automation is still guided by human connection. It’s centered on understanding your audience and tailoring messages to create a personalized experience, which can foster repeat customers. And better yet, it won’t make your business irrelevant; rather, marketing automation will only make you more effective and in demand.
Here at Big Leap, we are proud to offer marketing automation services as a Hubspot Gold Partner! Being a Hubspot Gold Partner means we know our stuff when it comes to inbound marketing. And with our Gold-level certification, we have access to even greater resources to help our clients stay ahead of the competition. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get you caught up with all the details on marketing automation, its benefits, and 4 tips for getting started today!
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation involves using software to automate, prioritize, and streamline:
- All marketing efforts of your business to turn promising leads into customers.
- Repetitive marketing activities to save you time for things that matter the most.
Though efficiency is a prominent driving force behind this strategy, marketing automation’s intention is to nurture leads and increase engagement and conversions. It’s about understanding your customers’ unique buying journey, so you can really speak with them. Simply put, marketing automation is rooted in human connection. You want each person to feel like an individual—not a faceless number floating in the online space.
Marketing automation is pretty broad. That’s why our marketing experts here at Big Leap put together three vital approaches that will give your campaign the focus it needs to gain a competitive edge.
- Segmentation – Marketing automation utilizes a segmentation strategy that allows you to personalize campaigns in a cost-effective manner. It involves streamlining and grouping your potential customers based on specific characteristics, so you can send unique messages to each group.
- Sales enablement – This involves providing the sales team with the resources to help them sell more effectively. To identify these resources, a CRM system combined with marketing automation will not only place all of your sales and marketing activities in one place, but you can foster customer relationships that will ultimately drive revenue.
- Email marketing – Sending out email marketing campaigns to segmented audiences is one of the most effective ways to drive leads and conversions. It entails crafting customized and valuable messages that are backed by data. And when these emails are automated, you can reach out to an even bigger audience while still providing hyper-relevant content.
6 Reasons You Need Marketing Automation
Customers are interacting with your company across different types of platforms/channels, so it’s crucial that you keep your fingers and toes dipped in all critical advantages. But we know it’s pretty tricky getting your work done when your extremities are occupied!
This is where marketing automation comes in handy. With a strong automation strategy, you can reap the full advantages of your software’s database capabilities for marketing and sales enablement. What do these benefits look like?
1. Saves Time & Money
Time is money, so you want to utilize your cash where it matters the most. Seventy-four percent of marketers have expressed that the biggest benefit of automation is saving time. And let’s be real, manually tracking each contact and sending catered messages to each is impossible.
With marketing automation, you can turn your contacts into loyal customers without having to spend long hours tracking and pulling your hair. Not to mention, it minimizes human error. By automating these tasks, you’ll have more time to brainstorm and prioritize compelling content projects that contacts/leads need.
2. Nurtures Leads
Want to reach out to the people you haven’t heard from in awhile? Or communicate with those who have shown consistent engagement and can become sales-qualified leads?
Marketing automation takes this stress off through segmentation. The software looks at your prospective customers’ contact information and engagement history to segment your lead list. This allows you to nurture them down the funnel by:
- Automating the flow of personalized messages via email, website content, and campaigns.
- Analyzing prospects’ responses/behaviors to messages and tweaking your approach in the next round of content accordingly.
For example, with email automation, you can track and collect data like open rates, responses, and even how well a certain subject line or layout worked. Not only does this provide you with real-time tracking, but also offers valuable insights to make data-driven decisions.
3. Boosts Customer Engagement
Seventy-seven percent of buyers want unique and targeted content while progressing through the sales funnel. By using a stage-based marketing approach, your marketing automation software can deliver specific content to people at the right time. For example, you can send incentive and rewards programs to visitors who have signed up for your newsletter or to your loyal customers who have hit the two-year mark.
Creating micro strategies for each stage builds consistency with your audience; and with consistency, you’ll have more awareness to predict and allocate future marketing spend.
4. Increases Conversions and Revenue
When Canadian multinational media conglomerate Thomson Reuters implemented marketing automation software, their lead conversion time dropped by 72% that brought an 175% overall increase in revenue. By making your sales process more data-driven and personalized, you reduce the time it takes for a potential lead to become a customer.
5. Improves Customer Retention
Customer relationships are key to retention, and it’s easier and cheaper (about five times less) to retain customers than it is finding new ones. Through automating lead nurturing activities, you can consistently fuel your existing relationships and maximize your ROI without increasing your output—and keep more customers..
6. Robust Sales and Marketing Partnership
Sales and marketing are two peas in a pod and, unfortunately, many companies fail to acknowledge this. Especially as technology continues to evolve and mold the buying cycle, sales and marketing must grow together through these shifting tides.
Marketing teams need to work with sales to determine what content should be created to support leads in the mid- to late- stages of the buying process. Marketing automation lays out a robust strategy that seamlessly integrates the roles of both teams. When strategies and tools are effectively aligned, they’ll boost visibility, conversions, and revenue.
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4 Tips to Get Started
Now that you understand the fundamentals of marketing automation, it’s time to rig your marketing boat and launch into the marketing automation horizon. Here are 4 tips to get you started:
1. Collaborate with Your Sales Team
Relationships flourish with communication and collaboration. To really get the most out of marketing automation, you need to communicate your efforts with your sales team. So reach out to them and come up with innovative strategies that are custom-tailored to your business.
Some vital questions to hash out together are:
- When is the appropriate time to hand off the nurturing to the sales team?
- How can we produce accurate and consistent data to identify efforts that are actually working/driving leads?
2. Optimize Your Database to Enhance Communication
U.S. companies believe that 32% of their data is inaccurate, which results in a 23% decrease in revenue. Data quality plays a huge role in conversions. Therefore, it should be kept in top shape to better nurture your leads. Not to mention, you want to make sure you’re handing off the right leads to your sales team. So be sure to:
- Clean your lead list – Email addresses are the usual identifier for each of your contacts, so this is a good place to start. Identify any unsubscribers or bogus email addresses that have bounced back. Check your engagement metrics—do these contacts deserve to stay in your database? It’s also good to check for any duplicate emails. No one likes getting multiple messages about the same offer. So merge these duplicates, and enhance the experience of your prospects.
- Conduct consistent segmentation – Segmentation involves creating different customer/visitor profiles based on their interests and expectations. It’s a dynamic strategy that reflects their journey with your brand/product. So start by clearly defining your target market to appropriately personalize and craft quality content for each profile. Showing different content to different segments will encourage people to take the right step in the buyers’ journey. This will also help you pinpoint the amount of maintenance and optimization your team needs.
3. Implement Lead Scoring
Marketing automation software like Huspot allows you to create a lead-scoring model that assigns values to each lead. And we know, no one likes to be graded! But rest assured, this process involves thought and analysis. With lead scoring, your team can prioritize leads and take appropriate action.
There are several different scoring models, such as:
- Demographic information – Analyze the demographics of your audience. If you only sell your product in a certain city, you might want to assign a lower score to those who are based outside of your city.
- Company information – Are you a B2B or B2C organization? Depending on what types of businesses you’re trying to target, you can allocate lead scores accordingly.
- Email engagement – Look at peoples’ click-through rates (CTR) to see how engaged your followers are with your promotion emails. You might want to give a higher score to those who explore your high-value emails like demo offers.
- Social engagement – How many times did they retweet or share your social posts? If your lead is an avid participant of your social platforms, you can assign them a positive score.
- Spam detection – Are the forms filled out in a way that indicates an alien submitted them? Maybe the name or company isn’t capitalized, or there’s a series of random letters. You might want to consider flagging these “leads” as spam and assigning them a negative score.
4. Keep Your Eye On the Prize—Human Relationships
We understand how marketing automation and human connection might seem like an oxymoron. The best way to think about this is that marketing automation is an extension of the human touch. It’s about being conscientious about the needs of your audience to provide the right information at the right time.
The human element should never be overlooked. It’s the heart and soul of marketing automation; without it, we as consumers would simply be another product in an assembly line. So as you’re collaborating with your sales team and fleshing out strategies, stay rooted in human connection by focusing on the journey. Map out all of the possible decisions someone could make and ideal responses to any queries. How would you help a friend through a process?
Get Personal & Automating Today—Contact Us
With the many components involved in marketing automation, it’s important that you find people who’ll have your back throughout the entire process. And that’s why we’re here. As a Hubspot Gold Partner and influential force in the dynamic digital landscape, Big Leap is ready to understand what success means to you and launch personalized lead and nurture campaigns.
So be sure to contact us today!