Whether you’re just starting your business or looking to scale, you’ll understand the importance of capturing and converting leads.
Traditional marketing techniques might work, but transitioning to marketing automation could help further develop your sales funnel and scale your business in new ways. Although brands can automate their sales and marketing strategies in several ways, the most straightforward approach is to rely on tools to collect and analyse customer data and trigger mechanisms to contact and prospect those leads.
Marketing automation certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, nor is it a flick-a-switch solution. An effective marketing automation strategy first requires a compelling product offering and engaging digital content. Once those are in place, automation can be used to match the content with the most receptive audience and deliver near-limitless returns.
Below, we’ve put together an introduction to marketing automation to help you get started.
Focus on quality content
Before deploying marketing automation tools, get the foundations in place. Develop a user-friendly website, add a blog, and craft quality content that speaks to your audience. Although you can automate traffic generation through social ads and pay-per-click, building a bank of material on your blog and optimising it for search engines could be the catalyst to your success.
Indeed, the most challenging part of marketing is getting visitors to your site in the first place, so focus on long-form content, whitepapers, and other resources that drive traffic to your website and offer value to customers. Implementing a good SEO strategy will ensure once you’ve created content, users will start flocking to your pages and stay there.
Once you’ve invested time and resources into content creation, you can repurpose it in different ways for your automation campaigns, including when sending personalised emails to leads and customers. You could even dynamically adapt content to appeal to different user groups based on location, interest, or buying habits to yield stronger returns.
Build a list and check it twice
Marketing automation is nothing without customer lists and prospect lists. Segment them into different categories based on your objectives – for instance; you might create a list of users who purchased from your eCommerce store within the past two months or even base lists on age, location, or source. Segmenting your audience allows you to automate your marketing faster and appeal to the right people at the right time. Being too broad with email marketing campaigns could result in emails being sent to spam or users unsubscribing from your list.
The next question: how can you get more people on your customer and prospects list? Add triggers to your website’s homepage, blog, and product pages. Offer discounts or exclusive content in exchange for their email address. There are still benefits to buying email lists in some industries, but you’ll get much better results if you build your list organically from your own channels. Qualified leads will yield better returns than cold-email campaigns.
One of the best ways to improve your automated marketing campaigns is to add triggers that automatically generate responses. Behavioural triggers can move prospects further down the sales funnel and convert them into customers or increase their average order value on your eCommerce store. Form triggers can be added to subscription pages, mailing list forms, and check-out pages can help you capitalise on the best possible moments for engagement and conversion. You can send personalised automated email responses to capture attention.
When creating automated responses, include form data such as their name to personalise content and remember to think long-term. In many industries, you’ll likely need to nurture leads over time and continually contact them to keep your brand in their minds. It’s also a good idea to avoid spam trigger words like buy and sale – be more creative with copywriting.
Emails are only part of the marketing automation process
Remember that marketing automation is about much more than sending emails. Spend time thinking about your average user journey and where you want your customers to be. If you want users to sign up for an account, comment on a blog post, or share a product with a friend, add this to your mix and develop strategies that nudge users in the right direction. Emails are a great place to start, but you can automate other parts of the marketing mix:
- Add a chatbot to your website that answers simple questions, points users to lead generation forms on your website, and kickstarts the relationship between brand/user
- Automate social media activity – posting about new products, resharing user-generated content, and sending personalised recommendations via WhatsApp and Messenger can all aid in boosting brand awareness and loyalty when done right
- Improve customer service by automating email and chat responses with answers to commonly-asked questions and the ability to track orders, complaints, and queries
- Collect data and automatically retarget customers through pay-per-click and Facebook Advertising campaigns, “following users around the web” until they buy
- Using dynamic content on your website, recommending products, services, and content based on their previous search behaviour to increase dwell time and sales
- Send abandoned cart reminders to boost sales on your eCommerce site over time
Track engagement and use data to alter strategy
One of the best things about marketing automation is that you can track engagement over time and adjust your strategy according to your results. Monitor the impact of your activity on website visitors, sales, unsubscribe rates, and customer retention.
The more data you can collect, the easier it’ll be to see where you’re going wrong and the successes you can build upon and exploit. It’s also useful to “score leads” based on their level of engagement and interest in your brand – if leads don’t convert after X weeks or months, they can be removed.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s good to remember that automation should only form part of your overall marketing efforts. Tools can be used to replace some of the more mundane efforts and activities, but they should not be the only part of your marketing efforts.
If users think your entire presence is automated – from content and live chat to social media and email responses – they’ll think they’re not being listened to and won’t want to buy from you.
See marketing automation as a way to increase efficiency and connect with your audience faster rather than an outright replacement for a well-rounded, focused marketing strategy.
Looking for support? At Zudu, we can review your company’s strengths and weaknesses and highlight opportunities and marketing automation recommendations to boost efficiency and scale your firm. Get in touch today on 01382 690080.