What Is Marketing Automation?
How Will Marketing Automation Lower Your Lead Generation Acquisition Costs & Save You Time?
Marketing automation is a powerful marketing and lead generation tool that can help you save time, reach potential customers at the right time, gain insights into their digital engagement (webpages visited, lead scoring- assigning points for visiting webpages and opening or clicking emails) and grow your business. However, it’s not a magic wand – it requires proper implementation to get the most out of the software.
“Marketing automation will save you time, in the long run, however proper implementation is critical.” Jamie Taylor, Content Marketing Manager, ZigZagInfo
One of the biggest time-savers in marketing automation is that it allows you to automate tasks that would otherwise be completely manual. This means you can partially automate your email marketing, since the automation software needs far less input from you to operate effectively.
For example, if someone on a list registers for a webinar or completes a registration form, then this information can automatically be added to their contact profile, lead score increases and the lead is synced with your CRM.
Automation rules can also add webinar registrants to specific email lists or send triggered, automated, emails.
This saves both time and money as well as improving accuracy, and all of these elements play into ROI (return on investment).
Marketing automation enables you to segment your audience and personalize communications.
List segmentation is the practice of dividing a large group of leads into smaller groups based on similar characteristics or behavior. For example, if someone views one product/service page but not another, it’s likely they’re interested in a specific product but not others. Therefore, marketing automation can be used to deliver only those products to that customer (or exclude them from other products). This allows marketers to better target their messaging and ultimately increase conversions by sending the right message at the right time.
Personalization refers directly to the customer: recognizing what is most relevant for them based on their unique needs or circumstances, then delivering content tailored specifically for them.
Marketing automation shines with lead scoring and drip marketing.
Marketing automation helps you prioritize leads by identifying who to contact first. You can do this in two ways:
Lead scoring. With lead scoring, you assign a numerical value to each piece of information your potential customers give you (e.g., their email address) combined with their digital engagement- webinars registration is worth 100 points, each webpage viewed is 20 points, opening an email is 1 point and clicking an email is 5 points.
When a lead completes a form (contact us, webinar, ebook, etc.), the system automatically assigns them a score based on how much information they’ve provided and how useful it is for your business- all of this requires customization during implementation. Once you have a lead’s score, you can use it as an indicator for when it’s time to reach out or follow up with them again-and when it might be worth giving up on that lead altogether. This tactic helps ensure that your sales efforts don’t waste time pursuing unqualified prospects.
Drip marketing campaigns (also known as automated email nurture campaigns, email sequence, or email journeys) is a feature that allows businesses with large lists of contacts to send out personalized messages at scheduled intervals over time based on what they know about each subscriber’s interest level in certain products or services as well as his or her previous responses/behaviors. These messages are typically sent via email but also might be sent via SMS text messaging (with opt-in permission), social media channels such as Facebook Messenger and Twitter direct message inboxes (via API integration), other forms of messaging apps like WhatsApp or WeChat Messenger… you get the idea!
Below is a sample journey that sends 2 emails to lead that completes a form.
The benefit here comes from automating email marketing to spur customer engagement so that sales teams don’t have spend hours every day manually sending out emails; instead, they can focus their efforts elsewhere like closing deals and see which leads are most engaged with lead scoring!
Lead Scoring & Tagging Options
Without proper follow-up, a single communication won't make much of an impact.
After a prospect engages with your marketing assets, it’s important to follow up. And while you should always be testing and optimizing your follow-up tactics, there are some best practices to keep in mind:
The right time to reach out again depends on who you’re reaching out to and what they’ve engaged with before. Don’t try to apply one timing strategy across the board! For busy executives try :25 and :55 past the hour, hope to catch them between meetings. Another tactic is looking at when the prospect was on your website (your marketing automation tool will have this information), if you see them on your website around the same time over a few days, it’s safe to assume they’re by a phone and able to answer it.
Make sure you’re sending messages that address what people care about most- whether it’s value or problem solving. You can find this information when looking at a prospect in the marketing automation software, it will show you the webpages they visited.
Don’t just send emails; experiment with different mediums (such as social and display ads) that allow you more flexibility than email does when communicating certain pieces of information, seeing your brand on multiple channels is great for building brand awareness.
What marketing automation features can help you grow your business?
Marketing automation software help you grow your business by scaling email marketing with automation, while tracking and scoring lead engagement. It enables you to segment your audience and personalize communications, ensuring that each and every contact receives the right message at the right time.
Marketing automation shines with lead scoring and drip marketing, which results in more leads, faster sales cycles, better conversion rates and higher ROI.
Make Your Life Easier with 4 Marketing Automation Features
1. Save time with automated emails and texts for people that complete any of your forms- contact us, eBooks, webinars
2. List segmentation and journey rules will automatically add and remove subscribers from your automated email journeys
3. Modern marketing experience will delight your audience by sending the right message at the right time
4. Increase your revenue by knowing who to call by seeing email and website engagement that’s tracked and scored
Which marketing automation software is the best?
There are dozens of marketing automation software. Each one has a unique niche and benefit, below are a few we’d recommend for eCommerce and B2B marketing.
Pardot – Strong B2B integrations with webinar providers and Salesforce. Pardot was acquired by Salesforce and requires an implementation partner that will cost between $8,000-$15,000. Monthly costs start around $3,000 per month and requires a Salesforce Account Executive.
ortto – Perfect mix for eCommerce & B2B automation, like Pardot. Dozens of systems integrations and is a faster implementation than Pardot. Monthly costs start from $29 per month.
Hubspot – Provides many tools, each with additional costs. Their CRM is free and their Marketing Hub Starter package starts at $100 per month, with the Enterprise Package costing $3,600 per month. The Starter Package is a basic automation software that gets the job done and slightly less robust than ortto.
Common Questions, Answered
What is a sequence? A sequence is a series of emails that are automatically sent based on an email’s engagement and/or demographics. A perfect example is sending webinar registrants a series of emails- confirmation, welcome email with links to blog posts, webinar reminder, and then post webinar follow ups that’s segmented into attendees and did not attend, then invites to the next webinar.
What is a trigger? A trigger automates performing a task based on action of a prospect or customer. The triggered event (form completion, chatbot interactions, registering to access content- webinar, eBooks, etc.) can all be measured in your CRM and initiate an email sequence.
Will email marketing be automated? Yes, after all of the business rules have been defined, email templates created, dynamic lists created, sequences built and integrations made with 3rd party tools like ad and webinar platforms.
The benefits of a marketing automation are clear. It can help you save time and grow your business. You just need to make sure that you have the right tools and have checked with your compliance and IT team (parts of the implementation is technical and requires IT support or somebody with access to your website).
If you’re a local business, otto is a great solution. However if you’re a larger enterprise that requires customization to meet your business requirements, Pardot is a better fit.
Contact us if you’d like to discuss marketing automation, or would like a free digital analysis to learn how your website is performing.