Stepping your marketing efforts up a gear requires your marketing team to cover so many action points. That’s why it’s important to incorporate marketing automation strategies into your overall digital strategy–it helps to take off the pressure.
There are many automation strategies that your business can adopt to improve efficiency. With improved efficiency comes better coordination and alignment between your marketing and sales teams.
Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of automating your marketing. Plus, we’ll share some tried and tested strategies you can implement in your own digital campaigns.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is the use of software and technology to perform repetitive marketing-related tasks. These tasks could be anything from collecting customer information based on specific activities on your website, to scheduling social media posts.
By automating marketing, teams can free up more of their time. In turn, they can use the extra hours to focus on strategy while software handles the mundane tasks. Automation provides the perfect platform to work smarter, not harder.
The Benefits of Automation
Here’s how marketing automation enables companies to better engage with their audiences:
Collect, Track, and Nurture Leads
Lead generation is pivotal to the growth of any business. However, the process of collecting, tracking, and nurturing leads is repetitive and time-consuming.
Businesses that automate lead management often notice an increase in revenue. With an automation strategy, you can adopt a more targeted and personalized approach to lead generation by using:
- Lead scoring and segmentation: This approach is based on demographics and other criteria. It helps to identify the most qualified leads, and send personalized messages to increase engagement and conversion.
- Personalization: Personalization helps businesses establish deeper connections with audiences. Sending people personalized messages based on their behaviors, interests, and preferences helps convert more leads.
- Automated lead nurturing: Techniques such as automated email campaigns help you stay in touch with leads, providing them with relevant content and offers at each stage of the customer journey. This helps to build trust, establish a relationship, and raise the chances of conversion.
Software simplifies lead scoring by notifying sales teams when a lead changes from a marketing-qualified lead to a sales-qualified lead. This allows sales to reach out to the prospect immediately, boosting the chances of conversion.
Better Analytics and Insights
Manually collecting data on customer behavior and campaign performance is cumbersome. It often leads to inaccuracies, which can affect the results of future advertising campaigns.
Automation reduces the chances of human error and generates accurate and streamlined reports. For instance, if your leads dropped, your software lets you know if this happened during the marketing or sales process. This helps you quickly identify the issues that led to the drop-off.
Improved Customer Retention
Automation frees up time your team would’ve otherwise used to do manual tasks. This gives them time to create personalized content for each customer segment.
Research shows that 71% of customers expect personalization, and 76% of customers get frustrated when messages lack it. This indicates that personalization is vital for customer satisfaction.
Personalized content coupled with lead nurturing campaigns encourages customer loyalty as customers get the information they need.
Digital marketing requires constant testing to determine which approaches draw more customers. You need to try out different platforms as well as different forms of content and messaging to find the ones that yield the best results.
Advertising software supports A/B testing, which increases conversion rates. Most software can handle different tests and segments groups based on what’s being tested. With better testing comes more accurate results and improved profitability of marketing campaigns.
Four Top Marketing Automation Strategies
Here are four marketing automation strategies to try out for your business:
1. Triggered Emails
Triggered emails are automated emails sent in response to specific events or triggers. These emails are triggered by certain actions or behaviors, such as a user signing up for a service, making a purchase, abandoning a cart, or viewing a specific page on a website.
The main goal of triggered emails is to deliver timely and relevant messages to the user throughout their buying journey. These messages help to improve customer engagement, increase conversions, and drive revenue.
An excellent example of a triggered email is one that’s sent to a user who has abandoned their shopping cart or search, reminding them to complete their purchase. This email is known as an abandoned cart email. It almost always includes discounts or other incentives to nudge the customer to complete the said action.
Aside from abandonment emails, other types of triggered emails include:
- Product catalog emails: These notify customers of new prices, new arrivals, low inventory, or restocked items.
- Recommendation emails: These help customers discover new products based on previous purchases.
- Post-purchase emails: These are sent after a customer has finished a purchase and can help you get feedback on purchases and customer experience. They also offer a great opportunity for you to explain to the client how a product/service works.
Triggered emails allow you to deliver personalized and targeted messages to your subscribers based on their behavior and interests. They also save time and resources while delivering more relevant and relevant messages to your audience.
2. Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is a methodology that sales and marketing teams use to determine the value of leads. It ranks prospects or leads based on their perceived value or likelihood of making a purchase. This is typically done by assigning points or scores to various criteria such as demographic information, behavior, and engagement with a company's advertising materials or sales outreach.
For example, a lead who has visited a company's website multiple times, downloaded a whitepaper, and signed up for their newsletter may receive a higher score than a lead who has only visited the website once and not engaged with any other materials.
Before lead scoring begins, your marketing department must meet and agree on what qualifies as a lead. Your software will then gather information about each qualified lead and assign points for actions based on the predictability of these actions resulting in a purchase.
Lead scoring promotes conversions by smoothing the flow of leads through the marketing funnel. By automating the lead scoring process, your sales and marketing teams prioritize their efforts and focus on the most promising leads. Identifying the leads most likely to convert helps teams allocate their resources more effectively, send targeted messages, and boost conversions.
3. Drip Campaigns
A drip email campaign is a series of emails sent to subscribers over time. The emails are triggered by specific actions or behaviors the subscriber has taken, such as signing up for your newsletter, adding an item to their shopping cart, or viewing a particular product page.
Sounds like triggered email campaigns, right? Well, there's a difference. A drip campaign involves sending a series of emails, while a triggered email campaign involves sending just one email based on a user's actions.
You can use drip campaigns for various reasons, including to:
- Welcome new customers
- Nurture leads
- Onboard customers
- Provide purchase confirmations
- Send recommendations
- Reduce cart abandonment
- Respond to newsletter signups
The most successful drip campaigns are relevant to the reader. You want recipients to feel like they're getting something out of the email and not just reading a sales pitch. Therefore, ensure that your content is educational or genuinely helpful.
Most software allows you to choose the sequence with which drip emails will be sent out, so you can tailor the content to each customer segment. Ensure you personalize your emails with the recipient's first name or other information. With drip campaigns, you can build relationships, re-engage customers, and boost conversions.
4. Website Chatbots
Chatbots provide a great way to increase productivity in your customer care and marketing efforts. Aside from automating customer interactions, you can use chatbots to answer common questions, provide customer service, and gather user data.
Additionally, they can help reduce the time spent responding to customer inquiries via your website.
That said, you need to get your chatbot content right to avoid sounding robotic. Here's how to level up your chatbot game:
- Use Natural Language Processing (NLP): Differentiate your assistant from your competitors' with NLP. This technology enables your chatbot to understand the user's request no matter how they phrase it. NLP analyzes the intent of what is being said and offers relevant responses.
- Understand your audience: Knowing who you are talking to is key when developing a chatbot for your customers. Make sure to create content that speaks directly to your audience's needs and interests.
- Name your chatbot: Your chatbot will be most customers' first interaction with your brand. Therefore, adding a human touch to it by naming it can make a lasting impression.
- Ensure your bot knows exactly when to escalate: Escalating correctly is necessary when a customer query is too complex for the bot to handle. Ensure you have an efficient process in place so your customers don't have to wait long before a human can assist them.
With the right marketing automation strategies under their belt, your marketing team can deliver engaging campaigns that garner sales leads and achieve business outcomes.
To get your hands on marketing automation tools that support your team in this endeavor, create a free Helpmonks account. You’ll get access to our leading email management system and email marketing tools designed to supercharge your business.