If you’re only using marketing automation to send out an email newsletter now and then, you’re missing out on powerful opportunities to engage your customers at every step along the path from lead to loyalty.
You might feel overwhelmed by the number and variety of options your marketing automation platform offers. From qualifying and nurturing your leads to organizing and maintaining your data, it’s hard to know where to start and all too tempting to stick with what you know.
Read on to learn key tasks you should be using marketing automation for, in order to maximize your investment in this platform and boost your marketing efforts. If you aren’t doing the following things, it’s time to start.
Score and Qualify Your Leads
With a platform that captures high-quality information about your leads, you can better serve individuals at each stage of the sales cycle by using that information to score and qualify their interest in your products and services. Lead scoring allows your marketing and sales teams to evaluate your leads with more nuance. That means leads aren’t treated as though they’re all equally interested or positioned to be interested in your product or service — after all, they’re not.
Marketing automation enables you to score your leads based on their demographics, purchasing behaviors, and actions with your business. Many platforms use a “cold” to “warm” scale, while others assign a numerical value from low to high, or a letter grade from “F” to “A.”
You may choose to score leads based on personas that your marketing team has already created or use progressive profiling, which is available in platforms such as Pardot and Hubspot. Progressive profiling displays a range of form fields based on the information a lead has provided. Different fields are shown on each subsequent form that particular lead fills out, allowing you to build out a fuller profile of the person. The more information you collect on each lead, the better positioned you are to help nurture them through the sales funnel.
Your marketing team should work with sales to outline what actions and behaviors are important for qualifying leads, and how to define a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). This allows you to set up a process within your marketing automation platform for passing MQLs to the sales team to qualify when leads reach an agreed-upon threshold.
Conduct a Drip Campaign
Rob Phillips, CRM Engineer at Pardot, calls drip campaigns “invaluable” due to their ability to tie together marketing and sales efforts. Using your marketing automation for drip campaigns can lead to 20% more sales opportunities.
A drip campaign is an automated series of emails sent to your leads. Depending on the actions each recipient takes, a particular email or action will be triggered to provide them with the information that is most relevant to them. A drip campaign can be designed to re-engage inactive users, reward your very loyal users, or nurture prospects in the early stages of the sales cycle to move closer to conversion.
Mass marketing shouldn’t mean treating your customers en masse. Salesforce found that 58% of consumers consider a personalized experience to be very important when purchasing from a company, while 52% said they’re somewhat likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications to them.
Marketing automation software makes it easy to segment your contacts by relevant information like industry, age range, location, and more. With some marketing automation platforms like Marketing Cloud, you can use dynamic content — content that changes depending on the customer group — to engage each segment of your audience with messages that are relevant to them.
Segmentation allows you to provide higher-quality interactions for a more personalized customer experience. Consider using dynamic content across landing pages, email copy, web forms, and calls-to-action to match the personal interests, needs and pain points of each segment of your target market.
Manage Non-Valuable Contacts
Your marketing automation platform doesn’t just help you use your lead data more effectively — it can also help you manage the contacts that are not valuable leads for your business.
Use error reporting to sort out leads that aren’t moving forward in your sales cycle as quickly as you’d expect. Leads that are still relevant but may not be ready to purchase can be funneled into a segment to be further nurtured with marketing messaging. For example, you can identify low-engagement contacts who haven’t opened or engaged with your emails in a while, and create a re-engagement campaign to try to bring them back on board before deciding that they are inactive. For those that don’t fall into this category, create a process for handling unsubscribes, invalid, inactive, or blacklisted contacts. This can be especially helpful for improving your email deliverability scores.
You don’t want to continue sending emails to a contact whose email address is invalid, or bounces every time — this message isn’t reaching the intended recipient, and the result only lowers your email open rates and click rates. Leverage your marketing automation platform to create a smooth process for removing these contacts from your marketing messaging. Clean, organized lists in your marketing automation platform improve your database quality and raise your efficiency.
Want to Ensure You’re Making the Most of Your Marketing Automation?
At RelationEdge, we are experts in marketing automation and digital marketing strategy. We partner with your marketing team to help you use your marketing automation to its full capacity, driving transformative value at your business.
If you need help on the technical side, our marketing technology engineers and consultants can customize your platform, implement the features you need, and offer training for you and your team on how to leverage your system. If you need guidance on how to best use the data and capabilities of marketing automation to connect with your target audience, our digital marketing strategists are here to help you craft a plan to get the right messages in front of the right audiences at the right times.
Ready to find out how marketing automation can help you? RelationEdge, a Rackspace company, offers thorough Business Process Assessments to uncover hidden opportunities in your current processes. Find out how to get started.