Marketing automation is a crucial need. Business owners understand that marketing automation is the key to improving lead management and company growth. They know that software will help with email marketing, lead tracking, drip campaigns and sales follow-up. Yet, where to get started and how to ameliorate the dreaded learning curve is something that many smart executives struggle with.
A recent survey by Gartner’s Software Advice found that nearly half of small businesses still rely on manual data entry for their online marketing, but 98% are now shopping for marketing automation software. Many of the large, competitive businesses Mod Girl Marketing works with are already using marketing automation software by top firms like SaS, HubSpot, InfusionSoft, Salesforce, Marketo and Act-On, but are still learning how to get the most from these programs, particularly when it comes to lead generation.
As you well know, modern marketing has evolved and targeted traffic is the key to successful marketing campaigns. Inbound marketing captures prospects at the right time and for the right reasons. Marketing automation is simply the icing on the inbound marketing cake — allowing businesses to take email marketing to a whole new level.
Here at Mod Girl Marketing, we use Hatchbuck for our marketing automation and CRM needs. We also get our SMB clients whom are lacking a robust automation platform, set up with Hatchbuck. This amazing all-in-one sales and marketing platform has transformed our business and it is making a huge impact on our clients’ businesses as well. If your company is still responding to leads and inquiries the old fashion way and dealing with endless emails and spreadsheets of contacts, you need to continue reading this article so you can understand the impact marketing automation can have on your business.
Here are 8 things you can do with marketing automation software to improve your lead generation and take your sales to the next level.
1. Landing Pages
Landing pages let you speak to a particular audience segment and target your marketing messages with greater precision. Landing pages can also focus on the buying cycle of your audience — some for soft inquiries that provide additional research information, and others to take interested parties directly to a sale. Create custom contact forms for each of your landing pages and set up each contact form submission on a campaign specific to that landing page product or service offering. Using segmented email marketing along with a customized landing page can yield up to a 50 percent increase in conversions.
You might like: Top 8 Landing Page Builders for Marketers
2. Email Drip Campaigns
A “drip campaign” is a series of auto-responder messages sent out on a schedule to deliver timely information and move prospects through the sales funnel. Prior to setting up your drip campaign, you’ll need to segment your audience to be sure your messages are relevant. After you initiate your drip campaign, you’ll need to track your messages to see that they’re effective.
A/B testing lets you create two versions of the same display ad, landing page, or email and test the results with a segment of your audience. For instance, every other person visiting your landing page may receive a different version of the page. This allows you to calculate the bounce rate, time spent on the site and sales to help you determine which version was more effective overall. The same goes for email marketing campaigns — test out different variations of subject lines, the content within the email, times of day, etc. Calculate your email open rates and activity within the email such as link clicks and downloads.
4. Building Your Contact Lists
Sales start with a reliable list of prospects. The best marketing automation tools pull contacts from PPC ads, contact forms, social media contacts, and emails. Some marketing automation software will help you identify anonymous visitors and target your messages based on available demographic or behavioral data. Be sure to read Neil Patel and Ritika Puri’s helpful guide on using marketing automation to “build a lead generation engine.”
5. Conditioning and Nurturing Leads
Conditioning and nurturing leads is the most profitable function of marketing automation. You need all the other good stuff — a contact list, data entry, audience segmentation, content, landing pages and drip marketing — before you can nurture a lead. Yet, marketing automation can yield big dividends when you are able to catch and convert prospects who are most ready to buy. Marketing automation helps you:
– Warm up leads with information and engagement to keep your company in mind when it’s purchase time.
– Present up-sell opportunities to engaged, interested buyers with the right message at the right time.
– Catch leads that may have fallen out of the sales cycle for one reason or another and bring them back in.
6. Track Visitors and Email Opens
There are several ways marketing automation software helps you track your contacts behaviors:
– Shows you a prospect’s activity history so you know what web pages they’ve visited, content they’re downloading and purchases they’ve made.
– Enables real-time alerts to let your team know when a prospect visits a targeted page (such as the price page) or performs a desired action (like downloads your eBook).
– Establishes a complete record of pre-conversion engagements for all new visitors to help you determine how to connect with future newcomers to your site.
– Shows you a prospect’s email activity so you know when they open your emails, how often they open your emails, and what links they click within your emails.
You might like: 8 Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates
7. Better Reporting
Beyond tracking, there is so much more you can do with marketing automation reporting:
– Get analysis on cost per lead, cost per opportunity and number of leads in the pipeline.
– See where your most valuable and least valuable leads are coming from.
– Find out where prospects get lost in the sales funnel and when it’s easiest to convert.
8. Collaborate with Sales
Improved coordination is another benefit of marketing automation software. Sales teams and marketers can centralize customer behavioral data pulled from social media, email campaigns and web activity to ensure that all teams have access to the same information. The software allows sales teams to mark prospects for email marketing follow-up. By the same token, marketing can make note when a prospect has performed behavior signaling readiness to purchase for sales follow-up. The end result is (hopefully) an end to finger-pointing and improved alignment between departments, which can help your company grow revenue by 32 percent a year, according to one study.
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