How to guarantee real results with automated marketing by generating and nurturing leads through the sales funnel.
In part 1 of our ongoing series, we discussed the advantages of automated marketing systems. In part 2, we detailed the necessary steps of implementing these systems in your inbound marketing strategy. In our third and final segment, we’ll discuss exactly how automated marketing can generate leads for you and nurture a relationship with your customers.
How Automation Brings You Business
On the surface, marketing automation is simply a method of streamlining the mundane practices that bog down your efficiency, freeing up your agents to focus on initiatives that require more intensive and personal focus. At its core, however, automation is about increasing your quantity of leads and nurturing them into conversion in ways that you couldn’t necessarily perform manually.
Survey results provided by EG Innovations 2014 Marketing Automation Report on Slideshare
In the 2014 Marketing Automation Report conducted by EG Innovations, the most important benefit of automated marketing systems reported by those surveyed was “more and better leads, improved marketing productivity, and improved conversion rates.” To put a finer point on what that means, consider some of the findings of Lenskold Group’s 2013 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study, which found that 49 percent of companies that use marketing automation, customize delivered content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, as opposed to 21 percent without marketing automation. Delivering the right content at the right stage is an essential part of lead nurturing, and when it’s done automatically, this aspect of inbound marketing is virtually hands-free.
But it’s not only about content for each buyer stage. It’s also about knowing when to trigger specific pieces of content and what constitutes advancing from one stage to the next. According to the same report, 59 percent of businesses using marketing automation practice intelligent targeting to trigger content, as opposed to 17 percent without. This means that automated marketing not only helps nurture your leads through the buyer’s journey, but can also help you better define buyer stages and respond to leads advancing through the sales funnel.
The Drip, Drip, Drip of Success
When most companies talk about email marketing, they’re referring to email blasts that send content out at regular intervals, commonly referred to as “drip campaigns.” Email marketing can be an effective way to bring new leads to your business, but only when done right, and automation can help:
- Segmenting leads means categorizing them based on demographic, industry, or engagement channel to deliver relevant content.
- By generating web traffic to your landing page, your drip campaign can be a useful method of acquiring lead contact information in exchange for useful content. A 2013 study by eMarketerdetermined that the use of automated systems to aid your landing pages can increase your conversion rates by up to 50 percent.
- Personalized emails for your drip campaign can generate 6 times more revenue than non-personalized content, according to an email marketing study by Experian.
Providing a human touch to your drip campaigns through marketing automation can help you generate real revenue with email marketing rather than ending up in someone’s spam folder.
Automated Agents? Not Likely
The human touch is essential to making any automated marketing strategy work for you rather than against you. While automation can take a load off of your agents, your automated marketing strategy will lack the personal touch that consumers want if you check out from the process entirely.
To see the best results from automated marketing, you’ll want to leverage the irreplaceable human element in just the right ways:
- A personal review of your automated system is necessary to track the success of your initiatives and assess how your customers are responding.
- Data tracking features of your automated system that gather details about your customer interests, preferences and buying behaviours, gives you the ability to manually customize the automated content that your system provides, creating a stronger relationship with consumers.
- Better relationships lead to more open dialogue, allowing you a chance to hear valuable feedback from your customers to further tailor your system to their needs.
The same study performed by the Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups that we discussed earlier revealed that automated marketing solutions can double the effectiveness of your inbound marketing efforts. This translates to more personalized content delivered at the right time for each potential buyer. The combination of customized content alongside customer feedback will ensure that your automated system has the infrastructure in place to generate a steady flow of leads, nurture leads through the buyer’s journey and build stronger customer relationships.
Have you used any of the above strategies in your own automated marketing plan? Contribute to the discussion in the comments below!