Marketing Automation — What You Need to Know

March 9, 2016

In one of our recent blog posts, we touched upon Marketing Automation and what the business community is saying about this unique system. In today’s post, we’re taking a deeper dive into a few key features and benefits of Marketing Automation and how it can help increase sales, generate more leads, and positively impact your return on investment. First, here’s a quick review of what Marketing Automation really is. We’ll glance over some basics and get familiar with one of today’s hottest marketing trends.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation (MA) is a system that helps manage and regulate a number of different marketing techniques such as website monitoring, email campaigns, and landing page optimization. This in turn reduces the amount of time you spend hammering away at the small (yet important) details during the long process of converting prospects into customers.

Imagine if you could really trust a system to do some of that work for you. Creating workflows would no longer be a time-consuming manual process, but an automated and beautiful machine that helps get you results. Sound too good to be true? Let’s find out more.

MA Techniques for Beginners

There are basic and advanced techniques when it comes to Marketing Automation, as there are with most things in marketing (and in life).

The elemental techniques associated with MA allow you to:

  • Create useful content that will peak interest during every stage of the buying process
  • Automate your top routine marketing activities and develop simple workflows for each of them
  • Evaluate and segment your leads database based on profile information and lead source
  • Prioritize the parts of your revenue cycle that need the most help

After you’ve gotten your feet wet with these basics, you can jump in head first and learn how to target specific buyer profiles, implement more complex workflows, segment your lists in new and more specific ways, and create campaigns based on key data and demographic information.

How Can You Measure ROI with Marketing Automation?

computer screen_with graph

It sounds great in theory, but how will you be able to tell if the system you implement is really working for you and your business? Well, the numbers will speak for themselves. You’ll be able to measure your return on investment quickly and easily, as you see an increase in:

  • Revenue
  • Marketing effectiveness
  • Sales productivity
  • Conversion rates

No fluff, no fuss, just cold hard facts so that you can gauge the effectiveness that Marketing Automation is having on numerous aspects of your business.

7 Must-Know Marketing Automation Features

The right MA system, designed to meet your specific needs, can help you in more ways than can be covered in one blog post. So, we’ll break down seven must-know features and outline them for you here, then explore them in greater depth in future posts.

  1. Email Automation: If you’ve got hundreds, or even dozens of prospective customers waiting on your sales team member to respond, they can’t always be expected to remember when to send email number one or email number seven in a series. Communication will inevitably slip through the cracks. That’s where Email Automation comes into play, sending emails in a predetermined sequence, helping you slowly build relationships one communication at a time.
  2. Visitor ID: Knowing who’s actually visiting your website is invaluable information. It can help you understand your site visitors better than ever before, and with Visitor ID you can identify your (once) anonymous traffic, easily capture their information, and voila! You have a brand new, qualified lead, in just a few easy, automated steps.
  3. Lead Scoring: Reaching out to a lead at the wrong time can be detrimental to your relationship. In some cases, it can even represent the demise of a once promising prospect. So, knowing when the iron is hot and when it’s the perfect time to strike can make all the difference. With Lead Scoring, you’ll know when a prospective customer is sales-ready so that you approach them at the right time – not a minute sooner or a second later. Plus, your sales team maximizes their efficiency spending follow-up time where it will generate the greatest result.
  4. Dynamic Forms: You may use forms at many touchpoints along the way to connecting with a lead and converting that person to a bona fide customer. Tailor each one to your golden leads with relevant, custom content merge variables, as you nudge them a little further along the sales funnel toward conversion.
  5. Sales Notifications:  Picture this: a potential customer has just said the magic words. You’ve got moments to react and respond–to get the right sales person to dial before the window of opportunity slams shut. When a person is ready to buy, they’re searching for instant gratification and if you can’t provide it, well, they just might go in search of what they’re looking for elsewhere. Sales notifications send out email or text alerts to let your sales team know that it’s time to pick up the phone…NOW.
  6. Behavior Tracking: Interacting with a person whose behavior you don’t fully comprehend can be tricky. What do you say? How do you say it, and when? Behavior Tracking helps you understand your leads and the decisions they make so that you know how to approach them and seal the deal.
  7. Call Tracking: You can now fully trust that any leads generated with a phone call can be tracked to a campaign so that you don’t miss a beat. With MA everything is all one place, easy to access, and organized in a way you’ve only been able to dream about until now.

In summation, Marketing Automation is no longer reserved for large corporations with big bank accounts, which is a big win for the rest of us. We believe that MA will soon become a necessity for companies of all sizes wanting to go up against competitors, generate and secure more leads, and convert them to sales. As you move through the automation process, you’re building great relationships, reducing time and cost per project, and taking good care of that all-important budget line, ROI.

This is only the beginning – but what better place is there to start? Ready. Set. Automate.

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