Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Shannon Cadden, a Project Manager and System Administrator at 3D2B. Shannon implements and manages Marketing Systems, Databases, and Social Media. She was raised in both America and Germany. After more than a decade of entrepreneurial experience in the event management and entertainment sector, Shannon went back to school in 2005 to study office administration and communication.
Marketing automation is all about conversion-rate optimization. In fact, an Eloqua benchmark study showed that automated campaigns have more than a 200% higher conversion rate than those without automation.
How is that possible? To start with, marketing automation provides you with better information than you’d get with a manually orchestrated campaign. The software monitors all interactions with your company, from when a prospect first lands on your website to when they purchase your product or service.
It usually displays this information statistically and graphically, giving you insights at a glance into which campaigns are effective and which are not. And you can go beyond that into the details of the campaign and discover, for example, which links email readers are clicking to reach your web site. This big-picture and granular information enables you to make smart decisions to tweak campaigns and optimize their effectiveness.
And once you’ve determined the best steps to take to increase your conversions, you can automate all routine processes, such as when nurturing emails are sent and phone calls are made to the prospects assuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
So you know you need to step into marketing automation in order to boost the ROI of your marketing campaigns. How do you get started? Here are 5 steps:
1. Pick Your Priorities. You can’t automate all your marketing tasks at once, so you’ll be better off if you prioritize based on your greatest needs. Decide what’s most important to you—lead generation, lead nurturing, or response management—and tackle that issue first.
2. Dive Into the Data. Evaluate your company’s lead database and make sure it’s flawless, profiled, and segmented, so you can approach audiences scientifically with targeted campaigns.
3. Create Customized Content. Today, marketing is all about education. The longer your sales cycle, and the more complex your product or service, the more content you’ll need to serve up to prospects and clients. For example, create a webinar that provides tips on how to solve a common problem. Or for those considering your solution, create a case study that tells the story of how a client overcame a challenge using your product. Your goal is to answer the key questions that arise during every phase of the buying process. If you provide information that prospects need, they are more likely to trust your company and ultimately buy from you.
4. Keep It Simple. Marketing automation software is capable of automating sophisticated and complex workflows. But you don’t need to create them right off the bat. Start with a simple workflow and save the advanced techniques for later. For example, when someone completes a form to get the latest eBook, automate the follow-up email that, perhaps, offers additional content on a related topic.
Create a list of routine marketing activities, such as auto-response emails, and gradually automate them. Once these tasks are integrated into the marketing automation solution, your company can spend more time on creative strategies.
5. Survey and Segment. Sometimes it may be difficult to figure out exactly what prospects find interesting simply by tracking their actions through marketing automation. One answer is to ask them via a survey: “what topics are you interested in?” or “what problems are you trying to solve?”
Thirsty for more marketing automation insight? Explore steps to help ready your organization to understand how to trigger conversions by implementing the most progressive tactics for your business – check out the Conversion Guide!