First off, let’s answer the most basic question of what exactly marketing automation is…In a world of so many platforms and channels of communication, companies need to be able to access virtually all of them in an effort to most effectively reach their potential customers. This means one of two things: you either hire a full time person to sit in front of a computer and respond to emails, answer FB comments and post Twitter updates, or you hop on the marketing automation band wagon.
Marketing automation basically represents those products and programs designed to automate a large segment of your business’s marketing efforts. A great way to nurture leads, grow your client base and keep in touch with current customers, the tools of this particular trade can be an invaluable resource when it comes to your company’s marketing strategies.
Good Marketing Automation Strategies
Knowing how and when to employ marketing automation practices is absolutely crucial. Used incorrectly, these could simply be costing you money with little to no ROI. So what exactly does good marketing automation look like…Essentially, it is a strategy that should ideally be developed around user needs and behaviors. That is to say, knowing how your users react, when they buy, what they gravitate toward and how they respond to certain promotions etc., are all part of developing a marketing automation plan that actually works. Randomly sending emails or updating social media with irrelevant posts are only going to have a detrimental effect. Smart marketing automation though, can have a huge impact on the number of leads you get as well as the number of conversions.
So what then are some of the best marketing automation strategies and practices your company can employ…
- Targeted messages: As your business grows, obviously the number of customers with whom you are dealing on any given day grows right along with it. Maintaining meaningful contact with the customers and addressing their specific buying needs can become incredibly time consuming. An effective marketing automation program will allow you to send more personalized messages that actually mean something to a particular client. Because there’s software out there that allows you to collect data, analyze the data and then create messages centered on this gathered information, you have no excuse not to better address a prospective user’s buying cycle tendencies. Not sure how to craft that first rate email that will knock it out of the park…perhaps then using a content writer who is well-versed in just these type of sales driven emails would be a wise investment.
- Sometimes the shorter the better. Capturing leads can be about catchy subject lines and incredibly brief textual soundbites. No one wants to, nor necessarily has the time to, scroll through a lengthy piece. Buyers want information up front, they want to know about your offer in short, pithy bites. Knowing how to craft these types of emails and texts is really an art form in some ways, so again a copywriter worth his/her salt could be a great asset here.
- A Long and Winding Road. Sometimes lead nurturing when it comes to marketing automation tactics, isn’t simply just a straight forward linear path that becomes more rote than anything else. Organic is everything. Make it a natural progression, make it personal as much as you can, and make it a dynamic experience rather than a flat an uninspired one.
- Always Validate. Your nurture flow is going to be useless unless it actually corresponds to your prospect’s needs and behaviors. Just because the data sheet might say something, doesn’t always make it so. You need to be able to validate the information gathered and then adjust the lead nurturing program accordingly.
- Make sure your goals are well defined. For whatever type of marketing automation campaign you happen to be launching, make sure that those working on it, first and foremost, understand the goals. Are you trying to create brand awareness? Promote a new line of products? Generate more leads? Whatever the objective, lay it out there clearly and concisely. This will help you better understand the measurements you actually receive and allow you to tweak accordingly. Not sure exactly how to best establish goals for your marketing campaign…Perhaps this is where you look to a freelance marketing expert for advice and guidance.
- Integrate all marketing automation efforts. This is critical. Existing applications, the people with whom you work, the vendors you deal with and the marketing strategies you employ should all be interconnected. On its own, a marketing automation plan is actually worth very little; highly integrated within your current business operations and you stand to see some very positive outcomes.
Though a large and all-encompassing term, marketing automation, more and more often is a very necessary strategy for many companies. Leads are our lifelines, and understanding how to nurture those leads with marketing automation tools will only make you stronger. Freelancer.com can help. We have access to hundreds of marketing experts and content writers who know how to make this process work for your company.
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