The following is part of our six-part series counting down to the new year. We've included six ways to see improved results in 2013.
For many business owners, the words “marketing automation” sends shivers down their spines. We guess we can understand that, given the vast number of marketing companies who have been doing it wrong for such a long time. From impersonal messages to annoying emails, there's a good reason why when we suggest marketing automation to our clients that we get a knee-jerk negative reaction.
This comes as no surprise to us, as apart from the negativity surrounding the idea, a recent Genius survey, more than 50% of respondents had admitted that they had not yet fully realized the potential that's behind their marketing automation (Genius, 2011). Their software obviously hasn’t been fully utilized in the past.
But how those other marketing companies have done marketing automation up ‘til now certainly isn't how we do marketing automation. As we talk about in our free eBook “How an Inbound Marketing Agency Does: Lead Generation”, using automation software can go a long way in not only making your life a lot easier, but making it more profitable. The goal of automation is to work your leads down the sales funnel to the point that they're ready to convert, and we're here to tell you that it is certainly possible.
What Marketing Automation Is Supposed To Do
The whole goal behind marketing automation is for messages to be sent (most likely by email) to a lead based on a certain action that they've taken online. Most of this is based on an action on you website, though tools like HubSpot go above and beyond that and can even send emails based on other triggers, such as social media actions and behaviors.
To kick this whole process off, you need to have a well segmented list, as we talked about in our blog from a couple days ago, “More Personalized Email Marketing”. When we say “well segmented”, it means having the list segmented into categories that make sense and that goes beyond just the simple demographics or what link a person clicked on. It's about comparing and aligning several different behaviors across multiple channels so that you can get the best understanding of why this person is on you website. When you know why they're there, you can then create the best and most targeted messages that will help increase your conversions.
How To Improve Your Lead Nurturing
Getting the lead segmentation down is the first important step in the lead nurturing process. Now what you've got to work on is the messaging. HubSpot's email marketing tool allows you to change up a number of different fields so that you can create truly customized emails that are tailored to that lead. Their Smart CTA software can even tailor offers that suit that lead's interests without you having to lift a finger. Use this to you advantage. And the best way to use this to your advantage is to not talk about what actions the lead took on your site, but rather craft messages that focus on the individual.
How do you do that? Don't make the mistake of dumping all of your leads into one clump at the beginning of you campaign. Make full use of you segmentation and put your leads into smaller, more targeted groups from the get go. That way you'll be able to send messages out that leads will want to read (sending a standard “introductory” email is just setting you up to fail!) and your messages won't end up right in their “spam” mail folder.
The Sales Funnel Is Different For Every Lead
There is no single path that a lead will take to convert, and that's something that marketing automation and HubSpot's “Workflows” software helps control. There's no way you'll know what will eventually bring every single lead to the finish line and buy your product, but with HubSpot's “Workflows” software, you can marry segmentation and nurturing so that your software is catering to the needs and wants of your list rather than having you try to push and shove that lead onto a certain pathway.
As a result you'll see a far more efficient and effective sales funnel that is more scalable and more profitable than you ever thought possible.