Marketing automation is no longer trendy. It is no longer a fad that only upstart niche players are doing. Sorry all you trend setters, it is time to find a new shiny object.

The fact is, marketing automation is mainstream. Recent data shows that 49% of companies are using marketing automation. Specifically, more than half of all B2B companies (55%) have adopted the technology.

So, why the rapid adoption? And, what sort of things are marketers automating?

Marketing Automation 101

To understand why the rapid adoption, you must understand what marketing automation can do for organizations. One thing marketing automation does is help companies close more leads through nurturing. Forrester Research reports that companies who excel at nurturing leads, also get 50% more leads at 33% less cost.

Per the Annuitas Group, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than unnurtured. After all, only about 25% of all leads are legitimate and qualified to pass along to sales teams. Marketing Automation keeps nurturing those leads until they are ready to be contacted. When you nurture leads, you are using behavioral data triggers that “automatically” send the prospect the right communication at just the right time in their conversion journey.

Marketing automation software like Infusionsoft is what makes that happen. It is part of a machine made up of:

  • A marketing automation platform
  • Your website
  • Your CRM system

It unites sales, customer service and marketing to create an integrated customer journey across the entire organization. With the right systems, engaging content, and knowledge of customer needs and behaviors, organizations of all shapes and sizes can market and communicate like Netflix or Amazon – at a fraction of their budget.

What Can Be Automated?

If you adopt marketing automation, you will quickly learn that it is not a “turn it on and forget about it” thing. As you see things work, you will need to feed your programs with content – be it blogs, whitepapers, videos, webinars, infographics, etc. As you learn more about customer behaviors and cycles, you will need to generate content that addresses their needs at the right time.  Sadly, the fact is that 3 out of 5 marketing automation integrations fail simply because teams do not have the capacity to generate enough content on an ongoing basis.

Lead Nurture and Drip Programs

These allow you to engage known prospects to strengthen your relationship and qualify them. With nurture programs, you need to deliver high value content at the right time, based on behavioral triggers.

For example, you have a prospect you met at a tradeshow. They are a known lead, but they are not ready to buy or be contacted by sales. So, you simply send them a nice follow up email with an offer of “5 Tips for XYZ”. They come to your website and download the tips. To get the tips, they fill out a progressive form, giving you a little more information about them.

Since they downloaded your tips, a few days later they get an offer to join a webinar you have on the subject. And, they sign up. Fantastic! They are now a warmer lead, and perhaps gave you more information on the sign-up form. After the webinar, they are sent the presentation deck as a thank you.

A few days later, they come back to your site and look at some content on how to implement XYZ. Now you know that they are very interested and the marketing automation platform sends them an email offering an eBook on “Best Practices to Implement XYZ”. This is a behavioral trigger. If they download the eBook, their lead score increases to a point where the CRM system alerts the sales team to directly follow up.

All in all, it is the right content to known prospects, at the right time, to qualify leads. That is lead nurturing using marketing automation and behavior triggers.

Welcome and Activation Campaigns

Marketing automation is not only for prospects. It can also be used to market to new customers. These could be a series of welcome drips that offer:

  • Activation and set-up instructions
  • Useful “How To” videos
  • Helpful resources
  • Tips and tricks to use your product or service (great during trial offer periods)
  • Login triggered emails such as, “We noticed you have not logged in for X days.”

Anniversary and Birthdays

These are examples of date-based triggers. Marketers use these opportunities to not only provide well-wishes, but also garner additional data. They are also opportunities to re-engage with lapsed customers or cold prospects and get them back into an active nurture cycle.

Abandonment Messaging

Many of us see this tactic during the holiday shopping season. These are messages to people who left their shopping cart with items still in it. This communication often offers additional incentive, such as free shipping, to encourage them to return and complete their transaction. However, these can also be used to trigger communications on any partial form fill. For example, if you have a webinar registration and you find that a prospect did not finish the sign up, you can trigger a message to them to return and complete the form. Again, if deemed necessary, you can provide additional incentive.

Re-Ordering Messages

If you have customers that order items during certain seasons, these communications remind them to get their order in. Usually these are common around Valentine’s Day with messages like, “We noticed you ordered a dozen roses last year for XYZ at ABC Address. Would you like to re-order?”

Transactional Communications

These are communications that go to customers, such as service reminders, shipping confirmations, receipts, renewal notices and more.

Events

If you have special events, you can use marketing automation to drive sign ups, reminders, confirmations, as well as post event follow-up programs. You can even use it to send the “sorry we missed you” message (with follow-up offer) should they decide not to attend.

How to Use This Information

The list of things you can do with automation can go on and on. If you have marketing automation, sometimes you need experts at creating the necessary content who understand your customers. Or, perhaps you are looking to implement marketing automation and CRM. Either way, we can help. At Webolutions, We are an Infusionsoft certified partner. As such, we can get you set up and running with CRM and marketing automation. For more information, call us at 303-300-2640 or contact us online.

About Doug Griffin

Doug Griffin

“I believe in achieving remarkable relationships with clients based on trust. Without trust, it is impossible to do great work – which is ultimately my goal. Part of that is simply getting to know clients and investing in them. But, it also means doing what you say you are going to do, being honest, and treating everyone with mutual respect.” View all posts by Doug Griffin →