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We Help Small & Medium Businesses Develop Effective Marketing Automation Strategies
Marketing Automation can play a useful role in the marketing strategies of many businesses; particularly when you commonly identify prospects or leads and there is some amount of time between identification and purchase. But how do you know if it’s the best way to create new customers?
This is a tool the big guys use against you every day. It’s also one of the most under-utilized tools small businesses have at their disposal. In recent years, the sophisticated tools have become more readily available, easier to use, and extremely affordable.
The process of marketing automation involves defining a set of criteria (also sometimes called rules) and flagging prospects for specific follow-ups whenever those rules are met. For example, if an existing customer is due to re-purchase and hasn’t yet done so, sending an e-mail, text message (SMS), Facebook Messenger alert, or even placing a phone call automatically.
Keys to Effective Marketing Automation
We like to approach the pure “marketing” aspect first without worrying about the “automation” right away. This begins with a simple question: In a perfect world, what does the flow chart of moving a prospect to becoming a customer (or a customer becoming a customer again) look like?
This is one of the all-time classic whiteboard exercises. By mapping out the customer journey with a series of “IF, THEN, ELSE” decision trees, we can then translate that journey into a marketing automation strategy.
Marketing Automation Helps You Cover More Ground With Less Labor
Imagine a selling process where it’s much harder for prospects to fall between the cracks. Also, imagine a system that doesn’t give up on prospects too quickly; the most common mistake human salespeople make.
At a time when studies by several different customer relationship management (CRM) platforms have shown that, in certain industries, the point of diminishing return on sales follow-ups is as high as 18-24 contacts even though salespeople often give up after 1 or 2 contacts, taking the emotion out of managing your prospects is critical.
Marketing automation can be a useful tool to maintain and build the relationship with a prospect and/or an existing customer so that you maximize the sales potential of that relationship.
Automation Doesn’t Have to Mean Human-Less
Concerned about taking your people out of the sales process? Worried it will be too impersonal?
Just because the process is driven by software doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to involve people. For example, the system can take steps on behalf of your sales team, such as sending e-mails or texts, but it can also flag prospects to appear on your sales team’s call sheets — AND hold them accountable to make the calls in an effective way.
If you’re confused about marketing automation or you’re just wondering if it can help you grow your business, we are happy to offer some insight. We offer a free initial marketing consultation. By helping us understand how you want to grow your business, we can help you decide if e-mail marketing is right for you.
How To Best Leverage Marketing Automation to Grow Your Business
Marketing Automation can grow your business by improving lead generation on the front end, managing leads throughout the buying cycle, and improving conversion by making sure leads don’t fall through the cracks.
Creating More Actionable Leads at the Top of Your Customer Acquisition Funnel
Tools like lead generation forms, intelligent bots that interact more automatically with prospects at the website, and other lead generation mechanisms can feed incoming prospects directly into the customer relationship management (CRM) system. The marketing automation strategy can be executed in the same software platform.
Keeping Prospects Engaged Throughout the Buying Cycle
Once you’ve mapped out the most common customer journeys, you can keep prospective customers engaged until they make a buying decision. As prospects meet your pre-determined rules or criteria, your marketing automation can take specific actions, such as:
- Sending E-Mails (which can be sent on behalf of a member of your sales team)
- Track Engagement With Those E-Mails (was it opened? was it clicked? was it responded to?)
- Send Text Messages (SMS)
- Send Snail Mail
- Place Prospects on a Call List for Human Follow-Up
- Place Automated Phone Calls with IVR (interactive voice response) Capabilities
This is not an exhaustive list. And a rapidly-growing set of advanced features allow you to:
- Know If the Prospect Visits Your Physical Location (or a Competitor)
- Invite Prospects to Video Calls & Live-Streaming Events
- Target Advertising Specifically to Known Prospects Via Social Media, Websites, & Apps
Almost any outcome or follow-up you can imagine can be automated to some extent. And all of these tactical follow-ups can link to specific landing pages on your website or social media to meet prospects where they are in the buying cycle.
See Your Customer Acquisition Funnel & Know Its Health & Effectiveness
A well-organized CRM with marketing automation can include a dashboard demonstrating how many prospects are at each stage of the buying cycle. That gives you an instant view of the health of your customer acquisition funnel as well as key performance indicators (KPIs) that help you understand how effectively everything is functioning.
That level of management visibility can be game-changing to the growth rate of your business.
Our unique Bullseye Marketing Method is designed to track the context where our best engagement comes, and make adjustments to the campaign to focus on the most successful days, times, and other aspects of context that prove to be important for success. Your marketing automation campaigns fit right into our method.
When properly organized, you can deploy test campaigns on our e-mail marketing platform and track the results to know which combinations of messaging and platform gets the best results. We can help you determine how marketing automation can innovate your business for greater growth.
Request A Free Initial Marketing Consultation