Best practices for automating your marketing efforts

Marketing Automation (MA) streamlines the user experience to help improve efficiency. MA's advanced technology uses software to strategise and manage various assets and tools, from marketing tasks and social media posts to advertising campaigns, thereby freeing up time to maximise productivity.

Perfect for smaller businesses to manage their complex scheduling and ideal for larger companies to connect directly and personably with their customers, MA generates the content that converts prospects into contracts. MA does take experience and some expertise to master successfully. Those who fail to report a healthy return on interest from their MA strategies are typically inexperienced in navigating their software or are using inappropriate automation software. Choose carefully when selecting your MA software and ensure an easy to read manual explaining usability or online training which is readily available.

Education is half the battle when it comes to MA. The software should intuitively run in the background, completing multiple tasks, all managed and coordinated independently by a single person. Once orchestrated effectively, MA should encourage positive growth, improve efficiency and help enhance your companies reputation. The following is Methods step by step need to know masterplan to succeeding in MA:

Nurturing leads

To grow and nurture leads, you must first understand the stages a lead goes through to evolve from customer interest into an actual investment. Discuss this with your team, and then write down the steps a lead goes through until an investment is achieved. Integrate a purchase funnel into this process to ensure that this consumer-focused marketing exercise accurately conveys the buyer's journey to the businesses' purchasing stage. Each step of the purchase funnel should run as smoothly as the next, so scrutinise the weakest stages to ensure customers are not being lost through weak strategies that can be easily tweaked to improve buyer retention; Lead strategies may include the following stages: anonymous, known, engaged, marketing qualified lead (MQL), marketing qualified lead (MQL), sales accepted lead (SAL), sales qualified lead (SQL), won, lost, recycled or disqualified.

Lead scoring mechanisms

Lead scoring assigns a value to the likelihood of a lead evolving into a customer by using a numerical points system generated by scoring demographic attributes and qualitative data such as online engagement, downloading content, job title. Therefore, marketing and sales teams are better-educated in knowing which leads are the most valuable with regards to the generation of profit. Assigning a numerical value to a lead enhances and streamlines MA's processes.

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Lead qualification process

Commonly regarded as one of the critical marketing automation practices, lead qualification establishes whether a potential buyer is an appropriate fit for your brand. The process should be understood by the sales team and is essential in determining which leads will potentially yield long term investment value. As soon as the lead scoring mechanism is launched, the lead qualification threshold (the number of points a lead must accumulate to be considered an MQL) must be initiated.

The qualification process can change dramatically over a year, so re-evaluate this routinely, ideally every four months, to ensure your chosen point scale is accurately determining your potential leads. Alter the point values to reflect the demographic attributes previously discussed in this post if you notice the qualification process shifting dramatically.

Establish fast-track/automatic qualification alongside triggers to streamline lead progression

Taking the initiative to encourage engagement after a new lead shows an initial interest can help clinch a deal. Recognise a potential new lead activity and act on it promptly. Examples include; a customer signing up for a newsletter, making an enquiry about pricing or purchasing an initial free trial of a product or service. Ensure that your MA scoring model scores this type of interest highly, allocating a significant score to this kind of activity, prioritising the customer as an active user.
With system triggers, you can set in motion automated actions when certain events occur; This makes best use of your time and MA will be triggered at precisely the right time, alerting the relevant team members to a potential lead. A subsequent action can then be triggered to progress a nurtured lead to marketing qualified lead. Establishing with accuracy what form the triggers should take is critical. Unique discount codes for signing up to newsletters, welcome emails triggered for new users or featuring a client on social media posts are all useful strategies for nurturing new clientele.

So many brands rely on triggers that they are vital to your MA strategy. Failure to include them leaves your brand vulnerable to looking dated and not conducive to consumer engagement. Following on from this, you can use the data gathered from your customer relationship management tools (sales, marketing, and customer support automation) to launch targeted email marketing campaigns. Addressing pain points associated with an industry, which are related directly to your team's collective expertise and which offer to share insight into these topics by means of an email sent to relevant individuals can reap huge rewards. These can be distributed by email drip campaigns, again all managed by MA.

Emailing monthly newsletters

When drafted and designed imaginatively, the newsletter unlocks the potential to dramatically convert potential leads into a loyal customer base. One of the founding marketing automation strategies, the newsletter, is not a new concept. However, integrating modern and advanced techniques using software such as AWeber, Benchmark and Campaigner, which all provide advanced features and quality templates, will modernise and revamp the often unremarkable and un-engaging text-heavy emails. Automating the blanket mailing of newsletters to ensure the timely content reaches all contacts is only half of the battle if the email remains unopened. Combine prompt delivery of your newsletter with engaging content for a successful result.

Social listening and brand advocates

Use various social media outlets for mentions of tagged brands; Social listening is an MA tool that allows businesses to monitor trends and updates of competitors alongside activity related to their own business. Notifying a user when a profile mentions a tagged name on a social media platform, social listening flags leads enables notifying brand when a conversation is happening around it. Successful brands are generally aware of the power of social media. Arguably more influential than a sophisticated marketing strategy, invaluably led by personal promotion or discussion, brand endorsement is fast becoming the most common form of advertising. A useful way to gauge the popularity of a product or service is to chart its growth in line with the increasing amount of tags and mentions its receives on social media. Through social listening, brands can monitor users who are independently promoting their products. In recognition of this public affirmation, follow and like their profile and share the posts that positively mention your brand. These users are perfect candidates for brand advocates. Approach them to collaborate and build the relationship.

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