I have often heard, “Marketing automation doesn’t work for me”, or “It’s of no use to our company, but it certainly looks and sounds interesting!” For some companies, marketing automation is still just a fancy word, and a concept that is not well understood.
How can companies make optimal use of marketing automation? Here is my view:
To get those prospective leads to your landing page. It is hard to attract visitors to your website when search engines cannot find your business. It is even harder justifying inbound marketing costs then. Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SEM) are ways that you can use to bring potential customers to your website or a landing page.
You need a compelling offer to entice visitors: From your awesome SEO, visitors can now find you from search engines and other marketing channels they visit; now they would like to know more about you. On top of that, they need a compelling offer to click and take advantage of the information that you are sharing. An online form on a landing page, with offers such as free trial, free whitepaper downloads, free webinars, free consulting, free live demos will encourage visitors to fill out the form. Oh Yes! Do not forget to add the privacy statement beside the form. Your landing page visitors will be less hesitant to share their business information with you if you forget to assure them of confidentiality.
The visitors who filled the form to avail the offer are now your LEADS. Some companies will still call them prospects and not leads because they have not shown any buying behaviour yet to call them qualified or warm leads. Their engagement is indicated by their action of filling out a form, or offering contact information. They are interested, they are involved, and they are LEADS.
After you get leads from your forms, it is important to qualify them before you send the leads off to sales rep. Marketing Automation can be the engine that does just that. Targeted emails, on the targeted days, will nurture the leads while marketing automation tracks if the leads took additional steps to learning more about you. The more interest, warmer the lead is (interest typically shown from the kind of engagement leads has: eg: click on a link to your case study, collateral, webinars, whitepapers or at the very best reply to the email with an interest to talk). Nurturing the lead has done a good job in converting the cold lead to a warm or Hot one.
Marketing automation is generally hooked up to a CRM. It is essential that only the HOT leads are sent to the sales rep. This will optimize their time and make it easy for them to close the deal. If the lead is not warm enough, it will be sent back to marketing or just ignored as dirty data.
Yes, a great sales team will make sure that no HOT leads are lost to competitors and the benefits of marketing automation come full circle; that is the reason why you bought marketing automation in the first place!
Did I miss any points? Please comment with your suggestions!
About Ritu Singh
Ritu has over 10 years of experience in planning, facilitating and executing marketing programs. She is passionate about marketing and driven to help start-ups and small to large companies market products and services online and offline.