5 Advanced Marketing Automation Techniques
Guaranteed to Grow Your Business
The other day we published an article discussing the basics of marketing automation and more specifically, how to start with your very own marketing automation strategy. After that post, quite a few of you with more experience around the subject matter, asked us for a more advanced and in depth post with some more practical advice. Your wish is my command and here it is as promised. I hope you are ready to dive into some pretty specific and much more granulated information. Here they are – the advanced marketing automation techniques guaranteed to grow your business.
Firstly, let’s re-cover the basics. All successful marketing automation strategies have one thing in common – they all adhere to a stage based marketing program.
Back in the day, all we cared about was creating content that would tempt people to engage with us. Now, with marketing automation, analytics and the help of some much more sophisticated tools, we want to offer content that addresses the particular needs of our prospects based on the buying stage that they are at. The goal today is to give them what they need so that they can move on to the next step of the sales cycle. That is the whole concept of stage based marketing. Knowing the stage of your sales cycle, knowing where each prospect is and having an understanding of what leads need, in order to be prepared to move forward to the next stage.
Today’s new visitor to your website for instance, will not be ready to purchase tomorrow. And someone who has been trialing your product, will be more close to a sale than the first-time visitor. The idea here is that you need to understand these stages, and shape your marketing automation program around them.
Depending on the complexity of your product, your sales cycle’s number of stages may vary. Most businesses use these 5 basic stages. They are:
New Leads – a prospect has a problem and identifies you as someone who can potentially offer them a solution. Maybe they have signed up for a trial, downloaded an eBook, asked for a catalogue of your products etc.
Information gathering – the prospect wants to find out more about your business and the products and services they may need. In addition, this is the time when you try and collect information about the prospect. What are their specific needs? How can you help them? Answering these questions will prepare you for the next stage. Help the prospect evaluate his or hers options.
Proposal – now that you know precisely what the lead is after, you can offer them a more targeted message and potentially a personalized and tailored offer.
Follow up – strengthen the relationship by re-connecting with the prospect. More often than not the lead will have a few more questions following the initial offer. Follow up to answer those and reassure them that choosing you will be the right decisions.
Closing – Closing the deal doesn’t mean closing door the to communication. Make sure you nurture the existing relationship.
These are the 5 stages of the stage based marketing program and they would help you shape your entire automation and marketing strategy. Here are some tips how:
#1 Web forms
You may have figured this one out by now, but when you first give someone a form to fill in (be it a webform, a landing page form etc) don’t ask more than 2-3 questions. Usually name and email address will suffice. Yes, we all want to know as much as possible about the people who are interested in our business, however what you need to remember is that more fields you give for the person to fill in, the less likely they are to engage and actually complete the form.
What you can do however, is send out an automated email straight away, and offer the prospect the option to complete a profile or give a bit more information about themselves so that you can offer them better deals and tailored content. More often than not, people will be quite willing to give you details about themselves given the opportunity for better content.
Moreover, as the lead progresses in the sales funnel, we won’t need to ask quite as many questions. From your email reports and Google analytics tools for example, you can easily see what term the lead searched for, what links they’ve clicked, which of your pages they visited, any documents they’ve downloaded from your website etc.
Match keywords in your content to the different buying stages. During the five steps we spoke about earlier, people will be toing and froing looking for information. Information about how they can solve their problem (‘Contemporary kitchen units ’), information about experts in the area (‘Best contemporary kitchen units’), information about your specific business even. During the different stages of the buying cycle, the prospects would have different queries, so make sure you match the keywords in your content to these stages. Keep in mind that people will be looking for various (from more general to more specific) keywords as they progress through the sales funnel. You can easily incorporate these in the appropriate content for each stage.
Similarly to the above point, you will have to match your content to the different stages. This means, every step of the way, your emails, white papers, offers and even videos, should fit the stage the customer is at. Not only this, but it should also have a clear call to action prompting the reader to investigating a piece of content from the next stage. Here is an example.
In stage 1 a New Lead downloads your catalogue for contemporary kitchens, at the end of the catalogue you can offer them a discount code they can use for a free fitting if they offer within a week. Alternatively, if you have asked for their details upon them downloading the document (which you should have), you can send them an automated email offering them a brochure on how to order, your sustainable materials, lifetime guarantee etc. This would be the type of content that would move them to the next stage and help them with their Information Gathering.
#4 Test, test, TEST
Even after an extensive research, most of us could never really be sure what content, communication and frequency of communication will work. Try split testing.
Divide one of your segments into two and nurture them with slightly different content. This will enable you to see which content and which strategy works best. You can try different content, different frequency of communication. You can offer group A a discount via SMS and group B a discount via a phone call from one of your sales team members. Decide on your test, determine your parameters and see from the results which option works best.
#5 Focus on continuous improvement
Continuing from the previous point, you never know what will work and what won’t. Nobody (that I know of) has ever managed to design their automation strategy perfectly from the first time. Even if you begin getting great results and you think you got your stages, content and automation just right, you should always look for ways to improve your strategy and boost your results.
Continuously re-evaluate your processes every step of the way and look for areas for improvement.
I hope you like these easily-applicable techniques to taking your marketing automation to the next level. Implementing automation into your marketing and sales strategy can change the course of your business for the better. But when you get it working just right, and you are confident enough to start building on your knowledge and building on your automation strategy, that’s when the really good results start pouring in!
You can do all of this and much more using the InTouch software. Looking for Sales and Marketing Automation app? Why not give InTouch a try(al).
Don’t forget, growing a successful business is all about constantly taking small steps to change it and improve it!