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Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation

 

Marketing Automation has become a “buzz” word in the marketing world. But, what is it? How does it work? How can it work for your business?  The technical definition for marketing automation is a software platform designed for marketing departments and organizations to effectively automate tasks to market on multiple online channels.  Basically that means that you are using an automated program to send messages, predominantly via email, to move leads from the top of the sales funnel to customers and brand enthusiasts.

How Does Marketing Automation Work?

A marketing automation program is triggered when a prospect clicks on a form on a landing page, or clicks on a call-to-action on a blog or on your website. Once that prospect has provided you with a name and email, they can be put into an automated program that will provide messages based on the type of action that they took on the blog or website.  A marketing automation tool will then send relevant, useful content to the prospect over a specific time period. The key point is to know what your audience wants and would be interested in receiving from your company. There are many companies that offer marketing automation software including Hubspot, Marketo, Eloque, Curata, and Silverpop. It is important to do your research to find out what tool works for your business.

The messages, usually emails, should offer information and value to the prospect to keep them interested in your product or service, which will assist in conversations with your leads. The email content can contain links to other blog posts that the prospect might be interested in, industry articles, case studies, white papers, ebooks and other useful content that is tailored to their needs.  As the prospect is served this content, the sales team begins to learn more about their business . The marketing automation process is good for leading prospects through the sales funnel, but it is just as important to keep current customers up-to-date on new products and services.

How Can Marketing Automation Work for My Company?

A marketing automation program has to work hand-in-hand with your Customer Relationship Management Database (CRM).  In order for the automation process to work, it is crucial to clean up your CRM and any customer or prospect database before you start a program. Make sure that the contact information and emails are correct in your database or the emails will bounce back.  Segment the leads into different lists depending on how you would like to nurture them through the sales lifecycle. If the lead is closer to actually buying, then they will be getting different content than someone in the beginning of the sales process.    You can also segment your leads based on buyer personas or verticals related to your company’s sales strategy.

Create compelling content, interesting landing pages and forms to draw the prospect to continue to get your company’s information. The marketing automation program and the content that is created should be customer-serving. This isn’t the time for the “hard sell”. Keep the emails informative and compelling to the reader. You want to keep the prospect interested and coming back for more information about your services and your company.  Remember, the entire process is all about nurturing the client. Once you get started with a marketing automation program, continually update your lists and move the prospects to different lists in the process as they move through the sales funnel. You cannot set up the automation program and forget about it. Vigilance and attention to detail are needed to keep the marketing automation programs running smoothly and have them continue to help turn leads into customers. Linkmedia 360 can help you with your online marketing needs from marketing automation to search engine optimization.

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