What is marketing automation and how can it help you get more business? Marketing automation is a process that uses software to automate the marketing process. Often this process uses a series of emails to identify when prospects are ready to buy.
Marketing automation emails are often a series of emails that nurture or warm up, leads so that you end up with sales qualified leads that are ready to buy.
Great marketing automations use branching logic to determine the next message your prospects see. Modern marketing automation tools have many actions that can trigger an if/then evaluation to decide which message your prospects get next. So based on what your prospect does you offer a different and more relevant message.
How Does Marketing Automation Work?
Marketing automation, like any marketing method, needs to start with a strategy. Start with a goal, what do you want your prospect to ultimately do and work backward. For example, if you are a service business your goal might be to understand when your prospect is ready to buy. If so, you would want to use your marketing automation to walk your prospect through the buyer’s journey of awareness, consideration, and decision.
Marketing automation allows you to automatically change the next message based on the actions or inactions of any prospect. Most platforms allow you to branch on actions like email opens, email link clicks, subscribing to a list, filling out a form, visiting a particular page on your website, changes in a lead score, and many others. The options and the opportunities are endless.
The beauty of marketing automation is that as its name says, is that it’s automated. You don’t have to sit there and decide which emails get sent next. It is all handled by your automation marketing platform 24/7. So you will literally be qualifying your leads while you sleep. All platforms have notification systems that let you know when your leads are qualified and ready to buy.
Marketing Automation Examples
Here’s a tried and true marketing automation example that we use with all of our clients to ensure that they have a steady stream of sales qualified leads flowing to them. It’s definitely a best practice to use marketing automation to walk your prospect through their particular buyer’s journey and identify when they are ready to buy.
Start off with awareness stage content that offers help and answers your prospects’ questions. Include an offer to interact with some consideration stage content. That can be case studies or testimonials or similar content.
When someone clicks to view your case study, you can then move them into emails that offer decision stage content. Decision stage content is something around the types of questions you get asked right before you make a sale. For most businesses, this can be something around price. It doesn’t have to be a price quote. You can instead talk about price in general terms. Often, discussing what makes your services more or less expensive is a great way to go. When someone is curious about price, they have decided that they need and want your services, they are just trying to find out if they can afford it. Price is always the last decision a prospect makes in the buyer’s journey.
Marketing Automation Tools
So, what are the best marketing automation tools? There are many tools out there. You have Marketo, HubSpot, and Eloqua. They are all great tools, but price wise they are often out of reach for small and midsize businesses.
We use ActiveCampaign for ourselves and for our clients. ActiveCampaign is a powerful marketing automation tool that also includes an easy to set up and manage customer relationship management tool as well. This combination makes it super easy to trigger your automations from almost any action including website actions.
The best part is that ActiveCampaign is substantially less expensive for small and midsize businesses. It’s definitely worth a look if you are evaluating marketing automation tools.
If you need help with marketing automation for your business, feel free to reach out to us here at Peak Inbound Marketing (973) 770-4668. We can help with strategy, implementation, and analysis.