This past week I have been reading a lot about marketing automation. In an earlier blog article titled 4 key considerations for successful ecommerce integration, I talked about the importance of choosing a system that allows the integration of all of your social media elements, but your social media tools are not the only thing that you need to consider. What about your leads, contacts, campaigns and blog? That is where marketing automation comes in!
Before talking about the benefits of marketing automation, I think it is important to explain what marketing automation is. I would define marketing automation as software that helps marketers and organizations with scheduling, tracking, segmentation and overall management of different marketing campaigns.
Here at VL, we use HubSpot for our marketing automation and were very early adopters of the software. As a marketer, it is a great tool for reaching the right people at the right time with the right content. But, as with any other business function there are some important best practices that need to be followed when using marketing automation in order to convert leads into customers and run successful campaigns. And the marketing team at VL has picked out the five that they believe to be the most important to marketing automation success.
1) Make your marketing CONTENT driven: One thing I have discovered since I started using marketing automation is that to make it work for your business you have to have a large and diverse library of content (which can be difficult to produce). Current and potential customers are looking for content that adds value to what they already know or that can teach them something that they didn’t know before. Leads must be enticed to make sure that they convert.
2) Make your content accessible to everyone: You never know who is going to need to find out information about your company. It may be another company CEO, it may be an IT professional, and it may be a secretary researching for the boss. You have to make sure that all of these different types of people can find and use your content. Think carefully about your buyer personas and the kind of content that they are looking for, is it technical? Is it introductory? Is it educational? Is it for current customers? Make sure you truly offer something for everyone.
3) Segment, segment, segment: It is very easy to build a list, but the question that you should ask yourself is if that list is targeting the right people. This past week I attended a webinar called “The Science of Marketing Automation hosted by social media scientist Dan Zarrella. He suggested that segmentation is the key to conversion, and I couldn’t agree more. By segmenting your lists as much as possible you reach your customers at a granular level. You ensure that they are getting EXACTLY the information that they want and NEED. In fact, he suggests that the more lists you put a customer in the greater the chance that will convert.
4) Use words that will entice your visitors and customers: Enticement is a HUGE theme when it comes to marketing automation and it is important to realize that everything has to be enticing, not just the offer, but how that offer is presented. During the webinar, Dan Zarrella talked about the importance of words in driving conversion. Landing pages are where your potential customers convert and ‘sales process’ words decrease conversion rate on landing pages whereas words like FREE has a HUGE positive correlation to conversion rate.
5) Marketing automation should be used for more than just email: Making lists and writing and sending emails through marketing automation as part of a lead nurturing campaign is probably the most common use for marketing automation but it can actually be used for much more. One of the great things marketers and organizations can do with marketing automation is schedule and automate all their social media posts. Scheduling posts is a great option when you have to look after multiple accounts. It allows you to make sure that you are sending information regularly, even during off peak times or when people are not in the office (think weekends).
Here at VL, we not only use marketing automation ourselves, but we have also developed integrations to popular marketing automation software like HubSpot and Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft is an all-in-one sales and marketing software that includes a CRM, email, and social media marketing solution in a single platform. This all-in-one platform allows Infusionsoft customers to not only automate their marketing efforts but also to reach out to potential clients and ultimately gain new customers.
VL can fully integrate to Infusionsoft. Our Infusionsoft integration allows for customer creation on the fly, as well as order processing information to your ERP, WMS, or fulfillment house. In fact, using our Infusionsoft integration it is possible to automate almost your entire business. We have one customer who used our integration to Infusionsoft and was able to travel to Mexico for months, knowing his business was running smoothly while he was away.
Can you imagine spending months away from home feeling confident that your business is running smoothly? Intrigued?