What is Marketing Automation?

What is Marketing Automation? The Top 3 Reasons You Should Be Using This Technology

Here is a scenario you may be up against if you are doing things right:

You have been working hard over the recent past to create content such as videos, blog posts, infographics, and white papers that are interesting and valuable to your future customers. You have a fan base on social media that is engaged with your posts and sharing them. You have created regular traffic to your blog posts and your email list is growing.

Further, some of these users may even be demonstrating buying cues such as looking at your pricing page and checking out your testimonials - but how would you know when that occurs and follow up at the right time? More importantly, the question remains - how do you nurture these leads into buying customers?

The answer:

Marketing Automation: a means to drive more leads, convert leads into sales, and measure ROI of individual campaigns.

1. Generate More Leads

With marketing automation software, we are able to identify anonymous visitors to our site. That means we can prospect more accurately because we know which companies are interested. We can also capture information in forms from users that are interested in staying up to date with our video content, requesting a demo, or in exchange for an infographic or white paper.

2. Drive Sales

Once that user is in our system, his use can be tracked at each subsequent visit to our website - we know when our prospects visit. Based on his visits and actions on our site, the user will be segmented into a campaign with personalized follow-up information to nurture the relationship. For example, if he shows interest in our Video Marketing for eCommerce videos, we can automatically send him information that pertains to our eCommerce content creation services.

Even more interesting is the way the system scores leads based on a number of parameters that we can set based on a client's unique business.  An example of a high profile lead in the system would be a user that visits frequently, fills out a form, clicks-through on our emails, and downloads a white paper. Once a lead meets certain parameters and is moving through the sales funnel, the follow-up approach changes to be sure to make the most of the opportunity. There is even an option for the system to alert a salesperson to make a direct call when a prospect is on the site.

3. Measure ROI

The automation software provides comprehensive analytics for each individual campaign so marketers can measure what is working best and where to allocate marketing resources. There are extensive reporting features with exportable graphs to share with your teams, allowing for firms to make better, data-driven decisions, which in turn reduces costs.


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Email Marketing Refined

Despite all of the junk mail we receive and delete on a daily basis, email marketing still carries significant ROI. According to an Econsultancy study, two-thirds of marketers rate the ROI from email marketing as ‘excellent’ or ‘good”.  Harvard Business Review did an analysis with one retailer and discovered that the dollars earned per email sent was around $15.79 for sales generated both in-store and online.  It is somewhat difficult to believe that email works with all of the SPAM out there, but the numbers do not lie.  So in order to gain the most benefit from this low-cost medium, we have created a few tips to refine your email marketing:

Send emails to the right users - (and customer/prospect segments) at just the right time in the purchase cycle. It’s a sophisticated way to scale personal attention.  The key to successful marketing automation is technology. Rely on tools and data (rather than a spreadsheet) to reach your email list successfully. The biggest players in the space include MailChimp, InfusionSoft, Marketo, and Hubspot.

Understand Customer Needs - Customers have more tools than ever to filter out unwanted messaging with priority inboxes. Implement an opt-in process — a series of steps that subscribers can take to ensure that they’re receiving your emails.  Perhaps include a freebie, piece of content, or promotion/deal that they’ll receive in exchange.

Using a 2-step opt-in means that you will get less bargain hunters merely looking for the freebie and more qualified leads that are interested enough to go through the steps to receive your content.

Complete the Customer Experience - Always create a plan or outline for your email marketing campaigns — make sure that your messages follow a strategic approach.  You need to specify a clear conversion goal from your email marketing automation. You also need to ensure that your landing pages are fully optimized for the actions you want users to take.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Don’t use misleading subject lines - make sure they are short, sweet, and a little enchanting
  • Avoid overusing capital letters within your email and in the subject lines
  • Be smart about symbols - if you use too many, your emails will look totally spammy
  • Use clear, concise messaging with a single call-to-action
  • Include unsubscribe links - this, as well as a physical address is mandatory per regulations

Metrics

Total Open Rate

This is calculated by taking the total number of email opens and dividing them by the number of delivered emails.

Total Clicks

These measure clicks generated from each campaign. Following up on these within 48 hours is critical for top-of-mind conversions

Total Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Divide the total number of clicks by the number of delivered emails

Conversions, Conversion Rates, and Revenue

These are metrics that you should be tracking across your marketing channels - these can be measured by using a tracking pixel and UTM links in your campaigns

Email, like any marketing medium, must be used as a tool in part of a larger campaign in order to achieve real results.  At HARNESS, we create the strategy and implement an omnichannel integrated campaign with full marketing automation to schedule, track, and deliver qualified leads from first engagement to after-sale service.