Despite shrinking budgets and resources, today's marketing teams have the ability to maximize their efficiency, with a critical tool at their disposal: marketing automation. With it, marketers can create complex campaigns and engagements with their prospects over time, priming them for an eventual conversion or purchase.
Marketing automation is not new, but it's now become a common tool for many marketing teams. For any team using a CMS with marketing automation capabilities "baked-in" (like Marqui), we recommend the following essentials to any strategy:
1. Roll Out The Welcome Wagon
Build a strong welcome campaign, that is. More than just a simple auto-responder email to a visitor who has filled out a form on your website, welcome campaigns present a fantastic opportunity for marketers to keep their business top-of-mind for those visitors who recently engaged with them. Think of this way: have you ever met a like-minded professional at a networking event, felt excited about making a new contact in your industry, and then not heard from them, only to see a random email from them 8 months later, asking for your help in securing a job at your company?
You felt used, didn't you?
Think of a welcome campaign as that contact in your industry who's an exceptionally good at networking and dialoguing. They:
- Send you an email a couple of days after meeting you
- Send you another email 2 weeks later with a whitepaper they found useful
- Call you a month after meeting you, mentioning an event in your city they thought you'd be interested in
- Invite you out for lunch or coffee 6 weeks after meeting you
Similarly, a proper welcome campaign takes advantage of the critical few weeks after your first point of contact to develop a relationship. Not only does the welcome campaign period provide you with something of value (i.e an invite to a local event, or a knowledge resource to help you do your job better), it also provides the other with an adequate guage of your interest. If you don't respond to the first two emails, for example, it's unlikely that you'll get a lunch invitation.
Similarly, marketers can track the behaviour of the recipients in their campaign, expediting those leads that demonstrate a high level of activity to their sales team. If you're using a marketing automation software, or a CMS with MA features, these strings of emails can be automated, and used to segment your prospects based on what their interested in.
2. Lead Scoring
This is one of the best ways to help sales and marketing in prioritizing leads, allowing them to assign a "ranking" to every contact based on their behaviour (ie pages viewed, email reads, etc) and information. With marketing automation, you can automatically set up rules that assign these scores, instead of having to manually go through each and every lead record in your database. These scores can help determine which leads are ready to be contacted by your sales team, and which ones require more time to "marinate".
3. Create an Automated Contact Update Program
With marketing automation, you can schedule an email to go out every 6 months prompting your contacts to update their contact information and preferences. Not only does this relieve you of the time burdens of manual data cleansing, it will also reduce your email bounce rates and improve your ability to segment your database and send effective campaigns .
Originally posted on Marqui's Web Marketing Blog
Marqui's Web Marketing Blog is brought to you by their marketing and consulting team to share ideas, best practices and trends from the world of web marketing. The blog aims to cover a broad array of topics relating to web marketing including content management, conversion optimization, SEO, email marketing and lead nurturing.
Posted by Sue Ansell at April 18, 2012 5:15 AM
Categories: Sales and marketing