77% of marketers increased conversion, and 4 of 5 marketers saw an increase in leads with marketing automation. So using technologies and tools can have a massive impact on the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. You just have to know how to use the right ones for your company.
So, what is marketing automation? And how do companies use it to generate leads?
Keep reading this guide to understand more about marketing automation and the benefits it’ll bring your company. And learn more about how a few simple changes can generate more leads for your organization.
What Is Marketing Automation Software?
Marketing automation is guided by human connection, using technologies to connect with prospective customers and initiate lasting relationships. Automation takes time-consuming manual processes and automates them, thus allowing businesses to focus on core business activities while saving time and money.
Most marketing automation software is a centralized platform that holds all the data your company has collected. The software coordinates the customer’s journey, allowing companies a clear overview of each step for each customer. In addition, it allows you to integrate all marketing channels and communications.
The goal of all marketing efforts is to convert quality leads into customers. Automation software makes it easier to reach that goal faster by streamlining repeatable processes. You have a clear view of your customer’s journey so you can make better decisions about how to engage and nurture relationships.
Automation software allows your marketing team to send the right messages to prospects at just the right time. It manages processes across several marketing channels, platforms, and campaigns to streamline your entire lead generation strategy.
Why Is It Important?
Most marketing and sales teams feel overwhelmed and pulled in many directions. With so many tasks needing to be done for each marketing strategy step, it can become challenging to determine what to prioritize.
Marketing automation eliminates this. It allows marketers to automate the tasks that take up most of their time, so it is easier to know what to prioritize; This, in turn, increases productivity.
Additional impacts on your marketing efforts include:
- Easier data collection and reporting methods
- More personalized marketing efforts
- Improved targeting
- Better lead management
- Data-driven decisions
- Clearer customer journeys
Automation has three primary purposes for your marketing activities:
- To automate
- To streamline
- To measure
Does Your Company Need It?
If your company doesn’t already use automation in its marketing efforts, it probably should be. There are a few clear signs that marketing automation is needed ASAP:
- You have complicated manual processes
- You don’t generate many quality leads
- You don’t have access to analytics
- Response times are slow
- You don’t have segmented email lists
Each of these issues can easily be resolved with automation. There are many different automation software options available.
Automation & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platforms
Integrating your marketing automation tools with your CRM platform will maximize results. Your sales and marketing team can work hand in hand to create memorable experiences for prospective leads. This creates consistency across communications and makes a better experience for potential customers.
CRMs allow sales teams to manage pipelines and qualify leads. In addition, sales professionals can see the customer’s history, including every click and email sent, on one dashboard.
What Are the Features of Automation Software?
Marketing software has many great features that make your marketing plan run smoothly. Sometimes, users are overwhelmed with the options available with marketing software. It’s important to understand each feature and how it can help your organization so you can strengthen your strategy.
Email campaigns are an integral component of any marketing automation software. Email campaigns make it easy to generate new leads, engage existing customers, and spread the word about your products or services to a broader audience.
Whether you are looking to increase brand awareness, sell more of a particular product or service, or connect with new potential customers, email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your target audience. Thanks to the advanced features and ease of use found in many marketing automation software solutions, it has never been easier to build an effective email campaign and see actual results for your business.
Whether you are just getting started with email marketing or looking for ways to improve your existing strategy, there are countless benefits to leveraging email campaign features in your marketing automation software. Some key benefits include:
- Increased effectiveness: Email campaigns allow you to directly target specific groups of users based on their demographics, interests, and previous interactions with your business. This means that you can create highly targeted messages that are more likely to resonate with your audience and achieve your desired outcomes.
- Segmented lists: Another advantage of using an email campaign feature in your marketing automation software is that it allows you to easily segment your lists based on various criteria, such as demographics, location, interests, or purchase history. This makes sending more relevant and personalized messages that are highly likely to resonate with your audience easier.
- Advanced analytics: Many marketing automation software solutions offer advanced analytics features that allow you to track how your email campaigns are performing and make necessary adjustments to improve results. This gives you valuable insights into what is working well and what needs to be improved so that you can make the necessary changes to your strategy to achieve your desired outcomes.
- Ease of use: Finally, email campaigns are typically very easy to set up and use, making them an excellent solution for businesses of all sizes that are just getting started with online marketing. Whether you want to send a simple message to your existing customers or generate leads and engage new potential customers, marketing automation software makes it easy to get started and see results.
Social Media Integration
Social media has become an increasingly important part of the marketing mix for businesses of all sizes. In fact, nearly two-thirds of consumers now use social media to research and connect with brands, making it one of the most effective channels for reaching your target audience. However, managing your social media presence and keeping up with all of the changes in this ever-evolving space can be challenging. This is where social media integration features in marketing automation software can help.
With social media integration, you can easily connect your various social media profiles to your marketing automation tool and manage all of your social media activity from one central location. This includes tasks such as publishing and scheduling posts, responding to comments and messages, monitoring your social media analytics, and more. Additionally, many marketing automation software solutions offer social media listening features that allow you to track and monitor conversations about your brand so that you can respond more quickly and effectively.
Segmenting your audience is a critical step in the lead generation process, and marketing automation software offers a variety of segmentation features that can help.
By segmenting your audience, you can more easily target your marketing efforts and improve your chances of generating quality leads. Segmentation features in marketing automation software can include:
- demographic information,
- geographic information,
- and psychographic information.
Segmentation features in marketing automation software can help you save time and money by making it easier to target your marketing efforts, track your progress, and measure your success.
Landing pages are one of the most essential features of marketing automation software. They help you generate leads and convert them into customers. A good landing page has a clear call to action, persuasive copy, and a strong design. It should also be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
Landing pages are typically used in conjunction with email marketing or pay-per-click advertising. These lead generation tools can help you significantly increase your conversion rate when used together. If you’re not using marketing automation software, you’re missing out on a powerful tool that can help you generate more quality leads and grow your business. Landing pages are an essential part of any effective marketing strategy.
Workflows are an essential feature of any marketing automation software. Workflows allow you to structure your marketing efforts and generate quality leads in a highly efficient and targeted manner.
Using workflows, you can set up an automation that takes advantage of data analytics and specialized algorithms to create a customized lead generation campaign that targets specific audiences with precisely the messages they need at the right time. And with reliable marketing automation software, you can also track each step in your workflows to ensure that they are functioning as intended throughout the entire process.
Whether you are just starting with marketing automation or are looking for ways to improve your current workflows, good marketing automation software is the key to success.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
Using automation in your marketing strategy has a whole host of benefits for companies. Not only can leaders make more informed decisions, but it also allows sales and marketing teams to coordinate. Additional benefits include:
Stronger Marketing Plans
Automation uses past data and existing workflows to create more effective marketing plans. Making decisions is much easier when you have all tools on an integrated platform and use a centralized dashboard. Leaders see the bigger picture, allowing them to make more accurate forecasts and projections.
With automation, your marketing plans can deliver 24/7. Once you have taken the time to create workflows and processes, the software works for you. This means you could be generating high-quality leads while your team is sleeping or on vacation.
When the time-consuming, repeatable tasks are automated, it saves time. This creates a more efficient and productive workforce. For example, your marketing and sales team will be able to focus more on relationship building or activities that require more analytical approaches.
Since automation collects all required information and stores it, there is less room for human error. The software also allows your company to scale as quickly as you want. In addition, the software can grow with you, so it’s easy to expand without worrying about how you’ll manage it!
Integrated Customer Touchpoints
Having a centralized location with all customer touchpoints allows you to connect them. This means you could create a poll on a social media site and have your email sequence trigger based on the response.
You also have customer profiles created that showcase when each touchpoint was triggered. This creates a smoother customer journey that guides people directly to your end goal.
Integrated touchpoints also create more personalization. For example, people are more likely to feel connected to a brand that puts a personalized touch on its marketing efforts.
More Time For Content Marketing
When your team doesn’t have to worry so much about outreach, they can focus on creating great content. Companies with creative marketing strategies and engaging content convert many more quality leads than those that don’t have that. Automation allows companies to focus more on how they engage audiences and enhance those interactions.
Save Time and Money
You save money when you automate previously mundane tasks that unnecessarily eat time. As a result, teams have the freedom to be more productive in other areas and focus their saved time on more meaningful activities.
Better time management leaves team members less overwhelmed, thus translating into a more focused strategy that they can execute without competing priorities.
More Qualified Leads
Without automation, marketers approach marketing efforts blindly. They send dozens of emails and texts to people who may or may not be interested in the company. But automation changes the entire game.
Marketers can focus on approaching people who have already shown interest. This means they are more likely to act on your company’s offers. When your team can focus on qualified sales leads, they know exactly where to focus their lead nurturing efforts.
How to Choose Marketing Automation Software
Before choosing software, you should ask yourself a few questions—and think of which tools and technology you already use in your business. When demoing software, consider the following:
- Does it make sense to use this software?
- Will it integrate with what the company already uses?
- What is the customer support team like?
- What do previous customers have to say?
- Does it fit your budget?
There are many options available for companies to choose from, so you will find the right fit—It just might take some time and a little effort.
It would be best if you also had a clear understanding of what you want the software to do for you. For example, is it to combine marketing and sales teams? Is it to integrate other tools into one platform?
Do you need a better view of analytics and want the software to provide that? What you want out of it will be vital in deciding on the right software. It’s ok if you want the software to manage all of the above because there are all-in-one solutions.
Best Practices for Automation
Once you have selected an automation software, it’s essential you follow some best practices. These best practices will ensure your system runs smoothly and you make the most of the software. A few best practices include:
- Create and use workflows
- Use personalization and humanize your brand
- Built an extensive content library
- Get your entire organization on board
- Use chatbots on your website to create a better experience
- Measure progress and revise as needed
It’s essential to create buyer personas. This way, you can tell your software precisely what to do when that person signs up for something from your company—This is also where segmentation is beneficial.
When you understand your target customer’s pain points, needs, and wants, you can speak to them more clearly—and with automation, you can reach prospects at any time of the day or night with little effort from your team. It’s important to understand the unique needs of customers on each channel.
But don’t worry! You can set your automation to meet those needs and satisfy customers.
What Is Lead Generation?
A huge benefit of marketing automation is generating leads, but what does that mean? What is a lead? A lead is any person who has shown interest in your company, product, or service.
The lead generation process uses marketing methods to collect more people interested in your offering. This could be through your website or social platform. It could even be a unique method, like a survey or landing page.
When you generate leads, you build interest in your company and offers. This could be for specific products or services or the company as a whole. Lead generation strategies aim to nurture the contacts and convert them to paying customers.
Types of Leads
Not all the leads are the same. There are several types of leads, and they come from different marketing activities.
Marketing Qualified Lead
Marketing qualified leads are those who have interacted with one of your marketing efforts. This could be a survey, a landing page, or a form. The key indicator for this type of lead is that they are not ready for a sales call.
Sales Qualified Lead
Sales qualified leads have explicitly indicated they want what you have to offer. This could be a prospect calling to discuss a particular product. Or someone who filled out the contact form requesting more information about a service.
Product-qualified leads have already used your product in some manner but haven’t purchased it—for example, through a free trial or a limited version.
For example, some online proofreading platforms have a free version with limited features. But an upgrade unlocks all features. So those interested in the upgrade would be a product-qualified lead.
Service Qualified Lead
A service qualified lead is someone interested in buying from your company and has spoken to the customer service team. They could be an existing customer looking for an upgrade. Or perhaps they called in wanting to buy something specific.
How to Generate Leads With Automation
There are a few steps to the lead generation process:
- A customer shows interest
- They take some sort of action
- They exchange information for an offer
Once you have their information, they become a lead. And this is when your company focuses on nurturing the relationship and converting them into paying customers. There are a variety of ways to promote your offer to collect information, such as:
Content can be anything from a blog or social media post to a white paper. Whatever it is, it provides some sort of value to the person; hence, why they exchange their contact information to access it.
When you share content, you should have a landing page attached to it—a place where your inbound leads will take action, and you collect information. In addition, your content should be educational and delight prospects, so they want to share their information.
Using your email list to target existing clients who may become prospective leads for additional items or services or who are not yet customers but are interested in what you offer is a fantastic method to contact them. In any case, you can use email sequences to nurture prospects by providing content and directing visitors to landing pages.
You can create blog posts to promote an offer. You can create many types of blog content, including:
- How-to guides
- Guest posts
- Tutorials (written or video)
- Case studies
The entire blog post can be about one specific topic you are trying to promote. And you can inspire the reader to take action at any point in the post.
You can create ads to target new or previous audiences. And include a landing page with a clear action with the ad. This is a great way to collect new leads—if you know your target audience well enough.
If you want to generate interest and get more high-quality leads, you can offer a free trial of your product or service. If you sell products, this could be a sample size (think the tables with samples set up in grocery stores). For a digital product or software, you could offer a free trial with all offers unlocked for a limited time.
Your best way to get new customers is when your fans promote your brand. You can create a referral program for your existing customers so they can connect you with potential warm leads. And the best part is they already love your brand, so they’ll rave about what you have to offer.
Best Website Design Practices For Generating High-Quality Leads
A website designed without an end goal in mind won’t be very effective. It’s essential to create a website optimized for search engines if you want to drive traffic to it. And to convert that traffic into warm leads.
A few best practices include:
- Define a clear objective
- Showcase your brand image and message
- Write engaging copy
- Inspire visitors to take action
- Provide valuable content
- Set an SEO strategy
Check out more website tips to improve your marketing efforts.
Website Best Practices: 21 Tips You Need To Know
Define a Clear Objective
What do you want your website to do for you? Is it to engage visitors? Do you want to generate sales leads? Collect emails? Educate others? You have to understand the purpose before designing a website to help you achieve your goal.
Showcase Your Brand
Your website should clearly show your brand image and message. The colors on the site should match the colors in your logo. The Fonts should be the same, and your message should speak to every visitor.
Someone who looks at your website should understand what they can get from it immediately.
Write Engaging Copy
A website won’t keep people on it without compelling copy and interesting topics. So it’s essential to have headlines that draw people in and copy that keeps them on the page.
Visitors should understand what you want them to do. If you’re selling something, that should be clear. If you want them to sign up for a newsletter, it should be right there on the page motivating them to do so.
Provide Valuable Content
Once you have visitors, you want to keep them coming back. Therefore, providing valuable content that educates and entertains is important. Great content also creates an emotional connection, making building relationships with your visitors easier.
Set SEO Strategies
None of the above matters if search engines don’t show your website to users. You want to have a set SEO strategy in place, so you craft each page with search engines in mind. This means using keywords, meta descriptions, and optimized formats.
Generate Leads On Your Website Today
This guide covered marketing automation and how it can help companies generate leads. We hope you found valuable information to help your company transform its marketing efforts.
At Online Marketing Muscle, we focus on automating marketing and sales processes—Thus allowing business owners to focus on core business activities without the chaos of manual or outdated processes. Since 2004, our company has helped small businesses grow quickly with the most efficient and cost-effective methods.
Are you interested in making the necessary changes to your website and company to generate better leads? Contact us today to get more information or get started.