In my last blog post about colleges needing marketing automation
, I explained in one short sentence, what marketing automation is. The basis of marketing automation is to use your website and other online platforms to learn about your visitors and open the lines of communication with them in an effective and efficient way. As great as marketing automation is, statistics show that only a small percentage of companies are using it, and an even smaller number are using it effectively. Since I know about the power of marketing automation, I can’t believe that more companies are not adopting it to generate leads.
Believe me, I understand; marketing automation (MA) can be an investment, but it’s all about the Return On that Investment (ROI) that makes MA so appealing. What if you were able to double or triple the number of good, qualified leads that your sales department engages? What if those leads were pre-qualified to be more likely to buy? And best of all, what if you could dramatically cut down the time you spend filling your lead funnel? MA can do all that for you if you have a good strategy in place.
In this series blog posts, I will show some examples that will help you to understand how to use MA to drive sales, and in the last post I will give some examples of some really different ways that MA can be implemented. Let’s start with an example comparing a website without MA to a website with MA.
SCENARIO #1 - No Marketing Automation
Mary visits your website, and she has never been on your website before (as far as you know). It turns out that she is spending a lot of time on a section of your website that explains your business consulting services. She looks at all the pages in that section, and even downloads a case study that you posted about one of your clients. A week later she comes back to your website to see if she can gather more information. She realizes that she has looked at everything that you have to offer, but isn’t convinced. There’s nothing really engaging about her experience, so she decides to go with another consulting firm.
SCENARIO #2 – Website Includes Marketing Automation
Mary visits your website and has never been there before. She looks at the business consulting services section, and the more pages she visits in that section, she begins seeing messaging directed toward her. The system sees that she is on a computer in Dallas, TX and your company has an office there. Your website automatically gives her information about your Dallas location in the sidebar. Also, on the page it says, “We see that you are interested in consulting services, here is a case study that you might find interesting.” (Includes a link to case study). After she downloads the case study, she leaves the website. What she doesn’t know is that you have begun building a profile for her as a visitor, even though she hasn’t given you any personal information. (For the tech crowd, it’s done using IP, cookies, and other magic)
Next time she comes back to your website, there is a message saying, “Welcome Back! We hope you enjoyed the case study that you downloaded.” At the same time, the page content includes a short signup form for a free seminar that your company is presenting next week in Dallas, and invites her. She decides that it would be worthwhile to attend, so she simply fills out her name, company and email address to register for the seminar. The system automatically sends her a personalized email (remember, you now have her name and email) with more information about the seminar. Three days later, you follow up with a reminder, and a link where she is invited to schedule a one-on-one discussion with the seminar presenter, if she is interested. No pressure… It’s just an invitation.
She decides not to do a one-on-one session, but attends the seminar and really enjoys herself. You make a note in the system that she was at the seminar. A day later, the system automatically sends her a friendly, personalized email thanking her for attending the seminar and gives her another chance to schedule a one-on-one discussion with a representative, now that she has had a chance to attend your event. You also give her a ‘secret’ link to your whitepaper, “The Business Insider’s Guide to Growing Revenues Exponentially.” Everything is personalized, and your strategy is to only contact Mary when it is appropriate.
The next time she visits your website, you can show a message saying, “Welcome back Mary, we would like to offer you a free consultation to help grow your business. There is no obligation, and we will come to you!” This interests her, so she fills out the form with her company’s address and a phone number. (You already have her company name, so that is pre-filled in the form, along with her name and email).
Your sales team automatically receives the request from Mary, and follows up with her by phone to schedule a date to meet. That meeting date is added to Mary’s profile. A consultant visits her company, gives her some solid ideas for ways to improve her business, and leaves with Mary being truly impressed with your willingness to share those ideas with her. An automated follow-up "thank you" email with the consultant's contact information
is sent to Mary soon after the meeting.
A few days later, Mary calls the consultant and asks to meet to discuss a contract. All this happened because she visited your website and the website knew what to do to nurture this lead. Thank you Marketing Automation!
In this example, you were able to use these features of the MA system:
See Marketing Automation Real World Example #2...
- Geolocation and Lead Scoring – Knowing that Mary is in the Dallas, TX area from network/computer information, and giving her points for meeting that criteria.
- Calls to Action – Online forms designed to offer Mary something of value in exchange for her contact information
- Content Personalization and more Lead Scoring – Presenting specific content to Mary based on her “fit” with your company, like the fact that she is in Dallas, and her actions on your website, like her page visits and downloads.
- Manual Profile Updates – Making notations that she attended a seminar and which representative visited her on what day.
- Email Marketing – Based on specific “triggers” personalized email messages were sent to Mary to engage her further and move her down in the sales funnel.
As you can see, marketing automation was the difference in getting Mary’s business. Be prepared to start an inbound campaign of your own...