Do you want to generate better leads, lower your conversion time with them and save money?
A strong marketing automation strategy can help you achieve all of these goals and more. This strategy can effectively lead customers through every step of the marketing funnel.
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This type of marketing allows you to help your customers through every step of their decision making, giving you a chance to build your relationship with them.
You can provide information when they request it, which allows you to dictate the information they receive. It also allows you to gather more information about your client base due to the forms that each customer fills out.
Perhaps the greatest benefit is the added time that your marketers will have. Without them having to send out countless emails and social media posts, they will be able to use their time to tweak strategies in other areas.
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In other words, a solid marketing automation strategy improves your other marketing campaigns as well.
If you aren’t using this software, you are falling behind, and fast. What’s the best way to set up an automation strategy that will help you gain revenue and make your customer’s lives easier?
Let’s take a look what you need to create a powerful marketing automation strategy.
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Know Your Customers and Engage Them Early
If you can engage your customers early and personalize their experience, they are far more likely to do business with you. You can start this with your first encounter with them.
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When they sign up for emails on your website, make sure the email that is sent to them first has a call to action that will distinguish the type of customer they are.
Ask them to click on links that describe their position in a company or if they are self-employed, or perhaps ask them what kind of service they are looking for.
Make sure the link takes them to an individual page with information just for them. This will allow you to send them specialized information and guide them where they are more likely to use your services.
Don’t Abuse Their Inbox
You want your leads to open and read your emails. You create smart content, making it funny and informative, but you start to notice that you aren’t getting the type of response you’d like, especially after early correspondence.
This could be because you’ve been sent to the email version of purgatory, the spam zone. Your marketing automation strategy is dependent upon customers receiving your messages.
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If people see your emails as being intrusive or too frequent, they will simply mark it as spam and move on. The problem is that if you don’t send them frequently enough, you might be forgotten about and lost in the inbox.
The best marketing automation strategy for this is simple: Ask your customers how often they want your emails. They know what they want better than you do, so listen to them.
You also don’t want to ask something of them every email. They will begin to see your emails they same way they see a catalog. What do most people do with catalogs they get in the mail?
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They ignore them.
Mix up your emails. Give updates on your company. Talk about ways for your subscribers to increase their business. You only want to deliver a call to action every fourth email or so.
If you do a CTA in every email you will risk coming off as pushy or a nuisance.
While we are talking about what your customer’s want, we should point out:
Marketing Automation Strategy Should be Customer Focused
This seems like it is common sense. Surprisingly, there are companies that will go to an automated system for the simple reason that other companies are doing it.
This is incredibly short-sighted and wrong.
You should go to an automated system only to help your customer relations. It might seem strange that a marketing automation strategy could improve relations. The word automation tends to throw people off.
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While communications might be automated and device based, they only communicate what you and your team tell them to.
That means that even though you aren’t technically messaging the customers yourself, you are still delivering the message.
A strong marketing automation strategy can also combine all aspects of the customer’s experience into one. Customer service, marketing, and sales can all be a part of your marketing automation strategy.
See What Has Worked in the Past and Use It
Did you put out an email six months ago with a call to action that produced tremendous results? Just because you’ve done it once doesn’t mean that you can’t do it again.
Look at what was in the email or media post, and figure out what made it work so well. Take that and duplicate it. Hammer it home.
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A good call to action is clear and concise. If your customer doesn’t know what you want them to do, they can’t do it!
You can also send out messages that highlight some of your better posts of the past. For the new year, you can do a “top five advice articles for your business”. Don’t be afraid to reuse old posts.
A large portion of your readers might have missed some them. Just don’t do this once a month. Less is more.
Ensure That Your Messages are Focused on Different Customers
When you set up your marketing automation strategy, if you’ve done a good job at identifying your customers in the opening stages of communication, you can design different messages for different groups of people.
Once you learn your customer’s demographics, where they are located, how high up the corporate structure they are, and what type of business they are running, you can produce messages that meet their individual needs.
This not only adds some personality to your campaign but also helps to turn possible leads into future clients.
Think about it: if a business takes the time to push their service to you personally instead of giving you the same blanket pitch they give everyone, you are far more likely to trust them, right?
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Trust equals revenue.
Do small things to gain their trust. Send personalized messages. If there is a bad winter storm in the Midwest, make sure you send them a message saying that you hope all is well.
These small things on top of the marketing automation strategy build a sense of trust in your business. This trust often leads to a business relationship down the road.
Make Sure You Incorporate Social Media
Social media has become an essential piece of marketing for businesses. It has also changed how people now make buying decisions.
Almost half of all consumers use a combination of search engines and social media to determine whether or not they are going to buy something.
Often times, companies that have a strong social media presence are seen as more trustworthy. They can also see how other people have rated your services, and how you’ve handled dissatisfied customers.
Social media can also be used to try new things, such as giving away samples of your product or services.
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This might seem like a waste of money, but studies have shown that people who take samples often feel obligated to buy the product because of the human desire to reciprocate positive actions.
Make sure your SEO game is strong as well. People heading to google or other search engines (bing, yahoo) before making decisions means that you will need to be at the top of the search engine rankings.
People can’t buy your product if they can’t find you. Being able to combine these three aspects of marketing will give you a competitive edge that other businesses will have a hard time keeping up with.
Think Long Term
It’s easy to get caught up in short-term successes and failures, but it’s important to remember that true success takes time to build. Building a marketing automation strategy that works isn’t going to happen overnight.
Maintaining the system that you build is hard. You have to make sure that you aren’t just throwing things at your customers and seeing what sticks. You have to have a plan and follow through.
In order to get an accurate picture of the results of your campaign, you will need to probably wait around six months (maybe less depending on your business) before giving it a hard evaluation.
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That might seem like a long time, but remember that the more data you have, the easier it is to adjust and improve. Don’t be afraid to send out some surveys to customers right before the six-month evaluation begins.
They will give you the best information. Why guess what they want when you can just ask them?
Setting up a marketing automation strategy will help your business run more smoothly and give your marketing team free time to focus on other jobs.
If done properly, it will do something even more important: it will provide your customers with a more focused and individualized experience. That is something that will almost always lead to an increase in revenue.
Mike Khorev helps small and mid-size businesses generate more leads and sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO, digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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