We often get requests to automate steps in a sales or marketing process. Sometimes it's because the sales guys don't have patience to "deal with" tracking their leads. It may be to avoid missing updates and details.
Marketing automation can be a very smart tool for things like updating a field to reflect an update a Lead Status or generate a reminder task to follow up. However, there are the requests that cause me to shake my head and ask, "Is that really a strategic marketing automation? Or are we being lazy?"
This post offers you a few ideas for useful, strategic marketing automations that you can set up in your CRM, email, or marketing automation software. And if you have questions about how to do it, feel free to contact us and we can schedule a free consultation to discuss what you need.
These are the marketing automation ideas you can apply to your own business - helping you to increase productivity and improve your internal operations.
One of the most undervalued, powerful tools there is in CRM software is lead scoring. This is when you assign point values based on how a Lead interacts with you (opening emails) and the information you collect about them (type of business or budget). When you have 1,000 leads to evaluate, this is the automation tool that helps you prioritize.
If you have your CRM or email software integrated with your website, then you can probably track which Leads / Contacts are visiting the site - specific pages and time visiting. Creating an alert, updating a field, or creating a task to reach out to them based on this activity can be quite a strategic automation.
We've all been on the receiving side of a drip email. It's the worst when the messaging is generic and unrelated to our interest in a company or product. You can create filters that segment your list and trigger different email drip campaigns based on information you've collected about someone. Customized messaging has a much better conversion rate. Since this is the most common marketing automation, we want to share some specific workflows that you can use in your business:
When someone signs up for your newsletter or other updates, you want them to become a new lead in your CRM, right? This person has clearly shown interest in your company, so he or she should be welcomed. A simple way to do this is with an automated email sent immediately after completing the form. The messaging should offer more insights into what else to expect from you. The opening and clicking of this welcome email can be treated as top of funnel "consideration conversions" that you track in your overall sales pipeline.
When your Leads are inactive or untouched for a specified time frame (i.e. 90 days since last contacted), it's good to remind them who you are, what you do, and why they should care. This means setting up a time triggered automation that sends 2-3 emails over a couple weeks. If they don't engage with your emails in any way, it's probably a sign of a junk lead. And that is okay! You want a clean CRM that only includes qualified, interested leads after all. Those who do open, click and engage with your emails may need additional marketing automations setup such as creating a task for a sales person to follow up with a call.
If you have any gated content (someone must register to access it), use some smart workflows based on that specific Resource. Be careful of being to general. Content marketing today requires your messaging to be as customized as possible to be effective. You can set up a drip email campaign that further educates your lead about that resource topic. For example, downloading a case study about document translation for healthcare naturally connects with the need for HIPPA compliance or understanding localization of language - great content to include in your drip emails. Perhaps using this resource as a more direct a sales tool would be better for you. When a lead downloads this resource, they also get a free demo or consultation.
Important dates related to someone's history (purchase date, birth date, renewal date) a simple and logical to automate. Special dates such as an expiring subscription or a product that auto-renews are key customer support messages that you can using marketing automation to handle for you. I also like using other dates such as someone's birthday or the anniversary for when you first met or first began working together. It's a silly, light reason to reach out without any sales pitch. Include a date field in your CRM and you can easily trigger these kinds of automations.
One of the simplest and most helpful marketing automations you can do is update fields in a Lead, Contact, or Company record. Heck, you can even use it to update your open Deals / Opportunities. For example, you may have a contract out for signature. As soon as it is signed, you want to update that Contact to be labeled as a New Client (trigger an onboarding workflow maybe) and update your Deal pipeline to Closed and Won. Those are such small updates, but they are tedious so there's no good reason to manually do those steps.
This article just begins to scratch the surface of the possibilities in marketing automation. When you begin working on any automation, the best advice we can give is to map it out first. Whether you draw it on a notepad, use an online tool such as Draw.io, or write out the steps in a list, mapping out your workflow allows you to see what needs to happen - including the gaps in your plan.
As always, the team at Beckmann Collaborative is here to support business owners and marketers with building strong, smart systems. You are welcome to reach out to us with any questions.
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