If you’re like a lot of people, you have questions about marketing automation. How does it work? What are the benefits? And, most of all, what exactly is marketing automation? Good news! We have the answers to those and other questions you might have in the blog post below.
Q: What exactly is marketing automation?
A: Marketing automation helps you automate certain marketing activities such as email, social media, webinars and other tasks. Most marketing automation platforms come in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS) – you pay a monthly subscription fee in order to use the software for your purposes.
Q: What are the benefits of marketing automation?
A: Marketing automation allows you to gain efficiencies in your marketing activities because some of those activities can be automated. Sophisticated marketing automation platforms also allow you to analyze the data around your marketing activities and derive insights about your customers and prospects. What’s more, marketing automation tools allow you to speed up the prospect journey from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom of the sales funnel.
In the end, marketing automation can help you save time and money with your marketing campaigns, and can help you improve your ability to convert prospects into customers.
Q: How can a marketing automation platform help me nurture a prospect through the sales funnel?
A: As you know, when a prospect is first introduced to your product or service, they’re not necessarily in a buying mode. It’s more likely that they’re in an information-gathering mode. Marketing automation helps you identify prospects that are in the information-gathering mode and differentiate them from prospects who are further down the sales funnel in the buying mode.
When you have a prospect at the top of the sales funnel, you’ll want to talk to them differently than someone who is at the bottom of the sales funnel.
With a marketing automation platform like GetResponse, you can segment each group of customers out so that they get a different set of communications. For example, the prospects who are in the information gathering part of the funnel might get an e-newsletter that shares blog posts and e-books that talk about the overall benefits of your product or service.
The people who are further down the sales funnel in the buying mode would receive an e-newsletter that provides blog posts and e-books that talk about the pricing of your product or the return-on-investment that your product can provide them.
At the top of the sales funnel, prospects get more general information. At the bottom of the sales funnel, prospects get more specific information.
By using marketing automation to talk to people in different parts of the sales funnel in different ways, you can improve your ability to convert prospects into customers.
Q: What are some of the other benefits of marketing automation?
A: By analyzing the digital data you’ll be receiving through your marketing automation campaigns, you’ll be able to derive insights about what your prospects want and need.
For example, let’s say you want to test marketing messages about your product or service. In the old days, you’d have to guess which message resonated most with your prospects and customers. But with marketing automation, you can run A/B split tests that provide you information about which messages generated the most interest from your prospects and customers.
Another benefit you’ll find with marketing automation is that it improves the results of your sales calls. How? Let’s say a prospect signs up for your e-newsletter. It used to be that you would identify that prospect as a lead and send them to your sales force for a follow-up call. The problem was that many of those leads are too early in the sales cycle – the prospect isn’t ready to talk to a sales person.
With marketing automation, you can score leads based on their behaviors. For example, you might give someone who opens an email 1 point, and then give him or her another 5 points if they click a link in the email. If they download a free guide, that might be worth 10 points.
If a prospect has fewer than 30 points, they don’t get passed on to the sales person because they aren’t engaged enough with the brand. But if they score over 30 points, you can send them to a sales person because you know that they’re engaged more deeply with the brand.
See how that works? It’s like magic!
Q: How can I learn more about marketing automation?
A: You’ve come to the right place. We have plenty of blog posts and e-books that can be of help. For example, you can click here to download several reports we’ve created about the State of Email Marketing and Marketing Automation. Or, you might be interested in our Email Marketing and Marketing Automation Excellence Report for 2017, which can be viewed by clicking here.
No matter where you are on your marketing automation journey, be sure to take a spin through our website. You’ll find plenty of valuable resources that can help you learn more about this valuable tool … and put it to good use.