When B2B companies struggle to identify and separate good leads from bad leads during the prospecting stage, they waste valuable time chasing the wrong opportunities. In turn, that wasted time detracts attention from the right opportunities. We help our clients solve this problem and implement more efficient marketing initiatives through marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is a marketing approach that uses software to gather intelligence about your website visitors and contacts and send those visitors highly-targeted and personalized marketing communications, such as email.
Email marketing automation
On our page about email lead nurturing, we introduce email as our primary tool for staying top-of-mind among our clients’ existing contacts and discuss the benefits of consistently delivering valuable content to their inboxes. With marketing automation, we kick email marketing up a notch. Here’s one example of when you might use marketing automation.
- A prospect visits your website, reads an informative blog article and is prompted to download a white paper that further explores the topic.
- The prospect downloads the white paper, providing his name, phone number, company name and email address in exchange.
- Your marketing automation software automatically generates a lead profile for this prospect in its database.
- A salesman on your team is alerted, he determines from the information collected that this is a good lead, and he calls the person by phone. He doesn’t connect and leaves a voicemail.
- Two days later your salesman sends a short, manual email trying to connect again. He gets no response.
- A week later your salesman tries one last phone call and again fails to connect, but he still feels like there could be a good fit.
So at this point, how do you engage this potential customer without wasting more of your sales rep’s time? Here’s how marketing automation can help.
- You visit this lead’s profile in your marketing automation software and check a box that says “nurturing campaign: on.”
- The software automatically sends a pre-written email to this new lead indicating that you’d love to connect when the time is right and hopefully in the meantime he’ll find some of your content helpful. The email includes a link to your FAQ page and encourages him to contact you with any questions.
- A week later, the software automatically sends a second email. This email introduces and links to another of your company’s white papers that he might find helpful.
- Another week later, a third automated email includes links to a couple blog posts and a case study related to this lead’s interests.
- More emails with more content that answer questions he’s researching and help him evaluate solutions to his company’s business problems
Some automated email campaigns we implement for our clients might only include two or three steps over the course a few weeks. Other campaigns may include 15 steps over the course of six months. Our approach depends on our clients’ sales cycle and audiences as well as the capacity of their sales team. Regardless, we focus on creating a balance between not falling off their leads’ radars, but also not annoying them with an excessive volume of email messages.
Let’s talk about how marketing automation could make your business development initiatives more efficient.