You know that marketing automation makes life simpler, but did you know how much it can help your business convert more customers?
A 2016 EmailMonday report titled 'The Ultimate Marketing Automation Stats' notes that around 49% of companies use automation, with 55% of B2B companies automating their strategies. Despite the obvious advantages of marketing automation however, it doesn't mean that it is necessarily easy for companies to get started. The biggest barriers to successful automation include:
- Businesses finding lead generation a major challenge
- Businesses not being fully happy with their automation tools
- Businesses not using their tools to the fullest extent
Sadly, these barriers lead to tools not being used, or, even worse, used without a solid understanding of how they add value. In order to see a real increase in your conversion rates, you need to understand how automation helps you reach more customers.
The Link Between Marketing Automation and Conversion
How exactly does marketing automation help you convert? Some of the main ways it helps include the following:
- Leads are nurtured with carefully targeted and planned messages
By far the biggest way that automation tools can help your conversion is through email marketing. Features such as market segmentation, lead scoring and lead management all help you craft a series of messages that are delivered to the right people, at the right time. Automation takes this one step further by making the entire process simpler, faster and more accurate.
Email personalisation has been shown to help conversion, especially when it is targeted to the interests, buying stage in the lead cycle and behaviour of each group. This in turn allows you to deliver content that is suited to each group, at the right stage of their buying cycle. The lead can then move on through your funnel. Automation makes this process streamlined and simple, allowing you far more control over your segments and your lead nurturing funnel.
- Messages are sent at the right time, triggered by the right behaviours
Regalix states that the most commonly used marketing automation features are email marketing (89%), lead nurturing (84%), integration such as CRM, mobile, social media, etc. (80%), and cross-channel campaign management (82%).
Needless to say, having your message sent at the right time can do wonders for conversion. There are a number of ways to ensure that messages are sent at optimal times. Push notifications have become a popular way to reach potential leads, while in-app messages and emails also work well if timed right.
Marketing automation takes out a lot of the effort at getting messages out at the right time. This allows you to focus on developing triggers for specific behaviours. For example, behaviours such as making enquiries on websites or browsing specific products on a regular basis could all be considered triggers.
- Leads are moved along the funnel at the right time
As talented as your sales team is, not even a super team can make up for bad leads that are nowhere near ready to convert. Tools such as lead scoring and automation work together to fine-tune your lead funnel in a way that is designed for maximum conversion. Using lead scoring and automation, you can determine leads that are ready to move on to the sales team.
- Optimise your email campaigns
Another way that automation tools can boost your conversion is email marketing. Personalised emails that are expertly crafted and automated to be sent to segmented lists are almost always more effective than random email blasts. Automation simplifies the process, allowing you far greater control over your emails than ever before.
You also have the ability to upsell, by introducing current customers to similar products that may interest them, based on their purchase. This approach is used by retail giant Amazon to good result, with a similar 'if you like this, you'll also like this' approach to offers.
Amazon founders revealed in 2006 that cross and up-selling accounted for 35% of sales. Automation allows you to leverage customer history in order to create personalised emails.
- Increase word of mouth marketing and referrals
It may sound strange to talk about off-line, in person marketing, but automation helps you convert by turning your customers into brand evangelists, too. It costs nothing for customers to promote your product to their friends and family. Customer evangelism is viral and highly effective, offering a unique way to convert new and existing customers.
The same marketing automation tools that help you convert leads into customers can help you turn customers into brand evangelists and raving fans. How can you use automation to achieve this level of fandom? It's simple. You create loyalty programmes, referral rewards and carefully curated messages that encourage customers to become your biggest fans. The biggest foundation for word of mouth marketing lies in customer satisfaction.
This is achieved through outstanding customer service and world-class support, which in turn is greatly aided by marketing automation that is designed to reach your fans. Once people convert, you can put them into a sales funnel that is aimed at boosting satisfaction through value-added offers, bonuses and resources, along with customer support outlets. Once you introduce a referral programme, they are sure to leap at the offer.
According to Aberdeen Research, 58% of best-in-class marketing agencies and businesses are currently using a marketing automation platform. According to the Act-On/Gleanster report, Rethinking the Role of Marketing In B2B Customer Engagement meanwhile, top performers were 20% more likely to use marketing automation technology compared to average agencies and companies.
The most useful features of an automation system vary from analytics and reporting, all the way to campaign management, lead nurturing, email marketing, integration and market segmentation. For businesses wanting to increase their conversion through automation, the first step is making sure that you are prepared. It is vital to have clear goals on what you want to achieve, along with a budget that you will use for getting your goals reached.
It is also vital to choose the right automation tools. Not all tools were created equal, after all. Consider your budget, but also think about what features are offered that will be the most useful to your goals. It's also good to look for platforms that are able to automate various tasks, reduce the risk of human error and manage, measure and optimise your efforts in the best way possible.
For more information on investing in marketing automation tools from Grapevine Interactive, simply contact us today.