Many entrepreneurs and online marketers will already be using some forms of marketing automation techniques without really thinking about it. Applications that share blog headlines across social media channels and automated email marketing campaigns are all good examples of marketing automation. However, these techniques only scratch the surface of what can prove to be a hugely beneficial and lucrative addition to your universal marketing mix.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is the practise of tactically automating your marketing strategies in order to nurture leads, get new business enquiries and increase sales. Marketing automation enables business owners to target particular segments without having to individually initiate campaigns as part of the marketing process. Automating marketing activity enables the entire lead acquisition strategy to run in the background without the need for manual intervention. This increases business efficiency, saves time and money, and gives us time to focus on our core competencies.
What marketing automation techniques work best?
There are numerous types of marketing automation techniques. Unfortunately there isn’t a “one size fits all” strategy however in this blog I’m going to share the secrets of how we use marketing automation. From this, I hope you will glean some best practise techniques that will get you started:
Automated IP Tracking Software
Tracking visitors that come to our website is an essential starting base for any digital marketing strategy. Whilst Google Analytics tells us how many people have been on our site, it doesn’t always give us the full details of prospects.
Every business that has an internet connection has a registered Internet Protocol (IP) address. When a prospect comes onto your website using a business internet connection, IP tracking software can cross reference this address against the national database. This will then provide us with the name of the company who has visited our site. Of course, the downside is that mobile traffic can’t be monitored as the IP address is never fixed unless individuals browse through their wifi connection.
There are several service providers that offer this service. We use WOW Analytics however there are many other providers such as Lead Forensics and Exact Target that have a good reputation and offer similar services.
IP tracking enables us to score the pages on our website. This enables us to sort prospects by the frequency of engagement as well as setting up automated notifications to our sales team whenever prospects reengage. Using lead scoring helps us to identify “buying like behaviour” and then trigger automated campaigns back to the prospect based on the pages they visit. This can then form part of a remarketing strategy delivered either via paid advertising or email marketing.
The best tracking software provides company information and further details by cross referencing the company name against other databases such as through Dun and Bradstreet or LinkedIn.
Automated Email Marketing Nurturing Campaigns
Email marketing is a great way to engage with your audience. Setting up a series of emails that automatically initiate based on a prospect’s actions within the email or on your website is a great way to get started. As discussed earlier, remarketing can then be used eg. to send an email after a failed checkout attempt or to trigger further paid advertising.
Despite most service providers offeringthe ability to configure a campaign series, it is surprising how many people opt for the traditional ‘bang and blast’ approach. If you give a little more time to planning your email marketing strategy then your campaigns will likely be more successful. Check out my blog on how to build trust, interest and action from your email marketing for more information.
Our approach was to set up a 6 week campaign series for lead nurturing. This involved one campaign per week that would initiate based on time lapsing, ie every 7 days. In addition we have automated emails that are triggered based on key landing pages. If prospects from our emails land on these key pages then they will receive another email.
We have taken a further step to integrate our email marketing with our IP tracking software. This enables us to suppress contacts from within the database who reach lead score. Once a prospect reaches our pre-defined lead score, an automated report is sent to the sales team to call them and they are removed out of the campaign series.
Even if you do not usually use Pay Per Click advertising through Adwords, remarketing can be extremely powerful and very profitable. Essentially, you can show your advertisements to people that have previously visited your website when they are on other websites offering advertising as well as on the Google product suite ie YouTube.
Remarketing means that you are reaching out to people that have previously visited your site. They are further down the engagement funnel than most general visitors, and you can automate the process so that only visitors that left from a particular page, or at a specific point on your site, receive these ad displays.
Remarketing works through cookies and it is important that you are aware of the UK cookie guidance and seek prior or implied consent dependant on your industry. If in doubt, check out the Information Commissioners Office website.
If you’re struggling with marketing automation techniques and would like some free impartial advice, then give me a call and I’d be pleased to speak with you. As always your comments and questions are always appreciated. Please share what marketing automation strategies have worked well for you.