Today, there is software that helps companies automate their interactions with prospects and customers. They are used to: minimize errors, streamline processes, increase conversion rates, and improve the productivity of marketing and sales teams.
If you want to know how to implement these technological solutions in your company, in this article I will explain everything you need to know to achieve it effectively.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation, called in Spanish automated marketing or marketing automation, is the process by which you automate repetitive tasks in the area of marketing and sales, through software or technological solutions.
Its objective is to increase the efficiency of companies and thus, decrease costs and increase their income.
Before learning how to use marketing automation in your company, it is important to keep in mind the following key concepts:
Also known as a prospect or opportunity, is the user who shares their contact information with your company in exchange for a content offer, blog subscription or registration.
Depending on the level of interest and interaction, leads can be classified generally as cold, warm or hot or specifically as leads, MQLs, SALs, SQLs, and sales opportunities.
A landing page is, in inbound marketing terms, a web page that serves to motivate a user to perform an action, which within your sales funnel represents a conversion.
Lead magnet or content offer
A lead magnet is a free content that is offered to a user in exchange for their contact details, such as an ebook, a webinar, a template, a guide, among others.
Funnel or conversion funnel
A funnel or conversion funnel is a series of steps in which a user is guided to perform a specific action called a conversion.
Mailing is the act of sending marketing or commercial emails to a list of subscribers.
Label or property
The tag is a keyword used to classify leads according to their digital or offline behaviors or actions.
A trigger, known in Spanish as a trigger, is an event that is configured within the software for automated marketing in order to activate or deactivate a certain task, in response to an action -or inaction- of the lead.
A workflow, in Spanish workflow, is a sequence of tasks that are performed in a certain time. In marketing automation, these activities connect to each other through triggers.
Remarketing is a technique that involves targeting advertisements or content to personalized audiences who are interested in specific information, products, or services.
There are two ways to execute this technique:
- Traditional remarketing: It is based on showing advertisements to users who visited specific pages of the website. To achieve this, codes are inserted into these web pages and detect the behavior and interaction of visitors.
- Automated remarketing: consists of directing advertisements to leads tagged in software.
How to use automated marketing?
Automated marketing helps you manage campaigns to attract and nurture leads, as well as improve your sales through email marketing and social media. See how you can implement it for different strategies below.
Lead generation campaigns
To carry out a lead generation campaign through marketing automation, I recommend:
- Define your buyer people to create the content of their interest.
- Identify the stages of your conversion funnel.
- Create valuable items and content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Introduce content offers within your blog posts that are related to the topic. For example, if the article is about inbound marketing, you can offer a template to create a buyer persona.
- Link your content offering with custom landing pages.
- Label the leads that enter your funnel according to the content of their interest, characteristics or behavior (actions are taken or inaction).
- Create a workflow for tagged leads, whose first email contains the lead magnet.
- Insert triggers or triggers in the workflow to automatically send emails at the most convenient time.
- Include a new content offer in the workflow. This will help you classify the person’s interests and direct them to a personalized funnel.
- Analyze metrics like open clicks and conversion rates to separate cold leads from lukewarm leads.
- Create a label, at the end of the mail sequence with the leads that need to continue to be nurtured to separate them from those that are already ready for the next stage of the sales funnel.
I recommend you analyze the leads that did not show interest and evaluate what strategies you can implement to advance your conversion funnel.
Don’t worry if all this seems like a lot of work! You will see that with the help of the right software, creating workflows is easier than you think.
Not all messages that are automated in an email marketing campaign are made to convert users into leads. Transactional emails are also often scheduled. I give you two examples:
- When a user makes an online purchase, they receive an email to confirm the transaction details.
- When a person registers on a social network and an email automatically appears in their inbox to verify their data.
In this sense, through automated marketing, you can create workflows with personalized content to attend cases and help people solve their problems.
Newsletter subscription campaigns
Newsletter subscription campaigns are the clearest example of automation. If a user provides your email to receive content from your blog periodically, you must program it to send the requested information.
I share some tips:
- Occasionally send content offers in order to outline the interests of your subscribers and evaluate if they are sales opportunities.
- Use tags to identify subscribers who don’t open your emails. Later, you can send them personalized messages to find out their reasons.
- Add calls to action at the end of the email such as “continue reading” “I want to know more” to drive traffic to the blog website.
- Send every fifteen days, a list with the latest articles published on your blog or the most read.
Publications and advertising campaigns on social networks
There are marketing automation tools to manage content and social media campaigns. You can take advantage of this software to schedule in a single day, all the publications of the month, and create personalized audiences for your ads. I show you how:
1. Create an editorial calendar with the content to be published. Segment it by:
- Social network.
- Publication text.
- Hashtags to use (if necessary).
- Access link to complementary audiovisual material (image, video, gif).
- Users to tag, among others.
2. Link your social networks within the automation tool.
3. Select one of them and fix the structure of your publications.
4. Make sure that all the elements of each post are configured correctly (hashtags, images, videos, among others).
5. Add the time and date of publication.
6. Check that all scheduled content is published as planned.
Some marketing automation software lets you schedule feed posts, stories, and comments. In addition, they provide metrics for your posts in real-time.
To do advertising remarketing campaigns
You can use your lead data within marketing automation software to create remarketing ad campaigns. For example:
If a lead group is tagged as “people interested in attending the digital marketing course,” you can create a personalized audience with their data on Facebook Ads.
Then, carry out a traffic campaign that directs leads to a payment gateway, where they can purchase their tickets to the event.
As you will see, correctly tagging your leads not only helps you share personalized content but also creates strategically targeted ads.
Upselling and cross-selling campaigns
Another use that you can give automated marketing is the creation of email sequences with the aim of increasing sales through up-selling and cross-selling campaigns.
There are two ways to apply both techniques:
- With landing pages: Instead of directing a customer who just made a purchase to a thank you page, send them to another landing page offering a new product or service.
- Via emails: schedule an email 3-5 days after purchase, giving your customer an offer with a duration limit. In English, this promotion is known as “One time offer” (OTO).
In both cases, labels are allies to classify your customers according to their purchase history and interests. Thus, a few days after making a purchase, you can send them a sales email, for example:
- “Hello Sofia, we think that the following products on offer might interest you” (up selling case)
- “Hello Sofia, take a look at this accessory that matches the product you purchased” (cross-selling case)
I give you tips for using marketing automation in sales workflows:
- If your products or services can be purchased online, direct email traffic to an upselling page or a payment gateway.
- Explain to your customers all the details they need to know about the products and/or services you offer.
- Set a trigger to send a transactional email confirming the order data, in the event that a customer makes the purchase.
Benefits of using it in your company
If you consider that it is time to apply marketing automation in your company, you need to know what its benefits are.
I show you what they are:
Allows you to effectively nurture your leads
Marketing automation helps you with the nutrition and qualification of your leads, which is key to increasing the number of prospects ready for purchase.
Keep in mind that not all of your leads are ready for purchase. For this reason, lead nutrition seeks to get users interested in your content as they go through the conversion funnel.
In this way, when you configure lead nurturing campaigns, you do not lose contact with them or stop educating them. In addition, you take advantage of opportune moments to send content related to your products and services.
It helps you improve the ROI of the marketing area
Automated marketing allows you to reduce costs and increase your ROI, some of the ways it makes this possible are:
- Your payroll and personnel hiring costs decrease since the same person can perform the tasks of other collaborators and assign the software those that are repetitive.
- It allows you to identify cold leads who are definitely not interested in receiving offers of content, products, or services.
- By freeing your team from manual tasks, they can take advantage of their time in creativity and strategic planning sessions.
- The attention of your marketing partners may focus on: creating quality content offers, analyzing results, designing high-impact strategies, and guiding the use of the software to obtain better results.
Provides you with real-time metrics of your marketing and sales campaigns
Marketing automation works to store data from your lead generation, nutrition, subscription, and sales campaigns in one place.
This allows your marketing team to obtain real-time reports on the results that these activities are showing.
With your campaign information visible just a click away, it will be easier for your team:
- Create more assertive actions.
- Restructure goals that are far from being achieved.
- Detect emails that are not converting or worse, that are not opening.
- Implement quick solutions to problems.
Through this practice, you will be able to take advantage of the benefits of technology to have a clear image of the current state of your marketing and sales strategies.
Improve the productivity of your teams
Automated marketing improves the productivity of your marketing and sales teams because it helps simplify routine tasks that could take entire days of work for your collaborators.
Imagine how long it could take for a person to manually send 1,000 emails to entirely different contact lists or post to social media without the help of software.
Also, a marketing automation software is a great ally to help your team minimize errors that interfere with their productivity, such as sending email sequences to the wrong contacts or posting content on social networks at the wrong time.
The time it would take to solve the problem could be used in key activities to convert leads into customers.
B2B vs B2C marketing automation
Automated marketing cannot be implemented in the same way if your buyer persona is a company or a consumer.
Both target audiences have very different characteristics from each other. I explain to you:
- While a consumer can decide their next purchase in a matter of seconds, companies carefully analyze their spending, so it takes them longer to purchase goods and services.
- To some extent, all purchases are emotional decisions. However, unlike consumers, companies have to think about the business impact of their acquisitions and make rational decisions.
- Compared to consumers who can go to multiple brands to buy the same product in the short term, companies often establish long-term business agreements with their suppliers. This allows them to secure the provision of goods and services and save on preferential contract costs.
Learn how to apply automated marketing in each case:
Tips to implement it in B2B markets
If your company operates in a B2B market, I recommend:
- Establish email as the main channel when implementing your marketing and sales strategies. Companies often use it more frequently to centralize communications with their collaborators and business partners.
- Request information in your contact forms that allow you to better know your prospects such as company name, a sector in the market, number of employees, website, among others.
- Nurture your prospects with lead magnets that facilitate corporate activities or tasks. For example accounts payable templates, Gantt charts, budget tables, among others, will depend on the sector and interests of your buyer people.
When applied in B2C markets
If you offer products and services aimed at end consumers, follow these tips:
- Take advantage of automation to send discounts or promotions at opportune moments. This will help you take advantage of the emotional component of consumers in the buying process.
- Use social networks as the main communication channel, since they are the platforms where consumers tend to spend more time and it is easier to generate reach through them.
- Tag your B2C leads very well to create effective social media remarketing campaigns.
- Schedule emails that congratulate your customers on their birthdays to delight them with personalized content.
What is not marketing automation?
Since you know what marketing automation is, it’s time to know how to differentiate it from other practices and misperceptions that often create misunderstandings and confusion, as there are endless myths about marketing automation. I explain to you:
A synonym for email marketing
Marketing automation is not synonymous with email marketing since this technique can exist with or without email scheduling.
Also, email is not the only channel where marketing automation practices are implemented. Social networks also have an important weight.
The truth is that this confusion is very common since in B2B markets automated marketing is mainly implemented in emails and the software that offer this service, usually highlights this functionality.
A way to send spam
Automated marketing can be used to send spam emails to contact lists without any sort of interest or purchasing behavior.
However, this action is far from becoming the main purpose when using automation software. If so, there would be no point in offering tools to tag leads with the goal of sending personalized emails.
A tool that only benefits the marketing team
Marketing automation helps you generate and nurture qualified leads. Those contacts who are prepared to be served by the sales team are more likely to become customers.
In this way, not only does the marketing department benefit from the implementation of technological solutions, your sales team also takes advantage of them to achieve their results.
Something that does not require an investment of time and effort
Marketing automation does not mean setting up a sequence of emails within the software and forgetting that they exist for a while.
The word “automation” tends to give the wrong impression, and many people make the mistake of believing that after scheduling a certain number of actions, they don’t have to worry about the process.
Conversely, good marketing automation requires a team that spends time checking whether:
- Emails were not sent at the correct time.
- Poorly executed triggers.
- Incorrectly configured labels.
- Poorly segmented advertising campaigns.
- Untimely configured social media posts.
- Spelling and writing errors in emails and content.
software for marketing automation
Today, you can get a wide variety of tools for marketing automation, however, it is important that you choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
I show you a list of the most popular and known.
Hubspot Marketing is one of the most used platforms when it comes to implementing marketing automation. It integrates other brand software such as:
- Hubspot CRM
- Hubspot Sales
- Hubspot Services.
There is a free version with basic functionalities, however, to access more advanced tools you must opt for their premium plans.
Hubspot Marketing allows you to:
- Create workflows based on conversion goals.
- Design advertisements on Facebook.
- Make landing pages with personalized content for each visitor.
- Integrate chats on your website.
- Qualify your prospects (lead scoring).
- Access a CRM integrated to the platform.
Active Campaign is one of the most comprehensive tools on the market. It gives you marketing automation functionalities in all its subscription plans:
These functionalities are:
- Monitoring your website to know the contents, products, and services of greatest interest.
- Design of personalized workflows based on the activity of your users.
- Real-time viewing of activities within your website such as video views, button clicks, registrations, logins, among others.
- Access to an “automation map” where you can see the connections between all your workflows and conversion funnels.
Ontraport is software designed to help entrepreneurs deliver value to their clients by automating their marketing strategies. It offers you 4 plans:
No matter which one you choose, they allow you to access marketing automation functionalities. These include:
- Conversations and campaigns via SMS.
- Workflows template marketplace.
- Capture leads through Facebook.
- Custom filters to classify contacts.
- Sending physical postcards to attract the attention of prospects and offline customers.
- Maps to view scheduled campaigns.
Get Response is a marketing automation software that offers you multiple functionalities to improve the productivity of your collaborators.
It is very easy to use and offers you a 30-day free trial on each of its plans: basic, plus, professional and enterprise. Depending on the plan you choose, the tasks you can do are:
- Create automation events based on user behavior on your website.
- Schedule drip campaigns.
- Send birthday emails using custom templates.
- Qualify your prospects (lead scoring).
- Notify sales team of qualified leads and conversations with purchase intent.
Good practices to improve marketing automation
Automation software helps you streamline tasks, however, it does not guarantee to increase your conversion rate if you do not implement good usage practices.
So it is the responsibility of your marketing and sales teams to implement actions to improve marketing automation and take advantage of its functionalities.
I show you some practices that help you achieve this:
Define your buyer persona
To improve your marketing automation it is important that you define a buyer persona. Thus, you can identify what type of content is relevant to create and share through emails and social networks, according to the interests of your ideal audience.
Identify the stages of your conversion funnels
If you don’t set the stages for your conversion funnels, you’re not implementing automated marketing properly.
This is because you don’t map out key steps to meet your goals, and you lose sight of the leads that need nurturing and those that are ready to buy.
So, I recommend having clear funnels and their stages to effectively segment your prospects.
Deliver content to your buyer people depending on their stage in the purchase cycle
Before setting up workflows, landing pages, and advertising campaigns, check that the content corresponds to the buyer’s journey stage of your buyer persona.
You cannot send messages with the intention of selling to people who are just entering your training funnel. For this reason, your actions must be consistent with the current position in which the prospects are.
Qualify your prospects (lead scoring)
To improve your marketing automation, you should use lead scoring tools to know quantitatively which leads are closest to meeting your conversion goals, based on the number of:
- Website visits
- Income to your platform
- Email openings
- Completed contact forms
- Downloaded content offers
- Conversations or messages sent.
Create short, clear and concise content
When creating your landing pages and emails, try to keep the content short, clear and concise. People don’t have time to fill out long subscription forms or read lengthy emails.
In addition, the information you provide must be accurate and written in fluent and understandable language. Avoid technicalities or complex words that can confuse the reader.
Address people by their names
To improve automated marketing, you should target your prospects and customers by their names.
Most of the marketing automation software provides automatic settings to add personal data of the contacts in emails, such as name, surname, an organization to which they belong, and/or position.
With this practice, you motivate people to read your messages.
Add calls to action
In social media posts and campaigns, as well as emails, add calls to action through buttons and companion texts, which change based on your conversion goals.
If you do not add CTAs in your automated content within the content to be automated, it will be difficult for your prospects or clients to comply with the activity you want and advance within the conversion funnel.
Avoid looking like spam
To properly use marketing automation, the emails you send to your prospects and customers cannot contain elements related to spam, such as:
- Deceptive matters written in capital letters.
- Absence of a physical address of the recipient company within the mail
- Excessive use of links in message bodies.
- Skip buttons to unsubscribe.
- Advertisements that are not specified as such in the subject of the message.
Avoiding these actions is key for people to feel safe with the information you send them.
Ultimately, marketing automation is key to:
- Streamline the processes of recruitment, nutrition, and qualification of leads.
- Increase the number of qualified leads for the purchase.
- Interact with your prospects and clients in a personalized way at the right time.
- Segment your contact base according to interests and behaviors.
- Improve the flow of information between your marketing and sales teams.
Are you interested in automating the tasks of marketing and sales in your company? Write us a message and we will gladly schedule a consultation.