Marketing automation best practices have long been touted as the next big thing.
Marketing automation allows companies to streamline their efforts and measure workflows unencumbered. This creates the perfect launchpad towards enhanced efficiency and better revenue generation.
Of course, not all marketing automation best practices are created equal. Some work better than others.
In a bid to provide you with insights, we’ve compiled a 13-point guide that will surely smooth your workflow.
Before we get started listing out marketing automation best practices, here’s a little perspective.
In business, the primary concern for many entrepreneurs is to create value. Indeed, that is the stepping stone that triggers other benefits like profit and growth.
That said, it’s important to note that there are limitations that exist. Ultimately, for a company to achieve success, it boils down to the two finite resources, time and personnel.
Many businesses usually struggle to maintain one-on-one relationships with their clientele. Critically, this is one aspect of the trade that can make or break a brand as the years go by.
As Uncle Ben would say it, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. The onus, therefore, lies squarely on you to use marketing automation best practices to avoid losing touch with your prospects.
If you’re curious on which marketing automation best practices to look out for, we’ve got you covered.
Best Practices for Marketing Automation in 2019
Best Practice 1. Formulate Buyer Personas
As a marketer, it’s good to tap into your imaginative space to get a clear picture of who your likely buyers are.
With that in mind, it becomes easier to deploy marketing strategies. Engagements like content creation and workflows become easier to achieve with elaborate personas.
When devising personas, you need to consider various talking points. This can include things like education, skills, challenges, responsibilities, and demographic information.
To formulate buyer personas, you need to undertake surveys and conduct interview sessions.
For further comprehension of the right buyers, you can review your analytics dashboard.
Best Practice 2. Map Out the Buyer’s Journey
This is one of the marketing automation best practices for good reason. Learning about the buyer journey help you learn plenty about which buttons to push in to complete a sale.
Since prospects usually wiggle through various stages of the sales funnel differently, it’s important to provide guidance. For this to happen, you’ll have to segment them according to their personas. Your leads may be engaged, known, anonymous, sales accepted leads, marketing qualified leads, closed or recycled.
Whatever category they may be in, you need to find the right content that fits their needs. Then, device proper mechanisms that will carefully nurture them through the buyer’s journey. A well-devised plan should be able to guide them along even through the bottlenecks in the funnel.
By mapping out the buyer’s journey beforehand, nurturing becomes a breeze. You’ll be able to efficiently move leads to full conversion.
Best Practice 3. Lead Scoring
To make things easier for you, you should choose to automate how you capture lead information. This will help you determine the scoring system you install based on the probability of conversion.
Lead scores are important since they give you an idea on the investments you need to make on a lead. Since time and resources are usually limited, you’ll have to decide on which leads are worth pursuing.
Leads further down the sales funnel are also better served by this lead scoring initiative. This is because members of the sales team have more time to scale up their efforts and deal with them.
You can considerably see a bump in your ROI through optimizing your investments. Ideally, hot leads will need more percentages of the budget while lost, cold, and recycled leads deserve less.
Best Practice 4. Lead Qualification
Qualifying leads based on their potential to convert is an integral part of marketing automation best practices. This is because you can make massive savings in resources and time before forwarding names of hot leads. Those that qualify are justifiably delivered to the sales team, while those that aren’t get sent back to marketing.
Having a lead qualification threshold is also great for review purposes. You can learn whether leads are qualified at the right time with each passing quarter. For enhanced accuracy, alter the threshold to keep hold of specific attributes.
Best Practice 5. Automatic Qualification
To further hasten the qualification process, you can track how your leads behave. Usually, specific actions taken by leads serve as indicators that they are ready to buy a product of service.
Some of these actions include demo requests, free account sign-ups, and eBook downloads. In a manual system, you would have to jot down these actions before steering leads further along the sales funnel.
With automation, you can specify which actions translate to leads becoming marketing qualified. Immediately your leads perform those actions, the system rewards them with points which qualifies them for the next step.
Best Practice 6. Lead Progression
Lead progression is core among marketing automation best practices for a myriad of reasons. By having system triggers in place, you can get the ball rolling whenever certain events occur.
To get the gist of this, you can make use of system triggers for the sales team to follow up whenever leads become marketing qualified. After the events, they can choose to assign new tasks, update the lead stage and draft them into new campaigns. It all depends on which prompts you’ve put in place.
You can also use these triggers to establish email correspondence. This can be particularly helpful if you want to send welcome emails for every user who signs up for a service. You simply need to draft a copy of the email beforehand and feed it to the system.
You can also use triggers to create new opportunities whenever leads become sales qualified leads. With marketing automation, the possibilities are endless.
Best Practice 7. Personalization
You can easily access troves of contact data using various marketing automation best practices. However, if you’re looking to access plenty more data, we recommend trying out an all-in-one CRM solution.
This jack-of-all-trades solution ensures that you have access to various facets of data. This information can range from sales, marketing, and customer support.
You can leverage this data by segmenting contacts into definitive classes sharing similar traits. This will make it easier for you to personalize emails and other broadcast messages to your contact list.
The data at your disposal will prove pivotal in creating target email campaigns. Not only will your message resonate with specific segments of your contact list, but it will also address specific pain points.
Today, Facebook has successfully become revered in the world of personalization. The social media company has been able to do this by improving its services based on gathered consumer data. As time ticks on, many analysts believe that Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in the next phase of personalization.
Best Practice 8. Drip Campaigns
Given the fact that email still has a lot of firepower, it’s important to leverage email drip campaigns.
For this to happen, you need to feed the system with many email draft versions before setting triggers. You can run nurturing campaigns, send welcome emails and provide subscription renewal updates.
Since the whole system is fully automated, you can realize great savings in time and resources used.
You can avoid being part of the 33% of marketers who consider their email marketing ventures as unsuccessful. All you need to do is embrace drag and drop builders.
Such intuitive systems allow you to quickly put up drip campaigns that guarantee results. By having one in place, you’ll be able to shift over to the 67% demographic who believe their email campaigns are worth it. Indeed, drip campaigns rank highly among marketing automation best practices.
Best Practice 9. Email Newsletters
If you’re looking to keep your clients in the loop on the happenings at your company, email newsletters are the way to go. Their non-invasive qualities and subtleness involved makes them perfect for delivering insightful information.
While it’s true that sending email newsletters is an ancient practice, the allure still exists. Their effectiveness has earned them a spot on the high table of marketing automation best practices.
Setup is quite easy if your marketing automation solution provides templates and a drag and drop email builder. From there, you can automate the distribution process to ensure your newsletter reaches your audience.
Best Practice 10. Measure
Marketing automation is quite helpful since you can track every interaction with consumers.
You can monitor things like landing page visits, downloads registered, and outcomes from campaigns. Another noteworthy stat worth checking is the number of marketing qualified leads that convert.
Measuring bounces, open rates, unsubscribes, and click-through rates can be quite insightful. This is because you’ll be able to tell whether your interactions are paying off. This will be pivotal in informing you on how to improve your campaign.
Business growth is much easier if it is informed by data. With automation, you’ll have the right metric to monitor whether your efforts are bearing fruit. Therefore, you’ll focus on the solutions that work and draft strategies that guarantee better results and yield more revenue.
Best Practice 11. Social Listening & Brand Advocates
There are a couple of marketing solutions deploy monitoring features on social platforms. By using them, you’ll always be briefed whenever your brand name is mentioned. This will prove pivotal if you’re looking to boost your engagement levels with leads and customers from the word go.
Through timely responses, you can have an edge over your competition. Given how social media channels have increasingly been embraced by the masses, this may prove to be the difference in the long run.
Social media platforms usually offer a personalized touch compared to email. As such, you need to dedicate a significant portion of your resources towards social media engagement.
By deploying social listening, you can easily discover potential brand advocates. By choosing to further engage with them on social media, you’ll be nurturing your relationship with them. When you’re certain that these individuals are satisfied with your product, you can suggest a case study base on their experience. This can massively boost your brand image in the public spotlight.
If you’d rather not go the case study route, you can tone down by following them on social media. At the end of the day, you want to keep your brand advocates happy so they can keep promoting your brand online.
Best Practice 12. Lead Generation Tools
Lead generation tools can come in handy whenever you’re looking to expand your reach. With a well-structured marketing automation system, you can streamline your operations by making use of the built-in features.
Many automation systems in the market usually provide users with options of creating landing pages complete with forms. Leads usually fill in their details in these forms during sign up and provide avenues for companies to reach out. The most effective marketing automation systems usually have drag and drop landing page and form builders.
To ensure that your landing page and forms are effective, you need to clean up your contact list from time to time. Implementing verification measures helps guarantee that your marketing ventures are not pointless.
Best Practice 13. Pop-Ups for Exit Intent
Pop-ups are those tiny message boxes that appear on screens when visitors are checking out a website. Typically, web admins configure them to offer content and pass along crucial information. They can also further entice user by offering offers on different items.
If you have a robust marketing automation system complete with the ability to predict exit intent, you can customize your pop-ups to come up whenever the system believes visitors are about to leave. Powerful automation systems are able to predict such outcomes by using machine learning and AI codes.
Exit intent pop-ups usually emerge as the last resort to entice visitors to stay on the site. Usually, they provide incentives like discount codes and free products and services.
When successfully deployed, automation software can be the engine to drive the growth of SMBs. Using them, you can register more leads, complete more sales and meet your customers’ needs on the regular.
All you need to achieve this is to carefully weigh your automation options. All-in-one CRM systems are usually the go-to option for many businesses because of their blanket services.
Our guide on marketing automation best practices is sure to help you create opportunities for conversion.