What if we said there is a way you can generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads for you to translate into new business? This strategy can also:
- Reduce costs by 33 percent per lead
- Increase leads’ spending by 47 percent
Enter: marketing automation. What is marketing automation, you ask? “Marketing automation is a software platform that helps you to automate your marketing and sales engagement to generate more leads, close more deals, and better measure marketing success” (Pardot). No, it’s not just eblasts or monthly newsletters (although those can be a part of your marketing automation strategy).
As part of Flint Group’s dedicated marketing automation team, we thought it would help you if we share the questions we hear most often – and our answers.
What types of marketing activities can be accomplished through a marketing automation platform?
Marketing automation (MA) is far more than sending an email to a list of prospective buyers and keeping track of submitted forms. It turns out there are a TON of digital marketing tasks that are included under the MA umbrella. Here are a few of them:
- Email marketing
- Nurture/drip campaigns
- Automated emails based on behavior or transactional triggers
- Lead generation
- Landing pages and forms
- Integration with CRM or other platforms/software
- Sales alerts
- Lead scoring and prospect nurturing
- Database segmentation and targeting
- Dynamic content and personalized messages
So what are the most important objectives of MA?
Although the ability to automate tedious and time-consuming tasks is a huge benefit of MA, it’s not the only goal. The tasks above allow us to generate quality leads – and monitor and nurture their process through the sales cycle – to create loyal customers and increase revenue for businesses like yours.
What else can MA do?
Marketing automation goes way beyond the standard newsletter and event promo emails. It allows for relevant, targeted, timely messages that are now more effective than ever.
When you leverage MA programs to the fullest extent, you’ll create customers who are more engaged and ready to convert. Not only that, but you’ll get in-depth analysis and major insight into your customer base, which can boost your future MA success even further.
What’s the difference between MAP and ESP?
FYI: All MA tools aren’t created equal! You may already be using one of these platforms, but before we make any recommendations for its use, it’s important to know the capabilities and limitations of each.
It’s also important to understand you need talented content marketers and in-bound marketers to create and manage campaigns, which is a considerable investment of internal resources.
Email service provider (ESP)
These are lower-level, cost-effective tools that are strictly used for email marketing (newsletters or event/promo emails). They do NOT allow for more advanced MA functionality like drip programs, sales lead alerts or other features.
A few platforms include:
- Constant Contact
- Bulk email sends (eblasts)
- Forms (to be hosted on an external website)
- Basic autoresponder emails (sent after form completion or list subscription)
- Basic reporting (opens, clicks, form submissions)
- Basic list segmentation (no dynamic lists or queries)
- No advanced nurture or drip programs
- No program-hosted landing pages
- No lead alerts or sales triggers
- Limited integrations with other programs (CRM, social media, POS, etc.)
Marketing automation platform (MAP)
These are more advanced platforms that allow for higher-level functionality and true marketing automation vs. email marketing or eblasts.
A few platforms:
- IBM Marketing Cloud (Silverpop Engage)
- Nurture/drip programs
- Automated messaging based on behavioral/transactional actions
- Platform-hosted landing pages
- Lead alerts and sales triggers
- Greater variety of integrations with other tools/software (CRM, social media, POS, etc.)
- Lead scoring
- Cost – can be a greater financial obligation due to availability of advanced features
- Ease-of-use – requires some training and knowledge of digital spaces to effectively use the platforms
Want to evaluate MAP and ESP options? Just ask us. We use a matrix that compares the features and functionality of each platform based on your needs.
Look for our next post on what NOT to do for effective marketing automation. Meanwhile, we welcome the chance to visit about how MA can help you move far beyond email marketing. So, ironically, email us.