22 Sep 7 ways to get the most out of your new SMB Marketing Automation Software
For many people who are looking to graduate from an email service minded platform to marketing automation, not only is finding the right platform a project, but understanding how to get the most out of it is yet another project in and of itself.
While you should certainly keep an eye out for mandatory on-boarding fees as a sign of the complexity and required investment into the platform (as well as an idea of how much of the platform you’ll actually be able to use without shelling out money for added help), here are 7 ways that you can plan to make the most out of whichever platform you decide to go with:
1. Get your tracking script embedded
The tracking script is the heart and soul of any marketing automation platform. It’s what brings your analytics to life and gives you an individual view of what your leads are doing across your website, emails, landing pages and web forms.
This script is similar to setting up google analytics on your website, and often times utilizes cookies to mark IP addresses and begin building data on leads individually.
Without taking the time to install this script across the pages and posts you wish to track, you’re going to end up feeling like you never received your money’s worth on this investment.
2. Define at least 1 soft and 1 hard conversion
A very simple way to begin utilizing marketing automation to it’s fullest potential is to define 2 key conversions and from there, use your platform to optimize the process of attracting, converting and following up on these new leads.
An example of a soft conversion would be something such as a free e-book offering. Visitors arrive to your website and become aware of this offer via some sort of call-to-action. Think about the process from the point of awareness to after you’ve delivered on this promise and use your platform to add intelligence and a more human touch to it all.
As for a hard conversion, this is something such as a free evaluation offer or free demo. This is a conversion that tells you this lead is quite possible sales qualified and at a more mature point in the buyer’s journey. Use your system to bring sales into the loop while simultaneously fuzing more intelligence into this process overall.
3. Revise your CTA’s
When getting started with marketing automation, many people are so consumed by the new things that they have to learn that they forget to double back over their existing CTA’s (or lack thereof).
After you’ve clearly defined your conversions or key offerings, take a look at each page on your website to see where you’ve placed call-to-actions or where you’d like people to consider the desired “next-steps.”
More often than not you’ll realize that there are some CTA’s that need to be relocated, need some TLC in regards to the copywriting or don’t exist and require creation.
4. Swap out your web forms
Web forms are the gateway to your leads and without them, it’s going to be difficult to feel the full benefits of your marketing automation platform.
Start by replacing existing forms such as your contact us or newsletter subscription forms. You may or may not already be gating your content, but if you aren’t, create some forms and use them to create a fair exchange for your free content offers.
5. Utilize your custom fields
Custom fields are often a term that people in the market for a marketing automation system aren’t fully knowledgable on, and that’s quite alright. Taking advantage of custom fields is what allows you to build a more robust view of your contacts based upon industry, location, etc.
A simple example would be asking the question, “What is your favorite color?” on a web form with the options, “red, blue and green” as fields or available answers. This kind of a question or “field” is not going to be available by default in your platform; you’re going to have to create it and for this, you’ll need custom fields.
By creating a custom field you’ll be able to ask questions that directly pertain to your business and store this data (or the responses) on a person’s individual contact card. This is the gateway to segmentation.
So if “John” downloads a white paper and tells you that his favorite color is red, this information is saved to John. After a few months, maybe your marketing and sales teams come up with a plan to launch an offer that’s tailored towards people that love the color red. This is when you would use “segmentation” to filter this campaign and send it only to those who have selected red as their favorite color.
This is a quick introduction to custom fields; use them, you’ll have fun!
6. Create a few personal workflows
One of the biggest benefits of having a marketing automation platform is that you’re able to create dialogue with your audience without actually having to be there manually, at each and every touch-point, to do so.
A very basic way to use marketing automation to create a personal workflow would be to create an email that comes on behalf of one of your reps, not your business email, and that simply asks for feedback on a download.
By using your email editor within the platform you should be able to easily create a template for this purpose. You’ll want this email to be free of buttons or big, colorful “unsubscribe” links (change the color of this link to light grey, for example) , which tell your audience that this is a promotional or generic email.
You could also include a picture of your rep in the signature area at the bottom of the email to add a more personal touch. The great thing about this is that the email doesn’t just come from your rep’s email address but also allows the people receiving this email to reply directly to said rep.
This is a great way to take one manual step off of the shoulders of your staff and allow them to jump into the conversation at exactly the right moment.
7. Create a simplistic drip campaign
Drip campaigns are a fancy buzz term for a series of emails that have been pre-designed and then scheduled to go out one after the other, in a sequence with delays or time in between as defined by the creator.
A simple example of a drip campaign would be someone dropping their email into a form that’s titled, “learn more and stay up to date.”
If a visitor to your website filled out this form, you could have 2-4 emails set to go out that would nurture or gradually education people about the industry you’re in and the services you offer. The first email could be triggered to go out right away or within an hour or so; the rest could come at 5-7 day intervals.
This is an example of a simplistic drip campaign. We highly recommend taking advantage of this to drive up engagement, keep the dialogue open with your audience and position yourself as a source of value to your leads regardless of whether they become well qualified or stay on the fringes of your sales funnel.
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