Marketing Automation 101: Understanding the Basics

Marketing automation allows businesses to automate repetitive tasks like sending emails and making social media posts. Marketing automation software allows you to track and analyze your marketing actions. At this point, businesses have many marketing automation software programs available for them to choose from.

The key is finding the right software for the specific needs of your business. Effective marketing automation starts with personas and then takes potential customers through a conversion funnel where they are nurtured with quality content and are converted into customers.

It is very important to choose the right marketing automation software for your business. A good rule of thumb is that smaller businesses should choose more basic options, and larger businesses should choose software that is more robust.

Some common marketing automation software includes Hubspot, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Salesforce, and Buffer App. Utilizing the software will streamline your operations like creating lists and segmenting your database, managing email workflows, scheduling emails and social media posts, creating branded templates and letterhead, targeting options, enables tracking and analytics, and optimizing CRM.

Improve Marketing Automation with Buyer Personas

Buyer personas play an important role in marketing automation. Personas are fictional characters you create based on market research that help you better understand your target audiences and what influences their purchasing decisions.

The objective of personas is to examine the process and workflow that your users would prefer to utilise in order to achieve their objectives in interacting with your product or service.

The use of personas allows you to personalize your marketing automation, adding a human element and context. They give you a better understanding of how your customers are behaving online and allow you to refine your brand messaging.

You can match the traits of your personas to the targeting options in your marketing automation software, as well as find out where your customers are online — and how to get them to find you.

When creating effective personas, consider these 4 steps:

Step 1: Market research. Through competitive analysis, keyword research, social media analysis, Google analytics, and customer or client interviews, you can compile data that reveals the demographics of your target audiences.

Step 2: Use a template to help you create your persona. There are many available. Alternatively, you can create a persona description.

Step 3: Get creative! You can even base your persona on a real customer. Use your market research to fill out the template and build your persona character.

Step 4: Have a co-worker review and add to your persona — two sets of eyes are always better than one!

Nurture Customers through Marketing Automated Conversion Tunnels

Marketing automation strengthens the conversion funnel, which is a process by which you guide online consumers through a purchasing decision journey, with the ultimate goal of converting them into customers.
The main phases are:

  • Awareness via Brand Exposure
  • Interest via Landing Page & Lead Capture
  • Nurture via Email Workflows
  • Conversion via Upsell
  • Re-Engage via Retargeting & Follow up

Successful conversion funnels will make use of SEO and online promotion, a landing page and call to action, a lead capture incentive, an email workflow, targeting and tracking, list segmentation, a product or service offering, social media integration, and analytics.

Marketing automation software will provide the tools for all of these elements, allowing for an initial setup which will then be automated so that you can focus on building other parts of your business.

Make Your Lead Capture Stand Out

At this point, the World Wide Web is saturated with lead capture incentives. In order to maximize your time and budget, make sure to know your audience (hello personas!); offer a high quality incentive; make your branding and design top notch; promote, promote, promote; use quality content in the email workflow; engage with your audience, target, segment, and personalize; and re-engage.

It is important to also make use of a variety lead capture strategies. These include giveaways, contests, free products, free services, content, polls, and online surveys. Giveaways require a simple action from participants and allow you to collaborate with strategic partners to organize these.

Contests incentivize participants with a BIG prize, especially when you are able to collaborate with strategic partners. Free products are samples or product offerings to participants that are included with shipping or pickup in store.

Free services offer consultations, free sessions, and “first time free” deals to participants. Content related strategies include “How to” guides, ebooks, webinars, newsletters, and programs. Polls are great ways to engage community; email the results and discuss them! There are numerous apps and companies that allow you to create your own survey with your branding to send to participants.

Optimize Analytics and ROI with Marketing Automation Software

Marketing automation software enables you to gather and track various analytics that will help you fine-tune your marketing. Mine your data to better understand your audience and improve upon your marketing components to get even better results. This analytics should focus on traffic source, demographics, timing, vanity metrics, lead tracking, lead scoring, and conversions.

Evaluating the metrics gathered through marketing automation will allow you to increase your return on investment (ROI). Every marketer knows it takes multiple touches to create a customer.

This fact makes it difficult to allocate revenue to any specific touch. However, marketing automation software makes calculating ROI a little easier, since you can track and measure from start to finish.

Built-in measuring and tracking allows you to determine cost per click, cost per lead, cost per conversion, and so on. Once you’ve determined your cost per conversion, you will understand how much you need to invest in order to get X number of conversions. Examples of tracking tools include pixels, tags, and trackable links.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

Marketing automation and its respective software empower companies in any industry and of any size by automating functions as basic as scheduling emails or as complex as assisting with CRM. Marketing automation is most effective when it utilizes and emphasizes strong personas, successful conversion tunnels, compelling lead captures, and analytics informed by a range of data sources.

With proper enforcement, these elements are able to reinforce one another in the flow of the marketing automation process and help you streamline your business operations.

As digital marketing #transformists, we love helping businesses succeed! If you have further questions about how to build your business with digital marketing, please reach out for a complimentary strategy session! You’ll come away with insights and actionable steps.

If you have any questions, please ask below!