Marketing Automation is a technology platform that simplifies and automates digital marketing activities. When coupled with a structured marketing process, the software makes it easier to prioritize and execute marketing tasks, nurture worthwhile leads, and evaluate the impact of inbound campaigns. Although every software provider offers slightly different combinations of features, most include:
Lead scoring and CRM management
Marketing automation software usually includes a database that automatically scores all your leads and contacts according to their sales readiness. It surpasses the capabilities of a CRM system by offering a detailed view of all interactions between each prospect and your company. The system tracks a customer’s web browsing patterns, emails opened, documents downloaded and more. Furthermore, the database can microsegment your contacts according to specific demographics, firmographics, and behavioral filters—so you can easily target a narrow population, such as: high-score leads who have visited your website in the past week and live within 10 miles of your business. This automated management system keeps leads organized and allows for the nurturing process to be more efficient and effective.
An essential tool for marketers, analytics track the click patterns of your website’s visitors to give you an idea of why prospects visit your site. The ROI analysis feature is also vital to measure and compare the performance of marketing programs so you can determine which marketing investments are generating the greatest return and how you should allocate your marketing budget moving forward.
Landing pages that convert
Landing pages that direct prospects to a customized call-to-action rather than a generic home page significantly improve conversion rates. With marketing automation software, you can create dynamic landing pages that display different content according to a visitor’s location and other details about their sales-readiness stored in your CRM. Or, get to know your visitors better by directing them to forms that connect to your CRM so prospects will never have to take the time to provide their information again.
Social media marketing
This tool often goes beyond scheduling automated posts and measuring engagement across your social media accounts. It also incorporates your audience’s social profile data into your CRM to enhance segmentation and scoring, meaning that you can gain more insight about your customers and therefore target them better.
One of the most commonly used features of marketing automation software is the email function, which enables users to create emails and newsletters with easy-to-use design tools, track and manage email deliverability, and prompt messages to be sent based on real time customer behavior.
With this tool, the need for a stand-alone email service provider is eliminated and you are granted more control and oversight on campaigns, which translates into more revenue. Personalized emails based on behavioral data can increase open rates by 50 percent and conversion rates by 350 percent, according to a Jupiter Research study.
Some solutions include functionality to streamline the internal communication process needed to coordinate an effective marketing strategy. With this feature, teams can better coordinate workflow and permissions, ensure budget compliance, and access a universal calendar. Opting to automate resource management makes up for the time it takes to implement a marketing automation system and educate your team on how to use it.
The above functions take customers on a relationship-building journey with a brand. The journey begins when someone first shows interest in your company, perhaps by asking a question, making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. From that point on, detailed profiles are automatically collected on each prospect. This ensures that no other interaction asks for the same information again and makes it possible to target customers according to their individual desires. The sales process is, therefore, more genuine and the marketing department is more productive since it can better identify high-quality leads and doesn’t have to spend as much time directly nurturing them.