Material specific to marketing automation such as needs, best practices, lessons learned, and benefits of marketing automation.

3 Ways to Use Marketing Automation to Enhance your User Experience

Use Marketing Automation to Enhance your User ExperienceThe art of converting prospects into customers begins with their first interaction and experience with your brand, whether that’s through a landing page, social media ad, or (fingers crossed) word of mouth. If this experience is frustrating and not user friendly, what incentive do they have to return? Here are a few points to consider when shaping your user experience and ways to use marketing automation to your advantage:

Customize

  • Landing pages: How did a visitor find your website? Be sure what they’re looking for is the first thing they see. Create a few different landing pages for various scenarios, especially if you have a vast range of products.
  • Emails: Make sure you are providing pertinent information that will warrant them to open the email, not unsubscribe. This may include special deals/offers, but nothing too spammy.
  • Verbal contact: Utilize marketing automation software to synchronize platforms to be sure sales reps and customer service are on the same page when speaking to a customer or a prospect.

Interact

  • Survey your customers: Ask questions about what they believe is your most useful and convenient feature. Survey prospects, ask what they’re looking for in a product and see how closely you can meet their needs.
  • Reward: Host contests on social media to engage your followers, and provide a coupon code or free service to those who interact with your brand.
  • Customer support: There’s nothing more frustrating for your customers than to pay for a monthly subscription service and not receive the support they need to use your service to their greatest benefit.

Personify

  • Don’t be the bot: When automating your marketing process, it’s important to keep in mind your customers are real people that are intelligent and think for themselves. Canned messages just won’t cut it for most. Steer clear of creating bulk messages to send out on social media platforms, as that only invites ridicule. Engage with customers through carefully planned social media campaigns.
  • Get the details: Often a step of the implementation or customer support process, getting details from your customer in how exactly they plan to implement your service or product can truly help start a beneficial relationship. By understanding their needs, you’re able to gather insight for further improvement while also providing them with the most efficient way to implement your service.
  • Create a two-way conversation: This one is pretty self-explanatory. The basic take-away point is to create an environment in which your customers and prospects alike feel comfortable to interact. Check out these simple steps that encourage your customers to engage in a positive way.

Top 7 Ways to Maintain Customer Retention through Marketing Automation

Customer RetentionIt’s easy to get lost in the process of lead generation, mindlessly nurturing and scoring in order to convert and build your customer base. However, just as a top-scoring, warm lead is easier to persuade to sign the deal, increasing your customer retention even as little as 5% can produce increase in profit from 25% to 95% percent. Technology makes it even easier to keep in tune with your buyers and ensure you’re staying on their good side. Check out these top seven ways to maintain customer retention through marketing automation:

  1. Understand the insightful feedback. Your current customers are already giving you valuable market information. Check their activity on your site—what are they clicking, downloading, and sharing? Also, don’t forget to encourage feedback from them, whether through social media surveys, website forms, or directed email marketing campaigns. These customers have already been converted, chances are they are nearly guaranteed hot leads with insightful feedback on your products.
  2. Drip Marketing. Maintain customer retention through marketing automation by utilizing personalized drip marketing campaigns. They didn’t open your last email? Try segmenting those customers and sending them a second email, targeted at their needs.
  3. Stay in touch. Don’t quit your lead scoring just because they’ve converted. Continue to score them and determine which content you’re producing is most valuable to (lifelong) customers. Provide helpful how-to’s on the best practices and most recent updates on your products. Cultivate this relationship to maintain customer retention through marketing automation by scheduling regular touchpoints with buyers at least once a month.
  4. Don’t get caught up in filling the top of the funnel. Lead generation will no doubt be an imperative player in your company’s success. There’s no reason to forget about the bottom of the funnel, though. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to capitalize on the leads that are already warm and proven to be ready to buy.
  5. Give them what they want. Analyze buying cycles, particularly those of your current customers, and remind them when they want to buy based on their previous behaviors. For example, if your product is a yearly software program, send out a notification a few months before their service expires, giving them a personalized reminder to renew. Maintain customer retention through marketing automation by giving your customers what they want and when they want it.
  6. Thank them. Give them a special coupon code on their buying anniversary or provide a unique offer right after their purchase. Incentivize them to share your product with others as well through referral systems. Use social media to provide a contest among followers, encouraging their interaction and engagement (AKA business insight) with your company.
  7. Provide the solution. Chances are, your buyers put their trust in you. They count on you to be the expert; in fact, they’re probably paying you to be the expert. Don’t let them down by providing shotty customer service or not updating your resources regularly. Use creative and timely content to maintain customer retention through marketing automation practices.

Marketing Automation: How Does the CEO Fit In?

Marketing Automation for the CEOWhen is it best for a company’s CEO to get involved with the marketing team’s overall efforts – this is the question marketing automation answers for many organizations. The idea that the CEO of any-sized company turns his or her back to the marketing team’s efforts – taking a “set it and forget it” approach to advertising – is one that comes to life for many agencies and gets in the way of upgrading legitimate marketing efforts.

Knowing this, how can any organization’s CEO make sure that the company marketing team is on board with making changes that benefit the organization from the ground up?

Understanding Marketing Automation

Many companies avoid choosing marketing automation services due to the work it would create on their end. Let’s face it – many companies don’t make it a priority to connect sales and marketing departments the way they should. This results in a disjointed effort between sales and analysts, creating unhappy customers and getting in the way of productivity.

Marketing automation is a great way to not only establish and track legitimate leads for any organization, but to develop an internal process that unites sales, marketing and execution departments. Because the process of getting a lead all the way to working for a customer require follow-up, tracking and cooperation on the back end, a work system can be set in place that solidifies the efforts of these departments like never before. The result is a workflow that’s not just fully automated, but addresses the unique needs of all areas of the business.

Getting the Right Training

The training involved with implementing marketing automation is not just for employees or individual department heads  – the top-level of the organization – particularly the CEO or business decision maker – should have some idea of how marketing automation works and how it may be implemented within the organization as a whole.

The best way to ensure these strategies are in place and working for a business is to have the CEO go through the appropriate training, delegate responsibility and understand how everything works. This can only be accomplished with a marketing automation team that cares about its business and customers. A solid marketing automation system needs to be in place, but a team willing to train employees (and CEOs) and to stick around for follow-up is integral to the process working for everyone involved.

The Lead Liaison team doesn’t drop off service after marketing automation – we stick around to make sure all companies’ needs are met from the top down. Talk to us about a consult today!

3 Steps to Drive Lead Qualification through Marketing Automation

Drive Lead Qualification through Marketing AutomationIt’s no surprise that marketing automation opens opportunities for managing your leads like never before; but how else can you use the system to benefit your business? A case study by Marketing Sherpa found that utilizing marketing automation can drive more 75% more leads. Even though you’ve got this huge flood of leads, we know they don’t qualify and convert themselves. What could be the risks involved with passing all of the new leads on to sales? How hazardous is it to prematurely qualify leads? Manage the influx of leads and drive lead qualification through marketing automation.

What qualities do “qualified leads” embody? Although this is a crucial question, it will inevitably be different for each organization that attempts to define it. It is imperative that the sales and marketing agree on some of the “static” characteristics of the ideal lead that is nearing their buying decision. Some of the static definitions of each lead will derive from pieces of their profile that are unlikely to change in the next few quarters, such as their job title, the size of their company, their geographic location, etc. Each of these items will factor into their score, and ultimately, how they’re qualified and whether or not they get pushed to sales. Here are three things that will help drive lead qualification through marketing automation:

Monitor Lead Engagement

In order to properly and completely profile each lead and potential lead, it’s necessary to have a good handle on the amount of contact they’ve had with your brand. There’s nothing worse than to scare away a prospect by pushing them to sales too early. With the right tools, marketing automation can make tracking visitor activity a breeze, with gadgets like desktop clients. Monitor your landing page traffic in real time, see which links/images are getting the most hits, and discover who’s spending the greatest amount of time on your site. With the various tools that marketing automation affords your business, it becomes less of a chore to discover and evaluate the potential buyers’ interest levels.

Prioritize and Push (only) the Hottest Leads to Sales

Shorten the sales cycle by prioritizing the prospects who have shown their readiness to make buying decisions. Understand, gauge, and encourage their readiness through effective and diligent lead nurturing practices. Utilize personalized email messages and targeted content to engage and drive lead qualification through marketing automation. By prioritizing the leads that are most ready to buy, your sales team is less likely to waste their time chasing prospects who do not feel informed enough to make a decision. Along the same thread, don’t give up on these leads. They may only require a little extra TLC and the right nurturing campaign to push them over to the qualified side.

Ensure your CRM is Synced

Chances are, your marketing automation software is equipped to automatically synch with the CRM. Be sure you’re not entering the same information in multiple platforms. Synching up the common platforms between both the sales and the marketing teams provides a greater visibility, stronger communication, and an overall clearer plan of action.

Marketing Automation to Meet All Business Needs

Marketing Automation to Meet All Business NeedsLead Liaison is busy adding bits and pieces to our marketing automation software that deliver a better customer experience all the way around. With marketing automation, it’s important to bend your solution to what your business needs – not try to change the way your business operates to best fit your marketing automation purchase. This is why partnering with a company that’s changing its offering to better suit what customers need over time is a good solution for your business.

Event Planning

Many companies have event planning needs – consistently scheduling conferences, meetings and impromptu phone or Skype chats to get the job done. Without a system in place to get meetings off the ground at a moment’s notice, many companies have headaches ensuring that associates check their emails or phone messages in time to make crucial meetings or to prepare necessary meeting elements.

This is where marketing automation steps in – with the right company, event planning assets can be incorporated into the company’s marketing automation back end, creating an opportunity for employees to keep and access all necessary meeting information in one place and receive meeting reminders and scheduling details. Marketing automation for companies can be more about tracking leads when event planning capabilities are available.

Marketing Automation and Advanced Reporting

Marketing automation tools should come with easy to run and understand reports. These reports should be able to pull data that will shed light on the finer details of your company’s marketing automation efforts. From responses to a certain marketing campaign to fine data that can be used for quality control, the right reports should be run and viewed on a regular basis to give clients access to details and data that help make marketing decisions.

Your marketing automation team should be able to train you in running these reports as well as understanding them. It’s best to run and review reports on a schedule, perhaps as part of a regular departmental team meeting.

With changing technology, companies need to be ready to change their offerings to give better service to their clients. This includes incorporating phone, text, email marketing, social media tracking, article writing and other services into marketing automation offerings. At Lead Liaison, we’re proud to offer this technology as part of our increasing efforts to upgrade client services and provide integration of the latest technologies into our own services. We’d love to show you more – talk to us about how we can best service your business today!

Marketing Automation: Do You Know Your Data Stream?

Marketing Automation: Do You Know Your Data Stream?Marketing automation isn’t just about gathering data – it’s about learning to collect data in a way that can be palatable, interpreted in a timely fashion and applied to your particular business situation. In general, the word ‘data’ tends to freak people out – many company execs anticipate binary numbers spitting out at them once data tracking solutions are in place, but this simply isn’t the case.

Today’s data sets are completely different than they were a few decades ago. The data marketing automation provides a company can include information like social media engagement statistics, email readability and click through and whether or not paid advertising campaigns are truly working for a business. Sophisticated marketing automation campaigns can even tell whether or not visitors to a business website are repeat customers or first-timers. What business decision maker wouldn’t want this type of information?

Starter Marketing Automation Data

Many companies put marketing automation on the backburner because they simply don’t want to worry about the incoming data. Regardless of whether or not marketing automation is the best decision for any business, chances are most businesses have a wide variety of different kinds of data coming in over time. Many companies don’t have anyone taking a look at this data in a collective way.

The problem becomes more significant when a company outsources marketing. If a firm overseas is handling your social media while a US firm is optimizing your website – all while your internal staff handles email and general marketing messaging – your attentions could be divided. Each different part of your marketing is one piece of a whole. Your SEO strategy is affected by PPC, your email strategy is affected by whether or not your website is optimized, etc. How can you know how different areas of your marketing are working the most effectively for your business? It’s simple: Marketing Automation.

Focusing on the Right Data

It’s more important than ever to ensure that you’re looking at data that will best benefit your business over time. One of the best ways to know whether or not your data stream is optimized is to work with a marketing automation company who can get you set up – then determining a person within your organizational structure who will monitor the data, report to you and help you assess whether or not marketing campaigns could be made more effective.

Working with a marketing automation company that can give your business the training and solutions you need for your data stream is critical to marketing success. At Lead Liaison, we’re integrating new and improved solutions on a monthly basis for clients all over the world. Talk to us about how we can meet your marketing automation needs today!

Marketing Automation: You Still Need a Sales Strategy

Marketing Automation: You Still Need a Sales StrategyAnyone running a business comes to find out they need some type of sales strategy. While marketing automation executes a lead to sales flow seamlessly for many businesses, others find that the one-size-fits-all solution they were looking for simply isn’t present when employing their marketing automation.

As a small business, how can you make sure using marketing automation software benefits your operation at a higher level? The key is found in your strategy. Think of it this way – many business owners employ a CRM and find it absolutely necessary to the growth and success of their companies. Organizing the information and having an agreed-upon method for continuous and optimal use of the CRM isn’t something that necessarily happens overnight – it takes a deep understanding of the software and a willingness amongst team members to use an agreed-upon operations method.  Without these things, onboarding a CRM would be pointless.

Sales Strategy Development for the Small Business

Many small business owners develop their companies themselves and get caught in the undertow of change as the company grows. Small business owners can find their staff increasing by a dozen people in a year. Suddenly there are many workers without a clear sales strategy for how information will be collected and employed in marketing campaigns.

This is why growth strategy is crucial before growth even happens. Knowing where to allocate resources, how businesses will collect information and how the information informs marketing and development processes is 100% critical to keeping this organized and manageable. Starting out with tangible business goals based on calendar years or quarters is a great way to figure out what resources are needed and who will perform what task.

Using Marketing Automation for Sales Strategy

Many business owners are finding that sales strategy and marketing automation processes are inseparable. Marketing and directional decisions should be made on concrete data – and the right tools are necessary to ensuring any data collected is on point. Even the most advanced marketing automation systems may return data that’s incomplete or doesn’t work for the business. This is where good training and human monitoring come in – sifting through data in an easy, manageable way is possible. This allows companies the opportunity to work on data that is incomplete or isn’t really helping the business achieve end goals.

In order to sift through that data and make good decisions based on overarching business goals and sales strategy, the right marketing automation company and training for staff have to be in place. Lead Liaison offers training and marketing automation solutions for businesses of all sizes. Connect with us for a consult to determine what would best serve your business!

Discovering Hidden Agendas with Marketing Automation

Discovering Hidden Agendas with Marketing AutomationPeople buy based on specific personal agendas and interests.  In order to sell to such people, you need to know what their personal interests are, what drives them…. and ultimately speak to their personal needs. Kevin Allen, Founder of Planet Jockey, said he was “one of the best pitch guys in the industry” because he could “sense what was in the heart of my [his] buyer”, as discussed in this video. In Kevin’s book, The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following, he talks about understanding the buyer and their needs to create a connection that assures a mutual win. The good news is that your company can discover hidden agendas with marketing automation.

Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software® provides you unique insight into your customer’s hidden agenda at every stage of the process.   We help you to identify a prospect and their personal demonstrated interests in your product (even factors that they will not tell you about).  For example, Lead Liaison gives our clients insights into which topics on your website or video that a prospect showed interest in.  We tell you how deep their interest was (for example, how much of your video they watched), we will even let you know what time of day they tend to care about you the most!

Let’s take the concept of discovering hidden agendas with marketing automation a bit further. We then expand this search to a very granular personal level by spidering 110 social media sites to learn about that person’s interests and motivations.  We identify keywords that are important to them, and give you access to their public social media profiles (linkedin, facebook, etc).    Our platform is the technological arm of “The Hidden Agenda” concept.

How to Use Marketing Automation to Drive Traffic to Your Landing Pages

Use Marketing Automation to Drive Traffic to Your Landing PagesAre your landing pages optimized to drive sales? Landing page, lead capture page, and lander are all words used to describe the same thing: the gateway to your site. Essentially, your visitors will only take about five seconds to understand the call to action, so the point on your landing page needs to be loud and clear. The landing page is essential to lead generation and lead tracking. It gives you the opportunity to ask your leads to take the next step, whether that’s to complete a form or download a white paper. Use marketing automation to drive traffic to your landing pages and help distribute the analytics of your site directly to your sales team and saves time doing so.

Landing Page Testing 101

Maximize your visitor’s activity and gain more conversions on your landing pages through A/B testing. While it can be tedious work, you’ll get the best results if you set specific goals that are easily measurable. When A/B testing, it’s important to keep in mind you’re looking for a dramatically better performance from either Landing Page A or Landing Page B. Be sure to keep your URLs descriptive and provide unique meta-descriptions for each landing page. The goal is to constantly analyze and continuously improve landing page conversions. Here are some things to vary in a split test:

  • Vocabulary
  • CTAs/Conversion options
  • Layout/button placement
  • Images

Still new to A/B testing? KISSmetrics has a great guide to help you get started.

Tracking Your Landing Page Traffic

Inbound marketing is a great tool, but knowing how to use it to your best advantage without letting it soak up valuable employee time can get tricky. Use marketing automation to not only drive traffic to your landing page but also track it efficiently. Have clear and concise goals that you can track in terms of managing content creation and keeping tabs on how each category is performing. Are your blogs converting visitors into leads, or do most conversions come from keyword searches to your site? Here are a few things to watch:

  • Bounce rate: how long are visitors hanging out on your various pages?
  • Users’ activity: what are the strongest CTAs, which buttons rarely get clicked?
  • Inquiries from users/usability: are there any users confused about the layout/CTAs that have submitted an inquiry?

Marketing Automation that Helps Drive Traffic to Your Landing Page

Your landing page is the first impression visitors have, so it’s important to make it count. Automate your content creation process, send comprehensive analytics directly to your sales team, and implement unique landing pages that complement social media posts. Use marketing automation to analyze and determine landing page usability and effectiveness. Find out more about how Lead Liaison can help you manage your site visitors and track them in real time here.

Why Marketing Automation Makes Sense

Why Marketing Automation Makes More SenseMarketing automation is the perfect tool for today’s consumer audience. Marketing automation makes sense. There are several features that give automated marketing the upper hand when it comes to conversion rates (we’ll get into that in a bit), but today’s consumer is certainly web-savvy—they spend more time on the internet than they do watching TV or reading magazines. So why not reach them where they’re already going to be, right?

Behavior-based lead scoring

Companies benefit from choosing marketing automation in that the potential customer’s behavior is tracked and scored. No need to manually track click-through rates from Google Analytics, your software is already doing that for you. Marketing automation tracks your leads and generates profiles based on their online behavior. This information warms the leads automatically for the sales reps. How awesome is that? No more shots in the dark, no more cold calling. Read more about how this is helpful for small business owners.

It’s not just for scheduling; it’s for maintaining a conversation

Automation is so often misunderstood as simply a means of scheduling. Sure, scheduling happens, but more importantly using marketing automation includes complex analytics that capture the behavior of your potential customers, scores it for you, and therefore helps maintain a relevant conversation that closes the lead. The important thing to note is that, although it sounds like kind of the opposite, automation actually helps to keep the personal touch in your interactions with leads. Automation supplies enough relevant information to take the relationship to the next level by offering products that the lead is already interested in. Of course, this can be done manually, but automating this relationship-building process saves so much time for your business, allowing your employees to spend their time closing the leads rather than researching them.

The bottom line is a higher conversion rate. These rates are ultimately a result of a system that creates highly targeted and personalized efforts, utilizing conditional logic. This means that once you reach out to your lead it is not in an unsolicited manner (such as a spammy email campaign). What good is your analytical data if you don’t utilize it in future lead generation endeavors? Marketing automation makes this process a breeze.