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

How Marketing Automation Increases Lead Conversion

How Marketing Automation Increases Lead ConversionLead conversion is a vital statistic for any successful marketing and sales team. It can also be a difficult statistic to influence in a competitive world, one where failing to contact a lead at the perfect time can result in a competitor taking the sale. However, according to the Aberdeen Group’s Marketing Lead Management Report,

“Companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates from initial response-to-MQ.”

Read on to learn how some of the essential practices of marketing automation can increase lead conversion.

Lead Scoring

Marketing automation tools, by their very nature, gather a large amount of raw data. From web clicks and form submissions to social media demographic data, your marketing automation software is constantly gathering and analyzing a lot of data about every lead in your database. This data is used to then create an individual profile for each lead – one that is continually being updated. This profile is then evaluated by the metrics that your sales and marketing teams deem most important, and is assigned a lead score. This lead score indicates how likely an individual is to be converted to a client.

Once a lead has been assigned this score, it can go to one of two places. If the lead is warm, it will be sent straight to your sales team, who can try to convert the lead as quickly as they can. If the lead is not warm, it will be sent to your marketing automation software’s lead nurturing tools.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a marketing automation process of contacting individual leads with promotional and educational material in order to make them more likely to purchase your company’s product or service. Lead nurturing also takes advantage of the large amounts of data that has been collected about each lead so that each lead can be placed on the most appropriate lead nurturing program. Once a lead has been placed on a lead nurturing track, your marketing automation program will continue to gather data on the lead, recording things such as email click through and giving you an even fuller picture of your leads.

If your lead exhibits positive behavior that may lead to a sale, then their lead score will increase, and when the time is optimal, will be handed over to your sales department.

Lead Conversion

When a lead is presented to your sales team, either by exhibiting positive buy signs when assessed initially as a lead or as a result of a successful lead nurturing program, your sales team will have all the information they need to convert the lead. With access to a leads entire history of interaction with your website and promotional emails, you can make sure the right person will know the right thing to say to make the sale.

These are just a few of the ways that marketing automation increases lead conversion. If you want to learn more about the benefits that marketing automation can have for your business, you should check out Lead Liaison’s marketing automation resource blog.

4 Ways Integrating CRM and Marketing Automation Can Help Sales

Integrating CRM and Marketing AutomationCustomer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are nothing new. Developed in the 80s, CRMs have become an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. However, since some of those systems are based on technology and business practices that have been around for decades, not everyone is using them to their best potential by integrating them into their marketing automation strategies. Read on to learn about 4 ways that integrating CRM and marketing automation can help your sales team close deals.

1. Unparalleled insight into how your marketing tactics are performing

With a well integrated CRM and marketing automation system in place, you’ll know exactly how well any marketing strategies are performing, because you will have a total picture of how your customers are interacting with your marketing materials. Your marketing team will be able to track forms customers have submitted, pages they’ve viewed and emails they’ve opened, among many other things. This will give you total transparency and enable your marketing team to see what is helping your company make sales and generate leads – and what isn’t.

2. Your sales team can focus on only the best leads, making them much more efficient

Once your marketing team has finished successfully integrating CRM and Marketing Automation, your sales team will be able to operate at peak efficiency. Your sales team will be able to track any and all online interactions that any given lead has had with your company. These interactions can be used in conjunction with any demographic information your company has available about a lead, and all of that information is evaluated to create a lead score.

This lead score will indicate how likely a lead is to buy, and can be quickly and accurately assessed by your sales team. This means that your sales team can spend their time contacting only the most likely to convert leads, without spending valuable time following up with leads unlikely to ever make a sale.

3. Increase your sales opportunities with lead nurturing

According to Emailmonday,

B2B marketers see an average 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads versus non-nurtured leads after successfully deploying a lead nurturing program.”

By integrating CRM and marketing automation tools you can set your colder leads on highly targeted lead nurturing tracks. A lead that has been nurtured will ultimately be much better educated about the services your company can provide. And a better educated lead, if your marketing material has been effective, will be much more likely to buy.

4. Make your sales cycle faster by streamlining the process

Integrating CRM and marketing automation can make your entire sales cycle faster by reducing the time it takes to qualify a lead. It accomplishes this by helping you identify the best time to contact a lead in a lead nurturing program. By taking all of the data available and involving your sales team in the development of nurturing campaigns, you can ensure that your leads get the most appropriate content at the right times to cut down the time it takes for a lead to be ready to convert.

Integrating your CRM and marketing automation tools is an important part of a successful marketing program, and there are many more ways in which your company can benefit from this process. By carefully managing your existing processes with marketing automation, you can transform your marketing and sales departments.

Use Marketing Automation to Expand Your Online Presence

Use Marketing Automation to Expand Your Online PresenceTry to use marketing automation to expand your online presence. No matter what field you are in, your company’s internet presence is a valuable part of how you interact with your customers. Not only are the constantly expanding social media networks a wonderful way to grow your company’s profile and develop new leads, but the internet is hands down the fastest way for anyone, anywhere, to find out about your business. On top of that, by utilizing marketing automation tools built into Lead Liaison, your company’s website can become an invaluable tool to gather essential data about how your customers interact with your site and marketing materials. Read on to learn about how marketing automation can expand your online presence.

Marketing Automation and Social Media

Lead Liaison has intuitive and effective social media marketing automation tools built into its software. Lead Liaison’s social media marketing automation tools allow your marketing team to develop a comprehensive social media strategy, and then schedule posts to major social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to ensure that your social media profiles remain relevant and up to date.

Be sure your social media strategies are not static, however. Make sure you make an effort to interact with your community of customers and your industry at large. Tweeting about an ongoing trade show or other industry event will introduce you to new potential leads and is an integral way in which marketing automation can expand your online presence.

Data Tracking and Lead Nurturing

One of the more complex ways that Lead Liaison’s tools can help you expand your online presence is by using data tracking software included in our suite of programs. Lead Liaison’s data tracking tools analyze which elements of your website are being clicked on and which are not, letting you know what parts of your marketing campaign are working. The data tracking software also communicates with Lead Liaison’s lead database, collecting data about individual leads based on their interaction with your marketing material and helping your sales staff know how warm any given lead might be.

The data collected from your website is also essential to establishing successful lead nurturing programs. By organizing email campaigns for a lead nurturing program based on specific lead qualifiers and demographics, you can send content to your leads that will be most appropriate to their demonstrated interest in your company and products.

This process can also be tied into the social media tools available from Lead Liaison. Our marketing automation tools include a feature called social intelligence, which can scan a variety of different social media sites to develop a further picture of a lead by collecting information on things such as age, gender and interests. This process allows you to send extremely targeted content to interested leads.

These are just some of the ways you can use marketing automation to grow your online presence. Visit our marketing automation resource blog to learn about more of the ways that Lead Liaison’s tools can help your company.

Creating and Maintaining A Healthy Balance Between Lead Profiling and Lead Nurturing

Creating and Maintaining A Healthy Balance Between Lead Profiling And Lead NurturingWhile every lead is worth pursuing, the fact of the matter is that not every lead is ready to buy quite yet. It’s the very nature of marketing automation that the strategies being employed generate a large number of leads that are not ready to be converted into customers. But just because they aren’t going to purchase right now, or even in the near future, doesn’t mean you should ignore them. In order to keep in contact with these leads and be ready to convert them to customers at the opportune moment, you must employ successful lead nurturing – and the ability to do this effectively requires that you begin with careful lead profiling.

Learn More About Your Leads With Lead Profiling Software

Lead nurturing and lead profiling are two functions that are at the core of Lead Liaison’s marketing automation software. Lead profiling begins by collecting as much data about potential leads as possible, and Lead Liaison has many different methods of doing this. Our software tracks things such as email opens and site click-throughs, in addition to monitoring buy signals that indicate how likely a customer is ready to purchase your product. Lead Liaison also uses social intelligence software to gather data about things such as a customer’s age, gender and interests to create a detailed portrait of your leads.

All of this data is processed by Lead Liaison’s lead grading tools, and the leads that are likely to buy are passed on directly to the sales team so they can make the sales that they need to. However, the leads that are not ready to be converted are sent to Lead Liaison’s lead nurturing tools, and this is where a successful lead profiling strategy can really pay off for your sales team.

Lead Nurturing Helps You Get The Most Out Of Every Lead, Every Time

Lead Liaison’s automated lead nurturing tools ensure that no lead is ever left behind by contacting colder leads on a schedule that your marketing team dictates or in reaction to certain actions taken by the lead, such as following a link in an email. This noninvasive contact helps ensure that your leads never feel spammed or irritated, but will keep your company in mind for when they will require your products or services.

Combing automated lead profiling and lead nurturing can lead to many different and effective strategies. Using Lead Liaison’s automated nurture tracks, you can arrange for customers with different levels of interest to be contacted with different frequencies and content. By taking advantage of the data collected can be used to engage in very specific targeted marketing. For example, your sales team could set up an email campaign that would be directed only to male baseball fans aged 30-40 during the World Series.

To learn more about the fantastic opportunities Lead Liaison’s marketing automation software can create for your business, visit us online and check out our marketing automation resource blog.

Marketing Automation Tools Every Company Should Be Using

Marketing Automation Tools Every Company Should Be UsingMarketing automation is far from a trendy phrase that businesses are using to create buzz. When marketing automation tools are implemented, lead nurturing skyrockets: an astounding 451% of companies see an increase in quality leads and 53% higher conversion rates. Marketing automation will also save you time, money, and stress and will condense many of your daily activities so your team can focus on more important tasks. Clearly, marketing automation is a solution that many businesses should be engaging. If you’re just now considering adding marketing automation, you may be overwhelmed in the sea of options. We’ve broken down a few marketing automation tools for you to consider.

Blog Content Management Systems

You’re probably familiar with this type of marketing automation system and don’t even know it. Popular blog content management systems include WordPress which is an active user community that has an enormous range of plugins available, all designed to help you create and manage a blog. Other options include Joomla and Drupal. Like WordPress, Joomla has an enormous interactive user community who can answer your questions or address concerns. Drupal is an additional option that is an open source CMS and is used to create blogs as well as enterprise applications.

Landing Pages and Lead Capture Forms

A landing page is a single web page, designed to be individual from your main web pages. In simpler terms, a landing page can be any web page that someone ‘lands’ on but it’s generally used for one main purpose: to guide users to convert. Some landing pages are ‘click-through’ which means your user will click a link through to another page. Typically, this page will be a descriptor page offering them more information about your products. Lead capture forms are often on the landing page: a place where users can submit their information for a Freemium trial, get a free sample, or request that the sales team call them back with more information. Truly, the lead capture form should be the focus of your landing page and its placement is important.

Contact Management and Lead Nurturing

The most popular contact management suites for midsized companies include Lead Liaison, which allows you to rank your website and sales team generated leads according to buying interest – making your leads all the more powerful and improving conversion rates. Some content management suites also allow you to manage your social media accounts and offer extensions that will make you even more automated – especially common and time-consuming tasks. You can even choose software that will track your interactions with potential customers, making it clear where they fall in the conversion funnel.

Email Marketing

Perhaps the most time-consuming and tedious task, automating your email marketing frees up a considerable amount of your time. Want to email all contacts that are about to exhaust their Freemium version? Email marketing automation can send out targeted communications and automated messages while also appearing to be customized to each receiver: this means that you’ll create a more personal relationship, which will hopefully lead to higher conversion rates.

This isn’t an inclusive list of all the marketing automation tools available but it is a good place to start. There are options that can automate some or all of your marketing. You just have to do your research and decide which one is right for your company and your customers!

Effectively Implementing Marketing Automation

Effectively Implementing Marketing Automation Often, the biggest challenge in effectively implementing marketing automation software to your repertoire of business tools is how to deliver messages that are appropriate to your audience while engaging leads. Marketing automation can help you reach a broader audience than other marketing strategies but it can be stressful software to implement and the concept can often seem overwhelming.

Decide What Your Goal Is

A successful marketing automation program really begins with a company deciding what they want to accomplish. Creating a plan for implementation before purchasing or even considering software is key for success. It’s easy to get carried away by all the excitement that good marketing automation can bring but you’ll need to set expectations to be really satisfied. If you really want to be successful at marketing automation, your sales and marketing teams will need to get on board with the plan and come to an agreement on how they will work together and what their roles will be. Starting with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between sales and marketing is always a good first step.

With marketing automation, your marketing team’s new job will be to deliver the right message at the right time so you can engage your audience and nurture your leads. This means that marketing will be getting a new workload, probably from the sales team, and everyone will need to realize his or her new roles. Avoiding unwelcome surprises regarding workload, tasks, and interaction between teams will be easier if all these issues are discussed beforehand.

Start Small

It’s tempting to take your marketing automation software and throw everything into it but it might not be wise, especially at the beginning. Sometimes, less truly is more, and trying to include every feature of your marketing automation program right at the offset is more likely to set you back than push you forward. You’ll be in a much greater position if you start small, measure your successes and reevaluate your challenges, than you will be if you toss everything into the pot and hope for the best.

To get off on right foot effectively implementing marketing automation, think of your first full-fledged campaign as a trial run and learning experience will help mitigate any difficulties or disappointments. What you learn from your first sales and marketing campaign can help you learn what works and what doesn’t work for your next one. You also need to decide what exactly you’ll be automating. Do you have on the fly content that needs to be automated or are you looking for a more complex plan on creating, distributing, and re-employing your creative content? Don’t forget to include in your plans some action items for what should happen after the leads start coming in. You need to ensure you have a dedicated and knowledgeable sales team who can answer all your leads questions and concerns.

Keep in mind while you’re doing all of this that the process, planning, and implementation can be overwhelming. Remember that your investment into marketing automation isn’t just your monthly or quarterly subscription, but it’s also the time you put into the software and the data it produces.

How Can Marketing Automation Save Money: How Does $181,059 Sound!

How Can Marketing Automation Save Money?

“Marketing automation” has become such a buzz phrase over recent years that most vendors try to incorporate the term into their pitch, and sometimes go as far as completely branding their business as marketing automation. In reality, there aren’t that many pure-play marketing automation companies out there in the industry. 100s of providers stake claim on marketing automation to be part of the buzz, which causes confusion in the marketplace. Companies have a hard time understanding marketing automation let alone how marketing automation can save money. In this post we provide a quantitative analysis to answer the question, how can marketing automation save money? We’ll also touch on our approach to marketing automation.

ROI of Marketing Automation Based on Functional Usage

You’ll see some fancy calculators to add up the ROI of marketing automation, but not many resources provide a ROI analysis based on functional areas. We did that for you and looked at what a typical company would spend after investing in a piece-milled software strategy. When you list out the category of tools that companies use to help drive revenue, the list typically includes sales efficiency tools, landing page designers, form designers, email marketing, automation, and a handful of other tools. The problem with buying all of these ad-hoc solutions is two-fold. First, they don’t all play nice together as disparate solutions. Second, your wallet gets pretty thin when you’re buying all these pieces separately. We decided to do a little analysis and tally up individual, best-in-breed solutions to see how much money would drain from your budget over a five year period if a company were to acquire all of these solutions standalone.

Integrated Marketing - How Much Money Can Marketing Automation Save

How Much Money Can Marketing Automation Save You?

Below you’ll find the assumptions we used, cost of individual solutions, and a ROI analysis at the end.

The bottom line: Lead Liaison can save your company $181,059 or 362%! What we didn’t include are the incremental costs for:

  • Multiple learning curves
  • Multiple resources required to manage each ad-hoc solution

Add those in and you could very well double the ROI from what we’ve reported above.

Assumptions:

Assumptions
At least 5 sales people
Up to 10,000 contacts
No more than 100 forms
No more than 25,000 unique visitors per month
Email frequency to database 2x per month
Use each software package for 5 years

Cost of Individual Solutions:

Solution Monthly Price Package Purpose
Tout App $250 Team Email for Sales
Blogging $600 2 Posts Per Week, $75 per Blog Marketing Content
Litmus $149 Plus Email Testing
Marketo $1,795 Standard Marketing Automation
VisiStat $500 Rocket Visitor Tracking
HootSuite $10 Pro Social Posting
Gravity Forms/
Formstack
$99 Business License / Gold Web Forms
Unbounce $99 Pro 99 Landing Pages
Mailchimp $150 Growing business Email Marketing
Opt-In Monster $199 Pro Engaging Popups

Total Spend on Ad-Hoc Solutions:

TOTAL $3,851
ANNUAL SPEND $46,212
LIFETIME SPEND $231,059

ROI with Lead Liaison:

AVERAGE ANNUAL SPEND with Lead Liaison $10,000
LIFETIME SPEND with Lead Liaison $50,000
ROI of Lead Liaison 362.12%
SAVINGS with Lead Liaison $181,059

Lead Liaison’s Philosophy

We’ve got a different philosophy about marketing automation here at Lead Liaison. We don’t hate marketing automation, we just hate how the term is overused, misused, and misunderstood. The truth is that marketing automation is not software, it’s a strategy. You can’t really buy marketing automation software, but you can buy software that helps execute your strategy, which should include automation. No software out-of-the-box is going to automate your marketing – that’s wishful thinking.

Choices are getting “clouded” too. Some companies like HubSpot try to be the all-in-one solution, and get your CRM business too. Unfortunately, or fortunately for some, HubSpot is morphing into an Oracle or Salesforce.com type of company, is now public – trying to satisfy Wall Street, and now trying to take all your sales and marketing dollars with the emphasis on their new CRM. Lead Liaison fits in between the all-in-ones and marketing automation providers with our Revenue Generation Software® platform optimized for mid-market companies. Our mission has always been to focus on automation that improves a company’s sales and marketing operations but more importantly, generates more revenue for our customers. We believe companies care about revenue, not just automating marketing. We’re CRM agnostic, offer professional-grade sales and marketing automation functionality at killer prices, and have the industry’s deepest integration with 3rd party solutions.

Marketing Automation and Trial Conversion

Marketing Automation and Trial ConversionIf you’re failing to convert customers from your free trial offers then there’s probably a very simple reason why:  you’re failing to engage them.  Failing to engage potential customers within the first three days of a free-trial sign up is the number one reason why customers lose interest in a product or feature.  And if they’re not interested or find the experience enjoyable, they’ll get bored with the product, and will fail to convert.

On average, you can expect somewhere around 15% of your free-trial users to become paying customers.  That number drops significantly within ninety days as you lose customers as they try the product and find that it might not work for them.  So you might be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to attract more free trial users, convert them to customers, and keep them as customers.  This is where marketing automation and trial conversion comes into play.

Marketing Automation and Trial Conversion

Email marketing can be a useful tool in getting customers to convert.  Even if you have a small percentage of users converting to paying customers, a small improvement in activation rate will increase your paying customers.  Developing a relationship with your potential customers can be as simple as sending short, concise, and personalized messages via marketing automation.

You’re going to want to send your first messages within ninety minutes of your leads expressing an interest in the product – this will give you the best chance of converting them.  Marketing automation can do all of this for you.  All you have to do is set up your software to trigger an email once a customer signs up for the free trial.

Crafting Scheduled Messages

You should also have a scheduled messaged that explains all of the features of the free trial program or product and how to get started quickly.  This message should give customers the option of contacting a representative at your company or within your customer service department if they have questions – which is just another way for you to establish a personal relationship with the customer.

Scheduling multiple messages throughout the trial period will also help you with your conversion rate but only as long as you’re adding convincing content.  Marketing automation via trial conversion can help you monitor your customer’s free trial use and trigger appropriate e-mails to be sent to them.  For example, if your customer hasn’t used the free trial in a week, your marketing automation software could trigger an email with the goal of getting the customer back to the trial.

By monitoring usage of the trial, marketing automation can give you valuable insight into whether or not an extension of that free trial is appropriate.  Users who have already stopped using the product prior to the end of the free trial are unlikely to move forward in your sales funnel.  However, users who are actively using the product but stop due to attrition may be viable candidates for at trial extension.

If you’re ready to take the next step in applying a marketing automation solution to your business, contact us today!

Marketing Automation: Why Does Lead Nurturing Make Sense?

Why does lead nurturing make sense?Lead nurturing, the marketing process of developing relationships with leads regardless of their current timing to purchase, is a straightforward concept. But many don’t realize the importance of lead nurturing or how it can help. Let’s look at lead nurturing and how it relates to marketing automation.

Why Lead Nurturing Makes Sense

One of the biggest pros for lead nurturing is the ability to market personalized messages to prospects. These messages can be generic in nature but personalized to an audience that’s only in Lead Stage 1 of marketing automation. These leads have only just entered the market and do not have a current timeline for purchasing.

It’s important if you’re looking into automation not to just send leads cold emails. Your first objective for beginning lead nurturing is to establish permission to stay in contact with the lead. If your audience loses interest in your messages, they’ll unsubscribe from your mailing list or mark emails as spam.

Target Your Leads

Make sure you’re creating content that your visitors want to see. The more you can find out about a lead who’s visited your website, the better. By creating high quality content that is relevant to your leads, you’re increasing the possibility of converting leads to customers significantly. Make sure that when sending out your messages, you’re not overdoing it. Ask yourself: when’s the best time to send messages so you can ensure your prospects will see them? Answer that and then tailor your messages to be sent out at the best possible time.

Another best practice for lead nurturing that might seem like it’s coming from the stone age, is using plain text emails instead of HTML. A few lines of content and a personalized signature go a long way toward establishing an individualized message, which is targeted to your audience. HTML based emails are fine when sending out training tips or when the emails are clearly coming from the marketing department and not the sales department.

When Lead Nurturing Works

Lead nurturing is a powerful way to use marketing automation to stay in touch with prospects. When it works, you’re able to establish purchaser preference while also gaining useful knowledge about your prospects timing. If you’re ready to take the next best step with lead nurturing and marketing automation, contact us today! Lead Liaison staff would love to chat with you about your company’s individual marketing needs.

How Does Marketing Automation Help Inbound Marketing?

How Marketing Automation Helps with Inbound MarketingOccasionally we run into customers that are fortunate enough to have way too much business. They’ve got more leads than they can handle. That sounds like a good problem to have, right? Well, what if there are so many leads that the organization has a hard time keeping up? This is a reality for some businesses. They fall behind as all of their leads are look-a-likes and some of them start falling through the cracks.

There are two solutions to this problem. First, make sense of the data and leads resulting from your inbound marketing. Second, use automation to transform the task of following up into an efficient, well oiled machine. In this post, we’ll focus on the first step, making sense of your inbound traffic and help you understand how does marketing automation help inbound marketing.

How Marketing Automation Helps with Inbound Marketing

There are three corner stones of making sense of your inbound marketing. We call these the “three Ps of inbound marketing”; profiling, prioritizing and pinging.

Profiling your Prospects

You’ve got to profile your prospects by building a clear picture of who they are and what they’ve done before coming into your lead funnel. Create a digital DNA of your prospects that combines demographics, online behavior and social information.

Prioritizing your Prospects

Prioritize your inbound marketing by automating the process of lead qualification. Most marketing automation systems use lead scoring and lead grading as two ways to prioritize website activity using any criteria. Marketing automation companies that get it right offer both automatic and manual lead scoring, for greater control. As inbound traffic comes in each of your prospect’s behavior is scored. The higher the score the hotter the lead. Lead grading helps you identify ideal buyers. These two pieces of criteria are then combined with other criteria, such as recency of activity, and placed on a hot lead dashboard, which simplifies the process of identifying who’s hot and who’s not.

Pinging you

You know your inbound marketing efforts are paying dividends when your prospects express key buying behavior. We call these Buy Signals at Lead Liaison. When a Buy Signal is triggered we alert you via text or email. If you’re buried in new leads its good to know when you need to follow up with the hot ones instead of treating everyone as equals.