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

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.

Mobile Marketing Automation: Is Your Business Ready?

Mobile Marketing Automation

Mobile Marketing Automation

Mobile marketing automation is happening – though mobile marketing and marketing automation are not new concepts, businesses who pay attention to their mobile marketing are finding the information they gather more useful and profitable than ever.

If you’re thinking about doing mobile marketing for your business, the first question is, how mobile is your audience? If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, if you’re not working on being found in places like Google Local or doing any form of local marketing and if you have no plans to consider a mobile-friendly site in the future, you might consider skipping mobile marketing.

Is Mobile Marketing Right For You?

Not all businesses really need to do mobile marketing – but many who would find qualified mobile traffic are avoiding mobile. Likewise, the vast majority of businesses haven’t discovered how amazing marketing automation could be for their businesses. Considering a mobile marketing plan for your business could put you ahead of the curve.

Putting the Data Together

A marketing automation dashboard gives your company access to marketing funnels that are individualized and that work for your particular business. Your dashboard not only streamlines your funnel – it helps you better manage team workflow, marketing tasks and to more easily interpret your data stream.

Mobile marketing data may be vastly different from your regular data – for instance, mobile users may tend to look at your site at a specific time of day that laptop or desktop users don’t. Without the proper analytics, this type of information is hard to come by.  Many companies aren’t even using the free, most basic analytics out there. The only way to truly determine whether or not your marketing services are working to bring in new leads and re-engage existing clients is to consistently and carefully analyze your data.

With mobile use consistently on the rise, mobile marketing will play a key role in the success and productivity of future businesses. Many businesses don’t want to go into mobile marketing because they fear the cost – but there are many responsive website builders out there that will convert your website at low cost. For many businesses we work with, responsive web technology for mobile marketing has been worth looking into.

How Will I Know if I’m Ready?

Talk to us at Lead Liaison and let us take a look at your site, your offering and your mobile-readiness. Mobile marketing might actually benefit your business more than you know.

Marketing Automation for Small Businesses : Why Automate?

Marketing Automation for Small Businesses Marketing automation for small business is no joke – growth in the marketing automation industry is already up 50% per year based on 2012 and 2013 results, and some experts indicate that growth will increase another 10% by the end of 2014.

What does this mean for your small business? It means that marketing automation is clearly something business owners are finding effective – so if the price is right and a customized package can suit your individual needs, why not jump on board?  We’ve compiled a list of reasons why marketing automation for your small business is worth taking on. And here we go…

You’ll Save Money

For many companies, revenue seems to disappear at the speed of light. Small-business owners often don’t have enough time in their busy days to take a step back and look at how their current sales and marketing processes are benefiting their companies. The result is a messy lead flow, lost revenue and outdated systems governing the way your business operates.

The streamlined processes that good marketing automation puts in place for you can actually save you money and time. Your employees will have a better idea of how to sell, track and engage leads that are currently in your funnel, and you’ll have a better idea how these leads and automation steps are helping you meet your bottom line from month to month.

Marketing Automation: We Do it For You

The right marketing automation resource won’t just give you the tools you need and walk away. At Lead Liaison, we strive to create a process for our clients that truly works. Creating a process is all about putting tools in place that match the needs of each individual business, as well as providing training on those tools.

The right way to set up marketing for a small business is not just to put systems together and walk away, but to place the appropriate tools in a way that meet the company’s individual marketing needs. Only a qualified marketing automation specialist can help you understand what those needs are, and how to implement them in the best way for your business. The bottom line? With the right company, you don’t have to worry – the initial steps are done for you.

You’ll Save More than You Spend

When all this is done correctly, you’ll save more money than you spend. A streamlined sales funnel allows for better conversions – which allow for more income. Once this process is 100% refined, the service pays for itself. That break even point makes life easier for clients and their employees, and is the key reason why marketing automation services continue to grow year over year.

Let us assess your business and recommend a solution via a consult today!

Complexity and Commitment: Keys to Marketing Automation

Freemium Marketing AutomationThe past week has been an interesting one in the world of marketing automation – particularly in terms of freemium marketing automation services making substantial changes in order to survive. We’ve been a captive audience to these changes here at Lead Liaison – it’s interesting to see what works for other marketing automation companies and what doesn’t.

David M. Raab wrote a great article on his Customer Experience Matrix blog about recent changes in the industry. It’s worth taking a look at to get an idea of this week’s mergers – in particular, SalesFUSION acquiring Loopfuse and CallidusCloud’s acquisition of LeadRocket. Raab hypothesizes – likely quite accurately – that the buyout of these two services may have something to do with the ‘freemium’ payment model the companies used to market their services.

Marketing Automation and Freemium Payment

Raab guesses quite accurately,

My take is that freemium doesn’t fit well with marketing automation because marketing automation takes a lot of work to use effectively. Compare this with email and Web site hosting, where freemium has worked well: casual users can be quite successful with those products.”

A commenter observes that the ‘freemium’ model doesn’t tend to work with products that involve complexity. Marketing automation products are definitely complex – for many users, installing a marketing automation platform ensures that a new way of working on basic tasks needs to be adopted. This new way requires adoption at all levels of the business, training and a fully integrative customer support experience that just isn’t casual.

For Us, It’s About Commitment

Taking things a step further, we believe marketing automation is about commitment, not just complexity. Marketing automation systems are definitely complex. Dealing with that level of complexity and changes to a company’s workflow process requires a level of commitment businesses should be ready for. We truly believe that Lead Liaison’s marketing automation process can save a business a lot of hassle and can even lead to generating more revenue – but that does require some understanding of how the process will work for clients from start to finish.

We can communicate the need for that level of commitment from the beginning, but customers need to be on board all the way through. For us, freemium wouldn’t work as we need to be actively involved and available in our clients’ marketing dashboards – giving tutorials, being available for assistance and showing our clients better ways to use the platform. Commitment is key to dealing with the complexity of marketing automation – but that complexity is worth it, solving many challenges our clients face over time.

We’d love to talk to you about how we can take the pain out of the complexity involved in marketing automation – let us give you a consult today!

The Future of Marketing Automation: 3 Steps to Smarter Actions

The Future of Marketing Automation: 3 Steps to Smarter ActionsInstead of relying on a small marketing team to consistently execute campaigns and surpass quotas, enable the technology to work smarter for your business. The implementation of an automated marketing system will provide a more efficient allocation of your team’s time and resources. Use the data you gather for marketing automation to do more for your business through predictive analysis. Here’s how:

  1. Leverage your data. Know what’s worth promoting and what should be sacked. Using a predictive analysis program will enable a more productive use of the marketing and IT budgets. Use technology to enhance your move on target leads—don’t just follow up on “Lead A” because they had more clicks thus more ‘interest’ in a particular product, follow up on the right interests. Were the clicks here because they had a trial run product that recently expired? Did they inquire on a product because they own something similar or are having difficulties with another product your business offers? Understanding why the user interacts with your system will ultimately provide successful leads.

  2. Make the most of your leads. Cut your annual revenue loss by making smarter lead actions. In conjunction with leveraging the right data, use automation software to calculate lead scoring through efficient management of the marketing activity touchpoints.

  3. Integrate your sales and marketing teams. Keep the human touch of a good customer support system to pave the way for future upselling opportunities. Making personal telephone calls to keep direct contact with customers provides the most accurate feedback. Personalized marketing is successful marketing, but be sure to ‘personalize’ accurately. Use the information gathered by the sales team to better target and communicate with your leads.

In today’s marketing, a single channel of marketing isn’t enough. Utilizing a marketing automation system is more than email marketing. An effective system integrates sales prospecting, lead generation, and automation to leverage the data being gathered. What’s the best practice for executing a successful, comprehensive marketing campaign? Involve the sales team. The communication gap between customers, sales, and marketing is a huge shortcoming and often a cause for loss in revenue. Combining social media marketing, email marketing, smart landing pages, and promotions we can get a better grasp of the consumer base. These programs are ideal for companies large and small; a limited staff no longer means cutting channels. Marketing automation is a technology that will continue to grow and develop to improve the customer’s experience through targeted, analyzed marketing actions.

Putting Marketing Automation to Work

Putting Marketing Automation to WorkMarketing automation is not about automating your marketing efforts. That sounds like a funny and perhaps incorrect thing to say, but it’s the truth. Small businesses don’t get involved with marketing automation simply to automate the process, they do it to deepen their understanding of current processes and make better decisions about business.

Despite this, many small businesses view marketing automation as the be-all, end-all to understanding deeper data. Small companies often institute expensive marketing automation platforms only to find they never actively work with interpreting the data they receive – everything’s just on autopilot.  While setting your marketing campaigns up and letting them fly with marketing automation can save time, businesses that do so are missing the point – the core value is in the information.

Marketing Automation – Who’s Watching the Data?

Rather than taking a set-it-and-forget-it attitude toward automated marketing campaigns, it’s important to have someone in your company interpreting the data you see in your dashboard. It’s great to have a product like the Lead Liaison Streamer on your desktop so you can see real-time data about visitors. However, Streamer is far less effective if you set it up on your desktop only to run around to meetings throughout the day.

Making automation work can bring results into your company you never thought possible, but it’s important to have someone on your staff looking at the data as it comes in if it’s a habit you won’t keep. As the primary decision maker in your business, you already know data is power – now it’s time to have someone on your staff presenting the data to you so you can decide together how to move forward on your marketing campaigns.

Putting Marketing Automation to Work

The first step to making marketing automation work for your business is getting a dashboard set up that’s easy to read and functional across your business. The left hand should always know what the right is doing – visitor data should be ported across every area of your campaigns when you plan for the future.

To accomplish this, you’ll need to work with a seasoned team who can install the dashboard for you and teach you how to use it. The training shouldn’t be too difficult, but does require a solid relationship with your marketing automation company. For this reason, it’s important to work with someone who will be happy to troubleshoot, stick around and give you the information to make you and your marketing people excel with your new dashboard.

We’d love to help make marketing automation work for you! Talk to Lead Liaison today about putting marketing automation into practice.

Marketing Automation and Choosing Smaller Development

Marketing Automation and Choosing Smaller DevelopmentIt’s no secret that company owners and decision makers are excited about marketing automation – but will the excitement lead to bigger software companies watering down the concept or removing user friendliness from the equation?

Marketing automation is a fantastic solution, especially for small businesses that don’t have the money or the team to take charge of the marketing workflow process. With the ability to trigger marketing collateral that goes out automatically and sample the returning data in just a few clicks, marketing automation platforms give companies a solid way to track users, gather data and make marketing decisions they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

However, big companies are starting to get in on the game – and with major software companies developing their own marketing automation dashboards, how will the end user benefit?

Marketing Automation Dashboards and User Friendliness

If you’ve ever dealt with a major brand workflow or supply chain software, you’ll know user-friendliness isn’t the name of the game. Big software doesn’t care as much about the end user as they do retention of contracts. If they can provide a be-all end-all solution to small businesses, there’s no need to make products more user-friendly – and that happens for several reasons.

The first is cost. If business makers realize they don’t have to diversify software products by sticking with one company, this results in a big contract win for larger software providers.  Second, larger companies can charge more for training and additional management when they focus on the big picture rather than the smaller, end-user picture.

Shifting Their Thinking

Smaller businesses can’t necessarily afford larger software packages – so diversifying software that meets different marketing roles can be key to giving end users a good experience as well as ensuring software needs are met. This includes the choice of a marketing automation platform that is user friendly, cost efficient and ultimately provides value to the business.

Smaller businesses that diversity their software packages rather than hiring one big company to do everything are an example to larger businesses that diversifying can be key to shorter contracts, saved money and a better user experience. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with marketing automation companies with a smaller client base and a larger market opportunity. The training, ease of use and bugs are all taken care of while you don’t pay tens of thousands of dollars a month for the marketing automation services you need.

To find out more about how choosing a smaller company for your marketing automation needs can benefit your business, chat with a Lead Liaison rep today!

How to Maximize Marketing Automation ROI with High Quality Content

How to Maximize Marketing Automation ROI with High Quality ContentHigh quality content is an essential element of modern marketing and one of the strongest factors in maximizing marketing automation ROI. Content is one of the primary ways that marketers generate, engage, and nurture leads. It is used to build brands, establish authority, attract new social media followers, and retain existing customers. All of these benefits can contribute to your marketing automation return on investment when they are effectively executed.

Here are a few tips on how to maximize your marketing automation ROI with high quality content:

Create Valuable Content

Every piece of content should provide prospective leads with real value. High-quality content will educate the reader and give them a reason to turn to your business whenever they require additional information. Basically it should be a subtle pitch that demonstrates your expertise while offering beneficial guidance. To consistently provide readers with significant value, the content must always be focused first on the concerns and needs of your typical consumers. Selling a product or service should also be the secondary focus.

Create Personalized Content

Marketing automation software generates detailed lead profiles based on a prospect’s online behavior and demographic characteristics. Utilizing the information in your lead profiles to personalize content will maximize ROI by creating a more meaningful connection with the prospect. It shows that someone is paying attention to their concerns, which will inspire loyalty and ultimately produce greater marketing automation ROI.

Create Newsworthy Content

Each article and email that is sent using marketing automation software must provide some unique and newsworthy insight. People that trust you with access to their email inbox do not want to read the same information over and over again. High-quality content that will maximize marketing automation ROI will offer original and worthwhile information that the reader doesn’t already know about your industry, product, or services.

Create Diverse Campaigns

Content includes more than just text. Every image and video can help to establish and strengthen a brand. Visual representations are more eye-catching and usually have a higher success rate than written copy on its own. You can add images to your emails and articles to grab a lead’s attention or create infographics and videos that use imagery to inform potential prospects. For additional information on creating effective video campaigns, please read How to make video marketing work for you.

Create Registration Forms

The content with the highest value should be hidden behind registration forms to obtain additional demographic information from potential leads. This will make it easier to further develop lead profiles and create more customize content. Content that is guarded by a registration form should offer a few trade secrets or particularly useful information that can’t be accessed elsewhere on your site. Individuals that fill out a registration form to access certain information will have higher expectations from the content they receive.
High quality content is a simple and proven method for maximizing marketing automation ROI. Make sure all of your content is valuable, personalized, newsworthy, and diverse. If it is particularly beneficial content, place it behind a brief registration form. All of these tips will help increase the return on your investment.

8 Tips for Marketing Automation Management – Part 2

Tips for Marketing Automation ManagementYesterday we posted part 1 of Marketing Automation Management. Here’s part 2 with the final four tips. 

1)      Use Lead Profiles to Create Content

It is necessary to consider the characteristics of potential leads when you are creating new content or evaluating your current content. Understanding and making different types of content available can help you further profile prospects while creating a meaningful connection. Determine what content is getting the best response and how it relates to the lead profiles that have already been established.

2)       Minimize Alternate Links on Landing Pages

Landing pages are designed to generate a specific response from your target prospects. Using landing pages that include a standard menu and multiple links, or one that mimics your main website will distract potential leads from the ultimate purpose. Make sure to minimize links to only the bare essentials.

3)       Create Campaigns from Start to Finish

Since every piece of content should be designed to trigger a specific reaction. You will need to ensure that each subsequent piece will build towards the purpose of the campaign. It is beneficial to map out the objective for the entire campaign before you actually create a single piece of content.

4)       Redevelop, Revise, and Reuse

Once a process, program or resource has been developed, don’t forget to reuse it in future campaigns. Redeveloping quality content and proven concepts is an essential part of marketing automation management. Incorporating these elements into new campaigns is an effective way to leverage your content and keep leads engaged.

Marketing automation management is a massive undertaking and it should be managed by a professional who understands how to effectively utilize the software, as well as these eight tips. If you need help getting the most from your marketing automation software, please ask the experts at Lead Liaison for assistance.

8 Tips for Marketing Automation Management – Part 1

8 Tips for Marketing Automation ManagementMarketing automation management requires a fundamental understanding of marketing automation technology and a commitment to implementing and improving strategies as needed. Although the marketing automation software streamlines and automates most of the processes, it will still require a human touch to get the most from it.

Here are the top 8 tips for marketing automation management:

1)      Utilize the Complete Marketing Platform

Marketing automation software is not an email campaign tool. It’s a comprehensive marketing platform that can enhance processes for qualifying prospects, managing communications, and following up on inquiries. When implementing marketing automation software, focus first on developing the processes for your business and then use the software to further simplify the process. It will only work well if you start with complete processes.

2)      Use Campaigns to Define Segments

A beneficial approach to defining database segments is to begin at the top of the sales funnel and then develop campaigns to define and segment similar groups. Every new campaign is an opportunity to further segment your database until you have an inclusive profile that fulfills all of the qualification criteria. A market profiling campaign will lay the ground work for obtaining potential contacts, if you don’t currently have a strong database.

3)      Develop Lead Scoring System

Marketing automation management involves constantly reviewing user activity, especially when you first start out. This can become challenging, as the size of your database and number of campaigns increase. That is why it is necessary to develop a lead scoring system and segmentation process designed to prioritize leads. Lead scoring rates the various types of content you send out, by giving each one a value based on likelihood of conversion. Potential leads are then scored based on what content they choose to view.

4)      Utilize Progressive Profiling

Requesting information from prospects that can be obtained without their assistance is counterproductive to marketing automation management and a waste of a lead’s time. Progressive profiling and prepopulated forms allow you quickly profile prospects. By eliminating repetition, this will also streamline and enhance the user experience.