Automating your inbound marketing efforts has numerous benefits. Leads are regularly generated and nurtured, and it becomes apparent at greater speeds that leads become qualified prospects. More traffic is generated for your website, social pages, and overall online presence. Marketing automation encompasses tools and platforms that automate marketing campaign execution, social media posts, email follow-up, and other tasks that require scheduling or customization.
Some types of marketing automation are incredibly simple, such as creating blog posts and social media content in advance then scheduling them instead of posting in real-time. Other marketing automation tools are more robust and meant to engage with thousands or millions of potential customers on multiple platforms.
No matter your industry or firm size, marketing automation provides numerous benefits in growing your business and honing your lead generation strategy so that leads can be properly nurtured. Here's how.
Why Use Marketing Automation for Lead Generation?
Lead generation is one of the most crucial processes in growing your business. If you're not constantly generating leads, revenue can stagnate. It can sound daunting on top of all the other aspects of running a company, but the good news is that this task can be automated.
In fact, it SHOULD be automated. Here's why automating the lead generation process is one of the best uses of your marketing resources.
Lead generation is time-consuming.
It's estimated that businesses spent $2.6 billion on lead generation through ads in 2019. Advertising, live events, social media, and other avenues for lead generation can quickly add up not just in marketing spend, but in the time spent on building trust, online presence, and the brand overall.
By automating lead generation efforts like social campaigns, ads, email processes, and other types of marketing, drastically cuts down on the time spent generating new leads. By increasing your online presence and further fleshing it out with automated marketing campaigns, leads come to you with a "set it and forget it" mechanic, saving untold months that would be wasted performing these actions manually.
Leads need to be nurtured, consistently.
Once a lead has been generated, it needs to be nurtured into becoming a paying customer or client. When hundreds of thousands or millions of leads are generated, it's simply impossible to manually follow up with each of them. Not all of them will become paying customers, either.
By automating the lead nurturing process on various platforms, such as automatically emailing them relevant content or liking their tweets when your brand is mentioned, also hastens the sales cycle and increases your overall digital presence.
Frees up marketing teams from doing repetitive tasks, directing their focus to strategic tasks.
There are several marketing and sales tasks that still require a human touch. Marketing departments are composed of intelligent, competent professionals who know how to take full advantage of tools, platforms, and resources. They are needed in more strategic roles that require an expert to take a hands-on approach, rather than the tedium of following up with every single email, social post, and other digital marketing components.
By having automated workflows in place that keep leads engaged, it can stay hands-off while the staff directs their focus to tasks that need them to be more involved in real-time.
Provides data that is difficult to fetch manually.
Lead generation isn't just about collecting email addresses or seeing who signs up for the free version of your website or product after clicking on an ad. Those leads contain valuable data that can be used to correctly and quickly nurture them.
Manually generating leads is better than nothing, but automated lead generation can provide valuable insights that are not easily obtainable with manual methods. This includes whether they clicked on links in your content or not, and other activity if a tracking cookie has been attached. When you have an idea of what leads are doing, you start to notice trends like links or pages they gravitate to-- or avoid. This data helps you create even more effective content and websites, and see what you're doing right and where you have shortfalls that should be addressed.
Automation improves the alignment between sales and marketing teams.
Aligning your sales and marketing teams can be challenging. Their functions are incredibly different, yet they also have similarities and need to work together to achieve the same goals. Stellar marketing automation makes both departments' jobs easier, particularly when it comes to farming out the grunt work to a marketing automation platform and focusing the teams on tasks that require a human touch.
Both departments have a common goal of lead generation, closing those leads, and getting them to become continually paying customers. But they can end up butting heads over content creation, marketing strategies, inbound marketing, and how to properly allocate their resources. Automating lead generation puts both departments on the same page by giving them the same ability to easily obtain hundreds of thousands of leads, and expedite the lead nurturing process.
Helps with lead segmentation and strategizes how to approach them.
Segmentation helps with sales and marketing processes by breaking down your leads into different segments, so that content can be tailored to them. For instance, a clothing company that caters to various groups would want to segment their leads based on demographics, what the leads are looking for, or other criteria. This could be by age group, gender, or purpose, like ready-to-wear clothing versus occupational clothing.
Marketing automation smartly segments your leads for you. If someone clicks on the clothing company's ad for party dresses, they're clearly expressing a different interest than the lead who clicks on the ad with a picture of scrubs. It takes so much guesswork out of lead segmentation in comparison to manual methods.
Personalization becomes faster, easier, and more effective.
Automated lead generation can sync your organization's contact data for better personalization. Personalized ads and email content lead to higher open rates and other signs of engagement.
When leads are addressed by their names, along with any other identifiers that they voluntarily provided, they feel a closer connection with the brand in comparison to being addressed with a catch-all like "Dear Business Owner". Automated workflows have personalization options based on which fields require them and can be set up to also deliver personalized ads, content, and product recommendations based on prior engagement.
Enables you to collect leads at all hours of the day.
One of the strongest benefits of automated lead generation is that you can collect them all day long, long after everyone in the company has gone to sleep no matter where they are in the world. People surf the Internet 24/7 and will click on things, do their research at all hours of the day, and constantly provide you with new leads.
It doesn't have the same limitations as only being able to collect emails during business hours, or at trade shows. There can be thousands of new leads that just show up at 3 AM on a weekend.
A/B testing maximizes results.
A/B testing simultaneously runs two different display ads or emails to the same group of leads or subscribers. They can be randomly selected by your marketing platform, or you can purposely segment them yourself.
By automating this process, you can get real-time insights into which type of campaigns resonate the most with your leads. Regular A/B testing helps you discern what emails are most likely to be opened, and content that gets the most engagement. The process can also be completely automated, making lead nurturing simpler and speedier.
Expedites nurturing leads into customers.
Ultimately, marketing automation can dramatically shorten sales cycles and quickly get new leads to engage with your brand. By pushing leads through the sales funnel at a quicker rate than older marketing methods have typically allowed, it grants the sales and marketing teams more time to engage with more qualified prospects.
Because the process is expedited, it becomes faster and easier to see who has more intent to convert into a paying customer and who shows little or no engagement. All around, this saves both departments a lot of time and eliminates the guesswork as to which prospects they need to follow up with.
Marketing automation is a powerful tool that significantly levels up your inbound marketing.
Workflows, segmentation, the millions of different marketing platforms and tools that may or may not integrate with one another: setting up your marketing automation for the first time can seem daunting. LAIRE is here to help you determine which marketing automation stack is the best fit for your brand and which strategies can generate the responsive top-notch leads you're seeking.
As a HubSpot agency and B2B marketing agency, we aim to deliver results for businesses in the B2B sphere and help you get the most functionality out of including HubSpot in your marketing automation stack. LAIRE can supercharge your sales with marketing automation. Our digital marketing experts can answer your questions about lead generation and automating sales and marketing processes. Contact us today to get a FREE 20-minute assessment of your current stack and digital marketing strategy.