‘Automation’ is undoubtedly the major aspect when we talk about marketing automation. While fundamentals of lead generation remain the same, which mostly includes email campaigns, it is improved scalability that marketers are after these days.
Nurturing leads is where marketing automation actually plays the most vital role during the entire lead generation process. In fact, automated processes come into effect at this stage when your visitors have turned into leads. What you need to do next is to keep them engaged through your content, educate them about your niche, and eventually loop them in conversations about your products. All this is achieved through sending informational content to leads after determining their lifecycle stage.
Let’s take a look at the elements that are involved in lead generation automation.
The lead generation process basically starts with landing pages and the conversion forms that you insert on those pages. A visitor with the right intent will convert into a lead when they fill a form on your website (a subtle hint about how important landing pages and conversion forms are for your business).
If you have done a good job with the form, the visitor will likely share their information which then will go into the repository of your CRM. Now, you have certain details about your new lead depending upon the information you asked for in the form. This information about leads is crucial, as it is what allows you to run further campaigns and personalize the content. Therefore, you need to ask for all the important information on the forms while making sure that they don’t get overwhelmed with the number of fields.
Autoresponders and triggered email sequences
If a visitor fills up a form to download a guide from your website, you ideally need to keep them engaged through further conversations. One way to do this is through autoresponders or triggered email nurture sequences. For example, once they submit a form, they would receive a ‘thank you’ mail and you could also provide a pdf version of the guide or ebook in the mail itself. This can be set up with the help of marketing automation tools.
Triggered email sequences are also essential in the sense that they ensure the delivery of content that is personalized for each contact and based on their engagement. The automatic lead generation process is heavily dependent on such tools.
Automated lead management relies on sales funnel stages. With the help of marketing automation tools, you can strategically move the leads down the funnel until they are ready to get on a demo call.
Sales funnel stages are:
- Marketing qualified lead (MQL)
- Sales qualified lead (SQL)
Funnel stages are also important because they tell you the kind of content a particular lead will potentially engage with. For instance, consider an MQL- the content you target these leads with should range between industry-related information and information about service/tools that could be useful for them.
On the contrary, an SQL would have moved down from the above stages and would already be knowledgeable about the industry. Now, you would need to educate them about your own services/products and tell them why they should choose you instead of any other competitor.
However, you can only be this precise with all your leads if you are aware of their funnel stages, which is exactly the knowledge marketing automation provides you with.
Automating the Lead Generation Process
We have discussed in detail why marketing automation is crucial for lead generation today and where exactly marketing automation comes in the entire lead generation process. The next step here is to see how you can exactly automate processes for generating high-quality leads.
Marketers have probably realized by now that without considering user intent they cannot get too far and certainly cannot build lasting relationships. User intent and personalization are connected in the sense that without accounting for the former you won’t be able to deliver a personalized experience, which is necessary for businesses today.
- Marketing automation allows you to deliver exactly such an experience through a variety of tools. We have already touched upon automating email campaigns, but it’s worth mentioning again in relation to personalization. By automating email campaigns, you wouldn’t have to worry about a lack of personalization. Marketing automation tools allow you to personalize the entire campaign for multiple contacts.
- Other than emails, you can also leverage chatbots to enhance the customer experience when they land on your website, which will further increase the chances of generating better leads. Chatbots can be hard to manage manually unless you have a dedicated team or at the very least a person to handle things. With marketing automation, however, you don’t have to worry about replying to every single message yourself or at least keeping a tab on conversations 24*7. You can set up a time and let the visitors know when you’ll be available.
These smaller aspects go a long way when you want to improve customer experience. If the visitor feels valued and gets answers to their queries right away, the chances of them converting are much higher.
- If you want to go a step further, you can also personalize the website experience for recurring visitors. This can be done by mapping the behavior of all visitors and then categorizing them. Customer personas will further help you target visitors in a much better way, thereby allowing you to generate better-quality leads. And while taking care of all this data could be hard, marketing automation tools can help you achieve it easily.
Automated lead management
We talked about funnel stages in the last section and saw why segmentation is important for delivering the right content to the right contact.
Everything starting from segmenting leads to lead scoring can be efficiently done with the help of marketing automation software. Automated lead management can make things for you incredibly easy because let’s be honest, it’s impossible to manually deal with large-scale data, especially when you have more important tasks to take care of.
With the help of marketing automation, lead scoring becomes a piece of cake. Furthermore, you’ll know exactly how engaged you need to keep a lead for them to keep moving down the funnel. A lot of time, marketers miss out on important deals because their process is slow. They may have forgotten about a follow-up or didn’t find the time to deal with the lead at the right moment. Marketing automation tools are built to take care of such tasks and ensure timely engagement with leads.
However, you should take care to choose the right marketing automation software since poor integration could get you in a ditch. A robust integration system is the backbone of automated lead management.
Lead magnets for automated lead generation
Building a marketing automation list is probably among the very first steps when we talk about lead generation. However, it can be a pain to get details of quality prospects. A lead magnet can help you solve this issue though. A lead magnet is offering free content or services to prospects which may ultimately incline them to sign up for your product/service.
You can offer eBooks, reports, free audits, or guides to engage prospects. This will also serve the purpose of educating them about your industry. What you have to ensure is that any content or service you offer for free should provide value to the prospects; otherwise what’s the point, right? Offering a solution to key industry problems could be a way around this.
Lead magnets primarily allow you to showcase your expertise in industry matters, which will further entice prospects to consider you when they are actually ready to leverage your product/service. They are further an easy way to kickstart the automated lead generation process.
Lead generation marketing automation- a process that lets you build a content client base- needs to be tackled strategically for the most benefit. As a marketer, you should focus on getting behind on every aspect entailed in the entire process. Without educating yourself, you could be doing more harm to your business than good. But, if you leverage it wisely, marketing automation has the potential to help you generate leads that are just the right fit for your business.