Marketing automation is an example of the evolution and technological development leading to new ways of doing things better and faster. Among other things, marketing automation is the perfect tool to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.
While email marketing has been around for almost ten years, it is still very popular amongst marketers. In fact, a 2012 study conducted by Forrester Research revealed that 89% of marketers use email as their primary channel for lead generation.
However, like anything else, email marketing is evolving. The study by Forrester Research also revealed that 5% of marketers have already adopted the innovative cousin of email marketing: marketing automation.
To make it simple, marketing automation is a tool that helps marketers implement automated campaigns designed to uncover and qualify higher quality sales leads with less effort and more depth.
Let’s dive into some of the advantages marketing automation presents over traditional email marketing.
Lead Nurturing – Their Sweet Spot Is Just a Few Clicks Away
Marketing automation is about reaching the right lead with the right content at the right time. 50% of qualified leads are not ready to purchase right away1, hence the importance of lead nurturing. You want to grow the relationship with your prospect until they are willing to buy. Use regular and relevant communication that will assist them in their decision making.
Marketing automation lets you do just that! In essence you:
1. Create your assets directly into the software: email templates, forms, landing pages, etc.
2. Set up your campaign: timeframe and audience
3. Watch the magic happen
Lead Scoring – Marketing and Sales Can Finally Get Along
Marketing automation uses a method called ‘lead scoring’ to assess the stage of the buying cycle a lead is in. This means no lead will be passed down from marketing to sales before they have reached a certain score and met certain qualifications (e.g. demonstrated specific buying signals).
While facilitating the work of both your marketing and sales team, this also guarantees alignment of both teams and the conversion of more qualified leads.
Analytics – Wouldn’t It Feel Great to Know What You’re Doing Wrong?
Marketing automation software provides you with insights into each campaign. For every email sent, you are given the open rate, the click-through rate, conversion, etc. With marketing automation’s integration into your CRM, your marketing team gets to see which of their prospects are interested in which email content. Such analysis allows you to better understand the effectiveness of each campaign and adjust accordingly by expanding successful ones and reorienting those that yield a lower ROI.
Now You Know…
Not only does marketing automation save time for both your marketing and sales teams, it allows better alignment of both teams, and gives you a deeper understanding of how your campaigns work and how they affect your marketing ROI.
1: Deep Dive: Gleanster, Measuring the Impact of Lead Nurturing on the Sales Pipeline (December 2010)
Photo by Carolyn Williams