Marketing is about making money. And when you’re creating a marketing automation strategy, generating more revenue for your business is job one. No matter what platform you choose—Act-On, Pardot, Marketo, etc., (usually based on company size and needs)—your goal is to drive traffic to your website, guide those contacts through your sales funnel, and convert qualified leads into new clients. Here are five steps to configure your strategy before hitting go.
1. Know Who You’re Talking to
Once you’ve developed the 5 Ps of your brand and defined your target audiences, you’re ready to begin talking to your market. Through the process, you’ve solidified who you are as a company, you know your position in the marketplace, and you have pinpointed your customers. Now it’s time to engage them by implementing your marketing automation strategy. I’m not talking about a blanket strategy, but rather an individualized approach targeted towards each of your audiences and their personas. Since you’ll be communicating with a different message for each audience, you’ll need to approach them based on where they fall in their journey—potential prospects, existing clients, or somewhere in between.
2. Pull Together Your Marketing Lists
Now that you know who you’re speaking to, you can pull together your lists. Begin with vetting your current database contacts. For example, look at contacts from your website arriving via your call-to-action forms. Segment those lists into groups, such as qualified prospects, current clients, unqualified contacts, etc. Next, search for a list of new prospects that fits your budget. Remember, bigger lists aren’t always better. Often a smaller list of highly qualified prospects is more beneficial than a large list of poor prospects. In any case, once you have the proper list, also vet this list to ensure the leads are qualified. If they’re not qualified to receive what you’re offering, keep looking. If they are qualified, purchase the list, divide them into segments, and begin nurturing them.
3. Nurture Your Contacts with High-Quality Content
High-quality content comes in a variety of forms—blogs, newsletters, white papers, webinars, videos, etc. But with so much content saturating the market, it’s critical to make your message stand out. Your content needs to be original, relevant, engaging, educational, and informative. Stay ahead of your prospects’ needs and give them industry specific information they don’t have time to search out, or that they didn’t know they needed to look for in the first place. Guide your prospects through your sales funnel by keeping them engaged and eager for more. This will increase your chances of converting those prospects into new clients.
4. Accurately Score Your Leads
Lead scoring ranks your prospects on a scale their value has to your business. In order to score accurately, set criteria and identify characteristics for what makes a lead highly qualified to your company. Then set point values and construct your scoring system. As your prospects begin to engage with you, your marketing automation platform (as well as your CRM if you have one) will monitor their behaviors, and based on the scores you set, alert you when qualified leads are engaging with what you’re offering. Once you know what they like, continue to nurture their needs. Ideally, they’ll continue to engage with you, and eventually hit that magic score where it’s time to reach out personally and see if you can convert the lead into a client.
5. Understand the Analytics
To succeed, you have to understand your marketing automation analytics. These metrics give you a window into what your contacts are doing. You’ll see how they’re responding to what you’re offering, you’ll know where you can make adjustments to improve results, you’ll identify how they’re moving through your sales funnel, and you will know your conversion rates. Another important benefit to understanding your analytics is the ability to share and report results. With all the reporting capabilities your marketing automation has to offer, you should be tracking every detail to ensure that you’re spending time and capital in the right places. And that your marketing is making you money.