Why automation is your greatest ally – if you use it right

For more than 30 years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. For 26 of those years, he has owned and run an agency. Additionally, Drew leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small- to medium-sized advertising agencies on how to grow and build their profitability through agency owner peer networks, consulting, workshops, and more.

As an agency owner or marketer, you’re in constant pursuit of two things: demonstrating return on investment and landing new clients. The past year has only intensified the necessity of these pursuits — especially the latter — as you likely tried to help clients through the challenges of the pandemic while shortening and digitising your sales pipeline.

When used properly, marketing automation can make your sales process more efficient and scalable. By automating tasks that allow you to quickly aggregate, interpret, and apply relevant data, you can free up time to focus on current clients’ campaigns. That’s why 42% of marketers (pdf) use automation to acquire new customers.

Paid options like Google Ads pit you against others in high-stakes keyword bids, draining your budget along the way. Automation, on the other hand, allows you to take control of your pipeline while decreasing overhead costs. But it’s only as effective as you make it. To get the most out of your marketing automation initiatives, you’ll need to think about how to truly improve your sales process.

Balance personalisation and boundaries

One of the greatest benefits — and detriments — of marketing automation is how much you can personalise touchpoints with prospective customers. About 98% of marketers (pdf) say automation helps improve their customer relationships. People want you to know what interests them and understand their pain points, but they don’t want your efforts to feel intrusive. If you start popping up everywhere they go, or if you reference information that they haven’t directly shared with you, then you’ll sour them on your agency or organisation for good.

To maintain a balance, create dynamic lists based on triggers that you specify via automation. For instance, maybe someone asks your chatbot a question and inputs her email to receive more information. When she receives emails over the next week with more details on the topic she inquired about, she’ll know it’s because of that interaction.

Define engagement with a score

Lead scoring is a vital part of your automation strategy; it allows you to quickly measure prospects’ engagement levels so you can deliver appropriate content to them. Use your automation tools to assign engagement metrics based on actions and triggers. If someone schedules a call with one of your salespeople, the prospect should automatically receive a high lead (engagement) score.

On the other hand, someone who hasn’t opened or clicked on your last six emails should get a relatively low score. This will indicate that you should change tactics, push pause on your communications, or remove him from your list. Low-scoring prospects aren’t interested in what you’re selling, or at least they aren’t interested in how you’re selling it. If you keep sending emails, Google will ding your organisation for having a low open rate and start marking your messages as junk mail (even for your engaged prospects).

Hyper-target landing pages

Visitors have short attention spans, so landing pages should be clean, brief, and pointed. After all, they exist for one reason: converting your visitors into leads. You can use automation to determine which landing page to show visitors depending on which pages they visited before and what seems to be their product or service of interest. People are hesitant to give away their information, so it’s important you take advantage of potential conversion opportunities by hyper-targeting landing pages.

Once you refine the appearance and content of a few landing pages, you can use automation to track contacts, send emails, deliver offers, and segment prospects. If someone inputs their email to receive a free e-book about social media marketing, you can use automation to send a drip campaign with related calls to action. You don’t want to waste time on prospects who ultimately won’t convert, so use automation to follow up while you focus on current clients’ campaigns.

Marketing automation encompasses many different applications, including automated lead nurturing campaigns and personalised touchpoints, among others. The key is to determine what makes the most sense for your company initiatives and follow these three steps to build rapport and provide value to potential clients throughout the sales process.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

View Comments
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *