Inbound Marketing, a methodology which seeks to attract leads through generating valuable content and experiences, has been outpacing traditional forms of marketing, like Outbound Marketing or ‘Push’ Marketing, in recent years. Inbound Marketing solves the problem of contacts being overwhelmed and oversaturated with marketing and sales messaging and builds longer-lasting, mutually-beneficial relationships.
Automation is the backbone of Inbound Marketing. Since we are replacing the traditional ways of lead generation, there is less need for sales or 1:1 communication in the beginning phases. Inbound marketing tends to cast a bigger net, and through automation we can sort which leads are qualified or ready for sales to step in.
Here are six ways to automate your sales and marketing processes to get your Inbound strategy up and running.
Automating your lead flow is the foundation of a solid Inbound Marketing strategy. Inbound relies on valuable content but equally important is the followup from that content. To create a scalable funnel such followup needs to be automated. Let’s look at an example for a Cybersecurity company.
This automation has saved time and money. Once the blog is written it will continually drive leads to your website. Longer form content, such as webinars, ebooks, or info sessions, then helps to nurture the leads. When the contact is ready to speak to sales they’re familiar with your company, educated in their problem, and trusting and open to your suggestions.
When generating leads, automating how those contacts enter into your database can play a big role in optimizing your qualification and nurturing processes. Creating properties within your Contact Relationship Manager (CRM) and sorting those contacts into filtered lists can promote increased reporting and analysis. Through lead nurturing and promoting more high-value content, you can have your contacts provide additional information which will help define their potential fit into your products and services.
Start by defining your user’s journey and asking what characteristics or actions are common across your end user. If you can identify patterns, you can begin to request and collect that data through the forms on the gated content you develop. For example, if your data proves the CFO of an organization is frequently the ultimate decision maker, ask for a job title in your forms. As you promote higher-value content, begin to build in questions into the forms you’re creating that will help define that contact and set an appropriate lead score.
The more you build trust and the higher the value of your content, the more questions you can ask. Certain CRMs will allow you to only show form fields which aren’t already known for a given contact. Using this kind of technology can help reduce the barrier to the submission without sacrificing data collection opportunities.
Email marketing is an effective tool for nurturing leads, up-selling clients, and delighting customers. It can also be time-consuming if not designed with scalability in mind. Setting up automated email campaigns is a great way to set-and-forget. While you will want to monitor and regularly audit to ensure everything is functioning properly, the majority of the work only needs to be done once. Write a series of emails that push toward one singular goal and set those emails to send based off of a property, activity, or time-based data. Here are a few examples of singular goal-based email campaigns:
Did you know that 35% of people use chatbots to resolve a problem or find an answer to their questions? Chatbots can be utilized for both customer support and sales. Chatbots take scripted responses to frequently asked questions and help the user navigate the site. Starting out with basic questions and building more overtime can greatly reduce the amount of time and messages that real employees need to spend on incoming messages. For example, scripting out simple answers like “what hours are you open?” or “what is the cost of this product” are great ways to ensure the visitor finds the information they need.
Chatbots are also a great way to collect data on potential site improvements. If you’re finding visitors are commonly asking questions you may want to consider incorporating those answers onto the site or, if they already exist, improving the navigation of the site so that page or answer is found more easily.
Getting an interested contact on the phone can be tricky. Often it takes countless emails and voicemails to set up a time to chat. Using automation to replace that process can free up valuable time so your sales team can focus on closing more deals. This can happen in a few simple steps:
Your marketing and sales efforts shouldn’t stop at conversion. Turning customers into advocates can create increased brand loyalty, more referrals, and profitable upsell opportunities. You can utilize automation to ensure your customers are happy with your service and identify areas of improvement. One way to accomplish this is with an automated email after a purchase with a survey targeting the sales experience. This demonstrates that right off the bat, your organization is committed to the customers experience, not just their sale. This email automation can also contain a delayed email survey that focuses on the product or service. Once an appropriate amount of time has passed, which will vary depending on your business, an additional survey is a great way to determine the match between customer expectations and execution. From there, survey responses that trend positively can trigger additional emails like asking for a testimonial or a referral. Overtime, the customer should always be included in email automations that show your company’s growth and thought leadership like quarterly newsletters, new product announcements, and achievements or awards.
Looking to get started with automation? Tapp Network is here to help. From basic CRM set-up, to email automation, advanced integrations and more, Tapp is an expert in marketing and sales automation. As a HubSpot Gold Partner, we strive to ensure our clients processes are built efficiently utilizing our cross-industry, multi-faced experience.
Janelle Levesque is the Director of Digital Growth at Tapp Networks, LLC. Specializing in automation and optimization, she successfully strategies and leads projects and accounts across the digital marketing and web technology space.