Marketing automation refers to the use of software that aims to automate marketing operations. Repetitive tasks, such as emails, social media activity, and other actions performed on websites, often need to be automated. Marketing automation facilitates the execution of these operations.
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Automation is based on user behavior. For example, this could be the sending of personalized SMS to an Internet user according to his activities on your website or on your social networks. The system relies on user behavior to send them targeted messages. These Internet users have previously been categorized according to predefined criteria and scenarios.
The ideal version of marketing automation
Optimal marketing automation is characterized by the use of software and strategies that allow companies to buy and sell by maturing prospects with useful and highly personalized content, which helps their conversion. in customers and their loyalty. This type of marketing automation usually generates significant revenue for businesses, while providing an excellent return on investment.
Marketing automation is not the easiest strategy to implement, but it is certainly not impossible and has many advantages.
Imagine that you want to grow a plant. To begin with, you need to find fertile soil, suitable for its development. Next, you need seeds to grow, then water and light to turn them into a lush plant. The recipe is not foolproof, but it is achievable. In this metaphor, the effective use of marketing automation is like growing a plant. Ultimately, the goal is to nurture prospects so that they become real paying customers.
The reality of marketing automation
However, the term marketing automation has become a buzzword that sometimes lacks meaning: marketers now look for marketing automation software, thinking that it encompasses all digital marketing tools. necessary for growth, including lead generation tools.
Because of this amalgamation, many of them end up with sophisticated tools to automate the middle of their funnel but have no solution to generating leads.
This makeshift solution offers no long-term perspective. Nor does it create the roots of a strong and lasting relationship with customers. To use the plant analogy, this is like using dangerous chemicals in the hope of speeding up growth. While the idea may at first appear simple and effective, it is in fact a temporary remedy that will not lead to lasting success.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marketing Automation
What is a marketing automation workflow?
A workflow is a scenario of communication suites triggered by an action that a lead performs (we speak of a trigger). For example, if a prospect downloads an e-book on the basics of inbound marketing, this can trigger a workflow by sending a thank you email containing a link to the e-book to download, then later a new email with a suggestion for more advanced inbound marketing resources. The more optimized workflow and personalized, the higher the chances of converting the lead into a customer.
Why does marketing automation fail?
Marketing automation fails when no foundation has been put in place at the top of the funnel to support mid-funnel operations.
Many marketers invest in a marketing automation system before they even have a breeding ground for developing advanced lead nurturing campaigns. However, marketing automation can only produce the desired results when the funnel channels a constant flow of natural leads. Too many marketers without an inbound lead generation strategy struggle to exploit to the extreme the meager market share they already have with their database. Meanwhile, their competitors are looking to take full advantage of the remaining 99.99% market share. Do you already have enough leads in your database to meet your revenue goals? Do you have a sufficient market share?
When done correctly, implementing and managing marketing automation takes time, labor, and resources to increase revenue. If your database currently contains a large number of quality leads, how effective will your marketing automation be once you convert them into customers? And what will happen when your database grows little by little (due to unsubscribes, staff rotations, or for various other reasons)? Devoting time and energy to learning the art of marketing automation is not enough. Indeed, for a lack of leads in sufficient numbers to generate sales, many marketers are disappointed with the ROI of their investment.
This leaves the door open to irrelevant and unwanted automated messages. When they realize that marketing automation requires a large number of leads to impact revenue, most marketers end up buying contact lists. The consequences of such purchases are manifold, but above all, this spam-like practice produces an extremely low ROI.
It would be wrong to say that emails alone produce no results, however, limiting marketing automation to a single-channel not only serves the business but the lead experience as well.
With the endless flow of marketing emails clogging their inboxes, buyers have started to block many of these communications, whether through email filters or by subconsciously ignoring irrelevant messages.
Your prospects prefer to search on Google and ask for recommendations from those around them. They get advice from the social media community and scour your site to see if your business's offering meets their needs. Communicating only by email with leads wastes the opportunity to reach them across different channels and at different stages of the decision-making process. It also amounts to neglecting the wealth of behavioral data they provide about their expectations and interests.
Not leveraging interactions across all marketing channels (such as social media, website, or popular content) means listening to leads only a third of the time. It is like having a phone conversation with a salesperson who wouldn't answer questions and just read a script, regardless of the prospect's expectations.
How to assess the quality of marketing automation?
The functioning and effectiveness of marketing automation campaigns are as diverse as they are varied. However, it is possible to identify the signs of an ineffective strategy as well as the approaches producing the highest ROI for your marketing automation efforts.
Traditional marketing automation is a limited approach. Traditional marketing automation is often referred to as triggering emails based on certain time frames and actions, such as message opens or email clicks. But one click doesn't necessarily provide enough data to execute an effective lead nurturing strategy that meets customer needs.
By restricting their marketing automation in this way, marketers are depriving themselves of contextual information about their leads' profile, their position in the funnel, or their interests. This approach provides little support for automated campaigns based solely on email-related actions, and furthermore, results in a disappointing user experience for prospects.
Inbound marketing automation is a prospect-centric strategy. This strategy uses all the data available about a person to understand what they're looking for and give them the information they need to make a purchase, at the right time and in the right place.
Quality marketing automation takes into account the evolution of prospects' expectations as well as their behavior and interactions with your business across all of your marketing channels. It is not limited to emails.
The display of a rate page, the use of behavioral data from multiple channels (clicks on social networks, for example), or the consultation of certain content constitute essential information. This information gives marketers the context they need to fully understand the challenges faced by prospects and to guide them throughout the funnel.
Optimal marketing automation not only collects data across different channels but also uses these to send marketing messages. In other words, a successful campaign relies only partially on emails and takes full advantage of the various channels influencing the buying decision.
To learn more on the subject, discover the key indicators to evaluate your marketing automation.
How do you know if marketing automation is a good investment for your business?
If you are producing effective inbound marketing content, generating a constant flow of new, natural leads, and wanting to expand the reach of your initiatives, now is probably the time to focus your efforts on a marketing automation strategy that will convert those leads from quality in customers.
Below is a list of questions that will help you decide if marketing automation is the right solution for your business:
- Are you generating a constant flow of new qualified leads?
- Is your sales team overwhelmed by the number of quality leads you send them?
- Have your sales and marketing teams agreed on the division of their tasks?
- Do you have an effective content strategy associated with your buying journey?
- Are you tracking your prospects' online behavior at every touchpoint and across all marketing channels (not just in emails)?
- Do you have a proven lead nurturing strategy that you would like to develop?
All of these signs indicate that well-implemented marketing automation could be right for your business. It is important to understand that marketing automation will not take away your marketing tasks, but it will allow you to extend the reach of your initiatives.
What are the keys to successful marketing automation?
The success of a marketing automation plan depends on many components. However, there are two key principles for building a strategy that evolves and adapts to your customers.
1) Marketing automation doesn't do your marketing and lead generation for you, but it allows you to extend the reach of your initiatives.
The first step is to build a pipeline of eligible prospects by producing relevant and optimized content that covers their expectations and needs. Inbound marketing then serves as the foundation of your marketing funnel.
2) Your marketing messages should directly address the audience targeted by your campaigns.
This means that your interlocutors should be treated as real people, and not as entities fragmented between different tools, like email or social media.
Building a complete profile of a prospect using all the tools, marketing channels, and behavioral data allows them to move up the funnel by taking into account their expectations and interests, and not just the emails they open or click. This way, your marketing automation campaigns will be optimized.
How to assess the behavior of the Internet user?
The behavior of Internet users can be assessed by:
- Analyzing their browsing on a website;
- Their reaction to advertising messages;
- Their interaction with a business on social media.
In the first case, it will be a question of seeing the pages which they consulted and the order in which they traversed them. You can also check when they browsed these pages. How have Internet users reacted to your marketing emails? Have they read your messages? Did they bother to click on the links they received? On networks, we can assess their behavior through the content they have commented, liked, or shared. After evaluating the behavior of Internet users, it is necessary to create suitable marketing content using marketing automation software.
What actions can be automated on LinkedIn?
You can automate many actions on LinkedIn, including:
- Sending invitations;
- Sending personalized messages;
- Export of email addresses;
- Create scenarios;
- Monitoring and visiting profiles;
- Data extraction (scraping).
The advantages of marketing automation
This technique has many advantages. First of all, it saves considerable time. It frees you from constraints by automatically sending a personalized email to each customer. Then, depending on their activity on your platform or on your social network pages, Internet users (customers and prospects) receive almost instant responses. Looking to increase your visibility on LinkedIn? It is strongly recommended to use an automation tool. Thanks to this type of tool, you can:
- Save time;
- Generate leads;
- Personalize your messages;
- Analyze and improve your results.
Automation dramatically reduces prospecting time. This, therefore, allows you to devote more time to your core business. Through automation, the relationship with customers and prospects is personalized with the help of software that creates intelligent marketing scenarios. Marketing automation promotes the one-to-one relationship and helps generate quality leads. By automating on LinkedIn, you also have the ability to personalize your posts. The software takes care of including the first or last name of your recipient in each message. Personalization makes life easier and increases the response rate. Finally, it is also possible to know its results and the response rate, especially after having automated marketing actions on LinkedIn. Finally, manual reminders are time-consuming tasks that make you less efficient. On LinkedIn, it is possible to create automated marketing scenarios. This allows you to better manage qualified business contacts and optimize your conversion rates.
Communication on LinkedIn and inbound marketing
Unlike traditional techniques which consist of reaching out to the customer, inbound marketing is a technique that consists of bringing the customer or prospect to oneself naturally or spontaneously on the internet. To do this, we send information or services that are supposed to interest the target, according to their needs. The goal is to generate visits and leads on its website. In short, it is about attracting the attention of prospects with quality content. Communication on LinkedIn also follows the same principle. We let the client come to you. His behavior is then evaluated in order to finally offer him suitable marketing content.
Here is what you should remember:
- Marketing automation consists of automating repetitive tasks that can be based on predefined conditions: qualification of leads, the relaunch of an abandoned cart, etc.
- These automated tasks are programmed within scenarios or workflows
- Contacts enter a scenario from an entry point
- They are then filtered according to conditions that take into account their identity (gender, age, number of purchases, etc.) or their actions
- The scenarios consist of accomplishing different tasks depending on the characteristics of each contact
You should now have a better understanding of what marketing automation is and how it can help you grow your business.
The question that comes is: which marketing automation software to choose? You will quickly notice that many solutions remain very expensive and only target large companies. LinkHelp offers a more affordable and easy-to-use tool for automating all of your LinkedIn marketing.
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