A digital marketing strategy is a road full of pitfalls. For business owners, one of the biggest day-to-day challenges is getting rid of all the little tedious and side chores as quickly as possible to focus on their brand and that is when marketing automation kicks in.
Send emails to prospects, sort and qualify leads, consult their main performance indicators, carry out reporting … All these micro-tasks essential to the smooth running of the activity are experienced as chores and turn out to be very time-consuming.
Marketing automation largely responds to this problem. It has even become an essential lever in the management of a website, but also in B2B marketing to generate leads. In this article, you’ll find out why and how marketing automation can help your digital strategy.
What is automation marketing ?
The term “marketing automation” is used widely today! There are dozens of ways you can use this strategy to benefit your business. To put it simply, automated marketing is a set of techniques that allow you to launch or measure the results of a marketing campaign while limiting human intervention.
Concretely, the main field of action of marketing automation is the development of email campaigns. Computerized actions, such as sending sequenced and personalized messages following a purchase or download of a white paper, can be planned in advance and accomplished without human intervention.
Based on the behavior of Internet users (customers, prospects or leads), you will send them targeted messages according to their category, with predefined criteria and scenarios.
As you will have understood, this strategy applies exclusively to the digital field; it is technology, and technology alone, that makes it possible to automate certain elements of a marketing campaign.
When to use automation marketing?
The answer is simple: save time and focus on high added value tasks! Digital marketing automation also allows you to design better quality campaigns without spamming your prospects.
Why is it tricky ?
Automate, yes, but what? Many marketers mistakenly believe that one lever of automation encompasses all of those in digital marketing.
Fatal mistake! They end up with powerful tools to qualify leads that they cannot generate upstream. It’s a bit like a rocket engine without fuel: you’re never going to get to the moon!
The implementation of automated marketing tools and techniques is the subject of essential prerequisites and takes place in a very specific context. It is not conceived in an independent way, but is almost always part of a more global inbound marketing strategy, also called “inbound marketing” in English.
The idea is simple: attract Internet users to your website with quality, informative and / or entertaining content to gradually transform them into qualified leads and convert them according to your criteria. At least three points of attention should be checked before you start:
a website optimized for conversion: that’s the basis of everything. Whether merchant or non-merchant, your site must be optimized for SEO and in order to turn your visitors into leads. Do not hesitate to have it audited;
elements that appeal to your target: your website is the setting in which you welcome your audience. You must offer quality content (articles, videos, white papers …) to your visitors to encourage them to share it and to give you permission to contact them again;
The most qualified prospect/lead/customer base possible: this is the reservoir from which your automated marketing tool draws its information. If your prospects are dispersed among sales reps, executives, and associates, each managing an Excel file or Outlook contacts, you will need to consolidate and fully qualify all of these potential customers.
What are the tasks that can be automated?
The biggest promise of automation is the ability to segment your contact base. Leads, active customers, dormant prospects, visitors from social networks … You can at any time set up a differentiated strategy for each of the segments that you have defined beforehand.
Marketing automation sets off a cycle of automatic and personalized correspondence. The content sent to each of your contacts is adapted to their needs according to their response (or not) to your previous mailings. This meticulous approach, which requires no intervention on your part, helps build a quality relationship with your lead base, because it is based on their real behaviors.
The content of the messages
All the emails you send can be written automatically, or at least in part. In the case of a newsletter, it is for example possible to compose it “on the fly” from the latest content published on the blog.
Each interaction with a lead or a prospect is an opportunity to learn more about him and to store his information to make the next speech more qualitative.
Concretely, how does it work?
Automating all or part of your digital campaigns requires the installation of specific software linked to web analytics, CRM and e-mail sending tools.
To make the most of the benefits of automation, most marketing managers work on developing scenarios: this involves considering the different possibilities (navigation path, actions carried out on the site) and representing them under the shape of a decision tree.
For each scenario, the automatic actions that the tool will have to perform are programmed. For the more “geeks” among you, the diagrams will look like mindmapping where you will find Boolean type operations (“If such and such an action is performed, then …”).
Here is an example of a simple scenario for a business consultant :
– Sending a welcome email to each of the visitors recently subscribed to the newsletter;
– Seven days later, sending content offering a webinar to everyone who opened the first email. If opening this message, then send a second to confirm the webinar. Otherwise, they leave the scenario;
– Seven days later, sending the content of the webinar to download and thank you.
The possibilities are endless, but if you are just starting we advise you to favor short scenarios, even if it means multiplying them, in order to be able to properly analyze your results.
As you can see, digital marketing automation is much more than a trendy concept. Beyond the computer execution of repetitive tasks lies a real challenge: obtaining a detailed analysis of the behavior of customers and consumers online.
In a world that tends towards 100% digital, automated marketing solutions are gradually becoming essential for all companies or brands that want to strengthen their presence on the web and generate profits.