We previously looked at how marketing automation can help to transform the way you do marketing in your business (See our previous blog here). We are going to take this one step further by discussing how you can develop better lead nurturing through marketing automation.
As in many businesses, customer experience is becoming even more important with lead management becoming even more complex and involved. This is where marketing automation software such as Dynamics 365 for Marketing or ClickDimensions can help businesses to automate a number of tasks from lead scoring to prospect activity tracking, which in turn can help to improve and streamline lead nurturing efforts.
So what's all the fuss about Marketing Automation?
You will often find that leads are not ready to complete a purchase the first time they are generated, therefore being able to nurture them until they are ready is a key part of the sales cycle. Given the recent advances in technology and an increased drive towards more efficient inbound marketing efforts, it is safe to say that the customer experience has changed dramatically over time.
To put this into context, with the increased customer service demands that sales and marketing now face it is safe to assume that the following statements are correct:
- Consumers expect an instant response to requests for help, which influences loyalty
- Consumers demand that businesses understand their requirements and expectations
The above assumptions may seem quite scary for your sales team to see that they are now expected to reply instantly and to fully understand and anticipate customer needs.
This is where marketing automation software such as Dynamics 365 for Marketing or ClickDimensions can help with many tedious tasks such as lead scoring right through to tracking customer behaviours and setting up and managing email marketing campaigns.
From this, you will see that you can increase the quality of your leads, along with having a greater knowledge and understanding of both your customer requirements and behaviours.
What is best practice for using marketing automation to nurture leads?
Without a doubt, marketing automation can help to deliver true value in your sales cycle, with leading research showing that 80% of users see an increase in leads and 77% see an increase in conversions.
Even though the results above show how effective marketing automation can be, a lot of success largely depends on how you use marketing automation software to improve your customer relationships with potential new customers and to nurture leads.
So just how can you do this? Here’s how:
Setting automations up to allow you to reach customers when required
One of the biggest and best features of marketing automation software is the ability to send out targeted messages exactly when required based on certain criteria being met.
Automated emails are really handy when it comes to upselling and cross selling as they help to make sure that targeted messaging is sent to customers, as soon as it becomes obvious that they may be looking for additional products or services.
To put this into context in the form of an example, if a customer previously bought a new ERP software system that has since been updated with new hardware, marketing automation software can be set to send out a message once a certain amount of time has passed since their initial purchase to inform them that an upgraded version of their ERP software is now available.
Greater Flexibility and More Personalisation
In an ideal world, every message a lead gets sent should be very personalised and based on their most recent actions. However, this is not always the case as a Salesforce research report shows that only 25% of messages evolve across channels in this way. Therefore, you can see greater numbers achieved by using your marketing automation system to be able to track consumer behaviour.
This is a great way of finding out what they are doing, from this data you are then able to assign them to different nurturing campaigns based on their requirements. This type of approach can be handy when used in line with customer journey mapping.
After you have plotted out your customer touchpoints, you can then make use of your marketing automation software to be able to reach out to customers based on their individual actions and at what point they are on the customer journey map. This provides flexibility, allowing you to customise nurturing campaigns giving greater power to customers to find their own way down the sales cycle.
Connect your CRM and Marketing Automation Software
According to the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends study produced by the Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs in 2016, businesses with tightly aligned sales and marketing experience saw a 36% increase in customer retention rates and 38% increases in conversion rates. By integrating your marketing automation software with Dynamics 365 you can help your business achieve greater alignment, particularly when it comes to lead nurturing.
Further to this by connecting these systems, it will allow your business to have a greater transparency between sales and marketing teams, providing a greater ability to tracks leads and simplify the process of sending leads back to the marketing team for more nurturing, if they are not yet at a buying phase.
With all these insights and processes in place, you will be able to create a more consistent, personalised customer experience.
Creating the best possible customer experience through Marketing Automation
Marketing automation can provide much needed support to setup and run lead nurturing campaigns effectively. You will find that marketing automation works quite well when used to improve the customer experience, increase personalisation and to create seamless marketing processes.
If used correctly, it can make lead nurturing so much easier, allowing marketing departments to reinvest their time in building long-term customer relationships.
If you are looking to transform the way you work through marketing automation, then please get in touch with our team of experts today by calling us on 020 3004 4600 or by filling in our contact form.
If you want to receive articles like this straight into your inbox then please sign up to our mailing list.