Marketing automation involves using software to streamline and automate marketing processes. When performed manually, these processes take more time than they need to, and marketing automation considerably speeds things up. Done correctly, marketing automation takes you from lead generation through lead nurturing and sales, generating more revenue and delivering a measurable return on investment.
But getting a positive ROI on marketing automation requires more than simply buying the software and buying lists of email addresses for lead generation. Here are some top tips for increasing your marketing automation ROI.
Make Sure Customer Relationship Management Meets Expectations
Your customer relationship management (CRM) database should be clean. It should be populated by accurate, non-redundant data that is as complete as possible. Marketing automation software is generally synced with CRM, and poor data quality negatively influences the output of both systems. When a lead becomes a contact, make sure your CRM data reflects this. Delete duplicate records in the system, clean up account names, and try to standardize information where possible. For example, settle on "FedEx" as your account name so you don't end up with redundant records under "Fed Ex," "Federal Express," etc. that compromise the quality of your CRM.
Evaluate and Clean Up Your Data
It isn't just CRM data that should be regularly cleansed, but any and all marketing data. The more accurate, complete, and non-redundant your customer data is, the better the potential for higher marketing ROI. Data cleanliness is also improved by data integration. Data that is kept in silos may be inconsistent and incomplete, but when it's integrated and standardized, every department has a more complete and accurate customer view, so meeting customer needs is more straightforward. Data cleansing has to be done regularly, because the passage of time can degrade data quality due to things like address changes, and job changes that introduce new contacts into your system.
Carefully Cultivate Leads
Lead nurturing is important. Just as gardeners bring up delicate seedlings in a greenhouse, you should cultivate your leads by providing them with useful information and educational resources. Lead nurturing shouldn't involve a hard sell, which tends to alienate people. Ideally, lead nurturing should help your leads solve a problem. This has the effect of reminding leads what you can do for them and helps establish your credibility. Excellent cultivation of leads causes potential customers to think of your brand when they are ready to buy. Your lead nurturing program might include printed mail, phone calls, emails, and even text messages as long as they're designed to inform and add value.
Consider Using Triggered Emails
Triggered emails that are sent out after, for example, someone registers for a free e-book on your site, can be effective in delivering content marketing messages relevant to that visitor's interests. Marketing automation can be set up to trigger emails based on a number of conditions, like a lead's birthdate, or their completion of some sort of conversion trigger, like signing up for a webinar. When engineered with thought and designed to offer visitors additional value, triggered emails can have double the open and click-through rates of ordinary emails. When an email is triggered, your marketing automation software can also be set up to automatically enroll the lead into your lead nurturing program.
Use Landing Page Best Practices
Well-designed, customized landing pages have higher conversion rates. They should be simple, compelling, and informative. Within a couple of seconds of arriving at your landing page, a visitor should know exactly what you do and what problem you can solve. It should offer the visitor a one-click conversion process that delivers on a promise. For example, it could have a brief lead generation form that when filled in takes the visitor to a white paper download or an informative video. Keeping lead generation forms brief increases conversions, and you can use data enrichment solutions like SmartForms to append clean, up-to-date data to the lead form automatically. You get the lead information you need, and your visitor gets the information they want with minimal friction.
Marketing automation can be remarkably powerful if it is used strategically and fed high quality marketing data. Marketing automation should be done in an environment where CRM is regularly monitored for quality, leads are cultivated, emails are triggered automatically by certain actions, and landing pages are designed for maximum effectiveness. With data enrichment solutions like SmartForms, you can automatically enrich data collected from landing pages and be confident you are feeding your marketing automation system high quality data that will lead to valuable insights and maximize your marketing ROI. If you'd like to learn more about how SmartForms can help you, you can get a demo and see it for yourself.