Marketing is hard.
On any given day, you could be writing content, building landing pages, meeting with clients, preparing social media posts, or editing a podcast – and I haven’t even mentioned internal strategy meetings. We've all been there, drowning in a sea of never-ending tasks and wondering if there's a magical solution to streamline our marketing efforts.
Well – it’s not magic, but marketing automation can take your operations from a spluttering, beat-up clunker to a well-oiled machine if you do it right.
In this post, we'll explore five B2B marketing automation examples to inspire your strategies and turn leads into sales so you can focus on growth.
- Streamlined workflows: Who doesn’t love to be organized? Create workflows for customer journeys, messaging, email marketing, and more.
- Time-saving: Spend less time on manual tasks and more time planning world domination.
- Increased efficiency: Success comes from working smarter, not harder.
- Data-driven decisions: No need to rely on gut and guesswork – marketing automation can be tracked and measured. For example, you can dig into customer behavior and tailor campaigns.
- Accuracy: Reduce the chances of human error and keep campaigns running smoothly. No more broken workflows!
Without marketing automation, you risk making mistakes, forgetting crucial details, and wasting time on manual tasks. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to let leads fall through the cracks and lose out on potential sales when trying to do things manually. Lastly, the lack of data makes things so much harder for marketers to prove ROI and create campaigns that drive profitable, scalable growth.
1. Email Marketing Automation
At this point, email marketing is the bread and butter of digital marketing. Social media, video, and other channels should be part of your marketing campaigns, but email is still essential. And email marketing automation can take it to the next level!
Email marketing automation lets you send personalized emails at the right time. For example, when a prospect becomes a customer, you can sign them up for an onboarding series to help them get the most out of your product. Or if a customer abandons their shopping cart, you can send a friendly, personalized reminder that nudges them to complete their purchase.
Emails are a great way to nurture leads and generate conversions. Let’s see how you can implement them.
How To Implement Email Marketing Automation
- Segment: Your audience will be similar… but not identical. So, segment your lists based on your needs and buyer journey stages. Start with behaviors, shopping or buying preferences, and demographics. For example, you might have one list of highly engaged customers and another to incentivize prospects who need a little push.
- Craft email campaigns: once you have segments, send personalized emails. For example, your highly-engaged customers might appreciate educational or entertaining videos, webinars, or product demonstrations.
- Create triggers: A trigger determines when your email is sent. For example, if a lead fills out a form and downloads your lead magnet, you might send a thank you email with a link to the lead magnet. Having a second step in the email is good practice to keep the buyer journey moving.
- Monitor performance: You can’t set it and forget it! That’s the trouble with automation – it might lead to you thinking the hard work is done. But you’ll want to monitor your email campaigns, tracking metrics such as open and click-through rates.
2. Lead Scoring and Nurturing
Lead scoring is a way to identify if a lead fits your ideal buyer profile so you know how to best segment and nurture that leas.
Sometimes, people download your lead magnets or get in touch with your business, thinking it’s something else or to accomplish one singular purpose without real intent to purchase (trust us, it happens).
But with lead scoring in place, you can score leads based on their behaviors, your ideal customer profile, and firmographic data. You then assign values to leads based on their likelihood to convert. Lead nurturing helps guide high-value leads through your sales funnel. And you can automate parts of this process!
For example, let's say you sell software to businesses. If a lead visits your pricing page, downloads a whitepaper, or attends a webinar, they get a higher score. You can then use those scores to send targeted content and offers that address their needs and concerns, moving them closer to purchasing.
How To Implement Lead Scoring and Nurturing
- Define your criteria: Gauge a lead’s potential value by considering demographics, behavioral data, and company details. In addition, you can look at website visits, webinar attendance, and content downloads for a fuller picture.
- Assign points: Use your scoring system to assign a value to your leads – you might use cold, warm, or hot. This helps to rank leads on how likely they are to convert, and sales can focus on promising leads.
- Create your campaign: Develop drip campaigns, content, and offers tailored to each segment. Your warm leads are ready to see how your product works. Hot leads might be prepared to talk to sales. Whatever the case, nurture leads and guide them through your buyer journey.
- Monitor and optimize: Once again, you must know if your lead scoring and nurturing are effective. Use the data you collect to optimize your campaigns. You can measure engagement, conversions, and other metrics to see what’s working and what isn’t.
3. Content Personalization
Whether your prospects are in the awareness, consideration, or decision stages of the buyer’s journey, you can create content they’ll find helpful and relevant. With the right content (that meets customers where they are), you’ll get increased engagement, higher conversion rates, and customers that stick around.
And content isn’t just blogs, whitepapers, and social media posts. It’s product demos, webinars, and even landing pages. Consider a prospect lands (sorry) on your landing page; is the content compelling enough for them to take the desired action?
You may want them to download a lead magnet. Does the copy tell your prospect that your lead magnet can solve an immediate problem? Hopefully, it does. When they download your lead magnet (and if they fit your lead criteria), you now have a warm or even hot lead that has raised their hand and said, “Yes! You can market to me!” And now you can send personalized content that moves them along the buyer journey.
How to Implement Content Personalization
- Gather your data: Collect information about your users through their behavior on your website, the pages they look at, and any forms they’ve filled out.
- Segment: Split your audience into segments based on interests, behaviors, and the actions they’ve taken. For example, a prospect visits three blog posts and downloads your lead magnet. If they fit your lead criteria, what else could you send them?
- Create your content: You can send them a personalized email to help them make the most of your lead magnet and then nurture them with more relevant content until they’re ready to talk to sales.
- Pro tip: Try using dynamic or smart content on your website. For example, that landing page you created? You can show different versions of the page to different users based on their location, language, or other demographic information.
4. Chatbot and AI-Powered Customer Support
Ah, AI. In ten years, we won’t know how we did things without AI.
We’re just starting to see what it's capable of. This is evident in the development of customer support. Conversational marketing and sales platforms–like Drift–enable you to engage with your customers in real-time using chatbots.
An AI-powered chatbot can answer FAQs and guide users through processes, among other things. Chatbots learn from interactions and improve over time, providing a better user experience. They can even integrate with your CRM and marketing automation tools.
For example, let’s say one of your customers has a problem with their account. They turn to your customer support page, but your offices are closed for the day. A chatbot can still provide value by asking what the problem is and giving troubleshooting tips or creating a ticket. As a result, the customer feels heard and knows someone will be in touch.
How to Implement Chatbot and AI-powered Customer Support
- Determine what you want your chatbot to do: What tasks should it handle? For example, some common chatbot functions are answering frequently asked questions, guiding users through processes, booking appointments, and managing basic troubleshooting.
- Train your chatbot: Create conversational flows and scripts, and equip your chatbot with AI and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to better understand and respond to user inquiries.
- Monitor and improve: Keeping track of key metrics like engagement, satisfaction, and resolution rates will help you improve your chatbot's performance. In addition, use user feedback to identify areas for improvement. Finally, regularly update your chatbot's conversation flows and scripts to keep it relevant and valuable.
Tools to Implement Marketing Automation
- Trigger email workflows based on customers taking specific actions.
- Use forms to trigger workflows and send personalized content.
- Manage customer lifecycle stages and progress leads along the buyer journey.
- Create internal task workflows to nudge the right team members to follow up.
The automation tools you use will depend on your needs. HubSpot works for us because we run complex campaigns for multiple clients.
There are hundreds of tools you can use to automate marketing tasks. Mailchimp is great for email marketing, and Zapier is fantastic for managing workflows across multiple platforms. Choose a platform that suits your needs, team, and budget.
Tips for Implementing Marketing Automation Successfully
Before automating marketing campaigns, you need a clear strategy. Having a strategy before automating marketing campaigns helps define objectives, understand the target audience, communicate your messaging consistently, and continuously inform and improve your campaign performance.
Once you have a strategy, determine where automation can impact most. What do you hope to achieve with automation? Is it better engagement? Higher email open rates? Set goals and objectives to guide your implementation and track success.
Knowing your audience inside and out is essential. Once you have a buyer persona, you should know (from research) their pain points, preferences, and behaviors. Only then can you create relevant content and launch effective campaigns.
You’ll want a centralized platform to store data and analytics. We mentioned HubSpot earlier; our workflows, data, blog, and all other marketing tools are on one platform, streamlining our marketing efforts.
Decide on the tools and platforms to use based on your goals, budget, and existing tech stack.
Lastly, review, improve, and expand your marketing automation efforts.
- Use data to review your performance by tracking key metrics and performance indicators. It’s the only way to know you’re hitting your goals.
- Improve your marketing automation efforts by making data-driven decisions and refining your campaigns.
- Once you see results and your confidence grows, explore new ways to automate and optimize parts of your marketing strategy. This could include AI-powered solutions and additional channels.
B2B Marketing Automation: Use it to Help You Drive Growth
Marketing automation is vital to your efforts to drive and scale growth. You can automate repetitive tasks and nurture leads through targeted campaigns, creating a more seamless customer experience and encouraging prospects deeper down the sales funnel.
At Lean Labs, we use marketing automation to streamline our processes and create a seamless client experience that ultimately helps drive growth for our clients. Want to learn more about how you drive your company's growth? Book a meeting with us to discuss HubSpot. If you’re worried about the cost of HubSpot, don’t be… you can start for free!
Alternatively, unlock the Growth Playbook and see how we can help you make marketing a profit center instead of a cost center. We’re in this together!
June 27, 2023