Marketing automation provides a powerful set of tools to increase the reach of your lead generating campaigns and enhance nurturing for those in your funnel, all with fewer direct human touchpoints from the marketing team.

The only trick is doing it right. Effective marketing automation requires an analysis of your audience and familiarity with the typical stages of your marketing pipeline. You must also focus on the quality of individual marketing assets — how well they speak to their audience and convince them to take action.

To help you get started with marketing automation and to make your app’s marketing efforts as successful as possible, start by implementing these six keys to effective marketing automation:

1-Put audience at the heart of your campaigns

One way many companies go wrong with marketing automation is they jump right in. They begin setting up complex, multi-step workflows and writing content while unconsciously taking for granted many aspects of their target audience profile.

Instead, start by carefully evaluation your audience personas.

  1. Who are your highest value audiences in terms of companies, titles, interests, buyer journey stage?
  2. How do these segments typically progress through your pipeline or funnel?
  3. What types of content have been most effective at converting them to the next stage?
  4. What types of messages or offers best re-engage leads that have gone cold?

Start with these bare-bones and then begin to flesh them out as you plug in rules and content. Obtaining a 30,000 ft. overview allows you to proceed more strategically, and it also has the side benefit of allowing you to adjust or change things later without everything devolving into a jumbled mess.

2-Focus on quality content

Quality of content will drive results better than any number of tech investments or marketing meetings. All content should be able to either provide value to the recipient or trigger an emotion that inspires them to seek out value through further content or offers.

Remember that the basic tenets of effective, quality content are:

  1. Getting straight to the point with concise writing and an immediate promise that the content will offer value
  2. Staying organized with strong thesis statements, topic sentences, and paragraphs that don’t ramble. Clarity and structure make content readable.
  3. Striking a conversational tone that makes the audience feel like someone is talking to them. An implicit understanding of pain points is a good first step
  4. Always leave the audience wanting more with content that has a tidy wrap-up but implies that more can be learned and explored.
  5. Avoid sales pitches by considering audience needs first and always offering value; save pushy materials for advertising
  6. Proofread, edit and test content rigorously before hitting “publish”

3-Have a strong lead generation strategy

Inbound leads are the fuel that keeps marketing automation chugging along. You can start with your existing marketing list, but your automation strategy should include ways to capture new leads from nearly every touchpoint.

Cultivate some strong offers, either through valuable content lead magnets or through discounts or promotions that tempt action.

You should also have the means to capture leads from all touchpoints, so blog readers should always see a lead capture form. In-person meetings should include an email signup sheet.

4-Maintain quality marketing lists and data sets

Every so often, your marketing team should examine your email list for dead email addresses and other non-quality leads. If too many of your emails “bounce” with a hard return — aka “this email could not be delivered” — your emails are more likely to be caught up in spam filters.

Similarly, duplicate entries in your CRM can lead to marketing automation leads getting the same information twice, likely making recipients irritated at your excessive emails.

5-Set Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic Timebound (SMART) Goals

Another source of aimless or ineffective marketing automation is undefined goals. Are you trying to increase the number of qualified leads? Are you trying to recapture lost leads? Do you want to convert more website visitors to nurtured leads?

Chances are you will have several goals like these, but pick two or three and craft a strategy specifically intended to meet them. Otherwise, your marketing automation will be a “jack of all trades, master of none.”

6-Constantly evaluate, research, test and adjust marketing automation for your app

Marketing automation should be a continually improving process, and it should also involve smart decision-making from the get-go. Always A/B test assets such as lead capture landing pages or emails to ensure that you are publishing the most effective content. Test your assumptions about your audience segments to see if they still fall into the same models you have established.

Set hypotheses for marketing automation — e.g.: “This offer should boost software demonstrations given to public sector agencies by X%” — and then test them to see how close you were to the mark.

By continually scrutinizing your marketing automation engine and making tune-up improvements, you can maximize your return on investment while giving your team more tools than ever to succeed.

Summary

For B2B Marketers, Marketing automation provides truly groundbreaking opportunities for one-to-marketing through direct interactions with prospects. In order to realize these benefits though, Marketers must embrace process and discipline. Developing an implementation framework on the lines outlined above will allow Companies to plan and execute campaigns so that they are aligned to expected business outcomes