So you've started using marketing automation for your business. You're blogging, generating leads with premium content and establishing trusted advisor status on LinkedIn. Marketing automation is the glue that holds your inbound marketing initiative together. When somebody completes your lead generation form, marketing automation delivers the content to your new lead, notifies you that you have a new lead and initiates your lead nurturing process.
Are you getting the maximum benefit from your marketing automation process? Or is your marketing automation process leaking leads and revenue that you may not even know about? Here are 4 common marketing automation leaks and how you can fix them.
#1 - Maximize blog subscriptions
If you're using inbound marketing, you're likely dedicating a lot of time and resources to your blog. Consistently publishing relevant blog articles is a sure-fire way to increase your website traffic and get the right eyeballs looking at your lead generation CTAs. One of the most important metrics to measure the success of your blog is blog subscriptions. These are the people that find value in your content and want to read it regularly. Clearly you want to get as many blog subscribers as possible.
Here's a tip that will stop a marketing automation leak and significantly increase your blog subscriptions: give leads an opportunity to subscribe to your blog on your lead generation forms. Here's a sample of what that looks like.
When we first started using this technique, we doubled our monthly new blog subscriptions. A more aggressive approach would be to default the blog subscription form field to opting in, which requires the lead to "uncheck" the box to not subscribe. This will definitely get more blog subscriptions - it's up to you to decide how aggressive you want to be with this tactic.
#2 - Check your marketing automation workflows
So you've published your new lead generation offer and it looks great. You've got a beautiful call-to-action, a compelling landing page and a highly relevant content offer. A couple of weeks go by and you've generated exactly zero leads. What the heck is going on? You may have a mistake in your marketing automation workflows - a broken URL, a misdirected link or you may have forgotten a step in the workflow.
Let me give you an example of how this can happen from our own experience. We re-designed our website several months ago and were very happy with it. We were generating leads and getting a lot of compliments on the site.
One day shortly after publishing the new site, I found a lead had attempted to schedule a website consultation with us and left this message:
"What specific issues would you like to cover during the consultation?
Site redesign, building new site on wordpress CMS, hubspot landing page and blog integration. ideally I'd like to get this schedule some time this week (by 6/19)."
Sounds like a great opportunity, right? One problem - because we didn't update the landing page to the production version, we didn't find out about this opportunity until it was too late. A real business opportunity slipped through our fingers because of a broken marketing automation process.
The moral of the story is to check and double-check everything in your marketing automation process. A second set of eyes may plug up a leak you didn't know you had.
#3 - Update your marketing automation worklows
One of the most important aspects of inbound marketing and marketing automation is the fact that you can measure everything you do. If you're not reviewing the performance of your marketing automation workflows and iterating them based on marketplace feedback, you most definitely are leaking revenue from your marketing automation bucket.
For example, you may have a lead nurturing email sequence that includes 4 emails. When viewing performance metrics for the email sequence, you find that opens and clicks drop signficantly on the third email. This is an indication that you probably want to try something different in that third email. It might take a few experiments until you dial in that email sequence, but it could be an opportunity to plug a marketing automation leak that drives revenue to your bottom line.
Another reason to update your marketing automation processes is stylistic in nature. If they've been around long enough, the design and language may seem dated and may not communicate your value proposition properly.
#4 - Consider the human touch
Not all marketing processes should be automated. For example, you may not want to automate your lead nurturing process. This is particularly applicable to professional services businesses who have large deal values and long sales processes with a relatively small number of leads.
In these situations, we recommend using a "templated" email lead nurturing process. In this process, there is a sequence of emails and templates for each step in the sequence. The difference here is that a sales professional or consultant uses the template to customize each email to the particular situation.
While this is an effective technique, it requires someone to keep on top of the process and not miss scheduled steps in the sequence. It can be accomplished with daily use and monitoring of most CRM platforms. We are starting to use this tactic in our sales process using the HubSpot CRM.
Marketing automation is a great equalizer - it allows SMB companies to compete effectively and professionally with their enterprise competition. If your business is like mine, you can't afford to let revenue leak from your marketing automation processes. The 4 fixes described above should serve as a good starting point to plug your leads. If you'd like us to review your marketing automation and sales processes, please schedule a free consultation.