Marketing Automation Plan: Getting Started

If you’re considering investing in marketing automation in 2018, you’ve made a fantastic choice! Like any new system though, you need to develop a strategy that fits you during your development. Automation is one of the strongest and most diverse tools available to small businesses today, but you still need to use it wisely. So ask yourself, what should your marketing automation plan focus on?

Perhaps you need to offload your CRM responsibilities, or you’d like to streamline your sales strategy. Identify where you lose most of your time throughout the week, and where automation can deliver the best ROI. Ideally, businesses should implement automated systems into as many of their daily tasks as possible – but that’s not always possible on the first go.

Here’s some different ways your marketing automation plan can be positioned to get the results you want.

Marketing Automation Plan

Lead Generation

If you’re struggling to identify new business opportunities, your marketing automation plan should focus on increasing lead generation. Stop losing potential customers and maximise the chance of conversion through automated engagement. And according to the Digital Marketing Institute, here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Encourage readers to opt-in to your email list

Whether through valuable content, retargeted advertising or an on-going mailing list – incentivise the supply of customer’s personal info through offering valuable content in exchange.

Step 2: Deliver on your opt in promise

Create and give free, informative content that’s of specific benefit to the contact. Display the value of your brand, and empower the customer to make informed decisions. This will develop your authority and begin nurturing a symbiotic relationship.

Step 3: Offer extra content to identify highly motivated subscribers

A small discount on a first purchase or educational video series is a great way to all but close a sale without any unautomated engagement. Offer a wow service to contacts who actually interact with your correspondence.

Step 4: Give warm leads to your sales team

Part of your introduction series of communication should schedule an offline engagement with a sales team. This only needs to be the case with contacts who actually engage with content. This does all the grunt work of identifying sales and only puts willing customers in front of your sales team.

Nurturing

So maybe your initial engagement didn’t persuade the contact, or your lead generation methods are sufficient. How much time do you spend though continuously managing indecisive customers or cold leads? One of the reasons capturing new business can be so expensive, is the level of implicit and on-going resources they can take up.

If you’re suffering with this time management, structure your marketing automation plan to take over all your nurturing needs. You can check-in, continuously touch base with and further educate these cold leads to convert them over a longer series.

HubSpot states that a Gleanster Research report found only 50% of leads generated are ready to buy immediately. Particularly online, customers can be wary of overly-pushy sales techniques, so softer nurturing is a far better solution. Develop a personal relationship, educate and deliver value to the customer so throughout your engagement, they’ll convert themselves.

Customers want to be empathised with and be made feel important. If they’re not buying straight away, demonstrate your appreciation of them anyway and still regularly interact with them.

CRM

CRM (customer relationship management) is an umbrella term used to define all the processes a business manages to maintain positive relationships with customers. Not only does this usually have a high cost, both in time and money, CRM is usually greatly insufficient in many companies. A marketing automation plan focusing on reducing the resources in these efforts can have fantastic benefits including:

  • Significant reductions in costs to previous CRM strategy.
  • Increased opportunities to upsell and resell.
  • Maximised conversion on complimentary goods.
  • Overall stronger relationships with customers.
  • Referral opportunities and NPS ratings.

If you need to improve this strategy, your marketing automation plan should focus on post sale engagement. Infusionsoft has found that 68% of customers leave a vendor as a result of perceived indifference. Your sales process and products might be great – but if you don’t give a customer a reason to stay and purchase again, why wouldn’t they look elsewhere?

The goal should be to create a real wow service, where CRM is extremely positive and strong. Develop a loyalty between your brand and customers, and retention will significantly increase.

This plan should involve offline check ins post-sale, routine updates, interest in how their experience was, and overall appreciation of their custom. Flash sales and reminders for repurchasing at appropriate times can also be effective in managing such relationships.

How Will Your Marketing Automation Plan Work?

We’ve kept things nice and general, but that’s because we want you to think about how your marketing automation plan should look. To help further get the ball rolling, here’s 10 campaign examples that are easy to implement, but still deliver a strong ROI:

  1. Welcome series.
  2. New customer series.
  3. Post-sale wow service.
  4. Rating/review series.
  5. Referral scheme.
  6. Abandoned cart series.
  7. Birthday reminders/discounts.
  8. Seasonal sales series
  9. Flash sale series.
  10. Long term nurture.

If you’re interested in investing in marketing automation but not sure where to start, make sure to get in touch. We love helping businesses succeed online, with a bespoke solution that will fit you to a T!