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Marketing Automation for Better Top-of-Funnel Conversions

From the new to the tried and true, properly implemented marketing automation can be used to streamline your top of the funnel conversions.  Not only can marketing automation help you increase productivity by automating specific tasks, but can also give your customers a more streamlined and satisfying  experience. Below are some ways that you can use marketing automation to generate leads, as well as some actionable advice on how to implement them into your marketing strategy.

 

EMAIL AUTORESPONDERS

Autoresponders are a cornerstone of marketing automation and an essential feature of any CRM worth its salt. An autoresponder is an automatic email that goes out once a contact has taken a specific action, such as filling out a signup form. 

 

Email autoresponders can be used to automatically follow up with new leads. They are a great way to begin building relationships with your top of the funnel conversions. You can use autoresponders to quickly bring them up to speed with your company’s products, offers, values and aspirations. 

 

Here’s how it works:

You create a signup form which allows enthusiastic new leads to opt in to your mailing list. Sign up forms can be embedded in a landing page or added to your site as a pop up ad. From the backend, you will assign an automatic email to be sent out once a contact has filled out that form. The email should relate to the signup form they used. 

 

This opens the door for relationship building and opportunities to convert your prospective lead into a dedicated disciple of your brand. Sales are won by the company that responds the quickest, which makes this a great tool for getting in front of your lead quickly, without having to wait for a salesperson to become available to reach out. 

 

Once an autoresponder has gone out, the salesperson can be alerted of this new lead and can reach out once they have time. 

 

Autoresponders are a great way to automatically touch base with your audience, and can act as a starting point for building a profitable relationship.

 

GATED CONTENT

Gated content is an all encompassing term used to describe online materials that require users to fill out a form before they can access them. It’s also a powerful lead generation tool that incentivizes prospects to share their email addresses and other relevant contact information with you. Below is a list of gated content you can incorporate into your funnel:

  • Blog posts

  • Ebooks

  • Whitepapers

  • Podcasts

  • Infographics

  • Webinars

Although content gating is often associated with downloadable content, like ebooks or whitepapers, it doesn't have to be a downloadable asset. It just has to be something of value that incentivizes people to give out their information. You can add gated content to the front end of your funnel to drive more leads toward your sign up form.

 

Start by choosing the type of gated content that will provide the most value to your potential customers. Then, build a landing page for it. Decide how visitors will access your content.  Are you going to be using this in your PPC ads? On your blog as a pop-up? Once you have solidified your strategy, you can lead new prospects to your sign up form. 

 

Upon the submission of your sign up form, you’ll be able to effectively leverage email marketing to drive leads even further down your funnel. An example might look something like this: 

 

Step 1: Contact fills out form to download an ebook

Step 2: An automatic email is sent out asking the contact to confirm their email address (this is to safeguard your account from bots and other illegitimate emails)

Step 3: Once they confirm their intent to receive the ebook, a second automatic email is sent out with the downloadable ebook. 

Step 4: The act of clicking on the download button triggers a workflow within your CRM. If the contact is not already a user, the contact is added to a leads group, and a follow up is scheduled for the appropriate salesperson. 

 

While this is a basic workflow, it involves two different types of automation at the top of your funnel. The first is sending out the automatic emails with the confirmation and download links, and the second is automatically assigning a follow up to a designated person within your organization. 

 

DRIP CAMPAIGNS

Drip Campaigns are a strategic string of marketing communications used to fortify the relationship between your customers and your brand. They are a focused, coherent and usually built around a single theme or purpose. A drip campaign can be built to engage with new customers, bring awareness to new services, try and reintegrate existing customers back into your fold, or onboarding new clients.

 

Drip campaigns are useful for sending timely information about the products and services customers and leads are interested in. Using information in their contact record, like purchase history, you can make sure the best prospects are included in the right campaigns. 

 

 Drip campaigns are a great way to educate and inform prospective customers  about particular aspects of your business. For example, if a lead signs up for a trial, you can send them a strategic string of emails that illustrates best practices for their newly acquired service. This degree of consideration will show your lead that you too are invested in their success, fostering trust in your brand.

 

Drip campaigns can be personalized with Dynamic Data Rules. Dynamic Data rules allows you to personalize drip messages using contact info stored in your CRM. You can use Dynamic Data to logically send message content based on the recipient's data. Dynamic Data goes beyond simple email placeholders in its ability to set default values.  For example, you create a dynamic data rule that reads, ‘If FirstName is [blank] replace placeholder with: Valued Customer’, wherever the rule is placed in an email it will pull the first name of the contact the message is being sent to. However if there is no first name associated with that contact it will place the words ‘Valued Customer’.

 

WORKFLOWS 

Once your leads have opted in to your electronic mailing list, you can start leveraging a new piece of marketing automation; workflows. Workflow are a streamlined series of activities meant to lead prospective customers through your funnel by automating specific tasks on the backend. They can include a vast number of marketing and sales related activities, and can be configured to work in unison with a drip campaign. 

 

Workflows can trigger (and be triggered by) customer journeys, group assignments, data changes, and much more. 

 

Here are a few examples of workflows in action:

  • Lead Scoring Automation: Lead scoring is a commonly-used practice of measuring lead quality and levels of engagement with your brand. You can use automation to automatically trigger a sales follow up or lead nurturing workflow when a contact reaches a predetermined point threshold. This is a great way to connect with leads while they are on your website, reading your emails, or otherwise engaging with your brand.

  • Event Check-In: When someone registers for an event, they are considered pre-registered until you check them in. Checking the contact into the event tells your CRM that they actually showed up, and can trigger automated actions, like a follow up from the sales team. 

  • Social Media Leads: Trigger a new lead workflow when a contact comes in from any of your social media campaigns. Use Zapier to connect your CRM directly to your social media channels for a seamless and automatic transition from new lead to nurtured lead. 

  • Opportunity Phase Change:  Opportunities allow you to keep track of leads, prospects, and sales. Usually, Opportunities are used for managing longer-lead, higher-value sales. Each opportunity is individually created in the CRM record for a contact. As a contact moves through the different phases of your opportunities, you can choose to have a workflow trigger at each phase. For example, a change in phase might  trigger a lead nurturing campaign via workflow, or a sales follow up from your team. 

 

Finale 

With marketing automation tools, you can use autoresponders, drip campaigns, and workflows to nurture leads and move them through your funnel. 

 

Even your efforts don’t result in a conversion, your marketing automations will have created a positive brand image to help fortify your business. Here at GreenRope, we offer an all-in-one sales, marketing, and operations solution to help small businesses achieve maximum growth and efficiency. Contact us today to learn more!

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