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What is Marketing Automation?

marketing-automationMarketing automation is a collection of tools designed to automate a company’s marketing strategy. These tools benefit not only large businesses, but small businesses as well.

Smaller businesses without much experience with marketing automation often think it’s only a tool for automating repetitive marketing tasks. These companies only see the value of marketing automation as a time or cost saving solution.

It’s true that marketing automation saves time and money by automating repetitive marketing tasks, it also allows businesses to:

  • Identify more qualified leads
  • Increase the conversion of those leads
  • Increase the resulting revenues
  • Apply lead scores to prospects
  • Notify sales team regarding opportune leads

Furthermore, a comprehensive marketing automation service like the one employed by Push Marketing also provides Anonymous web visitor identification, end-to-end analytics (not Google Analytics), dynamic lists, and behavior tracking.

Marketing automation services are being adopted at an exponential pace, and as it becomes more and more affordable, smaller companies are also getting on board and harnessing its power.

Marketing Automation vs. Traditional ‘Email Blasts’

Marketing automation is very different from the auto-responder tools that many businesses have used in the past. Such antiquated tools were hit-and-miss, and often resulted in driving off potential customers with irrelevant “junk mail.”

However, when used properly, marketing automation all but guarantees that leads receive narrowly targeted and highly relevant marketing messages, and at exactly the right moment.

This targeted messaging is totally unlike traditional email delivery services like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Such basic email delivery services are typically only able to send non-targeted email “blasts” to a large group of recipients in a linear fashion. Too often, this untargeted approach is viewed (correctly) by the recipients as spam.

In contrast, marketing automation such as that developed by SharpSpring and employed by Push Marketing features behavioral-based targeting and communication. Using marketing automation, a company can automatically send a fresh prospect (one who is just starting the education process) very high-level information that is relevant to the lead’s interest.

On the other hand, if a lead is ready to buy, the lead can be sent purchase-oriented materials. Simultaneously, the marketing automation service will send a notification to a salesperson who can contact the lead directly. Leads looking at a single product on the website can be sent information about that specific product, without having to ask any questions. This is important when the buyer is researching a company and is not yet ready to buy.

This high level of behavioral-based targeting will almost certainly generate higher conversions and more revenue, and that’s a good investment for any business, big or small.

For more information, check out other posts in this series:

Push Marketing Introduces Advanced Marketing Automation 
Marketing Automation: Why It’s Essential for B2B Businesses
The Benefits of Marketing Automation for B2C Companies
After the Click: Behavior-Based Email Tracking
Email Automation with Personalized Communication

Push Marketing Introduces Advanced Marketing Automation

Push Marketing is an authorized service provider of SharpSpring’s automated marketing software. Automated marketing software allows users to automate repetitive tasks such as email, social media, and other website actions. This platform enables businesses to engage with leads at critical points in the buying cycle through the use of its powerful features. Here are just a few of the powerful features offered by Push Marketing and SharpSpring:

Behavioral Based Email Automation:

Traditional email delivery services that are often utilized consist of linear, “blast” type emails that are delivered to a set mailing list. These are usually nontargeted emails generated by companies with generalized content relative to their products and services offered. Behavioral Based Email Automation, on the other hand, creates targeted emails based on a potential consumer’s behaviors and interactions with your website. This targeted marketing allows customized communications in a one-on-one fashion to be sent which, in turn, generates higher lead conversions and more revenue. The system also generates an automatic notification to your salespeople to better foster the relationship with potential leads. By notifying your sales team of these more relevant leads, you are equipping them with the information needed to convert more leads to sales and increase your return on investment. Your marketing efforts are optimized by spending more time and money in the areas where it is needed and less on the areas that aren’t likely to convert.

Engage Leads at Critical Points:

Our automated marketing platform allows you to engage relevant leads at critical points in the buying process through the use of 3 major components: Visual Workflow Builder, Lead Nurturing, and Lead Scoring.

  • Visual Workflow Builder is an interactive component of the platform that uses branching logic to build out your automation tasks in a point and click visual format. By utilizing the visual component of the task planning process, the Visual Workflow Builder allows for more creativity with a hands-on approach. You can create specific touch points by combining tasks and action groups, to customize the path your potential lead takes thereby increasing your likelihood of a conversion.
  • Lead Nurturing facilitates automated drip email campaigns to engage potential leads early on in the sales process. Drip email campaigns are a set of emails that are sent out on a scheduled basis to ensure that newcomers to your email campaign receive all of your marketing emails instead of just new emails that come out after they have joined your mailing list. This allows potential leads to be educated and keeps you at the top of their minds as they navigate through the sales process, and ultimately to their purchase decision. Lead Nurturing also sends a notification to your sales team when potential leads are ready to convert and purchase.
  • Lead Scoring allows your sales team to focus on hot prospects and leads. Leads are scored based on engagement with your website with scores increasing or decreasing depending on page visits, numbers of clicks, forms completed, downloaded content, and demographic data that fits your sales model. You can set a customized decay rate to decrease lead scores. The platform also allows you to automatically nurture leads until they are ready to convert. Lead Scoring enables your marketing team and your sales team to work hand-in-hand to not only provide them with better qualified leads, but also with a higher percentage of lead conversions and sales.

Advanced Lead Analysis to Identify Website Visitors:

Marketing automation tools provide several components that facilitate lead analysis and identify visitors on your website. Our platform offers the tools needed to identify anonymous website visitors, track your known leads, receive a daily VisitorID email, track page visits, referral URLs, and search terms, set important pages, choose important contacts, and set powerful filters.

  • ID Anonymous Website Visitors: Most visitors to websites, as many as 98%, remain anonymous to administrators because they don’t fill out forms while on the website. VisitorID utilizes reverse IP address lookup to identify the users and companies who are viewing your website. It also provides you with their contact information, name, email address and phone number. This not only helps you track visitors to your website, but provides you with critical information on your website visitors that will allow you to convert those potential leads into sales. By utilizing this information you can attract more traffic to your website to provide your sales team with more relevant leads and a higher conversion potential.
  • Track Your Known Leads: Our automation platform can track potential leads and notify your sales team when a current lead returns to your site, whether to continue browsing, to check out your pricing, or even to download content. This allows you to make your website more than just content – it becomes a communication tool for both your staff and your potential customers. It also provides your sales team with the information they need to convert more leads.
  • Daily VisitorID Email: The daily VisitorID email provides you with a daily listing of visitors to your website. With this information, you can quickly filter through potential lead information, lead scores, and other customizable fields without ever having to log in to the platform. This provides you and your sales team with more leads and opportunities.
  • Page Visits, Referral URLs and Search Terms: Our platform tracks the time that visitors spend on the individual pages on your website, recognizes and tracks when visitors view pages that you designate as “important,” tracks demographic information on your visitors, investigates where they come from, and can even identify which search terms led them to your website. This information then allows you to customize your website and social media content to attract more relevant leads to your business.
  • Important Pages: With our marketing automation software, you can set “Important Pages” that, when clicked on by a visitor, boosts their lead score and provides this information to your sales team. It can also be set up to trigger automation and personalize communication to any visitors who click on your important pages.
  • Important Contacts: The platform can also target specific industries in your communications and marketing. VisitorID will customize its analytics to only show you the visitors from those specific industries that you have chosen.
  • Powerful Filters: Powerful filters allow you to filter out any visitors to your website that don’t apply to your business or fit into your marketing model, so you can focus on the visitors that you do want to target and customize your communications to these specific potential leads. The platform will block all ISP from view and any companies that are poor sales prospects.

Our powerful marketing automation platform provides you with all the tools needed to drive more leads, convert more sales, optimize your marketing potential, and track potential customers who would have otherwise remained anonymous. The platform not only saves you time and money, but identifies more qualified leads, increases the conversion of those leads, and increases your resulting revenues.

What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation: Why It’s Essential for B2B Businesses
The Benefits of Marketing Automation for B2C Companies
After the Click: Behavior-Based Email Tracking
Email Automation Through One-To-One Conversation

Email Automation with Personalized Communication

(For an introduction to automation, please see What Is Marketing Automation?)

When marketing automation is applied correctly, the software’s features are extremely beneficial to businesses. And one of these key features is email automation, which allows an agency to appeal to potential customers by sending relevant information that specifically appeals to the lead’s interests.

Study after study shows that this type of highly personalized and tailored communication has a much higher conversion rate than traditional, primarily irrelevant email blasts. It’s no wonder that a custom approach increases conversion rates; after all, the lead finds the information relevant and helpful. In addition, the more personalized communication allows a salesperson to bring the lead down the sales funnel in a natural, organic way.

The Problem with Sending Mass Emails

Email Service Providers (ESP) use the concept of mass emailing to constantly contact prospects with irrelevant information, all just to remain at the top of the prospect’s mind. Basic email service providers like Constant Contact can only send mass emails that treat everyone the same. This type of one-size-fits-all, largely irrelevant email is (correctly) called spam. And today’s prospective buyers find spam to be a turn-off.

In contrast, personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14%, and conversions by 10%.
ESPs cannot target a lead’s specific interests because they lack the ability to track a prospect’s “beyond the click” behavior. “Beyond the click” is a marketing automation feature that uses behavior-based tracking to automatically segment leads and then send information that is relevant to each lead. And segmenting is vital to any email marketing strategy.

The Importance of Segmentation: A Case Study

Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. – Campaign Monitor

Segmentation has produced incredible results for many businesses. For example, HiveTracks is a cloud-based tool used to monitor and maintain beehives. They opted for marketing automation in order to segment their customers, nurturing each group with the right content and at the right time.

The email segmentation plan employed SharpSpring’s software on Push Marketing’s marketing automation platform, with impressive results:

  • Created robust profiles for all of its customers for improved target marketing
  • Increased engagement rates from 5% to 40%
  • Generated a tenfold increase in conversions from free trials to paid accounts

Without question, HiveTracks has been able to significantly boost engagement and increase revenue by using automated segmentation. Their full case study can be found here.

Marketing Automation Levels the Playing Field

Once upon a time, only the largest companies had the ability to achieve these types of results. Marketing automation changes the game and levels the playing field for businesses of all sizes. And with cost-effective solutions like Push Marketing and SharpSpring, marketing automation and its many benefits are more attainable than ever before. That’s great news, because marketing automation will help drive more leads, convert those leads to sales, and optimize marketing send. That’s a winning combination for any business.

Don’t forget to check out other posts in this series:

Push Marketing Introduces Advanced Marketing Automation 
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation: Why It’s Essential for B2B Businesses
The Benefits of Marketing Automation for B2C Companies
After the Click: Behavior-Based Email Tracking
Email Automation Through One-To-One Conversation

The Benefits of Marketing Automation for B2C Companies

(For an introduction, please see What Is Marketing Automation?)

Marketing automation offers tools that are highly valuable to B2C companies. For example, the ability to segment leads to a list allows B2C companies to thrive without the need for a large sales team.

B2C companies typically use the same tactics as B2B companies, but with a stronger emphasis on segmentation of leads. B2C companies tend to deal in much smaller revenue transactions, and to forego a sales team in favor of a web shopping cart. In either type of company, the benefits of marketing automation are powerful; however, the emphasis in B2C marketing is on automatic customer segmentation and targeted communication.

Automatic Customer Segmentation Example

Recently, a marketing agency used marketing automation to segment 100,000 customers for an online college apparel retailer. The Tallahassee based B2C company had aimed to capitalize quickly on Florida State’s 2014 BCS Championship victory. Here’s how they succeeded.

First, the marketing agency used marketing automation to track users on the site. They then created dynamic lists that segmented users based on the products viewed by each user. Using these lists, the firm sent specifically targeted emails to visitors who were interested in specific product categories.

Web visitors who browsed baby items without buying received an email that focused on baby items and even included a coupon for select items. Visitors who purchased scarves or cold weather items might be sent an email with information on a matching flannel blanket, while individuals who purchased swimwear might be sent a special offer for a cooler and beach umbrella.

Marketing Automation vs. ESP

This level of customer segmentation is simply not possible for a company or agency using a basic Email Service Provider (ESP) like Constant Contact or MailChimp. In contrast to such outdated services, marketing automation like that offered by Push Marketing is able to track user behavior “beyond the click,” and provides a rules engine that enables automatic segmentation and communication with leads.

In fact, marketing automation makes customer segmentation easily attainable by smaller companies. At only a few hundred dollars per month, technologies that were once only available to high revenue companies like Amazon are now within reach for even the smallest of businesses.

Plus, behavior based segmentation allows for personalized conversations, which will lead to higher revenues and greater customer satisfaction. It’s an investment many B2C have already decided they can’t afford not to make.

Check out other posts in this series:

Push Marketing Introduces Advanced Marketing Automation 
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation: Why It’s Essential for B2B Businesses
After the Click: Behavior-Based Email Tracking
Email Automation with Personalized Communication
Marketing Automation: Why It’s Essential to B2B Companies

Marketing Automation: Why It’s Essential for B2B Businesses

(For an introduction to marketing automation, please see What Is Marketing Automation?)

Marketing automation offers tools that are highly valuable to B2B companies. That’s not surprising, because its anonymous web visitor tracking and behavioral based email automation features provide B2B companies with the opportunity to convert every lead that visits a company’s website.

In general, B2B companies use sales teams to sell larger ticket items to their markets. Because the cost of hiring, training and maintaining a sales team is so high, each deal made is very valuable. As a result, identification and conversion of every lead becomes essential.

In this context, the marketing automation service offered by Push Marketing and developed by SharpSpring includes several tools that can help B2B marketers identify and convert leads into sales.

Anonymous Web Visitor Tracking

Of the individuals who visit any given website, more than 97% are not yet ready to commit to filling out a form. Marketing automation allows you to identify these anonymous visitors, individuals would otherwise drift away from your website, unnoticed. Naturally, identifying and following up on these leads can generate a significant increase in lead volume. The most comprehensive marketing automation tools can even provide the lead’s phone number, email address and social connections, in order to help a sales team close deals more effectively and consistently.

Once visitors are identified, marketing automation can recognize the leads who are more engaged, allowing a sales team to focus on the leads with the highest probability of closing.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is one of the tools designed to measure a lead’s level of engagement. A lead score is based on performance of certain tasks by a prospective customer, such as visiting an important page, entering an email address on a form, etc. The prospect is given a certain point value for each task completed. For example, providing a name might be worth 1 point, while visiting an important page might be worth 15 points. Salespeople can be notified by email or even by text when a lead receives a high lead score (a “very hot” lead), visits the site or behaves in a way that suggests readiness to make a purchase.

Lead Nurturing

Similarly, leads who are not ready to make a purchase can be assigned to campaigns that automatically nurture their interest over time. This is done using email communication targeted specifically to the lead’s interests, rather than one-size-fits-all email blasts. Recent studies have shown that such targeted email communication generates a significant increase in qualified leads and sales:

  • Organizations that nurture their leads see a 45% increase in lead generation ROI over those that don’t
  • Poor lead nurturing significantly contributes to 79% of marketing leads never converting to sales
  • Nurtured leads produce 20% more sales opportunities than non-nurtured leads
  • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rates as compared to email blasts
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads
  • Lead nurturing through marketing automation increases qualified leads by 451%

If these results sound like they might be a good fit for your business, or you’d just like to know more, please check out these other posts in Push Marketing’s series on Marketing Automation:

What is Marketing Automation?
Push Marketing Introduces Advanced Marketing Automation 
The Benefits of Marketing Automation for B2C Companies
After the Click: Behavior-Based Email Tracking
Email Automation with Personalized Communication
Marketing Automation: Why It’s Essential to B2B Businesses

After the Click: Behavior-Based Email Tracking

By providing complete information on a visitor’s activity after they click through from an email, Push Marketing’s software goes far beyond the capabilities of traditional ESPs like MailChimp and Constant Contact. With email tracking, you can track every page visit, form fill-out, webinar sign-up, and white-paper download from the email campaigns you send.

Why does that matter? Simply put, behavioral-based email tracking and marketing automation helps businesses generate more leads, increase sales and prove ROI.

Email automation takes on new meaning with marketing automation. With “after-the-click” behavior tracking, marketing automation is able to track how a lead is interacting with a website. At the same time, the software can send out automated email that is customized based on how the lead interacted with the website.

In short, Marketing Automation can be used to:

  • Discover a lead’s interests, simply based on webpage clicks
  • Communicate with leads 1-to-1 based on those interests
  • Automatically notify a salesperson when a lead has accomplished something interesting

Marketing Automation vs. Traditional ‘Email Blasts’

Unlike old-fashioned email delivery services like MailChimp or Constant Contact, which generally send out email “blasts” to a large group of recipients in an untargeted approach. Too often, prospective customers view this kind of mass mailing as spam, and that can land your emails in the junk mail folder.

In contrast, when correctly applied, marketing automation all but guarantees that leads receive narrowly targeted, highly relevant, marketing messages at exactly the right moment. Unlike the auto responder tools many businesses and agencies have used in the past, marketing automation is able to specifically target leads who are likely to be receptive to your contact.

The secret is that marketing automation features behavioral-based targeting and communication. Using marketing automation, a B2B company can automatically send very high-level, relevant information to fresh leads, with a high degree of accuracy as to that individual’s actual interests.

Plus, when a lead shows readiness to buy, purchase-oriented materials can be automatically sent. At the same time, the marketing automation service will send a notification to a salesperson, telling them to contact the lead. Leads looking at one product on the website can be sent information about that specific product, without a salesperson having to ask the lead anything.

Not surprisingly, this level of behavioral-based targeting will generate higher conversions and more revenue. That’s why Push Marketing is offering this service, as developed by SharpSpring—it’s an investment that is sure to pay dividends.

The relevance and time savings of behavior-based email automation is difficult to put into words. That’s why we’ve created a fast, fascinating and fun demonstration of how marketing automation actually works for you.

Next, please check out other posts in this series:

Push Marketing Introduces Advanced Marketing Automation (coming soon!)
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation: Why It’s Essential for B2B Businesses
The Benefits of Marketing Automation for B2C Companies
Email Automation with Personalized Communication