Using automation to close and nurture leads
Automation is the way of the future, and often times the way of the present. It is a part of every business and industry in the modern world, and marketing is no exception. Marketing automation can go by any number of names inside a CRM platform, some call it campaigns, others workflows or sequences. For the purposes of this article we will refer to automation as workflows. Today, we are going to look at how workflows are used in an inbound marketing strategy, specifically in relation to closing leads and nurturing prospects.
What is a workflow?
So, what is a workflow, and what does it do? Workflow is an application that can help streamline certain elements of your sales and marketing campaigns. It can do things like send reminder and follow up emails to your contacts, send an automated message to contacts who convert on forms, update your page automatically based on information on your customer’s profile and habits, and even streamline communication between different departments of your own company. Ultimately, a workflow is a very useful communication and inbound marketing tool.
An important thing to remember about a workflow and other forms of automation is that it is a tool. While it may be tempting to rely heavily on it, software will not have the intuition and instinct of a human. Ideally, you want to be using workflow applications alongside your marketers and salespeople, not in place of them. This will make sure that your contacts continue to feel valued, and the relationship with them is genuine.
Closing the loop with automation
Closing a lead is the process of transforming somebody who is interested in your product into somebody who will buy it. It is at this point that you want to reach out to the customer, as opposed to the customer coming to you (or your blog and website) for information. Automating this can be a little bit tricky, since you don't want to be contacting somebody too early or too late. That said, you can automate certain emails to be sent out after the lead has signed up for specific services.
For example, if your lead has just filled out a form to get a free ebook on how to sell more t-shirts to elders, It can trigger an automated email offering them other t-shirt related services.
Nurturing a contact through the funnel
The nurturing of prospects is slightly different. You want to make sure that potential leads are kept interested so they will, eventually, transform into customers. A lot of the same techniques from before can be used in nurturing a prospect, but the goal is to keep them around, even if they aren’t ready to buy yet. The software can examine what a prospect has looked at, and send out emails targeted to that person’s interest. Make sure they continue to see content that will hold them. Eventually, they will buy.
As mentioned above, automation is something that you should be careful with. You don’t want to risk losing the intuition that comes from a human marketer or salesperson. If your company is just starting out, you will have to decide when you want to start automating, and to what extent. However, you will probably want some workflow software eventually, and when you do, you want to be able to make the most of it.