Marketing automation is about making your life easy. Online sales are down or could be improved, so what do you do? There's no better way to capture leads at any hour of the day than setting up a marketing automation system with your online pages.
First, familiarize yourself with various web tools by comparing the best marketing automation platforms. Marketing automation allows you to automate responses and match responses with the actions customers take on your website instantly.
One way to do this is to start by forming content around your pages and promoting offers your customers can sign up to receive. This initiates the sales funnel for customers who have visited your website by responding to your call to action. Once customers make it to your website, it’s your job to pull them in with an offer. If they’re not immediately ready to buy your products or services, marketing automation provides a means to nurture leads.
Capture Leads at the “Top-of-the-Funnel”
Any lead needs an offer to be captured in your sales funnel. Top-of-the-funnel offers are there to help build “awareness” about your company’s offerings. They usually contain content that educates your customers and helps them make better buying decisions.
For this reason, your top-of-the-funnel offer should refrain from mentioning your products or services exclusively and speak to your customers’ problems instead. Top-of-the-funnel content takes the form of eBooks, guest blogs, infographics, webinars, videos, and FAQs. The purpose of your top-of-the-funnel offer is to drive more customers to the middle-of-the-funnel.
Nurture “Middle-of-the-Funnel” Leads
After your customers reach the middle-of-the-funnel, they are ready to hear more about your products or services. At this stage in the game, it’s safe to focus on the benefits of your products, what they help solve, and why this person is much better off doing business with you. Middle-of-the-funnel offers urge customers to take action by signing up to receive more information. Marketing automation software can help you accomplish this step by adding features to your websites, such as intake/order forms, downloads, and future promotional offers.
To take it one step further, many marketing automation tools offer analytics and lead-tracking features that help you complete the process and make the sale. Sure, your customer might not be ready to make a purchase same-day, but you need to be absolutely certain that when they are finally ready to make a purchase, they choose your company. This is what marketing automation can help you accomplish with your middle-of-the-funnel offers.
Hook them at the “Bottom-of-the-Funnel”
The bottom-of-the-funnel is where the magic happens. You’re successfully engaging the customer, so time for the close! The bottom of the funnel sells. It’s the hook that finally convinces your customers to buy. So they went through all that trouble and finally made it to the bottom? Reward them for this. Customer loyalty starts before the sale is already made — it’s your marketing automation process and sales funnel. By the time they’ve reached the end, the thing that caused them to hesitate in the first place should be resolved.
What caused your lead to hesitate?
The price was too high — so offer a special, discount, or free trial to “taste test.”
The quality was questionable — but that’s hardly true if they can see top reviews.
The service was missing something — but you get it free when you sign up now!
They could not make up their mind — tell them because “this is why.”
Identify the problem and fix it at the hook! The bottom of the funnel is the last place to convince your leads to get on board and take action.
At the end of the day, marketing automation software makes it much easier for you to capture leads and convert customers using your sales funnel. It’s a relief programming your website with triggered responses (such as emails), targeting through customer profiles and analytics, building relationships and interactions, and integrating sales and marketing.
*Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in 2015 and has since been updated.