Steps for Getting Started with Marketing Automation

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Marketing automation allows your marketing to be more efficient and effective.  It frees up your time and makes your other marketing and sales better.

Below are the steps to start with marketing automation:

Organize contacts

  • Consolidate – You need to consolidate all of your contacts into one place. If you have them in spreadsheets, different email programs, different CRM systems, and on paper, it’s time to get them all into one area.
  • Screen – Once you have the contacts in one place, now it’s time to review and clean the list. Are there people that no longer have that email (example:  people that are no longer at the company)?
  • Identify Source – Identify where the contact/lead was acquired. This is important for marketing ROI.
  • Segment – After you clean the list, you will want to segment the list. The type of segmentation will depend on you, your company, your product/service, and your marketing strategy.  You will want to have a prospect list and a customer list.  But you may want to break those down into specific products/services, segment by demographics (male/female, age, etc.) or psychographics (attitudes, interests, and lifestyle).

Continue to build your list
You may start out with a list of contacts from your client list, events you attended, organizations you are a part of, etc. But you will want to always be building your list.  Once you get the lead, you will want to have a systematic way to capture and catalog the lead.  This is a great time to use a CRM or Customer Relationship Management tool.  You will constantly be organizing contacts as you get them (see #1).  A few ways to build a list:

  • Create a landing page that gives away something to get contact information
  • Tradeshow events (raffles, sign up for information, etc.)
  • Networking events
  • Cold calls (telephone and in-person visits)

Create the content
What content does your buyer need at each stage? You will want to create this.  You may have many different forms such as written, podcasts, blogs, videos, etc.  You may deliver this in different ways such as email, mail, social media, etc. Again, you will need content for each step of all of your buyers’ journeys.

Draw your buyers journey

  • What steps does your buyer go through before buying?
  • Pardot lists 3 steps in the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.  http://www.pardot.com/buyer-journey/
  • What is your buyer going through?  What information will they need at each step?NOTE:  You will most likely have a different buyer journey for each of your segments.  For existing clients, it’s still a buyer’s journey.  You are just looking to create a repeat or returning buyer.

Start the automation
This is the exciting part. You have all the steps, the content, and the format.  Now it’s time to start the automation and let it run!

Use analytics to improve the process
Marketing automation is great because it has a certain “set it and forget it” feel. But DON’T set it and forget it if you want to get the most out of it.  You will want to pay attention to every step of your marketing automation to see how you can optimize and improve it.  Look at open rates, click through rates, heat maps, website analytics and more.  See this article on the best email metrics.

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